Dan Hinel, MMR®

[email protected]


Rail Xpress

Click here to edit subtitle

The Setting


Rail Xpress Railroad (RxRR) is a terminal switching railroad with a CTC controlled double track beltline configuration surrounding a metropolitan area of Gotham.   RxRR interchanges with several class I railroads with 1 interchange yard, Logan and 8 interchange tracks at Ada, Doyle, Dundee, Fletcher, Lake, Liberty, Randall and Urbana.  Industries served by RxRR enjoy good competitive transportation links to the world.  The great success of RxRR operations can be attributed to their prescription to effectively and economically serve over 138 customers in 20 switching districts to quickly and timely freight operation.  On RxRR rail traffic originates and terminates at the interchange yards.  There is a major classification yard at Gotham and four minor yards at Sexton, Havana, Hudson and Rowan. 


Customer base is primarily manufacturing, bringing in raw materials like steel, plastic pellets, crude oil, chemicals, lumber, and food stuffs.  RxRR ships finished goods like appliances, machinery, furniture, truck parts, metal shelving, printed materials, chemicals, toys, sporting goods and bicycles to name a few products.  Also, RxRR handles various agricultural products such as grains, fresh produce, canned fruits and vegetables, and meats.


A typical crew would be CTC Dispatcher, Gotham Yard Master and Assistant, and six 1 or 2 person road crews operating locals and yard transfers.  A typical session will have 12 yard transfers trains, 19 local switching jobs, and 5 units trains (coal, aggregate, grain, well job and petroleum products) plus a lonely Doodlebug passenger train. The yard transfer freights originating at Logan interchange yards will have 10 cars stops at Havana or Sexton  plus 3 interchange locations before terminating at Gotham.   There are 11 locals out of Gotham, and 5 out of Sexton and 2 out of Havana.  Crews utilize telephone intercom system to communicate with Dispatcher and Gotham Yard Master.


 Operational Overview

Yard transfers originating in Logan or Gotham have two uses.  First, they provide cars to fulfill “car requests" at each of the yards from local freight agent.  The cars are placed on destination tracks for local trains.  Second, yard transfers pick up outbound cars that were set out by local train crew after completing their assignment and take them to Logan interchange yard.  Thus, yard transfers provides the mechanism for taking care of in and out bound traffic.   The local turns pickup and setout cars at the various industries.  This car forwarding system is self staging and errors by crews are easily corrected.   A more comprehensive description can be found in the "General Operating Information and Procedures" section.  

You Tube Link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU9xID3TZ4g



Typical Dispatcher Controlled Meet

The Dispatcher is responsible for moving rail traffic in division in a safe and effective manner.  The dispatcher relies on his training and information displayed on dispatcher's panel as well as information from road crew via radio.  Both train crews and dispatcher have a copy of Train Orders and are required to review before departure.


The time is 0815 AM and Crew G01 (Avery/Dayton turn) calls dispatcher for clearance to leave westbound from Gotham yard.  Dispatcher informs G01 that when they get to Avery to radio in for Track and Time (T&T).  Dispatcher also informs them that three trains will need a clear track when passing through Avery/Dayton.  Crew G01 confirms and proceeds by Signal Indication as provided by dispatcher.  Crew arrives at Avery at 0830 AM on siding and contacts dispatcher for T&T.  Dispatcher grants the time of 15 minutes and reminds Crew of pending WB Train 200.  AT 0915 AM dispatcher authorizes Train 200 to leave Havana yard and informs them of train G01 doing work on siding in Avery.   Dispatcher contacts Train G01 and informs them to stay on siding for meet of Train 200.  Dispatcher directs Train 200 onto main at Taggart Crossing.  Once in the clear,  crew G01 contacts dispatcher for additional T&T.