When "long hood" forward, is engineer on wrong side?

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Robert Gift

former OL presenter
Living in Pennsylvania in the 1960's, whenever I saw a train, the long hood was always forward. (As a child, I do not recall lower short hoods.)

Have they changed everything?
Thank you.

Norm Echtinaw

New Member
Long hood forward followed the logic of the mass of weight being forward on the steam engine offering more protection for the crew in the event of a collision. The same can be assumed for early diesels; the length of the locomotive and the weigh of the prime mover and related equipment offering that protection.

In long hood forward the engineer's position is opposite that of short hood forward.The engineer's control stand was mounted on now what whould be the conductor's side of the locomotive.

NS still has one located in Milan Michigan that was designed for long hood forward operation. Needless to say it's an 'oldie' and only makes trips between Milan and Dearborn. Yes, visibility is somewhat restricted when running LHF.

CN has the same situation on the Flint local running to Durand. There is no wye at Flint to turn them, so one way or the other they have to run LHF. They can use the wye at Durand to turn around.


Back in the steam days it was the fireman's responsibility to tell the engineer what was happening on the left side. On LHF trains today it's the conductors responsibility.


John 3:16
Most if not all of the newer NS unis I have been on have a speedometer mounted on the back wall in addition to the other speedometer mounted at the front.

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