NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sun Oct 12 10:30:10 EDT 2014

Not sure out there but here on the BNSF he would have been assisted by a 

Nathan Simmons
trainman51 at

On 10/12/2014 01:46, NW Mailing List wrote:
> I was at Coopers on Friday (in the rain), and noticed a cut of loaded 
> hoppers with a FRED on the Bluestone branch.  I went to the junction 
> and videoed a westbound covered hopper unit train going into the 
> tunnel.  As I was about to leave, I heard horns so I stuck around a 
> few minutes and an eastbound coal drag stuck its nose out of the 
> tunnel and then stopped with its units just West of the switch.  I 
> hung around a few more minutes hoping to be able to video this train, 
> but the rain picked up and I headed back around the curve.  About a 
> third of the way back to Cooper I heard the air start pumping into the 
> cut next to me.  My supposition is that the lead units cut off from 
> the train and coupled up to the cut on the branch.  I imagine that 
> when the air was good, they pulled the cut out onto the main and then 
> someone threw the switch and they backed up to couple with the rest of 
> the train that had been stopped in the tunnel and on the bridge.  My 
> question is this:  it seems like someone would have had to have been 
> on the ground to throw the switch, couple the hoppers and remove the 
> FRED from the end of the cut, but this would put him a long way from 
> the head end after making the coupling (83 cars to be exact). How did 
> he get back aboard?  Did he have to walk to the head end?  Did the 
> pushers stop for him?  Is anyone familiar with this operation or care 
> to speculate?
> Jim Cochran
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