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Tail loads

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by olly5764, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Trying to distract myself from the current situation and I got thinking, it was quite common at one time to see DMUs with a tail load, whether that be a coach to strengthen the set, or a parcels van or some other wagon.
    With exception of the Southern region units paired with TCs, did EMUs, either AC or DC, ever convey tail loads? Or did the natural of the electrified lines of the time, and the services the units were used on, effectively make this impractical?
     
  2. 68923

    68923 New Member

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  3. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    I think that one of the problems would have been wagons having a compatible braking system. With most older wagons being vacuum braked they could only run with DMUs. In the 60s and even into the 70s air braked wagons that would be a suitable tail load were scarce.
     
  4. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    I think it was disruptive having to keep stopping at every station to get rid of there tail load I don't expect the passengers liked it. It’s better in a good train.
     
  5. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    You didn't have to shunt the tail load off at every station any more than you did with a DMU
     
  6. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    But there was no passengers on a goods train to get annoyed while it happened
     
  7. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    A DMU is not a goods train, they regularly hauled tail loads whilst on passenger trains.
     
  8. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    Yes I know that. My point is that a dmu would have to stop for longer if it was unloading or dropping of a truck so it wasn’t preferred by them. They would rather that the dmu went off quicker from each station as it was a passenger train
     
  9. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Unless, sufficient time was built into arrival and departure times to facilitate loading/unloading. Don't forget, back in the day most passenger services carried mail and parcels traffic. It was a very different railway then.
     
  10. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    Known as "smalls". No doubt smalls were sometimes conveyed as "smalls".


    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
     
  11. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    yes, but my point is, it happened with DMU's, did it happen with EMU's?
     
  12. Herald

    Herald Member

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    I'm sure many of us will recall the parcels area of DMU's being used for a variety of traffic certainly locally it was common to see everything from live chicks to coffins (empty) being loaded and unloaded many services were also used to move post, newspapers, magazines and a wide variety of parcels. Of course in those days stations had dedicated staff who would often be helped by such as postmen (or even the local undertaker who I assume had been advised which service his coffins were on) speeding the process. Generally those services with additional vans attached would not have been ordinary passenger workings but until quite a late date newspaper bundles and mail sacks were also to be seen loaded into the passenger accommodation of DMU's on these workings.

    The period of attaching short wheelbase vans to passenger services was of course ending in the '60's after the derailment risks at speed became apparent as services accelerated and track standards changed. This link provides an insight as discussed in the House of Lords https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/lords/1969/mar/27/railways-derailments-and-goods-wagons . It seems likely that apart from the obvious operational issues, the rapidly changing nature of traffic and restrictions on speed would all have led to a rapid decline in such practices.
     
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  13. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    Can I refer you to my post 3 that very few wagons were air braked so it’s very unlikely that EMUs would have had tail loads.
     
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  14. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    Oh ok I don’t know sorry
     
  15. Bikermike

    Bikermike New Member

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    Apparently 4-REPs were supposed to be used for the Soton Freight traffic (source: the internet, not sure where)
    I can see a lot of problems with EMU tail loads:
    1) the southern didn't electrify goods yards 3rd rail for safety reasons - they had OLE in some and steam shunting the rest
    2)the 1960+ stock had buckeye (only?), certainly not easy for connection
    3) "bagpipes" (ie the high-level hose connections) would have not worked with conventional goods stock
    4) shunting with all but the longest MUs is asking to get "gapped"

    I suppose overall, the biggest thing is the difference in purpose - DMUs in that context were low-budget things seeking to keep lines open where conventional motive power was too expensive, wheras 3rd Rail MUs were high-capital things running on lines where the traffic justified the investment - so it's not pulling a milk tanker from Dingley Dell on a pootler, but high capacity movements where freight is either worth doing (in which case steam/diesel hauled) or got rid of as not cost-effective in the service patterns.
     
  16. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    Point 2) all group D & E buckeye fitted emu stock on the Southern had drophead couplings, which enabled them to assist or be assisted by conventionally coupled trains. The idea of having auto couplings only seemed to have started with the tightlock fitted units.

    Point 3) the high level "bagpipes" were an addition on the class 33/1 & 73 locos which also had standard low level connections. Emu stock though did have high level connections only, so extension hoses were available if required although normally only carried on the locos not the units.
     
  17. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    You could argue that the 499s and MLVs were the EMU solution. As I recall the 499s were through wired BGs that ran with EMU stock, they were not drivable so I guess they must have run at the tail of the train or between the MLV and the train itself.

    There was a page devoted to them but it does not seem to be working anymore.
     
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  18. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    I recall the 499s running between the MLVs and the 4CEPs on the boat trains

    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
     
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  19. buzby2

    buzby2 Member

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    This site any good? https://www.bloodandcustard.com/br-tlv.html
     
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