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spur tracks

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spur tracks
Posted by shahomy on Thursday, September 07, 2017 9:40 PM

is a spur track a dead end always or can it go back to the track it came from?

is it called something else if it does not dead end?

Am i ever gonna be able to lay any track???

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Posted by carl425 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 9:47 PM

This was discussed at length back in February.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/261192.aspx

 

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, September 08, 2017 7:28 AM

shahomy
is it called something else if it does not dead end?

A spur can have several names to include a industrial lead,branch line or cutoff.

A industry siding is not a spur because its own by the industry and not the railroad.

A spur usually dead ends unless its a cutoff.

A cutoff is a short cut between point A and point C..It eliminates the need to go to point B.

Larry

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Posted by cuyama on Friday, September 08, 2017 9:50 AM

The February thread referenced above had at least some accurate prototype-based information (along with a fair amount of nonsense), and would be a good reference.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, September 08, 2017 12:59 PM

cuyama

The February thread referenced above had at least some accurate prototype-based information (along with a fair amount of nonsense), and would be a good reference.

 

The key question should be is "spur" a modeling term or from old school railroad lingo?

My answer is based on what I was taught by PRR instructors in the operation class covering track types and speeds over various tracks..In my Chessie safety and operation classes the word "spur" was not used by my  class room instructors.

The majority of the modelers doesn't even know a railroad doesn't own the industrial siding and can deem any industry siding unsafe and embargo it.

Larry

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Posted by cuyama on Friday, September 08, 2017 1:36 PM

BRAKIE
The key question should be is "spur" a modeling term or from old school railroad lingo?

Refer to the thread. Used by some real-life railroads in some eras and contexts, not by others.

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Friday, September 08, 2017 8:08 PM

For model railroaders a spur, sometimes called a spur siding, usually refers to a short side track with a dead end, not to be confused with a branch line which might also be a dead end but can be several miles long and have sidings and spurs along the route.

A siding is a parallel track which leaves and rejoins the mainline or branch line and is used for train meets so trains traveling different directions can pass one another.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, September 09, 2017 1:22 PM

Lone Wolf and Santa Fe
For model railroaders a spur, sometimes called a spur siding, usually refers to a short side track with a dead end, not to be confused with a branch line which might also be a dead end but can be several miles long and have sidings and spurs along the route.

Allow me to add this.. All tracks have a number and or name.

Let's look at Jamison Street Industrial lead which has seven industrial sidings and team.

Conductor: Larry,We  will drop 300350 at Jamison team and 34550 and 35665 at Dutchboy. I know exactly what work needs to be done and since the team(MP1.2) and Dutchboy(MP1.5) is close together I can take the needed cars and leave the rest of the train sit where it is..

By reading the Daily Bulletin I see the Slaughterhouse road crossing at MP 9.3 needs to be flagged because  the flashers and gates is not working..

My point? You see how clear and precise the instructions was to follow?

Larry

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 10:21 PM

Today, a co-worker was filling out a return to work rules study guide.  (He has been off on a medical leave.)  He asked me when shoving into a stub track if the distance for the safety stop from the end of track was 150 feet.  I said I thought it was, but pulled out the rule book to be sure.  (GCOR 7th edition effective April 1, 2015.)  We found the rule in question and it talks about spur tracks. 

Rule 7.12 Movements Into Spur Tracks.

When shoving cars into a spur track, control movement to prevent damage at the end of the track, and do the following:

+ Stop movement 150 feet from the end of track,

+ Apply handbrakes, when necessary, to control slack.

+ Have a crew member precede any further movement when it can be done safely.

+ Move only on the crew member's signal.

Now, the rule book glossary doesn't have a specific definition for a spur track.  The rule infers though that a spur track is a short (usually) stub track.  It might be a railroad owned track or an industry track.  

Jeff

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, September 14, 2017 6:23 AM

jeffhergert
Apply handbrakes, when necessary, to control slack.

That's a odd one..We applied handbrakes after the stop and before the uncoupling.

You guys actually do that? To my old brakeman's mind that will put the switchman in the red zone.

Larry

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, September 14, 2017 8:10 AM

shahomy

is a spur track a dead end always or can it go back to the track it came from?

is it called something else if it does not dead end?

 

Don't know if this is from real railroads or not.  I've been in the hobby for over 40 years, and this is my understanding of how the terms are used mostly:

Spur:  Short dead end track used for servicing an industry or storing cars.  Sometimes called an industrial siding.

Siding:  A track that departs the main line, runs parallel, then rejoins the mainline.  These are mainly used for one train to pass another, so they tend to be long enough to hold entire trains.  Also termed Passing Siding.

Runaround:  Similar to a siding, but shorter.  It allows a locomotive to run around a car or cut of cars when switching spurs.

Double ended spur: Similar to a runaround but purposed as a spur where it is serves an industry but can be accessed from both directions.  Also called an industrial siding.

