Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Humpyard Dogs

CN 7530 and set work the Symington hump yard in Winnipeg, Manitoba
The engines that work the hump yards never get the respect they deserve. These are engines that work hard, constantly shoving long strings of cars up a steep hill, only to go back down the hill and do it again with another string. I thought I would take a few pictures of these unsung heroes.

On May 29, 2010 there were three sets of engines working the hump at Symington Yard in Winnipeg. The pictured units, CN 7530, slugs 500 and 523, and CN 7513 were shoving their cars up the hill. The two end units are GP38s modified for humpyard service. CN 500 and 523 are slugs, aka "daughters" or "calfs" that have electric traction motors but no diesel engines. They get their power from the "mothers" aka the humpyard GP38s. Slugs are used in low speed operations like shunting because the diesels and their generators produce more power than one locomotive's traction motors can use.

Humpyard units are generally remote controlled. That allows the operator to stand at the uncoupling end and have the units shove the cars at his/her beck and call.

One thing I did not know is that the two GP38s in the sets are not identical. One is the "lead" and the other is the "trail" unit. The remote control receiver is in the lead but the "trail" is likely just MU'ed to the lead so they work together.

Some of the humpyard dogs are pretty beat up. Look at CN 7530 up close... or is it 7534?
CN 7530 turning back into CN 4734
The paint is so bad on CN 7530 that you can see its former number, 4734, showing through. 20 years after being renumbered, hard living is renumbering the engine back.

Note the light above the bell. This flashes, indicating the unit is remotely controlled.

The second set at work was on the back track on the hump, and I didn't catch any numbers except for CN 7521.

The third set was resting beside the hump.
Hump yard set at rest in Symington yard
CN 7528, CN 504, CN 501, and CN 7509 were having a rest.

Clearly CN 7509 was recently repainted!
CN 7509 in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Note the operator on the top of the hump above 7509. He has his beltpack to remotely control the dogs.

I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to the "humpyard dogs" at Symington Yard. These dogs don't get any petting, but they work hard anyway!

See also More Humpyard Dogs

1 comment:

Mike said...

Very informative. Thank you!