Swingers

2013 Watercress Line Autumn Steam Spectacular - Ropley - Ex-LMS Black 5 45379 demonstration goodsRetired Engine Driver John Anthony has submitted a guest blog post, sharing the working an unfitted freight.  Without further ado, here is John’s fifth piece on his driving experiences!

Hi folks,

About 50 years ago, before rheostatic air and vacuum brakes were the norm on heavy coal trains, we had ”swingers!”  Swingers were unfitted freight wagons.  Swingers tested a driver’s ability to the full. Get it wrong and the Grim Reaper would scythe YOU big time! It was something like driving a road vehicle with just the hand brake to stop.  I passed my driving test in those days.  If the distant signal was yellow, it was no messing about, GET YOUR TRAIN UNDER CONTROL!  Or the train will be a “RUNAWAY”, and you went POOP! POOP! POOP! On the steam whistle and prayed!

John.

2013 Watercress Line Autumn Steam Spectacular - Ropley - Ex-LMS Black 5 45379 demonstration goodsMany thanks to John for sending this in!  All of John’s contributions can be found on a dedicated web page (please click here.)

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4 thoughts on “Swingers

      • No question that the railway is a safer place though as a result. Ultimately H&S is a good thing on balance or we’d still have guys playing with asbestos without protection and the like! 😊

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      • Very true, railways in particular are much safer these days. It is remarkable how dangerous railways were not that long ago, especially considering how long risky practices were followed, its not as if railways were a modern invention!

        Liked by 1 person

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