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Car cards, way bills, CTC, signalling, track warrants, etc. in relation to each other

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  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: East Lansing, MI, US
  • 223 posts
Car cards, way bills, CTC, signalling, track warrants, etc. in relation to each other
Posted by GerFust on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 11:16 AM
The pages of MR are filled with articles about how to simplify or complicate these different processes [%-)]. My question is, are these mutually-exclusive options[?] Do they work together[?]

If someone could post a quick list of definitions for each, including how they fit together with each other, that would be greatly appreciated.[:)]

Thanks,
Jer
[ ]===^=====xx o o O O O O o o The Northern-er (info on the layout, http://www.msu.edu/~fust/)
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Posted by ndbprr on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 2:45 PM
Car card- a model railroading device not used by the prototype to define the cars on the railroad so they can be assigned usage with a waybill

Waybill - tells where a car is going and what it contains - on the prototpye also contains the car information such as the car number and FRA classification which is accomplished with the car card on a model railroad

CTC - Centralized traffic Control a dispatching method from a remote tower for lack of a better definition - strictly prototype

SIgnaling - Tells the train when to go, slow down or stop and which route it is to take

Track warrants - a form of traffic control that takes precedence particularly in single track territory to control train movement giving trains the right of way for a stretch of track or telling the engineers who has the right of way when meeting.

Your train may have a packet of cards with it consisting of a car card describing the car and a waybill telling you where each car is going. Your engineer may have a track warrant(s) telling him how to handle a meet with another train or when to vacate a certain portion of track for a superior train and the dispatcher may control the signals through a centralized traffic control system and none of it is really necessary to enjoy running your trains!
  • Member since
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  • From: East Lansing, MI, US
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Posted by GerFust on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 2:52 PM
Thank you, that is very useful, and no, I don't use them to run my trains (as my ignorance testifies).

Is there other information of this type (relating to operating control processes) that any has to add to the list?

Thanks,
Jer
[ ]===^=====xx o o O O O O o o The Northern-er (info on the layout, http://www.msu.edu/~fust/)
  • Member since
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  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 10,595 posts
Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 2:53 PM
In a nutshell, there are two separate things being discussed. One is car forwarding systems, the instructions for routing cars, and the other is track authority systems, the instructions for movement of trains across the main track. If the system has the words list, waybill, card or tag associated with it, it’s a car forwarding system. If it has the terms CTC, DTC, TWC, warrant, train order, timetable, limits or signal its associated with a main track authority system. The two are completely independent of each other. You can pick any system in one and use it with any system in the other.

However within each category the various options may be mutually exclusive. Some are, some are not. Some completely over lap, some just a little.

Computer generated list, car card and waybill, and tag on car systems are usually mutually exclusive of each other. Hand written lists can overlap car card and waybill systems.

Timetable, train order (TT&TO), block signal, interlocking, Current of Traffic, Centralized Traffic Control (CTC), Direct Traffic Control (DTC), and Track Warrant Control (TWC) (in age order) are all authority systems. Automatic block signals (ABS) is a signal system but MUST be overlayed with TT&TO, Current of Traffic, DTC or TWC to grant authority on the main track. TT&TO is exclusive of DTC and TWC. TWC can overlap CTC and DTC but only to the extent it’s used for transmitting non-movement authority information (speed restrictions, wide load warnings, track gang work, etc). TT&TO can also overlap CTC in a similar manner.

Dave H.

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

  • Member since
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  • From: Holly, MI
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Posted by ClinchValleySD40 on Thursday, January 15, 2004 2:04 PM
And if you really would like to learn this, I highly advise joining the Operations SIG of the NMRA and the Yahoo chat list for Ops also. Tons of great info both places.

And since you are in SE Michigan, watch for the announcement soon of the Ops weekend being held end of March in the Troy area. A chance to operate and learn ops on some really great layouts.
  • Member since
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  • From: US
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Posted by Sperandeo on Monday, January 19, 2004 9:37 AM
Hi Jer,

I suggest you read Tony Koester's book, "Realistic Model Railroad Operation," published by Kalmbach Books. It's available in hobby shop or on the shopping section of this Web site. It will give you at least a basic grasp of all the subjects you asked about , and how they relate to each other.

And thanks for signing your name!

So long,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 9:03 PM
There's also a Yahoo email group for "car cards" a "switching" group, and several others related to this. Some of the posts on such lists are very detailed and informative and most of them welcome new people who want to learn.

Good luck.

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