Re: Mystery to me box car

Schuyler Larrabee

--- 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


Or both. As a yard operator where the EB and WB yard are situated across
the Main Line from each other, the idea that these are a convenient way to
handle cars headed the "wrong way" for the classification being done,
whether simultaneous in both yards, or sequential, is very sensible. One
thing that might increase the likelihood that the cars would be pulled for
classification is that the train they are to head out in is coming due
fairly soon.



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