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The Flipside Principle

Discussion in 'Metal Heads' started by cracked ass, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. cracked ass

    cracked ass Guest

    Here's another obscure topic for the advanced freight geek.
    You'd think that, once you piece a car, it has a 50% chance of facing the right way when it goes by someone benching, right? (Or, for the Murphy's Law cynics, that it's more like 10%, but you're only half serious.) Well, the news is, maybe not, especially if your car doesn't go far before coming back.
    I painted a big percentage of my freights at a sweet spot which no longer exists. The vast majority were done on the same side of the line, and just a couple on the flipside, as it was far less chill there. Six hundred miles away, a regular bencher we knew of caught our stuff once in a while. It took me a long time to notice, after seeing flicks he took and bench lists he posted, that he caught almost exclusively the few we did on the flipside, and almost none of the ones we did on the chill side. I even saw a Ghouls piece in one of his flicks which looked familiar. I checked the car number and sure enough, I had one running on the other side of that car, painted at that spot, so that car was also facing the usual way. I have come to the conclusion that when he's at his benching spot, facing the trains, the westbounds are going to his left and the eastbounds to his right. (So he's looking within ninety degrees of north.)
    The truth is, train cars don't turn around much. If you think about it, the most common situation for a railcar is to be shipped facing one way, spotted at a layup the same way (its orientation will not change whether it goes into the layup forward or backward), pulled from the customer the same way, and shipped back facing the same way. The only way for a car to turn around is to go through two legs of a triangle or "wye", forward through the first and backward through the second; or, if it takes a long route that is a loop. (And it must do these an odd number of times, as the second time will turn it back the original direction.) These happen less often than you might think.
    There are a few minor implications of this. For those who bench regularly at the same spot, and get the same types of cars coming through a lot, bench the other side a few times. You might be surprised to see some people repping a lot harder on the flipside, just because train cars rarely turn around, and their favorite spot always makes their pieces face the wrong way for you. Second, try to hit the other side at your regular spots, you may be seen by heads who would have missed it otherwise. Also, you may hit the same type of car often, and the customer who gets those cars is situated such that they get turned around once on the trip, so if you don't remember your car numbers, and you don't check the other side before painting, you might hit the same car twice by accident.
    For cars that get around to a lot of different customers, the chance of your piece facing a random viewer is 50%. For a locally based car, and a specific bencher not far away, the chance will either be much lower, or much higher.
  2. THE LAW

    THE LAW Guest

  3. bear

    bear Elite Member

    Joined: Jan 1, 2001 Messages: 2,930 Likes Received: 0
    interesting thought. i know that where i am at, there is a part of the track that runs between a highway and i drive past the line and then turn and head past the other side to check which is better for when i beat it to the bench spot. we typically tell eachother what side to flik or film by which side of the bench spot they should sit at.
    like, "gallery-side" or "mcdonald's side" for example. so i guess we're lucky to get to preview both sides.
    as far as painting one side more often goes, i've never really thought of that. but it defenitely holds true. seems like most spots have an chill and a less chill side so i know that i typically never even look on the other side unless i am going back for day fliks or something.
    this is good stuff to think about. thanks
  4. mopius

    mopius Guest

    i have thought about which side would get more spots, but didnt get as far as you have in my thinking...

    i am always thinking when i bench of what im missing on the other sides
  5. deformatron

    deformatron Member

    Joined: Oct 9, 2001 Messages: 496 Likes Received: 0
    Yo, i must be a complete dork because i've thought about this subject every time ive gone to the yards since i hit my first freight, and always wondered if nobodys ever seeing my shit caues im painting the wrong sides.
    Just like cracked suggested i try and vary the sides i hit, but knowing my luck im sure all my more wack shit is facing everybody.
  6. Spoter

    Spoter Senior Member

    Joined: Feb 21, 2001 Messages: 1,194 Likes Received: 0
    good point.i never though of it that way.
  7. Ski Mask

    Ski Mask 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Apr 11, 2000 Messages: 11,114 Likes Received: 209
    good post cracked. but I think the lack of turning must be a local thing to your area. I know up here most of the stuff I hit will get dragged around on a local through a bunch of industrial spots and leave town with a 50/50 chance of my side showing at the benching spots. The path is predictable, and if I do somthing against the wall I know what side will be where once its moved. but when it gets picked up again by another local it goes through a wye and depending on the crew will take different ways through...
    and I think its safe to say if somthing you do escapes to the nearest classification yard the law of averages is back on....
  8. T.T Boy

    T.T Boy Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 18, 2001 Messages: 21,803 Likes Received: 41
    ive always thought about this too, but at my spot/bench ive seen my stuff on both side as one side is a highway and i seen my train rolling after i painted it on the opposite side
  9. Boring Bastard

    Boring Bastard Elite Member

    Joined: Feb 1, 2001 Messages: 3,784 Likes Received: 1
    My cars from my old spot go through a "wye" like cracked said..... so them leaving town facing the same direction was 50/50...
    Some even came back to the exact same layup flipped around the other way so the blank side faced me.......
    One time I didn't walk the line to check the very end and I painted the other side of a car I had already painted like a week before.
  10. 23578

    23578 Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 2, 2000 Messages: 2,521 Likes Received: 0
    well i've deleted this question i think kabar answered me in the post on air brakes in the train safety thread. my question was concerning layups (double tracked) and yard entrances which are off the mainline but can be reached in both directions (one side of a diamond). when the trains get layed up, do they do a backing procedure to get back onto their line, or do they cut the power off, let the train come to a stop, and then attach a fred at the opposite end and reattach to the back to get going ever?
  11. metallix

    metallix Elite Member

    Joined: Oct 7, 2001 Messages: 2,955 Likes Received: 1
    am i the only one who got confused reading that ?
  12. 23578

    23578 Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 2, 2000 Messages: 2,521 Likes Received: 0
    uh, sorry, try again bud.
  13. Vanity

    Vanity Veteran Member

    Joined: Apr 11, 2000 Messages: 7,673 Likes Received: 6
    i normally just do a throw on the other side saying 'look on the other side'
  14. Average White Railfan

    Average White Railfan Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 2, 2001 Messages: 1,120 Likes Received: 0
    theres a Y ay my bench. there always Ying off power, never seen any cars though. however ive seen dozens of - on and off line - cars return flipped, particularly those that head up canadian way.
    the common bench over hereis great. 7 main lines..fairly steady traffic.
    About 10% of the shit we see (graffitiwise) is a repeat ( thats not including the cars that are not painted that we dont really keep up with).
    last year i saw the same cense thro-up on a grey ic box 3 times, it said other side. still never seen the damn thing though. great topic, it is one ive spent hours at the bench analyzing.
  15. taper

    taper Elite Member

    Joined: Nov 29, 2000 Messages: 4,509 Likes Received: 0
    i usally bench on the east bound side. so i always get only one side. i understand the probility thing and i think its really a matter of luck because it all depends on the bencher and the bench location.