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Date: 10/21/21 18:08
Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: ABHoffmann

Ever since coming to trainorders a strange lingo phenomenon has been observed, with the use of Double Track (DT) and Two Main Tracks (2MT).  THEY ARE OFFICIALLY NOT THE SAME, hence, not interchangeable!
 
Example:  Years ago the Santa Fe Railway’s what is now the southern Transcom had much “Double Track” Automatic Block Signals, with the westbound track ONLY signaled for westbound trains, while the eastbound track was ONLY signaled for eastbound trains.  When one track was taken out of service, say for westbound trains, EVERY eastbound train had to be Train Order advised of the section under single-track and the westbound trains that would be going against the current of traffic!  It was a nightmare for Dispatchers, and scary too!
 
With CTC Two Main Tracks, BOTH tracks are signaled bidirectionally, and when a track has to be taken out of service for whatever reason, trains just go by signal indication.
 
In most employee timetables, DT is distinctly different from 2MT, and crews traversing those territories MUST(and do) know the difference and run-operate with correct terminology.  Any here at TO that wants of post technically correct will use DT and 2MT according to the railroad industry’s definitions and operating practices.



Date: 10/21/21 18:13
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: callum_out

Thank you, we stand warned. Do you have orders on Covid vaccines as well? 

Out 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/21 18:14 by callum_out.



Date: 10/21/21 18:14
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: toledopatch

So what would you call it if a line with two tracks has one track operated under current of traffic (Rule 251) and the other operated bi-directionally (Rule 261)? I have seen such an arrangement in mountain territory, where both tracks were signalled uphill to allow faster trains to overtake slower ones, but only one track was signalled for downhill movement.

The terms may have distinct meanings within a railroad rule book, but to a lay audience I see no issue with referring to a mainline route as single track, double track, triple track, etc. without implying any reference to how the signals work.



Date: 10/21/21 18:52
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: ABHoffmann

Toledopatch:
 
In Union Pacific’s now out of date timetable for the Mojave Sub (Tehachapi), the Mojave to Cameron section is listed as CTC #1 DT #2. 
 
People at TO can use whatever terminology they want, but those in the know (like railroaders) will recognize those that used incorrect terminology.  Isn’t it a courtesy to other to help people say things railroadish, so everybody learns the correct lingo.  Years ago, when a very young teen, when seeing an SP DD35 B-unit I called it a U50 to associates.  I learned the correct model soon after.  Can you imagine the fool I would have made of myself if I called a DD35 a U50 among those in the know?  Promoting correct terminology is a kindness to everyone.
 



Date: 10/21/21 18:58
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: wyeth

ABHoffmann Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ever since coming to trainorders a strange lingo
> phenomenon has been observed, with the use of
> Double Track (DT) and Two Main Tracks (2MT). 
> THEY ARE OFFICIALLY NOT THE SAME, hence, not
> interchangeable!
>  
> Example:  Years ago the Santa Fe Railway’s what
> is now the southern Transcom had much “Double
> Track” Automatic Block Signals, with the
> westbound track ONLY signaled for westbound
> trains, while the eastbound track was ONLY
> signaled for eastbound trains.  When one track
> was taken out of service, say for westbound
> trains, EVERY eastbound train had to be Train
> Order advised of the section under single-track
> and the westbound trains that would be going
> against the current of traffic!  It was a
> nightmare for Dispatchers, and scary too!
>  
> With CTC Two Main Tracks, BOTH tracks are signaled
> bidirectionally, and when a track has to be taken
> out of service for whatever reason, trains just go
> by signal indication.
>  
> In most employee timetables, DT is distinctly
> different from 2MT, and crews traversing those
> territories MUST(and do) know the difference and
> run-operate with correct terminology.  Any here
> at TO that wants of post technically correct will
> use DT and 2MT according to the railroad
> industry’s definitions and operating practices.

Watch out!  The "Trainorders-master" will be hiding in the weeds to operations test Trainorder members on this rule!



