Steam Doubleheaders

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Feb 2 21:21:00 EST 2021

I have a question about when steam engines pulled trains in tandem (if
that's the right term for it.) I assume that today's locomotives are
connected electronically which allows the power output to be balanced. But
there was no such connection during the steam era. (I think.) And clearly
each locomotive required an engineer and a fireman. So did the engineers
communicate in some manner to balance the power? Would they set up a system
of ropes and bells perhaps? Hand signals? Early radios? Or did the
engineers just set a plan in place before they started the trip?

Tom Fulton
Asheville, NC
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