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The Smoke Stack

You know of The Hartford Yard Goats, but what is a yard goat?

Posted on May 18, 2017

A yard goat is another term for switcher which is a small locomotive that stays in the railroad yard and serves to move cars from track to track. These vehicles are often re-purposed “road” engines with too many miles or simply too tattered to continue their former work.

A typical yard goat is relatively low-powered and restricted to low top speeds, but they usually have high torque (starting tractive effort) that helps to get heavy cars rolling quickly. Heavily-used switching engines wear out quickly from the abuse of constant hard contacts with cars and frequent starting and stopping.

Engine #2 at Essex Station

Join us on Father’s Day weekend to meet Hartford’s Yard Goat mascot and enjoy other fun activities going on at Essex Steam Train & Riverboat! LEARN MORE

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