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Number Standard For Mainline Tracks?

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Number Standard For Mainline Tracks?
Posted by JOHN BRUCE III on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 8:59 AM

I'm puttinmg together naming info for setting up a layout schematic on JMRI. I know that railroad yard and spur tracks are typically numbered. I see on a diagram of BNSF's small Malabar Yard in Vernon, CA that yard tracks run 2701-2709, with 27 presumably the station number for Malabar Yard, and yard tracks sequential. Industrial spurs seem to have numbers like 2767. 

Are main line tracks numbered this way? Is there a way this is commonly done?

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 11:14 AM

When I worked the rails it was #1 Eastbound or #2 Westbound.

 

Examples:

In our daily it might read Speed restriction. Do not exceed ten-one aught-mph Westbound main between MP 145.2 and MP.146. Account  Broken rail.

Williams Manufacturing MP 158.8 embargoed.Account unsafe track. Switch #1232 spiked. The 1232 was the industrial track number.

If there was no issues we never used 1232 just Williams Manufacturing at 158.8.Example,our next setout/pickup is at Williams at 158.8. The grey beards just said Williams since they knew every industry location like the back of their callus hands. 

Not sure how its done today but,giving the mile post kept us well aware of the location and problem.

Larry

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 11:57 AM

As Larry (Brakie) implied, the track numbers, switch numbers and so forth were mainly of interest to the civil engineers and MOW people.  Also, a lot of the systems were railroad (and location) specific.  As far as I can determine, there were no overall standards.

Think of the situation when two railroads merged.  Would the new owners redo every map and list pertaining to the fallen flag, or would they simply accept the existing system, adding a prefix or suffix to clarify duplications?  The only important factor is that everyone has to know exactly which switch or milepost is being referred to.

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - with my own identification system, not the prototype's)

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:02 PM

Yard tracks can be particularly difficult to figure out, due to changes over the years....

A railroad builds a 10-track yard in 1890, with tracks numbered 1 through 10 from south to north. 

In 1925 they need more tracks so they add four more, but the only place to put them is south of track one. So now you have a 14 track yard numbered 11-12-13-14-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.

In 1950 they remove tracks 3, 4 and 5 to add a diesel house. So now the tracks are 11-12-13-14-1-2-6-7-8-9-10.

In 1975 they add four new tracks for intermodal loading / unloading. The only room is to the south again, so they add the four new tracks south of track 11. Now the tracks go 15-16-17-18-11-12-13-14-1-2-6-7-8-9-10.

So as a new switch engineer, you need to remember that moving a cut of cars from track 11 to track 18, that you're only moving them one track over, whereas moving them from track 11 to track 10 is clear across the yard!

Stix
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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 2:41 PM

To add to what Stix said..

A example.

In the Cleveland Ave yard complex in Columbus you had several smaller yards like CA&C or Grogan both had leads to each other known as CA&C lead or Grogan lead which needed permission to enter.The lead for CA&C was simply known as CA&C runner.These was busy leads with inbound/outbound trains plus light engine moves.

CA&C yard track had a C in front like so..C100 series while Grogan had a G200 series.Why the C or G? Simply for the clerks paper work.The yard goats knew the track numbers simply as the number.

These tracks was simply known as (say) 117 or 220 depending on the yard.Arrival and departure tracks was either the A yard or D yard IIRC they was simply A-number or D- number.

A yard crew would drag cars between CA&C and Grogan since these yard served two different sub divisions.

There was 3 more yards in Cleveland Ave complex plus a hump.

Larry

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Posted by JOHN BRUCE III on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 2:53 PM

Here's my problem. We know that a particular train is called the "yellow dog", but the payroll people probably don't record pay that way for that run, and the dispatching system probably calls it somethinng else again. A certain track is called the north main or number 2 main, or whatever, but the track diagram probably doesn't list it that way. 

You can dismiss it by saying only the engineering department wants to call it by a number, but the point of my question is to find out how the engineering department identifies main line tracks. 

 So I want to repeat: a track diagram for a particular part of a railroad has the tracks, at least for yards, numbered. I don't care if the numbers were made up in 1892, I want to have something that looks like an engineering department worked on the diagram.