Branch line:  A long diversion off the mainline, usually purposed to serve a town and contains spurs, sidings, or runarounds along its distance.

Also, a single spur can be long, several miles even, but since its purpose is to serve an industry or group of industries, the term spur is used.

As you can see, the basic shapes, dead end or returned to mainline, are common amongst the terms.  IMO, what designates the use of the term is the INTENDED PURPOSE of the track, not so much its shape.

- Douglas

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Posted by GraniteRailroader on Thursday, September 14, 2017 8:11 AM

I believe this applies when making a shove downhill, or when you have to bunch cars together - say where theres multiple unloading pits for hoppers. 

I used to do that while spotting hoppers with salt, to keep the downhill cars from shifting when the engineer released the brakes.

The movement must be stopped and three point protection utilized to apply the brake.

(Previous) 1:1 Scale railroader - N Scale Modeler

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, September 14, 2017 8:48 AM

Just to add to Doughless' rundown, a "house track" is a track that leaves the mainline and runs parallel to it, passing to the rear of a station, then connecting back up to it. In smaller towns, there could be businesses, a team track, a freight house etc. located at points along the house track. Sometimes, one or more spur tracks could branch off from the house track.

Often, if it was a single track mainline, there would be a fairly long sidetrack also, so that trains could meet at the station or say an express freight train could bypass a passenger train stopped at the station.

About railroad vs. model railroad terminology...one thing I never thought about, is model railroading really boomed in the 1930's. Model Railroader, Model Craftsman / Railroad Model Craftsman and the NMRA all started then, and many of the first comprehensive "how to build a model railroad" books and articles appeared. Most likely, the books and articles were based on direct contact with railroads / railroaders, and used the then-current lingo (although there could have been misunderstandings that caused errors to occur).

Over time, it may be that later books and articles kept going back to those first publications, and re-using those terms - in effect 'standardizing' them for model railroading, even though in some cases real railroaders had moved on to other terms. Things like that have happened. One problem during the later years of the cold war that operations like Radio Free Europe and Voice of America radio (US broadcasts to Soviet-controlled countries by native speakers living in the West) was that many of the broadcasters had left say Poland or Czechoslovakia in the 1930's, and 40 years later still used 1920's-30's phrases and slang. Because they only spoke their native language on the air, to to each other, their language didn't pick up the new slang terms and phrases, making their broadcasts sound old-fashioned and stilted.

Stix
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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, September 14, 2017 10:17 AM

Doughless
As you can see, the basic shapes, dead end or returned to mainline, are common amongst the terms.

You forgot one Industrial lead..That's a branch off the main or branch line that serves one or more industries.

This varies from railroad to railroad but,it is still used: MOW storage track-as a example Grainsville,Oh MOW storage at MP123.6. To be sure these tracks are usually overgrown with weeds and with a hard to open switch lock.

Larry

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, September 14, 2017 10:46 AM

wjstix
Over time, it may be that later books and articles kept going back to those first publications, and re-using those terms - in effect 'standardizing' them for model railroading, even though in some cases real railroaders had moved on to other terms.

And railroads often used different terms to mean different things or had multiple terms for the same thing.  The stuff in the rule book is defined, everything else is colloquial and slang.  Which means it probably doesn't have a hard and fast definition.  That's why a lot of people spend a lot of time argueing about terminology, because they isn't an industry standard.

A spur usually means a single ended track, but it could just refer to an industry track (which by the way, some railroads call "business tracks") regardless of whether its single or double ended.  A siding by definition is a track auxillary to the main track used for the meeting and passing of trains, but I have heard it lused for storage tracks and industry tracks too.

Unless its a rules discussion, where exact terminology means something, I wouldn't get too hung up on the definitions of tracks.  A branch, subdivision, district, secondary, etc are more or less all the same thing, but when you get to the difference between a branch and an industrial lead, it does become materially different.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, September 14, 2017 10:50 AM

Stix, Just for fun terms.

Looks like old John got the whip to 'em.. That means he is picking up speed at a faster pace.

I see our locomotive consist is one junker and two Geeps. A Alco road unit and two EMD Geeps.

Car cobbler..A carman. This was used by some  C&O men at Russell Ky.

Lunatic Asylum. General offices. This was used again at Russell around the time the formation of CSX. Not a happy time for the proud C&O employees of all kinds.

Poker run-Russell to Greenup rail to barge yard. A short turn with several hands of poker being played by the train crew and the river terminal switch crew. I usually took a short cat nap.

 

Larry

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, September 14, 2017 9:59 PM

(Possibly) related note - many folks feel the best "railroad movie" ever was "Emperor of the North". Many people (including the college professor who did the commentary on the DVD of the movie I have) don't pick up that none of the characters have actual names like Bob or Dave. The hoboes all have their "monikers" like "A-Number-1" or "Cigarette", the railroaders are all called by their job's nicknames - "Shack" (Conductor), "Hogger" (Engineer), "Black" (Fireman), "Yardlet" (Yard Switchman) etc. 

Stix

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