Re: Mystery to me box car

soolinehistory <destorzek@...>

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

Schuyler Larrabee wrote:
I've been wondering if anyone can explain the intent of providing
the two tracks between the yard ladders. They're covered with cars,
but a mixmaster assortment. What are these tracks for?
They could be "slough" tracks, for the convenience of crews
working either ladder. That's a place you stuff cars that you need to
get out of the way for a little while.

Tony Thompson
But the "sluff" track can be any convenient track. These are specifically placed between the ladders. My best guess is they are, for want of a better name, "hand-off" tracks.

Most yards that have separate ladders like this use one yard for eastbound traffic, and one for westbound. Sometimes one switcher or the other will be working a cut that has cars that go both ways; such as when working a way freight that just arrived from switching the local industries. Say the east switcher is working the cars from this local. Every time he comes to a westbound car, he kicks it into one of these tracks. Periodically, the west yard engine pulls this track and classifies those cars for their westbound destinations. Note there are two parallel tracks. While the east yard job is filling one with "west" cars, the west job is filling the other with "east" cars. At prearranged times (like the beginning of the trick, or more often as needed) each crew stops kicking cars into the one track, and pulls the other.


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