Are main line tracks numbered on a track diagram? Does anyone have examples of how?

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 3:08 PM

There are no industry standards for naming or numbering tracks.  The numbering scheme will be described in the timetable.

There are some common patterns for numbering tracks.

Some roads number tracks "top to bottom".  So on an E-W railroad, at a location with 4 main tracks, they would be numbered N to S, 1-2-3-4.

Some roads number them by direction, even one way, odd the other.  Some number them inside out, on an E-W railroad at a location with 4 main tracks, the westward tracks would be odd and the eastward tracks odd, they wwould be numbered N to S, 3-1-2-4.  Some number them outside in, on an E-W railroad at a location with 4 main tracks, the westward tracks would be odd and the eastward tracks odd, they would be numbered N to S, 1-3-4-2.

Yard tracks are normally numbered away from the main track  Track 1 will normally be the track closest to the main line and the highest number the furthest away.

Industry tracks are numbered sequentially.

Numbering of tracks gained importance when the computer systems were implemented in the 1960's-1980's.  Most railroads had series that tracks fell into, 100's for sidings, 200's for recieving yards, 300's for departure yards  400's for car shops, 500's for locomotive facilities, 700's & 800's for industries  900's for storage and psuedo tracks (track 999 was usually a lost car track).  TRack numbers would be repeated since the location was usually a combination of the station or yard number or code and the track number.  Track number 720 at station B372 was not the same as track 720 at station C806.

 

All of these patterns can be broken due to tracks being built after the previous tracks were numbered.  There are three industry tracks on a subdivision numbered east to west, 765, 766, 767.  A new customer locates between  766 and 767.  Its track is numbered 768, the tracks now are, in order, 765, 766, 768, 767.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, October 27, 2016 4:23 AM

JOHN BRUCE III
I want to have something that looks like an engineering department worked on the diagram. Are main line tracks numbered on a track diagram? Does anyone have examples of how?

Different departments had different needs. The communications and signal department required very detailed diagrams of signalled tracks, of course. They also used what were called manipulation charts for the interlocking tower controls.

The operating department was more concerned with track speeds and car capacity and to convey the daily movements over these tracks to the operating crews. Their track charts usually weren't to scale but they had every switch and siding numbered and industries labeled for spotting.

The real estate department had what look more like actual scale maps and often had the plot plans of the adjacent land ownership. Like this:

Sometimes a railroad like New York Central which for many years had a four track main would normally number their tracks 1 & 2 for passenger westbound and eastbound and tracks 3 & 4 would be the outer pair for freight. Along the Hudson River, tracks 1 & 2 ran closer to the river and the freight tracks 3 & 4 were inland so the passengers could enjoy a better view.

Here are some examples:

Amtrak at 21st. Street.

This is part of a Conrail C&S (signal Department) chart. Primarily concerned with signaling and switches.

The engineering (M of W) department uses a different one still. It looks like a straight line with curves shown as degrees left or right. These diagrams, called profile charts, have more detail regarding age and weight of rail, type of ballast, location of culverts and bridges, grades, age of ties, anchor placement and such.

These are only portions of the charts. Some are about ten feet long or more.

 

 

Regards, Ed

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, October 27, 2016 6:36 AM

Ed,Looking at those charts makes me glad I was a simple brakeman and not in the engineering department or a signal maintainer.

The track and customer location charts in the ETT could be bad enough at times.

Thank goodness a single switch key unlocked all switch locks,derailers and industrial gates.

For those that may wonder how that works the switch lock was locked through the industries lock and chain so,whenever one lock was open the gate could be open.

Larry

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Posted by CentralGulf on Thursday, October 27, 2016 9:13 AM

JOHN BRUCE III

 So I want to repeat: a track diagram for a particular part of a railroad has the tracks, at least for yards, numbered. I don't care if the numbers were made up in 1892, I want to have something that looks like an engineering department worked on the diagram.

Perhaps this will help, at least for the yard diagram.

http://www.adammarcus.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Anchorage.gif

CG

 

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