Thursday, February 02, 2006


From: "J. Williams"

From the mid-1800s to the end of the century, old newspapers of the period report that locomotives periodically collided with wildlife and that occasionally, if the animal were large enough, the impact resulted in derailment.

My question is: Was the train's crew equipped to repair the track on site and get the train running themselves (provided neither the locomotive nor any of the cars were overturned) or did they always have to wait for a separate crew to arrive with heavy equipment and special skills?


Jon Williams
Wasatch Mountains, Utah


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Wendell Huffman"

What a really good question. I've helped rerail a locomotive – using rerailing frogs. Didn't have to wait for a "big hook." But I've never noticed rerailing frogs in photos of 19th century locomotives and have no idea when they came into being. I presume before that they used blocks of wood for cribbing and levers. It doesn't seem unimaginable that they may have had some track mauls in a toolbox in the caboose, so they might have been able to re lay a rolled rail. But if the rail broke (not uncommon) they may have been stuck until help arrived. Sure there may have been spare rails at various points along the track – but only Chris can tell us how far a crew was likely to pack one of those puppies.


2/02/2006 6:46 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


Nineteenth century train crews could do a lot to get their train back on the road after a minor derailment, just as most short line train crews today can and will do a lot to get going again. Crews carried a selection of tools to help them.


2/03/2006 1:26 PM  

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