Date: 10/21/21 19:24
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: BNSF6400

True, there is an official operational difference between Double Track and Two Main Tracks however that seems to only apply to operations and not elsewhere, even within railroads themselves.  There have been numerous (too many to count actually) "double track" projects announced by various railroads from Class I to Regionals to Commuter and I don't know of a single one where operations were actually officially Double Track, instead they ALL were Two Main Tracks.  So if one is referencing actual operating practice, then yes of course use the proper description but otherwise Double Track is just fine in my book and I will use in conversations that aren't operationally specific.  If its good enough for BNSF, Union Pacific, Metrolink, and countless others, than its fine here and for me.

I have posted a photo form the Metrolink website for their upcoming Simi Valley Double Track.  This will definitely not be operational Double Track but instead Two Main Tracks.

 




Date: 10/21/21 19:25
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: 3rdswitch

Under "standard operating rules" you are absolutely correct. There is a definate "technical" differenct between DT rule 251 and 2 main track CTC. Special Instructions in a TT can change anything they want. On the old Santa Fe Fouth District San Diego main, between OLD TOWN and, basically, the downtown San Diego depot. DT rule 251 was in affect, HOWEVER, rule 151 was also in effect meaning trains kept to the left instead of normal right hand running. It can get confusing.
JB



Date: 10/21/21 19:39
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: 57A26

ABHoffmann Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ever since coming to trainorders a strange lingo
> phenomenon has been observed, with the use of
> Double Track (DT) and Two Main Tracks (2MT). 
> THEY ARE OFFICIALLY NOT THE SAME, hence, not
> interchangeable!
>  
> Example:  Years ago the Santa Fe Railway’s what
> is now the southern Transcom had much “Double
> Track” Automatic Block Signals, with the
> westbound track ONLY signaled for westbound
> trains, while the eastbound track was ONLY
> signaled for eastbound trains.  When one track
> was taken out of service, say for westbound
> trains, EVERY eastbound train had to be Train
> Order advised of the section under single-track
> and the westbound trains that would be going
> against the current of traffic!  It was a
> nightmare for Dispatchers, and scary too!
>  
> With CTC Two Main Tracks, BOTH tracks are signaled
> bidirectionally, and when a track has to be taken
> out of service for whatever reason, trains just go
> by signal indication.
>  
> In most employee timetables, DT is distinctly
> different from 2MT, and crews traversing those
> territories MUST(and do) know the difference and
> run-operate with correct terminology.  Any here
> at TO that wants of post technically correct will
> use DT and 2MT according to the railroad
> industry’s definitions and operating practices.

Then why do all my Rock Island employee timetables show all double tracked lines as being Two Main Tracks no matter if CTC or current of traffic is in effect? 

Double Track meaning current of traffic, signalled or not, and  2MT for CTC main tracks depends on the rule book.  The Consolidated Code (using it off hand) had the distinction.  The Uniform Code (Rock Island, Missouri Pacific, Cotton Belt, Katy, etc) did not.  In the Definitions section of the CCOR, "Double Track - Two main tracks, upon one of which the current of traffic is in a specified direction, and upon the other in the opposite direction."  UCOR has no Double Track.  It has "Two or More Tracks - Two or more main tracks." and then a note on how to designate them in CTC territory as North or South track on East/West subdividivisions and East or West track on N/S subdivisions.  Also allowing the numbering of tracks where there were three or more main tracks. 

I will admit that probably all the rule books in use, GCOR, NORAC and those of individual railroads probably have the Double Track or 2MT provision today.  Still, it's not correct in all times.  Besides often railroaders (and fans) don't use the precise terminology anyway.  Especially when in casual conversation.

How many railroaders (active or not) here have had to deal with a stuck triple valve?  I bet almost all will say they've had that problem at one time or another.  I'll even say it.  But for most of us it's not accurate.  The correct term is Control Valve.  Triple Valves have been gone since the 1930s or 1940s.  I believe you can still find them on the narrow gauges lines like the D&SNG and C&TS, but they aren't on equipment that can roam the North American rail network.   

