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Shunting pole hooks

Discussion in 'Railwayana' started by Ploughman, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    Any body in need of some shunting pole hooks?
    Before we scrap them I thought I had better ask.
    No poles for them though.

    Contact me via http://www.yorkareagroup.co.uk/contact/
    Or PM

    Hooks.jpg
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Doesn't someone still supply poles? I'm sure I've seen adverts in the past but can't remember where.

    I suspect that using shunting poles is becoming a lost art, mainly because most of heritage railway operations involve passenger stock or need for the shunter to go between and couple vac pipes. I still prefer to use a shunting pole whenever I get the chance and locos at Middleton generally have a pole resting on the buffer beam. Does anyone else on here use them, at all?
     
  3. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I used to use them when I regularly volunteered, up until a couple of years ago.
     
  4. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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  5. flaman

    flaman Well-Known Member

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    We banned their use some years ago after a couple of dangerous occurances. Their safe use requires a level of expertise that is difficult to achieve in a preservation environment and is not really necessary anyway.
     
  6. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    Iagree that their use has risks. The risks are manageable by checking the poles and adequate training. Practice does make perfect but I acknowledge that heritage railways probably dont run that many freights.

    It would, IMHO, be a shame if the skill of using a pole died out completely. Like all H&S issues manage the risk and the practice should be able to continue.
     
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  7. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Necessary, no, but a darn site easier than ducking under buffers and going between, especially when uncoupling. It doesn't take long to train someone in the rights and wrongs of using them but it does take skill that only practice can give you. If only everything didn't have vac pipes that get in the way, these days!
     
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  8. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    I have just double checked the SVR shunting risk assesment and poles and brake sticks are covered
     
  9. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    Even if they are still being made (why?), these are historic artifacts & I think it would be a shame to scrap them.
    Could they be used as coat hooks in a shunter's cabin? At least you'd still have them in the future if needed for their original purpose.
     
  10. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    They are still being made because they are still used on the big railway. There use may cease when instanter coupled vehicles cease to be used. For those not familiar with the instanter its like a 3 link coupling but the centre link is triangular with 2 long sides and one short. The short side is used when continuous brakes are used. The long side is similar length to 3 link.

    The advantage to a shunter over a screw is that with a single flick the instanter can be lenthened and undone. You probably shout what about the air pipes. Well whilst not good practice as they become horizontal they will disengage. This makes shunting easier once the strings pulled and brakes released. They dont do that sort of thing on the big railway? Well this is a story told to me by an ex Hoo junction shunnter.

    A train of oil tanks would arrive to be propeled into a siding. Well to get the loco away early, or on time if late, the folowing dubious practice was adopted. The screw coupling between loco and tanks would br loostened but tha automatic air brake would remain charged. The stop valves on tanks and loco would be closed leaving the tanks free to roll. The loco would give the tanks a shove and at the same time the shunter would uncouple the loco coupling wuih a pole. The tanks would trundle off down the siding followed by the shunter. At an apropriate spot the shunter would open the stop valve on the train pipe hence initiating a full brake aplicatuon. COMPLETELY illegal but it worked
     
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  11. Jack Enright

    Jack Enright New Member

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    I don't see how going in between rolling stock can be less dangerous than using a shunting pole. As for expertise, I'm pretty sure there is a video on YouTube (I'll look it out later) which shows exactly how to use a shunting pole safely, and exactly how not to use it, too.

    After all, driving an engine requires a high level of expertise, doesn't it - and getting it wrong can do vastly more damage than can be done with a pole? Yet heritage railways appear more than capable of training their staff up the required level.

    Jack
     
  12. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    An interesting discussion, but no-one appears to have addressed the OP's kind offer ;)
     
  13. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    Ah but they did by PM.
    All hooks now have new homes.
     
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  14. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    Not true my friend. Arrangements were made via PM and arrangements made for their transfer. Half of those on offer now reside in Kidderminster C&W STORES And will be used as replacements as required. The other half went to a similar organization.

    Many thanks to Ploughman
     
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  15. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    Hoped that might be the case, hence the "appears" :)
     
  16. Jack Enright

    Jack Enright New Member

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    That's good to know - I hate seeing anything usable chucked away.
     
  17. HarveyCoppock

    HarveyCoppock New Member

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    I think it takes a bit of practice to become proficient in their use, which I'm not... but I've seen film of someone slacking off screw couplings with one, and it didn't take long, think it looked well oiled though.....
     
  18. Jack Enright

    Jack Enright New Member

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    I'm sure it does, though you could equally say the same about much of the equipment we use - even something as apparently simple as a fireman's shovel!

    Hmm - that's a new one on me, but I think it would only be possible with (as you suggest) a well oiled one, and assuming that the driver was able to squeeze up enough to give it an initial bit of slack.

    I'm a bit puzzled as to why some lines ban the use of shunting hooks, though; I grant you it's possible to have one slip and do yourself an injury - but nowhere near the sort of injury you could sustain if the train or engine moved unexpectedly whilst you were in between. 'In between' has to be one of the most dangerous places on a railway, regardless of how good the brakes are, and how careful the driver is.

    PS - are you the Harvey Coppock who worked on Peak Railway?

    With best regards,

    Jack Enright
    (ex - Church Lane Box)
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016

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