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Date: 09/18/15 18:41
Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: BNSF6400

On the Union Pacific (and probably other railroads as well), there are certain sidings that are not-bonded, thus the employee timetable specifically states that you can't get a diverging signal into that siding that is more favorable that LUNAR.  I have always had several assumptions about this but I am not 100% of the details.  So here are my questions:

1)  If a siding is not-bonded, I assume this means there is no track circuit running on the rails.  Is that correct?  Is the siding considered controlled or non-controlled?
2)  Can a dispatch line a train into a non-bonded siding if it is occupied by another train?
3)  If a train is on a non-bonded siding, what does the dispatcher see on the screen (or console in older days)?

Thanks for any answers in advance.  I also would love to hear about the pros and cons to this kind of siding.



Date: 09/18/15 18:48
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: dcfbalcoS1

Non-controlled, No, Nothing.



Date: 09/18/15 19:01
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: cpn456

BNSF6400 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> On the Union Pacific (and probably other railroads
> as well), there are certain sidings that are
> not-bonded, thus the employee timetable
> specifically states that you can't get a diverging
> signal into that siding that is more favorable
> that LUNAR.  I have always had several
> assumptions about this but I am not 100% of the
> details.  So here are my questions:
>
> 1)  If a siding is not-bonded, I assume this
> means there is no track circuit running on the
> rails.  Is that correct?  Is the siding
> considered controlled or non-controlled?

That is correct, there are no track circuts in the siding itself.  If there would be what is considered an "occupancy" of some sort in a regular bonded siding, in an unbonded siding, there is no signal indication that would tell a train entering that siding about the "occupancy" (ie another train, open switch, broken rail, etc).  Trains enter the siding with a Restricting signal indication, which means proceed at Restricted Speed.  The signal indication used to be a Lunar signal indication, but more recently they are a flashing red signal, both mean the same thing.

> 2)  Can a dispatch line a train into a non-bonded
> siding if it is occupied by another train?

Yes.  See the rule of the meaning of "Restricted Speed", that's what the train being lined in must proceed on.

The former GN main lines on the BNSF still have numerous unbonded siding.

 



Date: 09/18/15 19:14
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: Trains232

GN, NP, and the CB&Q on the BNSF use them. 



Date: 09/18/15 20:27
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: Rathole

If the siding is not bonded then the dispatcher won't see anything on his board/screen.  There could be a broken rail in the siding and the dispatcher would not know it.

Every place I have ever worked or known of, you cannot have a non controlled siding equipped with signals governing movement into it.  If signals govern movement into a siding then it is either a controlled siding or a signaled siding.  With a controlled siding, signals authorize trains to enter or leave the siding and movement must be made at restricted speed.  A restricting signal is the best you can get whether the siding is clear or not.  With a signaled siding, the signal governing movement into the siding will show conditions in the siding.  If nothing in the siding you can get something better than a restricting to enter (diverging approach, diverging clear).  If the siding is occupied then you would get a restricting.  And in answer to your second question, a dispatcher most definitely can line a train in behind another train in a siding that is not bonded.   

I have dispatched territories on two different railroads in my career (MoPac and Southern-NS) where the sidings were CONTROLLED SIDINGS in CTC territory and did show track occupancy.  The sidings were bonded but still the best signal you could get was restricting (we used to call it a "low" signal on the MoPac).  In other words, just because the siding was bonded to show track occupancy it did not affect the signal system.      

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/18/15 20:29 by Rathole.



Date: 09/18/15 20:42
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: trainjunkie

BNSF6400 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 1)  If a siding is not-bonded, I assume this
> means there is no track circuit running on the
> rails.  Is that correct?  Is the siding
> considered controlled or non-controlled?

No live circuit but if it's a "siding" as definied in the ETT, it's likely controlled track.

> 2)  Can a dispatch line a train into a non-bonded
> siding if it is occupied by another train?

Yes, but the equipment will likely be showing on a bulletin (Form O) on my RR, telling them the siding is occupied with standing cars. Obviously, the DS would not normally do this for a meet but they might line power, or a train picking up cars, into that occupied siding.

