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American Railroad Terms
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 Posted: Tue Aug 2nd, 2016 09:09 pm
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Salada
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Has anyone any idea please as to the meaning of the following U.S. railroad terms ?

1) A depot/station that is defined as a "Yard Limit Station" ?

2)  "     "          "         "   "      "          "   "Registering Station" ?


Regards,      Mystified  (aka Michael)

 

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 Posted: Tue Aug 2nd, 2016 10:39 pm
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Steven B
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Yard limit station is a point (listed on an Employee Time Table) where Yard Limits begin or end. Some "yard limits" were quite long, sometimes encompassing whole branches. This is where a train moves at "yard Limit" speed, 3 - 5 mph (depending upon the RR), so that a train can stop quickly. Yard Limits are where a train or multiple trains can expect work ahead of them by other crews.

A Registering Station is where crews stop and "sign in." They sign the "register." As an example, in Nevada, the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific used their respective mainlines as "paired trackage" or a dual main. I had a register from the 1940s from Alazon the western point of this operation. Each train was required to "register" loco number and crew before continuing east and "register" loco number and crew before continuing west.

Hope that helps!



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 Posted: Tue Aug 2nd, 2016 11:05 pm
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Salada
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Steven - very helpful & much appreciated.  An Employee Time Table (D&RGW) is indeed where I came across these terms.

1) In the case of a Yard Limit station I assume, therefore, that the 'main' (main line) can be used for switching the yard if the yard has insufficient switching capacity itself ?

2) Have you any idea whether 'Signing the Register' was a means of checking up on employees  OR was it to check if train/crew were keeping to timetabled running times ?

My apologies for the additional questions but you obviously are 'the man who knows these things'.

Regards & Thanks,          Michael


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 Posted: Wed Aug 3rd, 2016 01:30 am
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Herb Kephart
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Yard limits are past that point no train can go without train orders-- so the answer is no-- in a case like that, the yard limit would be extended down a switching lead (track) beside the main probably.

Herb




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 Posted: Wed Aug 3rd, 2016 11:33 am
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Steven B
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Michael and Herb,

It depends... On a small railroad, a lightly used line or a branch, the "main" could be considered within Yard Limits. Rules varied by railroad and situation. As I have said, some whole branches were within "yard Limits." On large railroads, the mains were usually protected and held by dispatchers. Therefore, they were not within Yard Limits. So if a main has a Yard Limit Station, then the "main" could very well be within "Yard Limits." An easy way to tell is to see if there are two Yard Limit Stations, one on either side of the "yard" or industry. So, yes, the main could be used for switching. On a TT operation, crews switching need to be in the clear of the main to allow a scheduled train to pass, yet the scheduled train will proceed at restricted speed, watching for crews at work.

Registers were not to check up on crews working. Crews didn't get paid by the hour in the US, they got paid by milage or job. A good local conductor could get his switch list together and kick the job out and done, making his crew happy because they got off "early." Registers were a safety check. They showed other crews and clerks which crews had reached that station, the section of the railroad which had cleared or which they still occupied. So basically it was an occupancy check. A dispatcher could physically check a register, this was generally used before radios, to check a specific train's location.

Hope that helps clarify.



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 Posted: Wed Aug 3rd, 2016 11:00 pm
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Salada
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Not just "clarified" but now 100% crystal clear !! - thank you Steven & Herb.

I am (slowly !) building a D&RGW NG single line model, based on "somewhere" along the San Juan Extension ('tween Chama & Silverton, probably, perhaps). This is loosely based on an actual location that I know from the Employee TT was in reality a 'yard limit' and a 'signing' station - but I was not able to find a definition of these terms.

Your reply is really helpful & also good news because the only way to switch "my" yard will be by using the main.

UK crews were not paid by mileage but by the "Turn", a turn being defined as taking a train from A to B and which was expected to (normally) take usual shift hours. Overtime was available but in the case of a very lengthy delay a crew would be "relieved" or replaced if too far over 'normal shift hours'. Turns were also pay rated according to their status; a 'Top Link' (1st class) driver (engineer) would be paid a better hourly rate than a driver on a local stopping freight for example.

Thanks to your explanation I can now see that signing the register is akin to our "Train out of block" telegraph signal.

Thanks again & Regards,           Michael 

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 Posted: Wed Aug 3rd, 2016 11:22 pm
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Lee B
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I think it's funny how few people understand RR terms, but never want to ask. And if you go to someone's op session, they'll start tossing terms around like, "OS'ing" at a depot and stuff like that, "Rule 8" and the like.
It never fails that several of the people who showed up don't want to seem like dummies so they won't ask until later, and often not even then...



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 Posted: Wed Aug 3rd, 2016 11:32 pm
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Salada
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Now you are really confusing me Lee.  "OS-ing", "Rule 8"  ??????!!!!!!. 
Maybe doesn't apply down CO, NM way.

We have some modellers who can obsess about telegraph bell codes :

"3-1-5 .... Ah, that must a partially unbraked express fresh fish train"  (or whatever).

The only really understandable RR term is "will the Bar still be open when we get there ?" - works in most countries I've been in.

Regards,           Michael

 

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 Posted: Thu Aug 4th, 2016 01:24 am
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Lee B
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Salada wrote:
Now you are really confusing me Lee.  "OS-ing", "Rule 8"  ??????!!!!!!. 
Maybe doesn't apply down CO, NM way.
I screwed up there, and meant to write, "Rule G" which covers drinking on the job. Yeah, I had to look it up after an op session I was at where it got mentioned. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_G
OS'ing means to report in when your train has gotten to a station or other point so the dispatcher knows you got to a specific place. Heck, even among train fans, the abbreviation itself is open for debate: http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,1104939
There's countless things like this...



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 Posted: Thu Aug 4th, 2016 10:01 pm
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Salada
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Yeah, I'm all for drinking on the job. Thanks Lee for the further reading suggestions.

Regards,           Michael

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