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Old 3rd June 2007, 00:10   #1
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Default prototype terminus operations

hi all, i've been stuck thinking recently - in the days of steam, what did the steam locos do at a terminus?

what i mean is, did they drive right in with coaches behind, then have to load up with passengers and travel backwards for their next journey?

or, perhaps they uncoupled their coaches just outside the terminus, and a little shunter would take the coashes to to platform, allowing the steamer to find a turntable, turn around, then come and pick up the coaches again, once loaded?

what does anyone else do in their layout, if you have an end2end system with terminals? be interested to hear what you can do on a layout?

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Old 3rd June 2007, 01:23   #2
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Default Re: prototype terminus operations

There a few options here Pete,#1 a turntable #2 a turning wye #3 using tank engines that are better at running long distances in eithr direction(some tender engines were adapted for reverse running).
A passing loop would most likely be used to get the loco to the other end of the train for the return trip as small stations might not have a shunter at them.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 17:00   #3
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Default Re: prototype terminus operations

When I was a kid (yonks ago) I used to go train spotting at Liverpool Street Station (one of the main line london termini) The train would pull in, the engine would be uncoupled, another engine would hook up to the other end, and away it would go. the uncoupled engine would then pull out of the platform to be readied for its next journey.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 17:44   #4
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Default Re: prototype terminus operations

If the depot was some distance from the terminal station, as often the case in large cities, then locos could often be seen running tender first on ECS workings between the station and the sidings. This would save on light engine moves and also on pilot engines for shifting the stock. The incoming loco would have its train drawn off by another engine then wait in a loco spur near the station for the next train coming in. It would couple onto the rear of the new train and take the coaches to the depot for cleaning and servicing. At the depot the loco would be turned and serviced before returning to the station with another ECS train. Once the empties had been loaded and departed behind another loco our example loco would again retire to a nearby loco spur before dropping back onto a fresh set of coaches ready for departure.

In summary:
1. Loco arrives (chimney first) with train.
2. Train is removed by another loco.
3. Loco is now released to a spur.
4. Another train arrives.
5. Loco takes this second train to the depot running tender first.
6. Serviced and turned at the depot.
7. Runs with ECS train from depot to station (again tender first).
8. Train is loaded and departs pulled by another loco.
9. Loco awaits the arrival of its stock for the next departure.
10. Loco couples to train and departs chimney first.

This style of operation means that main line tender locos can be seen hanging around the station waiting for jobs, and also can be seen running tender first with trains in and out of the station. On a model the tender first operation is a good way of differentiating between your ECS trains and the passenger workings.

The ECS moves between Longsight and Manchester Piccadilly were still handled in this manner (though with electric and diesel locos) up to the introduction of push-pull working with the DVTs though nowadays with everything being multiple units, and they being cleaned in the station, there are a lot less non revenue trips.
Bob Hughes
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Old 3rd June 2007, 18:16   #5
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Default Re: prototype terminus operations

cheers guys, this gives me something to work with. mike - if i can figure out how to get the uncoupling right, i like the sound of the two locs, one train approach!
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Old 6th June 2007, 06:35   #6
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Default Re: prototype terminus operations

The other option too is that another engine would be already turned and waiting in a siding to reattach itself to the other end to depart, meanwhile the first engine goes and gets rewatered and coaled etc. and is turned for the next arrival.
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Old 18th July 2007, 06:04   #7
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Default Re: prototype terminus operations

There is another more likely scenario. The use of an escape track for the train loco. Here's how it would work, the train pulls into the station and stops just before the turnout to the escape track, the engine uncouples from the train, moves forward past the turnout, the turnout is set for the escape track and the loco then runs light engine to the servicing area. After all the necessary jobs are done, the loco either goes to a loco ready track to await it's next assignment or it returns to the station tender first and couples onto the train and then waits for departure time.

Cheers Simon
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