Locomotive placement

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PJH

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Where Kit is from Amtrak has several commuter and medium distance trains that runs with anlocomotive on both ends.

If the loco dies they will put a cabbage or metroliner cabcar on the rear.

Some railroads (big and small) will use an old caboose (sometimes called a cab depending on local slang) on the other end of locals. In railroad terms these days it's called a "shoving platform".

This is what the opposite end locomotive does on some locals (switch crew rides that loco) and then use it for power instead of having to turn the train somewhere (if it's even an option).
 

KK6ZTE

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A cabcar wouldn't die as it's just that, A CAB in a CAR. The power on the other end of the train is what would've "died".

Regards,

-Frank C.
There's a whole lot more that can break in a train besides just the prime mover or alternator ("power"). Cab car electronics can fail, or more likely, the horn or bell stops working, brake control issues...
 
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So how is power and braking transmitted/carried/accomplished (whatever the technical word is) from one locomotive to the others? By that I mean if the engineer applies power or brakes on the front engine, how do the other locomotives know to respond the same?
 

W9BU

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If the locomotives are directly connected to each other, there are what's called "MU" connections between them. These MU connections consist of 3-4 air hoses plus an electrical cable. MU stands for Multiple Unit.

If the locomotives are not directly connected, such as in distributed power, the communications between locomotives is by radio.
 

Grayline

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Here using DPU's for CTX and Norfolk southern they call them Slaves that are in the middle and kostly used for breaking oong trains...
 

Bodfish

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I read someplace (Trains Mag maybe?) that while most of the CSX AC6000CW (or CW60AH) units have been retired or rebuilt with 4300 or so HP prime movers some of the later ones are still running with 6000 HP prime movers. It has been a few months or more since I read that so they too may have been rebuilt, re-engined or retired since then.

As far as DPU's go do any of the roads usually run many trains with mid-train AND rear end units?

Would mid-train repeaters be practical to allow longer train lengths? I imagine that latency might be an issue with this.

There was a story out there from decades ago about a Southern radio-link train derailing a couple cars and recoupling due to a lost signal from the head end, the lost cars were found after the train arrived and they were missing. I don't know if it was true or not but made for a good story nonetheless.

The units in the middle are repeaters.
 
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