So There :)     



Date: 10/21/21 20:10
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: santafe199

I anticipated I might run into this dilema when I started my "Flint Hills DT" reports. For my purposes there is a definite distinction between calling a piece of railroad "Double Track main line", and talking about new construction that results in double-tracking a previous single track territory. And where needed I will go a step further and speak directly to the definition of "2 Main Tracks" as opposed to "Double Track main line". (Clear as mud, eh ... ;^)

Lance/199



Date: 10/21/21 21:35
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: justalurker66

Yep. NICTD is working on their "Double Track NWI" project adding a second track to the single track sections of railroad between Gary and Michigan City.
They are not intending to share the employee timetable definitions or rulebooks with the public. I won't admonish them for their causal use of terms.

(For the record, both main tracks will be bi-directional CTC as is the rest of the railroad except the eastern three miles (ABS single track).)



Date: 10/21/21 21:37
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: DevalDragon

Is there any situation where these would not be identified by the names "Main 1" and "Main 2" ?



Date: 10/21/21 21:57
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: RailFanAZ

We got used to saying Double Track Main Line out here when we railfan the UP Gila Sub.  When UP was double tracking between Estrella and Tucson, the MoW workers would call it that when we talked to them.  "Double Track Project" is what many of them said.  So it is just happened to get stuck in the mind of railfans out here.  Casual Talk though.  DS calls it Main 1 or Main 2 and that works for the operational talk we hear on the radios.  This is also the same on the TimeTable "M1/M2 CTC" that we have seen.

Jeff

RailFanAZ - RailFanning BNSF & UP
AZ, CA, NM, TX
RailFanAZ.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/21 21:58 by RailFanAZ.



Date: 10/22/21 04:15
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: dcfbalcoS1

          And since maybe 90% of the readers are railfans here, this may be a little bit of nit picking. Definitely not for railroad employees however.



Date: 10/22/21 05:41
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: mamfahr

> Ever since coming to trainorders a strange lingo
> phenomenon has been observed, with the use of
> Double Track (DT) and Two Main Tracks (2MT). 
> THEY ARE OFFICIALLY NOT THE SAME, 

Along with DT/TMT, we also have incorrect/inaccurately used terms like "wide cabs", "ditch lights", siding/spur, setout/spot, "friction bearings" and others that are often thrown around.  Someone also mentioned "triple valves".  I read terms like those often, but just let them slide since they seem to be so firmly entrenched with everyone.  

Take care,

Mark



Date: 10/22/21 05:58
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: inrdjlg

And as if to throw more gasoline (or diesel fuel) on the fire...

A Conrail tower operator friend who passed away almost 20 years ago once told me that some of his co-workers would become amused when railfans referred to locomotive "lashups."  While he was a fan and it didn't matter to him, he said that the correct term was "consists."   



Date: 10/22/21 06:03
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: Lackawanna484

Dealing with a general public audience and with a railroader audience requires different terms.

That's why God created rules examiners.

Posted from Android



Date: 10/22/21 06:04
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: santafe199

inrdjlg Wrote: > ... amused when railfans referred to locomotive "lashups."  ...

The first time I ever heard the term lashup was by a veteran Santa Fe engineer. I heard the term used by railroaders many, many times throughout my career...

Lance/199



Date: 10/22/21 07:14
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: ABHoffmann

BNSF6400:
 
In most cases words of laymen are said without much thought, and PR departments are often run by non-railroaders.  But here at TO, words can be insightful.  Imagine a knowledgeable railroader reading here a news clip that a couple of miles is being “Double Tracked.”  The railroader would think to himself, WHY not two-track that part?  It would appear problems and misunderstand could be avoided if TO posters would think of and try to post words that are completely understandable that avoids misunderstandings and confusion.  Somewhere along the line of posting, the correctly worded posted posts will start to stand out from haphazard ones. 
 
