View Full Version : Train Makeup Procedure?

August 30th, 2016, 08:28 AM
Assume a 12 car train pulls into the yard. It is all boxcars. Some need filled with various goods and others need emptied. Lots of shuffling. Then the new train needs the cars in a specific order to allow delivery or pickup and not trap a car(s) in a dead end siding. Is there any traditional railroad procedure/process to conduct the movements?

August 30th, 2016, 08:40 AM
Id love an answer too - but is such a procedure required? Cant you just grab the cars one at a time if its a yard with a couple tracks?

August 30th, 2016, 09:13 AM
All that shuffling and pushing of the boxcars around is sorting them for their destinations and blocking them for specific industries. I'm going by what I've observed on the ground and heard on my scanner.

Once out on the road the switcher can then easily, more or less, deliver the goods and retrieve the empties as needed without having to shuffle the boxcars during its road schedule. During deliveries, I have seen switchers retrieve the empties on a single-ended siding by using it's cars set out for delivery. The switcher will couple on the empties and pull them out first, set them on a siding or mainline/branch, then push its deliverables in front of the loading bays. This operation makes for an interesting operating sessions especially if you need to keep the mainline clear while switching.

August 30th, 2016, 10:12 AM
I think in the real world the railroad would have clerk that assign cars based on industry needs. Each car has a number and a clerk knows where each car is located so if some industry has loaded cars the clerk send out orders for the cars to be picked up and where they are to be sent. The train crew then follow those orders. In your example the train crew would drop the train in a prescribed location and the switcher would move cars to assigned locations, either making up a train, dropping at an industry or setting in a storage track. This would all be reported back to the clerk.


August 30th, 2016, 10:31 AM
A mainline train pulls into a yard, and the locos are cut off, putting the consist into emergency braking, and the locos go elsewhere ... the consist sits there for hours or days, until a switcher shuffles them around on many different departure tracks, to a make up train order to destination factories which will load or unload the cars, all down the branch lines. Overnight car inspectors test the consists for defects. Very few cars are actually loaded/unloaded in the receiving/departure yard.

The reverse, when a switcher picks up all empty/loaded cars, up and down a branchline, and drops off the consist in the receiving yard. Usually an overnight switcher shuffles the cars around and puts then in a train order on several trains on several departure yard tracks. Overnight car inspectors test the consists for defects. When a crew is called, they drive locos, and hook them up to the train, making air brake tests, and communicating with the dispatcher ... this can take many hours

Usually a branchline crew knows by heart which way the factory switch's face, they used to use poles and poling pockets to shove cars, but this was outlawed. They used to use "on the fly switching" (kicking cars) until this was outlawed in most places (not to say it isn't done now on the sly). Some industry tracks, and run around sidings, are used to get a railcar to be on the front of a train, and then they can be shoved into an opposing industry track, on the way back to the yard

August 31st, 2016, 09:07 AM
Empty cars are a lot more complicated as you need to no what kind of car, load limits for the car, and what railroad owns it. Today it's on a computer but it use to be a book and a lot of paper work. I use to know someone whos job was to fined lost cars in the yard.

September 2nd, 2016, 10:25 AM
I have often wondered what are common practices and procedures for sorting and delivering cars. Anyone know of any online or printed information that outlines these procedures? This would be a big help with planning a route.


September 2nd, 2016, 11:00 AM
You might check with this Gentleman, I believe he uses a Car Sorting Program on his route, below is link for him.


Right in here is list for his Car Sorting program and other things he does.

http://forums.auran.com/trainz/search.php?searchid=2066277 (http://forums.auran.com/trainz/member.php?2711-Dap)

September 2nd, 2016, 01:19 PM
without going to in depth, as it may give information to any competitors (real world) the gist of what happens in most yards is this. train pulls into a receiving track, cuts power off and takes it to wherever (service track, tie up track, etc) as train comes in, it "drops" into a yard track for the switcher to be able to get a list on. once a list is obtained, the crew marks it according to block (ie:north, south, east, west, industry, etc) while this happens, at bigger yards the carman bleeds the cars off and inspects them. at smaller yards, the brakeman/utility man bleeds them off in preparation to be switched/shunted. for this I will make an example using the (n)orth, (s)outh, (e)ast, (w)est.
train: 15 cars, blocks mixed you must sort and arrange all blocks (blocks meaning destination)
sequence: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
block: n n s e w s n e e e w n s s s
track: 1 1 2 3 4 2 1 3 3 3 4 1 2 2 2

as you can see, all norths go to 1, all south go to 2, etc etc

This is the basis for most switchlist, you obviously wouldn't want a car that is supposed to go to new York going to California. any questions feel free to ask =)