U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 01-01-2019, 12:21 PM
 
Location: South St Louis
3,778 posts, read 3,369,585 times
Reputation: 1902

Advertisements

When the final railroad spike was placed at Utah’s Promosory Point, two train engines— one from the east and one from the west— are shown facing one another. After the ceremony, what did the two engines do? Back up all the way to the beginning? This has always puzzled me. Anyone?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-01-2019, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
4,573 posts, read 1,518,332 times
Reputation: 6567
One backed up to the nearest switch siding, which, whether permanent or temporary to serve construction needs, was probably no more than a mile or two away. The TCR was not one line of track all the way across.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2019, 01:54 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,096 posts, read 52,196,491 times
Reputation: 28264
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1greatcity View Post
When the final railroad spike was placed at Utah’s Promosory Point, two train engines— one from the east and one from the west— are shown facing one another. After the ceremony, what did the two engines do? Back up all the way to the beginning? This has always puzzled me. Anyone?
Promontory Summit. Promontory Point was an error passed down by the media.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2019, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
11,620 posts, read 7,021,692 times
Reputation: 14996
It should be recognized that the Union Pacific Railroad, and the entire rail industry of today, is far removed from what was envisioned 150 years ago; just as an example the line over Promontory Summit was replaced between 1902-04 by the Lucin Cutoff -- a 102-mile relocation that reduced the overall Transcontinental mileage by over 40 miles and featured a 12-mile trestle-type bridge directly across the Great Salt Lake (with a telegrapher's (operator's) post and siding (for meeting and passing trains) at mid-point.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucin_Cutoff

The movement of passenger and freight trains via a single track with passing sidings was an art form all its own, with fixed schedule which could be supplemented as needed with written orders, The syntax of these had to be very precise and adhered to strictly. There ere also a series of unofficial "referees" who resolved fine points and edited a reference book. Below is a link to a memorial for the most prominent of these men:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...eter-josserand

But continuous improvements in remote-control technology eventually reached a point which allows the entire Union Pacific system to be dispatched and controlled from a single (and hard-to-find) underground facility in downtown Omaha.

The Cutoff was only the most prominent of a number of such improvements which shortened travel times, reduced curvature and grades and permitted higher speeds and heavier, more-efficient rolling stock. Combined with the lower coefficient of friction between flanged wheel and steel rail. it explains the large economic advantage rail carriers hold over trucking, but only when the freight carried is moved in large volume.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 01-04-2019 at 09:02 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2019, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,454 posts, read 9,689,304 times
Reputation: 8771
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
The movement of passenger and freight trains via a single track with passing sidings was an art form all its own, with fixed schedule which could be supplemented as needed with written orders, The syntax of these had to be very precise and adhered to strictly. There ere also a series of unofficial "referees" who resolved fine points and edited a reference book.
This traffic control infrastructure was just as important as the rails. I know this is going off topic, but I just happened on the site of a crash in 1921 with 26 fatalities because the train engineer misread his orders and crashed headlong into an oncoming train at a curve. That so much freight was moved out west so efficiently is an under appreciated part of the story.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2019, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
11,620 posts, read 7,021,692 times
Reputation: 14996
Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
This traffic control infrastructure was just as important as the rails. I know this is going off topic, but I just happened on the site of a crash in 1921 with 26 fatalities because the train engineer misread his orders and crashed headlong into an oncoming train at a curve. That so much freight was moved out west so efficiently is an under appreciated part of the story.
Thanks for bringing this up and affording me an opportunity to go a little deeper on the subject.

"Operating employees" (supervisors, crewmen and signalmen) were required to carry an "Employees' Timetable" (I collect them) which listed the times for which each train had rights to a stretch of track, and fixed the meeting and passing points; if a train fell behind schedule, it still had those rights, but the higher the priority of the train, the more other moves were affected.

So the dispatcher had the authority to overrule things, but the more the number of trains affected, the tougher the job became; and unscheduled trains (called "extras") could only move on written orders -- and had to be aware of all scheduled moves and stay out of the way.

The most deadly rail accident in American history (near Nashville, TN, in 1918) was the result of misinterpreted train orders.

Centralized Traffic Control, commonly referred to as "CTC", and which allowed movement on the display of lineside signals alone, began to appear in the late Twenties, and was a huge improvement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
5,151 posts, read 3,297,184 times
Reputation: 15406
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1greatcity View Post
When the final railroad spike was placed at Utah’s Promosory Point, two train engines— one from the east and one from the west— are shown facing one another. After the ceremony, what did the two engines do? Back up all the way to the beginning? This has always puzzled me. Anyone?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
One backed up to the nearest switch siding, which, whether permanent or temporary to serve construction needs, was probably no more than a mile or two away. The TCR was not one line of track all the way across.
There's your answer, OP. If you ever find yourself out in Utah, Promontory Summit is well worth a visit. They do a reenactment of the Golden Spike ceremony, I think it's once a day, I'm not sure, but I was fortunate enough to be there when they did it. They bring up the two replicas of the trains shown in that famous photo, and at the conclusion of the ceremony, they let you get up close and check them out before you watch them roll on away.

From Salt Lake City, you drive up I-15 and then take a two-lane state road most of the rest of the way, with the last part of the drive being on an even smaller road. It's a pretty remote location, but it's not hard to get to. On the way you pass through the tiny town of Corinne, which has its own interesting history as a Gentile settlement that tried (and failed) to achieve economic dominance over the surrounding Mormon communities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top