3rdswitch:
 
Ah, yes, San Diego was tricky!  From Old Town to downtown San Diego was left running “Double Track.”  That may be because San Diegan passenger trains arriving downtown on the LEFT ABS track would move forward to single-track, and back lefthandedly to a “wye” before Old Town, wye the train, and re-back to downtown and park until departure.  Left running was safer in that case.  Virtually everything passenger today is push-pull.
 
From Los Angeles to the “Natural Crossover” at M.P. 39.1 near Victorville is left running (though with CTC any track can be used), and from there to the Truxton Flyover in Arizona is right running, where left running again is the preferred operating practice.
 
Yes, double-track and two-tracks are often interchanged in the media.  And both railroaders and railfans both criticize the media’s shameful, careless way of news reporting, usually because of their not getting the facts straight.  This post series only suggests TO patrons not follow the media’s way.
 
RailFanAZ:
 
You make an interesting point about two-tracking workers some years ago in Arizona using the expression “Double Track.”  While some by necessity dealt with operating people, the average two-tracker had no idea of the language used by the Operating Dept. 
 
To All:
 
Terminology changes, for sure.  And so have operating practices.  In the late 1960’s Santa Fe mainly used red, yellow, and green signals, with green specifying movement ahead could be expected for two blocks.  In visiting the High Desert (Victorville-Barstow) back then, something new was found.  A three block system was used, obviously for higher speed traffic out there.  There was red, yellow, YELLOW OVER YELLOW, and green!  As time marched on, yellow over yellow was changed to flashing yellow, and the industry started using yellow over yellow for turnout routes ahead, at least in Southern California they did.
 
Things are constantly changing, and if one stands still and not keep up with the industry, the industry will pass them by.  Plus, many grew up with Automatic Block Signals, and “Double Track” was the norm.  But we live in a whole new environment now, and terminology and practices are always changing, and so likewise our terminology should be in line with CURRENT railroad practices.
 
It should be remembered, too, that railroad public relations people and commuter rail outfits are generally NOT railroaders, and don’t think like railroaders.  When they say “Double Track” they have absolutely no idea what that means, except that trains run on them.
 
Somewhere along the line we all likely will just come across some high operating person, and it will be a blessing to converse with them.  What would that official think of your using technically incorrect words, as with ‘your double-tracking’ has sure sped up operations’?  That higher up might say to themselves, ‘These amateurs!  I need to get away from this person!’  Some are nice and understanding.  Others don’t tolerate much!  It has been said one only has one chance to make a first impression!  Using terminology correctly may come in handy someday, somewhere!
 
Freight railroads of any largeness generally use the GCOR, or General Code of Operating Rules.  It has been said at TO that that is railroaders’ guide.  If we all started using terminology as the GCOR does, we can’t go wrong, and will NOT be passed up by technology and railroad phraseology!



Date: 10/22/21 07:21
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: MP555

ABHoffmann Wrote:
-----------------------------------------------------
> when seeing an SP DD35 B-unit

Since technicality is the theme of this thread, I would like to point out that “DD35 B-unit” is redundant as the DD35 was built as a booster. Only the later cabbed DD35A had an alpha suffix.



Date: 10/22/21 08:13
Re: Double Track vs. Two Main Tracks
Author: WrongMain

santafe199 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> inrdjlg Wrote: > ... amused
> when railfans referred to locomotive
> "lashups."  ...
>
> The first time I ever heard the term lashup was by
> a veteran Santa Fe engineer. I heard the term used
> by railroaders many, many times throughout my
> career...
>
> Lance/199

That's funny, because in all of the railroads I've worked for, CSX, NS, CP, D&H, SOO - I never once heard the term "lashup." It was always "consist" or just "what's your power today?"  If I ever asked a crew (I was a dispatcher) what their lashup was, they wouldn't know I was talking about, lol!



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