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Model Railroading > How did Switchlists Work?


Date: 04/13/21 09:52
How did Switchlists Work?
Author: D0wnt1me

Hi all,

I have a few questions about how switchlists worked. Specifically on the La Mesa Club and the prototype.

No. 1: Pickups
Were a train's pick-ups ever listed on their switchlist? I.e: When a local freight departs the yard, are their pickups listed on their switchlist? Would the agent at the town they are working provide them with instructions? If so, how; verbally, a telegram, a switchlist? 

No. 2: Destination
I've been looking at various switchlists from the La Mesa Club's Ops sessions. From what I can tell, switchlists on through freights would only show the town a car was destined to under the "destination column". On trains that would do switchwork, the industry is written under the "destination" column. My question is: If a through freight arrived at a classifaction yard, and the switchlist only showed "Town A" as the destination for a block of cars, how would the yardmaster or local crew know where in Town A those cars should be spotted? Is this another case where the local agent would provide spotting instructions?

I also see that on some switchlists the destination appears to be a train symbol; SSE, R3, etc. Whats the reasoning behind this?


I've attacthed a few switchlists from the La Mesa Club - maybe somebody could give an explanation for how the "destination" column functions?

Thank you for your feedback.

Dean 

 








Date: 04/13/21 10:03
Re: How did Switchlists Work?
Author: WAF

Old days you would get a message from the DS " pickup track two, bills in the box"



Date: 04/13/21 10:23
Re: How did Switchlists Work?
Author: grahamline

I'm a little suprised to see car numbers written in full. The samples I've picked up often use the reporting marks and the final three digits.  The UP in Idaho, at least, didn't have formal rules about switch lists other than using a standard form.



Date: 04/13/21 11:17
Re: How did Switchlists Work?
Author: bnsfsd70

grahamline Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm a little suprised to see car numbers written
> in full. The samples I've picked up often use the
> reporting marks and the final three digits.  The
> UP in Idaho, at least, didn't have formal rules
> about switch lists other than using a standard
> form.

Agreed.  A lot of times it's just the last three digits of the road number, i.e., "CMO 042."

- Jeff



Date: 04/13/21 11:23
Re: How did Switchlists Work?
Author: sixaxlecentury

When I fill out a list for work all it is is Initial, number, where its being pulled, and where its going.  Nothing more, nothing less.   No need to add car type or load or empty, at least for me.  

I see a lot of lists that have so much info on them its ridiculous.  

Another pet peeve of mine, if your not touching the car, don't put it on the list. No need to waste the space. One railroad I operated at would put every single car at a large industry on the list, and it would fill a page and a half of cars, 75% of which your not touching.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/21 11:27 by sixaxlecentury.



Date: 04/13/21 12:46
Re: How did Switchlists Work?
Author: Bob3985

Union Pacific devolped the Spot It books that took the codes off the computer generated list to show where the cars went.
When I worked in the Cheyenne tower for a brief time we would look at the track lists and see what class of cars they were.
From that we could determine where to send them for spotting but the guide came online and the crews could tell too.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 04/13/21 13:26
Re: How did Switchlists Work?
Author: funnelfan

Well back in the day the local operator would hand up a list of cars to be picked up at a station, or it would be in a mailbox if after hours. But once the car has been added to the train, no one cares about the origin, only the destination.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Date: 04/13/21 22:22
Re: How did Switchlists Work?
Author: terrybaker

Here's a link to a previous post that included switch lists in the prototype world.  It covered a 1/12/88 SOU local on the Shenandoah Valley line that made a daily ex. Sun. round trip between Strasburg and Harrisonburg VA.  By that date, the territory was covered by a traveling agent who prepared the switch lists for the local.  A switch list form was also used by the conductor to write up the final train consist upon returning to Strasburg,


https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,3934034,3934049#msg-3934049



Date: 04/14/21 09:47
Re: How did Switchlists Work?
Author: TAW

grahamline Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm a little suprised to see car numbers written
> in full. The samples I've picked up often use the
> reporting marks and the final three digits.  The
> UP in Idaho, at least, didn't have formal rules
> about switch lists other than using a standard
> form.

...and the reporting marks are abbreviated
P - PRR
AT - ATSF
RD - SFRD
M - MILW

TAW



Date: 04/14/21 09:53
Re: How did Switchlists Work?
Author: TAW

funnelfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well back in the day the local operator would hand
> up a list of cars to be picked up at a station, or
> it would be in a mailbox if after hours. But once
> the car has been added to the train, no one cares
> about the origin, only the destination.

The origin was on the train wheel report - a list of cars in the train with a from and two shown for every car handled. The wheel wasn't used for switching; it was just a record of what was in the train where.

TAW



Date: 04/14/21 10:40
Re: How did Switchlists Work?
Author: wabash2800

In my Wabash book I include things like that, including picking up way bills and a list at the yard office (in the words of my Wabash Railroader Friends). One thing I found interesting is that SOMETIMES (I qualify that) operators at depots would provide instructions to pick up a car via the trainorder hoop or hand a message to the train crew when stopped to do other work. This information was provided by a station that was perhaps two stations ahead of the location that needed to be switched. It had been telegraphed up the line from the location that needed work. Also, one of the duties of the operators/agents was every morning to report all of the cars at that location in a Yard Book. Though I spent several years interviewing my friends for the book, there are still questions that I wish I had asked. The Gary Local Mixed Train had an extra crew member that was called a list man. He rode at the front of the train and gave instructions.

Details may vary by railroad and time period but some procedures were universal until the computers (though primitive by today's standards) came on board.

Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/21 11:52 by wabash2800.



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