> 3)  If a train is on a non-bonded siding, what
> does the dispatcher see on the screen (or console
> in older days)?

The screen on a CAD system will show an active bulletin protecting standing equipment in the siding (again, a Form O where I work). This is the same way they protect standing equipment left on a controlled siding in dark territory.



Date: 09/18/15 21:39
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: TAW

Rathole Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If the siding is not bonded then the dispatcher
> won't see anything on his board/screen.  There
> could be a broken rail in the siding and the
> dispatcher would not know it.
>
> Every place I have ever worked or known of, you
> cannot have a non controlled siding equipped
> with signals governing movement into it.  If
> signals govern movement into a siding then it is
> either a controlled siding or a signaled
> siding.  With a controlled siding, signals
> authorize trains to enter or leave the siding and
> movement must be made at restricted speed.  A
> restricting signal is the best you can get whether
> the siding is clear or not.  With a signaled
> siding, the signal governing movement into the
> siding will show conditions in the siding.  If
> nothing in the siding you can get something better
> than a restricting to enter (diverging approach,
> diverging clear).  If the siding is occupied then
> you would get a restricting.  And in answer to
> your second question, a dispatcher most
> definitely can line a train in behind another
> train in a siding that is not bonded.   
>
> I have dispatched territories on two different
> railroads in my career (MoPac and Southern-NS)
> where the sidings were CONTROLLED SIDINGS in
> CTC territory and did show track occupancy. 
> The sidings were bonded but still the best
> signal you could get was restricting (we used to
> call it a "low" signal on the MoPac).  In other
> words, just because the siding was bonded to show
> track occupancy it did not affect the signal
> system.      


I worked GN territory with non-bonded sidings. The CTC machine had a reminder light that the dispatcher set to show occupancy. It was turned on manually (and separately) when a train was lined into a siding, and turned off manually and separately when a train was lined out. When I was the MILW opr in Bellingham (WA), I did the BN spatch a favor and hiked the entire length of the South Bellingham siding in a howling storm to find out if there was anything in the siding.He didn't think so, but the guy he relieved left the occupancy light on. There was a spatch at Spokane that turned off the siding light at Boyer (first siding east of Sandpoint [ID]) and forgot to let the train out. They sat there until they were dead and called him. They were westward and Boyer was the last siding on the territory. He thought they were off his railroad and since he never told the guy on the other side it was coming, he didn't miss it either.

TAW



Date: 09/18/15 22:03
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: 70ACE

TAW Wrote:
>
> I worked GN territory with non-bonded sidings. The
> CTC machine had a reminder light that the
> dispatcher set to show occupancy. It was turned on
> manually (and separately) when a train was lined
> into a siding, and turned off manually and
> separately when a train was lined out. When I was
> the MILW opr in Bellingham (WA), I did the BN
> spatch a favor and hiked the entire length of the
> South Bellingham siding in a howling storm to find
> out if there was anything in the siding.He didn't
> think so, but the guy he relieved left the
> occupancy light on. There was a spatch at Spokane
> that turned off the siding light at Boyer (first
> siding east of Sandpoint ) and forgot to let the
> train out. They sat there until they were dead and
> called him. They were westward and Boyer was the
> last siding on the territory. He thought they were
> off his railroad and since he never told the guy
> on the other side it was coming, he didn't miss it
> either.
>
> Further east from Boyer is Boyer East DS territory. Lately, some of my compadres have complained about a certain female DS that would line trains into un-bonded occupied sidings without telling the crew that it was occupied.  The knew it was occupied from current radio traffic. My question (based on your above anecdote) is why would a DS do that?



Date: 09/19/15 02:10
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: PatternOfFailure

BNSF6400 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 3)  If a train is on a non-bonded siding, what
> does the dispatcher see on the screen (or console
> in older days)?

CSX's dispatching computer will move train tags into unbonded sidings, then move them out the other end  -- first in, first out.



