Re: Another means of adding chalk markings

Mont Switzer

Chalk marks,


Don’t forget the loader or unloader who keeps his tally (count of pieces loaded or unloaded) on the car side next to the door opening.


Some locations also had checkers chalk the destination initials on the car side by the door opening so the dock men would know what car to enter. 


I like to use a Conte crayon pencil for chalk marks, both white and yellow.  Some marks are added before weathering and fresh ones added after. 


In hump yards it appears the conductor chalked the track number on each car prior to pulling the pin.  I suspect conductors did the same whe flat switching to help their brakemen route them correctly.




Montford L. Switzer


Switzer Tank Lines, Inc.

Fall Creek Leasing, LLC.


(765) 836-2914


From: <> On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via
Sent: Friday, December 4, 2020 12:39 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Another means of adding chalk markings


On Thu, Dec 3, 2020 at 04:25 PM, Tony Thompson wrote:

A man who had worked for the SP once said to  me that he didn't know the marks used in yards other than his own, and didn't always know the marks used by the guys on swing shift.

I've done some research on chalk markings and this is the same information that I have found. The markings varied by yard, crew, placement and years. Sometimes the marks are intuitive but often not. They have become somewhat of a dead language.
Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA

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