[Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Block of cars

Gatwood, Elden J SAD



“Block” is definitely a railroad term, and refers to a string of cars destined to an intermediate or final destination from which the block may be broken up or re-classified, like the following:


LM4  “Spark Plug”  Cincinnati to Pittsburgh (Scully)  (Daily) MON DIV DROP OFF

Consist: (after Columbus) All freight, except livestock for Pgh and Mon Division points.

Make Up:  Block 1:  Eastern Div. To Pgh (Penn Street), inclusive.

Block 2:  Pittsburgh (Produce Yards) and Pgh (11th Street) ONLY.

Block 3:  Pgh Div points, Pittsburgh (Duquesne) to E. Pgh, inclusive (not Mon!)

Block 4:  Pgh Div points to Dravosburg, exclusive, and Mon Div, Dravosburg to Fairchance, inclusive.  (3/31)

Block 5:  Panhandle Division, etc. to Pgh (Try St.), etc.

This freight did not traverse Mon Div, but likely left Block #4 for pick-up, maybe by ___, for distribution on Mon, as above, after arrival at Scully at 3:30 a.m..

-by ’52 ends in Pitcairn not Scully, Block 2 was Mon Div cars that were dropped off at Thomson around ~9:00 a.m. for connection w/MA50.


I have seen it in documents from the thirties, at least, so it is old school.


I don’t remember “lash-up” being used by railroaders, but I don’t remember everything clearly. J


Elden Gatwood


From: <> On Behalf Of Dave Nelson
Sent: Wednesday, August 5, 2020 5:46 PM
To: STMFC <>
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Block of cars


Anyone know when the term ”Block”, describing a set of cars headed to the same location, came into general use?  Or whether that concept is in use outside of North America?  Similar question regarding lcomotives, where I recall hearing the term “lashup” to refer to a set of locos.  Or are these just railfan/model railroader terms?


Am debating these matters on another list and nobody participating, myself included, knows the answer.


Dave Nelson


'Blocking' is also used as a verb, referring to the act of assembling cars in blocks.  I think, without citation, that this is a very old railroad term.  'Lashup' could have been hostler slang, but not a standard term as used in instruction manuals, I don't believe.

Ron Merrick