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Passenger Trains > Why Do Trains Slow Down?


Date: 07/29/20 10:31
Why Do Trains Slow Down?
Author: TrainDog

I have been watching Railstream and Virtual Railfan quite a bit these days and have a question. 

Why is it that trains slow down when passing each other, both are moving, especially when one train is Amtrak?

Thank you!

Allen Pearson
Bristow, VA
Allen Pearson Photography



Date: 07/29/20 11:01
Re: Why Do Trains Slow Down?
Author: HotWater

TrainDog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have been watching Railstream and Virtual
> Railfan quite a bit these days and have a
> question. 
>
> Why is it that trains slow down when passing each
> other, both are moving, especially when one train
> is Amtrak?
>
> Thank you!

Doesn't that depend on the railroad? I though NS had a policy that excursion passenger trains shouldn't exceed 40 MPH, and the train on the adjacent track must stop. Wonder if that "train on the adjacent track must stop" policy also applies to Amtrak (plus slow to 40 MPH)? I do not believe any other railroads had/have such a policy.



Date: 07/29/20 14:05
Re: Why Do Trains Slow Down?
Author: livesteamer

Simple answer to a very complex the question:  too many operational variables to develop a single, solid and cohesive answer; each and every operating envirorment, the situation and current circumstances, train operation and handling characteristics and any operational orders in effect plus a variation in signalling will dictate slower speeds for one scenario and not for another.

Marty Harrison
Knob Noster, MO



Date: 07/29/20 19:56
Re: Why Do Trains Slow Down?
Author: ProAmtrak

Riding 3 and 4 and seeing meets on the Crookton Cutoff was always full speed at 90!

Posted from Android



Date: 07/29/20 20:13
Re: Why Do Trains Slow Down?
Author: justalurker66

> Why is it that trains slow down when passing each other, both are moving, especially when one train is Amtrak?

Most of the time it is for reasons you cannot see on the cams such as a track speed restriction or approaching a signal.

There are railroads with rules that limit speed while passing a platform or passenger train at a platform. Not all railroads have such a rule. For most it is maximum authorized speed for the train and the track regardless of if they are passing.

If the camera you are watching has a chat room you might want to ask the people present if they know why a specific train is slowing down. For my favorite camera it is usually a STOP signal a mile away or because the train is entering the yard. There is also a curve with a track speed limit near the camera that all trains slow for regardless of whether or not they are meeting or passing.



Date: 07/30/20 07:18
Re: Why Do Trains Slow Down?
Author: ctillnc

As others have said, there are so many variables. Trains speed up and slow down for various reasons even when there is not a meet. Many of these speed restrictions are permanent, but others are temporary. Unless the host RR has an actual rule in place -- you'd have to get an employee rulebook or an employee timetable to know -- only the C&E would be able to tell you why. AFAIK, neither NS nor CSX has such a blanket rule that's applicable where I live. 



Date: 07/31/20 18:52
Re: Why Do Trains Slow Down?
Author: engineerinvirginia

ctillnc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As others have said, there are so many
> variables. Trains speed up and slow down for
> various reasons even when there is not a meet.
> Many of these speed restrictions are permanent,
> but others are temporary. Unless the host RR has
> an actual rule in place -- you'd have to get an
> employee rulebook or an employee timetable to know
> -- only the C&E would be able to tell you why.
> AFAIK, neither NS nor CSX has such a blanket rule
> that's applicable where I live. 

Yep, no rule on CSX to slow passing a pax train or station...in fact we go as fast as the track is good for.....unless....we are in a siding to meet said pax train, and most of them are 10 mph, and if you are near the end you will be going slower than that preparing to stop. 



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