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R44 5278

Weird Consist Headed for Hoboken

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During the PM rush last afternoon at around 5:56 PM, I was driving on Pulaski Skyway towards NYC when I noticed a weird consist crossing Lower Hack. The trainset consisted of mostly Comet Vs hauled by a F40PH-CAT faced backwards(The locomotive was at the east end, but faced west). In fact, I was surprised at how fast the train was running when it's operator wasn't even facing forward. Since I was driving, I really regret the fact that I never took my phone out to record it. Can someone tell me what's with this diesel consist and how it can pull a train without the operator facing forward?

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Some diesel cowl units have operator position in the rear. I have video that i'll upload soon of a 4 engine consist with a MNRR cat running backwards at hoboken. The door on that unit is very obviously removed with a new panel that stands out from the rest of the back. Typically on units without that rear control area you have 2-3 people involved when this happens 2 in the cab watching the mirrors, and sometimes one outside on a platform or such eying the blind spot.

 

I am pretty sure that the (NJT) units still have the doors, but i am not 100% certain. I've seen at least one with a door there.

 

As far as it reversing, it is possible that it just happened to need to go in backwards towards hoboken to move the cars. It would likely have moved the cars, detached, switched so it was facing the right direction, hooked back up, and ready for pax. The other possibility is that it was just on shuffling duty moving a peak hour consist into position.

 

As far as signaling, a red lights pop up in the cab and stuff if a red actual signal comes up red.

 

In any case, it was likely just moving cars from the MMC to hoboken. I believe they are cleared to 45 mph when they do this hence the speed you saw.

 

- A

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Car swap during Rush Hour(always a pain for them) there was a problem with a consist that was getting ready to go out. So they brought in a few cars to replace the bad ones. The cab signals would not show stop(red) unless the train was on the wrong track(and even then as long as the track is signaled it would probably not do this) or like you said a stop signal came up. That is odd though that they would use an F40PH-2CAT for such a move, but power must have been short.

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