Re: Slip Coaches: Back When British Express Trains Detached Passenger Cars at Speed
Author: Ed Workman
Date: 07-09-2018 - 13:54
There was no way for a guard to go from carriage to carriage, until the Corridor car was introduced late in the 19th century.
THe 'link was not like that familiar in the US. UK links ewre articulaed and permanently, fexibly attached to the endsill. That evolved to included a screw lever to cinch spring buffers up tight . For that a guard had to enter between carriages. For wagons the buffers were 'dead' and no cinching. THe shunters were supposed to use a paddle that let them work outside the red zone and use the buffer as fulcrum to pry the link and place it over the hook.
American brakies got to run the tops in all weather and get knocked off, blown off, slipped off in all kinds of weather and calamity. Commissioner Coffin- no really campaigned long and ardently for auto couplers and brakes in order to reduce the death toll, and in 1892 the first Safety Appliance Act was passed.
Brakies finally were relieved from going topside by a short sentence , in the late 60's that no longer required running boards on most cars, and half height ladders. Wide use of dynamic braking had also by that time greatly diminished the need to use retaining valves.
That came about due to the increased use of long travel draft gears think Hydra-Cushion on SP boxcars- SP paid Stanford researchers to come up with something] that made the gap from roof to roof too far. And it was George Westinghouse who pioneered the 'Friction Draft Gear' that absorbed buff instead of merely storing it in springs only to quickly return it to slack action.