Wednesday, July 1, 2020

More Shoving Platforms

I've already discussed cabooses being repurposed as shoving platforms. Since then I have come across cabooses being refurbished in current Class I liveries as shoving platforms and cars explicitly designed as a shoving platform.

Twice this past winter while driving down I-57, my wife and I saw a CN caboose setting in their yard south of Kankakee, IL. But we didn't have the camera ready for it. The third time down I-57, my wife had the camera ready, but no caboose. The first sighting was at the north end of the yard, and the second one was at the south side. So it does get used.

One use is as the shoving platform for grain trains on the Fisher Farmers Grain and Coal Railroad. They had been using this:

Mike Sypult posted
Today in Rantoul, Illinois on the old Havana, Rantoul & Eastern - later owned by Wabash, then IC "Pumpkin Vine", - now host to the Dewey, Illinois elevator grain trains.
Fortunately, others have caught photos of it, and it looks like they finally repainted it.
Jim Hester posted, cropped
On a spur in Rantoul IL.

Kenneth Gannaway posted two photos with the comment: "IC caboose (shoving platform) in Rantoul Illinois 01/23/17."



The alternative to the platform is that the conductor has to hang on to a ladder. I caught this southbound in Kankakee just north of the IC depot.
20160603 3398
At camera resolution

You can tell when a concept is rather new because different terms are in use for the same thing. 
Mark Olson commented on a post
The BN uses old cabooses for what they call "Riding Platforms"
Because of "slack action" being very dangerous - the employee cannot ride IN the caboose when it is being used for reverse moves, they ride on the platform where they can apply train-line brakes and radio the engineer on the head end if they need to stop - the also have a warning whistle for traffic and pedestrians.
[Why is the slack action more dangerous now than when conductors and brakemen used to ride in them?]
Larry Grzywinski It's either that or ride the side of a car and get off and protect every crossing. Done a lot that in my time.
Mark Olson commented on his comment
Riding the side is not always an option and not as safe as riding on a platform - yes most of the time for short moves riding the side (I have done it too) but for longer reverse moves a riding platform is safer. Some railroads build them like this -
[I can't figure out where the conductor is supposed to stand on this one.]
Others in BNSF call them a "Shove Platform." Note the stenciling in the upper-right corner in these three photos posted by Richard Olson with the comment:
It’s a caboose;
no, it’s a shoving platform;
NO, it’s an EOT with a FRED!
BN 10792 tacked onto the rear of an EB manifest in the Pasco, WA west yard.



Rich Westerman posted four photos with the comment: "I found this stripped down shoving platform parked in Kankakee with a couple of GP38's. I'm guessing that its used mostly for switching the nearby Lehigh quarry. I hope that this thing spends its winters down south because Illinois Winter."
Todd Stevens Started as a pulpwood flat.
[I would think they would at least put a roof over middle. Railroading is done in the rain, snow and sun.]



I've seen a Santa Fe caboose a few times on the BNSF local that goes through Joliet, IL. But I was driving and had no chance to get photos. The one time the local rolls through while I'm railfanning at 

Ken Schmidt posted
Back in July of 1989, I was able to enter Inland Steel, and grab a few shots here and there. Sitting at the entrance of #2 BOF was Inland 124 with two shoving platforms.
Phil Martello: What is the purpose of the shoving platforms?
Ken Schmidt: Phil Martello They operate radio control, so this way, a single person can ride a shove while on the opposite end of the locomotive. And running on a platform is far safer than hanging onto the side of a car and try to run the unit.

Seth Lakin commented on Ken's post
one shoving platform on each end. They are cute little set ups, with two trucks each that are closely spaced and walk up steps. I don’t think the entire set up is 25 feet long.

Romeo Road, it has a custom shoving platform starting at 0:58.
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