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April 29, 2007
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Atlas Car Pusher by classictrains Atlas Car Pusher by classictrains
Railroadsloth's :iconrailroadsloth: commentary on "poling" cars reminded me of the trip we made to the C&IM in 1966. Not only did they have a unique RS-1325 but they hauled coal for an interesting gravity driven coal dumper at Commonwealth-Edison's generating plant in Havana, Illinois.

This electric, battery powered, car "pusher" traveled on tracks parallel to the coal train and had an arm (visible here under the cab) which extended between the cars. It separated the couplers and the was capable of kicking the cars individually down the ramp into the rotary dumper. There they were spun, dumped. and pushed downhill, through a spring switch and then back to join the building string of empties.
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CharukuNova Oct 12, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
love it.
factorone33 Jun 22, 2009  Professional Photographer
The power plant for the company my dad works for utilizes rotary dumping, but has an automated advancing machine that does the advancing for the train by itself, rather than having to rely on the locomotives to do it for them. They put all the units in neutral, and it'll move a 140-car train by itself.
labrat-78 Jun 21, 2009   Photographer
This is how they did it before the advent of the rotary drawbar.
the noise was incredible.,, and watching the cars roll up and down hill by gravity was amazing
Interesting. Never thought something like this existed.
There are amazing "tools" out there to make railroads work. Reading old railroad book and magazines helps. The ads are more informative than the articles sometimes.
Dorsaispirit Jun 21, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Any idea if this thins is still in operation? Or have they updated operations to utilize the rotary couplers? Because something like this is something I'd like to see on a vacation.
I have no idea. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole operation is shut down. This was way back when high sulfur coal was still a primary power source. From Google Earth it looks like the whole thing is run on conveyor belts now. (Just south of town on the river.) On the other hand Google Earth shows an interesting Barge/Rail transloading system just north of town.
I remember seeing photos of poling cars on the Pennsy that looked a bit like a caboose, but this looks to be motorized. [link]=poll&sz=sm&fr=
Interesting machine.
Yeah you shouda heard it a work.... it's electric... it would wind up, move one car length... you'd hear the beam come out with all the noise of slack coming out of a train... here it uncouple and then the car would start to move and the brake line pop... over and over and over and over
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