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I am currently an employee of a Class 1 railroad. I designed a brake stick that was more effective, efficient and lighter in weight to use in tying railcar hand brakes! By using a brake stick it keeps me from getting between railcars, without having to climb the ladder - making my job safer Many of you know, it's not always easy to release a handbrake - but when using a brakestick it's no problem at all.
This tool also allows for opening/closing of knuckles - again keeping me at a safe distance without getting between the railcars without entering the gauge of the rail.
Also, check out the different sizes, they are very lightweight and sturdy. My fellow co-workers prefer the small or the medium for walking longer trains. It also can serve as a safety device as personal protection when walking trains at night in secluded areas.
The Large Stick also is great for the same and can also be stored in a holder. Holders are also available.