Date: 09/19/15 06:12
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: ble692

The ex-WP trackage had many non-bonded sidings. As the UP has upgraded the signal system over the years, they have been slowly disappearing, however some do still remain. Del Paso (near Sacramento) is one that comes to mind quickly as still being non-bonded.

Never did like them personally. Just another way to save a buck, but make things more difficult for the operating crews. Lots of fun in the fog. In on a restricting so restricted speed, although when leaving you could do siding speed once you took the signal.



Date: 09/19/15 07:33
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: NYC6001

> >
> > Further east from Boyer is Boyer East DS
> territory. Lately, some of my compadres have
> complained about a certain female DS that would
> line trains into un-bonded occupied sidings
> without telling the crew that it was occupied.
>  The knew it was occupied from current radio
> traffic. My question (based on your above
> anecdote) is why would a DS do that?

Simply because she can, I suppose. She may have been trained that way. The Restricting Signal puts the onus on the crew not to run into anything. It isn't very good etiquette, however. There are other dispatchers that go out of their way to the point of consternation to let you know there are cars in an unbonded siding. but it is much better that way than no such warning.



Date: 09/19/15 09:46
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: TTownTrains

OK, so can a non-bonded siding be converted to a bonded siding?  I know of only one in the Tulsa area on the former Frisco, and the dispatchers sometimes comment that it's hard to move trains when they have to use it due to the slow speeds.

Bill Gillfillan
Tulsa, OK



Date: 09/19/15 11:01
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: TAW

TTownTrains Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OK, so can a non-bonded siding be converted to a
> bonded siding?  I know of only one in the Tulsa
> area on the former Frisco, and the dispatchers
> sometimes comment that it's hard to move trains
> when they have to use it due to the slow speeds.

First, some nomenclature. From a conversation on the side wire, a siding can have bond wires and no track circuits. If so, it's probably bacause they drug a string of relay rail, still bolted, over to the siding from the main, where they put the good stuff (removing the Really Bad Stuff from the siding).

Bonded is a colloquialism for siding with track circuit(s), rather than describing the bond wires.

To make the change, bond the joints (short length of copper wire that connects the ends of the rails)

Put bootleg (track connector) wires at one end, leading to a battery box, and connected to the battery inside.

Put bootleg wires at the other end, leading to a relay case that contains at least one relay, the track relay.

Cut signal circuits through the track relay.

Modify the control circuits of the signals governing movement into the siding to look at the track relay for the siding.

Modify the control circuits for the approach signals beyond either end of the siding to look at the state of the home signals at either end (either look at them at all instead of approach whether the home signal is red or restricting, or change from looking for restricting to looking for appaorach or clear on the diverging route).

In the big scheme, it's not hard to do. However, it isn't trivial and does cost a buncha bucks.

TAW



Date: 09/19/15 11:10
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: TAW

NYC6001 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > Further east from Boyer is Boyer East DS
> > territory. Lately, some of my compadres have
> > complained about a certain female DS that would
> > line trains into un-bonded occupied sidings
> > without telling the crew that it was occupied.
> >  The knew it was occupied from current radio
> > traffic. My question (based on your above
> > anecdote) is why would a DS do that?
>
> Simply because she can, I suppose. She may have
> been trained that way. The Restricting Signal puts
> the onus on the crew not to run into anything. It
> isn't very good etiquette, however. There are
> other dispatchers that go out of their way to the
> point of consternation to let you know there are
> cars in an unbonded siding. but it is much better
> that way than no such warning.

In plain simple language, she's doing it wrong because she's doing it right. The Train Dispatchers Manual requires it. Long ago, we had to notify trains moving in opposite directions if we were going to put them together in a siding, and one had to be stopped.

Over the years, so much Stupid Stuff [tm] has been piled on:

We'd like permission to proceed on signal indication

Proceed at restricted speed watching out for train ahead.

Proceed at restricted, talking to suchansucha train.


Or how about in one radio conversation, all one one channel where everyone can hear, the train calls the yardmaster for landing instructions, the yardmaster gives the train landing instructions, then the train calls the dispatcher to repeat what has just been heard.

And so on. I grit my teeth when I'm out there and listening to the radio.

