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Your Position: Home - Minerals & Metallurgy - How do they put trains on tracks?

How do they put trains on tracks?

Author: Evelyn

Mar. 08, 2024

edblysard
  • Member since
    March 2002
  • 9,265 posts

Posted by edblysard on Thursday, August 25, 2005 6:07 PM



Mixed freights are often blocked out in that, while you might see what looks like a jumble of mixed up cars, they are really a series of blocks, or sections of the train headed to another yard, to be reswitched into smaller trains for local distribution, or interchanged with another railroad, or switched into a train with another destination.

So the mixed freight may consist of a locomotive(s), followed by a block of cars destined for yard A, followed by a block of cars for yard B, so forth and so on...on occasion, you will see a big string of the same car, tankers or boxcars, maybe covered hoppers...all headed to the same industry, but there are not enough of them to justify a unit train, so they are included in the mixed freight.

In a yard such as the one I work in, we have assigned tracks for different industries, and tracks assigned to the Class1 members...UP has three tracks, BNSF has three, and TexMex has two...all the cars for, say, South LA on the UP go in one track, all the cars bound for local yards in another, all the BNSFs headed to Okalahoma go here, all the Chicago go here...when the Class1s pull their cars, they double over the tracks in the order they will pass through the points...so the next manifest or mixed freight you see might be picking up more cars at its next stop, and dropping off some also...

In a yard owned by a Class1, they will have tracks assigned to their different destinations..say all the New York cars go here, all the Houston cars go here...

The point is each yard that handles cars forwards them on in the next train headed to the cars final destiantion.
The industry has a computer system, somewhat tied together, that has the information on each car, who the shipper is, where it is destined for, where it is now....which allows the guys who put together the trains you see in the order best suited for that trains route.

Ed

Manifest, or mixed freights are the ones where it seems the cars are all mixed up....unit or shuttle trains are the coal drags or the grain trains you see, they work on a point of origin to point of distribution run, direct from the grain elevator to the shipping facility or user, same with coal, direct from the mine to the utility.Mixed freights are often blocked out in that, while you might see what looks like a jumble of mixed up cars, they are really a series of blocks, or sections of the train headed to another yard, to be reswitched into smaller trains for local distribution, or interchanged with another railroad, or switched into a train with another destination.So the mixed freight may consist of a locomotive(s), followed by a block of cars destined for yard A, followed by a block of cars for yard B, so forth and so on...on occasion, you will see a big string of the same car, tankers or boxcars, maybe covered hoppers...all headed to the same industry, but there are not enough of them to justify a unit train, so they are included in the mixed freight.In a yard such as the one I work in, we have assigned tracks for different industries, and tracks assigned to the Class1 members...UP has three tracks, BNSF has three, and TexMex has two...all the cars for, say, South LA on the UP go in one track, all the cars bound for local yards in another, all the BNSFs headed to Okalahoma go here, all the Chicago go here...when the Class1s pull their cars, they double over the tracks in the order they will pass through the points...so the next manifest or mixed freight you see might be picking up more cars at its next stop, and dropping off some also...In a yard owned by a Class1, they will have tracks assigned to their different destinations..say all the New York cars go here, all the Houston cars go here...The point is each yard that handles cars forwards them on in the next train headed to the cars final destiantion.The industry has a computer system, somewhat tied together, that has the information on each car, who the shipper is, where it is destined for, where it is now....which allows the guys who put together the trains you see in the order best suited for that trains route.Ed

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Most subways are closed systems — they don't connect to other train networks, so cars can't just be driven along tracks until they hit the subway. Here's how new cars for the NYC subway system get loaded onto the tracks.

Video courtesy of MTA.

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How do they put trains on tracks?

How Subway Cars Get Loaded Onto the Tracks

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