B&O Railroad caboose and helper at Hoblitzell, PA

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B&O Railroad caboose and helper at Hoblitzell, PA

Just after leaving Hyndman the train goes by a auto junk yard at Hoblitzell.

B&O Railroad caboose and helper Brackens, PA

The train is going through Brackens. For safety, the crew in the caboose is riding in the second unit. There have been several accidents where the force exerted by the helper locomotives has literally crushed a caboose. The most likely accident due to the light weight of a caboose is for the caboose to derail on a curve as the forces push it off the track. I am more familiar with helper operations on the Southern Pacific. The rules there was that not more than 4,000 horsepower could be coupled behind a caboose. If the total power of the helper set exceeded the limit, then the helper crew would isolate units (take them off-line). If the helper set needed more power than that, then the units would be coupled ahead of the caboose plus any empty cars. There were more rules for placement of helpers and I'll cover those a little bit later. Disk 119