DIESEL REFUELLING

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An interesting operation performed is the refuelling of the Alco HH600 switchers.  Usually, about half-way through the operating session, the coach yard switcher (one of two HH600’s) is scheduled, via the blackboard, for refuelling.  This operation takes about 15 minutes of real time (we don’t use a fast clock here).  Here’s how it goes…

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We find Class DES-7A working the REA platforms when the crew prepares for the refuelling of their locomotive.

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The local Standard Oil Company of New York (Socony) dealer, being conscientious about providing good service to a good customer, has their tanker truck ready at the concrete pad well ahead of schedule.  The New York Central System did not have permanent diesel fueling facilities until the late 1940’s.  When mainline diesel locomotives arrived in the form of DFA-1A/B’s (Electro-Motive model FT, July 1944), the Railroad used tank cars and special purpose-built flat cars, with former steam locomotive tenders mounted, to provide fuel oil wherever the locomotives might be.  I suspect that they wanted to try out the revolutionary locomotives system-wide, and the fuel would follow, before settling in on the best way to operate them more permanently.

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At Fillmore, the tanker truck is stored inside the ice house beside the passenger car service track.

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Our crew goes to lunch when a hostler arrives to take the engine to the fuelling pad.  However, the crew that operates this model on the layout makes the following movements as the layout hostlers have their hands full already.

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The locomotive is backed down to the turntable.  Like the prototype operations at Buffalo’s Central Terminal coach yard and platforms, the switchers always face east.

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The turntable is aligned for Ready Track 2 on the engine terminal side.

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The locomotive is spotted so that the fuel filler port (rear, engineer’s or “A” side) is accessible.

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While the fuelling is in process, I “refuel” my Pals with lemonade.  It is a nice break from the action and they have a chance to watch the movements on the engine terminal side of the layout.  Once the refuelling is completed, the movement is reversed and the crew resumes switching the REA platforms or the passenger car service building.

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