TAW
 



Date: 09/19/15 11:14
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: TAW

BNSF6400 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> On the Union Pacific (and probably other railroads
> as well), there are certain sidings that are
> not-bonded, thus the employee timetable
> specifically states that you can't get a diverging
> signal into that siding that is more favorable
> that LUNAR.  I have always had several
> assumptions about this but I am not 100% of the
> details.  So here are my questions:
>
> 1)  If a siding is not-bonded, I assume this
> means there is no track circuit running on the
> rails.  Is that correct?

Correct

>  Is the siding
> considered controlled or non-controlled?


If access to the siding is controlled by signal, it is a controlled siding.

> 2)  Can a dispatch line a train into a non-bonded
> siding if it is occupied by another train?

yes

> 3)  If a train is on a non-bonded siding, what
> does the dispatcher see on the screen (or console
> in older days)?

On machines I have worked with, including old-style panels, console machines, and CRT screens, there is a reminder light that the dispatcher controls manually.


>
> Thanks for any answers in advance.  I also would
> love to hear about the pros

inexpensive to build and maintain

>and cons to this kind
> of siding.

slow, easy to forget trains (mostly by people who never worked train orders and have to see a light to remember where the trains are)

TAW

 



Date: 09/19/15 13:19
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: EtoinShrdlu

>We'd like permission to proceed on signal indication

An absolutley needless communication.

>Proceed at restricted speed watching out for train ahead.

I never agreed with this because it carries the implication, consciously or otherwise, that you don't have to watch out for anything else on the list of things you're not supposed to run into.

>slow, easy to forget trains (mostly by people who never worked train orders and have to see a light to remember where the trains are)

Another step down the road to what I've taken to refer to as Brain Dead Train Driving.



Date: 09/19/15 14:13
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: TAW

EtoinShrdlu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> >We'd like permission to proceed on signal
> indication
>
> An absolutley needless communication.
>
> >Proceed at restricted speed watching out for
> train ahead.
>
> I never agreed with this because it carries the
> implication, consciously or otherwise, that you
> don't have to watch out for anything else on the
> list of things you're not supposed to run into.
>
> >slow, easy to forget trains (mostly by people who
> never worked train orders and have to see a light
> to remember where the trains are)
>
> Another step down the road to what I've taken to
> refer to as Brain Dead Train Driving.

...and 98.6 in the dispatcher chair

TAW



Date: 09/19/15 16:02
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: Rathole

You cannot have a controlled siding in dark territory.  Entry into a controlled siding is governed by a signal.  Perhaps you mean a CTC "island" of sorts?

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>>
> The screen on a CAD system will show an active
> bulletin protecting standing equipment in the
> siding (again, a Form O where I work). This is the
> same way they protect standing equipment left on a
> controlled siding in dark territory.



Date: 09/19/15 17:13
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: trainjunkie

Rathole Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You cannot have a controlled siding in dark
> territory.  Entry into a controlled siding is
> governed by a signal.  Perhaps you mean a CTC
> "island" of sorts?

Sorry, you are mistaken. Any track that can only be occupied under the authroity from the dispatcher is controlled track, including that in dark territory. Must of my railroad is TWC and dark. Main and sidings are controlled and require authority to occupy. There are no signals in this territory.



Date: 09/19/15 18:58
Re: Non-Bonded Railroad Sidings
Author: Rathole

I am not mistaken, at least under the railroad rulebook (NS) that I am governed by. We apparently work under rulebooks with different definitions.  In my rulebook, sidings in dark territory and ABS territory are most definitely considered non-controlled sidings, even though they require the dispatcher's permission before being blocked.  I do not have to issue a track authority for MofW to use sidings in dark or ABS territory (our rules 171 and 271 territory).   


trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Sorry, you are mistaken. Any track that can only
> be occupied under the authroity from the
> dispatcher is controlled track, including that in
> dark territory. Must of my railroad is TWC and
> dark. Main and sidings are controlled and require
> authority to occupy. There are no signals in this
> territory.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/15 19:09 by Rathole.



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