The Push Poles and Poling

The Push Poles and Poling (HM2G4K)

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N 38° 34.299', W 90° 27.762'

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Dimple-like sockets are often found at the lower corner of freight cars, on the ends of locomotive pilot beams and on the rear corners of tenders. These were needed for a type of switching called "poling."

The car to be moved was not on the same track as the locomotive. This could be because the track was too weak to support the engine, or it could be that if the care were pulled out, it would not have been at the desired end of the engine.

The trainman positioned one end of a push pole in the dimple-like poling socket at the corner of the car, and then the opposite end was carefully aimed at another socket on a slowly approaching engine. After contact was made, the trainman got out of the area; then the engine gave the car a shove. A brakeman would frequently ride the car to operate the handbrake so the car could be kept under control. When the speed slackened, the pole would drop to the ground.

This type of switching was very dangerous and was used only as a last resort, and is not done today.
HM NumberHM2G4K
Year Placed2013
Placed ByMuseum of Transportation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, April 28th, 2019 at 5:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 721044 N 4272296
Decimal Degrees38.57165000, -90.46270000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 34.299', W 90° 27.762'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 34' 17.94" N, 90° 27' 45.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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