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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireball_magee View Post
    Didnt Conrail have a few spots that during MOW operations they would have temporary block operators go out to hoop up orders to the trains? I am sure I saw this but cant recall where! I know the Katy ran TO right up till almost the takeover by the UP. This is old school railroading. I have guys with a hard time getting the jist of a track warrant can you imagine a stack of orders??? Then following along in their TT and figuring out which train has right over them? YIKES! Just scared myself lol.
    Not that other railroads did not use them, but those companies which comprised Conrail all had many, many temporary block stations. Probably more than any other companies. Mostly when there was work on multiple track lines, often set up at crossovers. Some are pretty bad. Writing worse than a scrawl, green ink, red ink. Ugh. It got pretty sloppy. Some were just a little phone shack. Some the operator was sitting in a vehicle.

    KATY used train orders right into UP. It was not long thereafter, (1988), when UP discontinued them. BN copied it's last on January 16, 1988. LIRR was and still might be, using crew copied orders. I have not followed that as it lacks some of the interest from years gone by. Tourist operations used train orders at least into the mid-1990s. Some might still do so, but those are usually not really more than for show.
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  2. #12
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    I received my copy of Kalmbach's "How To Operate Your Model Trains." There are two good blocks of articles covering this very subject under the "Jobs And Rules" and "Timetable" sections. Haven't read any of it yet but a quick perusal seems to show good coverage of what's involved with TT/TO operations.

  3. #13
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    The Conrail stuff I was referring to was in this day and age. Saw it in a issue of TRP Mike Bednar was out taking pics of it IIRC. I should e mail and ask. I thought it was pretty darn cool seeing them hoop orders up to huge new diesels! Can I find that issue ? HA! Nope!
    We are right on time! But this is yesterdays train!
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  4. #14
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    Conrail stopped using train orders back in the 1980s. So is whatever remains of that company since the sale actually still using them? I'd be surprised, as they'd then seem to have needed to re-start that process. Nobody I know who followed use of flimsies ever mentions them, except in a past tense.
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  5. #15
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    Oh ! I see..! Orders were for events concerning ' going in the hole ' at/near/after, say, mile post, say, 152.. And, thus, order is to roll slowly up to/for this switch, enter siding and await train # such and such in opposite or even same direction to pass..I guess order also stated how long to hang back before re-entering main line. Or, maybe there is a signal at end of siding that crew waits out to show ' proceed ' aspect..Orders were never about last minute pickups/setouts...Though, I wouldn't be surprised if an order sometimes WAS for a client's request.." please do have local remove flats car #s ---- & ---- at spur such & such if time allows "...Maybe, huh ?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkInLA View Post
    Orders were never about last minute pickups/setouts...Though, I wouldn't be surprised if an order sometimes WAS for a client's request.." please do have local remove flats car #s ---- & ---- at spur such & such if time allows "...Maybe, huh ?
    Any such instructions were separate from train orders. Delivered as messages. They could be and often were attached to a "No Orders" clearance or the set of orders. Or they were simply hooped up as messages. Or, the crew picked them up at their initial station. Messages conferred absolutely no authority for any train operation. Only a rule book, employee timetable, bulletin, or train order could do that.

    Only in rare, rare instances, usually on a small one train operation, or long, long ago, did it ever get that informal. For example, take a look at the High Point, Thomasville & Denton order in my web site TOUR. But, that is a train order, doubling as a message.

    Or, take a look at the Arlee, Montana train order in my Northern Pacific RR TOUR file and see how a dispatcher used it to assure compliance in getting people properly called.

    Look in the New York Central TOUR area, to see several examples of messages which were attached to sets of orders. There are many more which i have uploaded, but which companies are not coming into mind right now.

    The problem is, it has been twenty five years since last wide spread use of train orders. Very, very few of those still working were ever familiar with them. Couple this with more than a generation of railfans who knew almost nothing about them and errantly calling TW, MBSC, etc, train orders..... :tb-sad:
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  7. #17
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    If it was an established block station, the train would almost always at least receive a clearance form even if there were no orders or messages. A clearance form would be the trains authorization to occupy the next track section regardless of whether or not there were any additional orders or messages.

    On Mike Burgett's C&O layout, all trains received at least a Clearance Form A at each end of the railroad and at the crew change point at Clifton Forge. More often than not, trains got messages versus orders, at least in my experience there as a dispatcher.
    The only thing I want with "CSX" on it is my paycheck

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BnOEngrRick View Post
    If it was an established block station, the train would almost always at least receive a clearance form even if there were no orders or messages. A clearance form would be the trains authorization to occupy the next track section regardless of whether or not there were any additional orders or messages.
    Quite true. Temporary block stations could be a different situation. I have seen where they simply flagged a train by. No paperwork. This is not speaking of those situations where a track gang was working and a train was being flagged through. Then the Conrail family of railroads even would see train orders issued to the "foreman in charge" where a gang was busy. Attempting to figure out where some of those temporary blocks were located from years later can also be a lot of fun. Lacking the appropriate bulletins to reference, or train order, it requires a search to locate someone who actually remembers them. Site names such as Fred George, Mike, Black, Green....

    More often than not, trains got messages versus orders, at least in my experience there as a dispatcher.
    This seems to be most of what I have also seen. Essentially using them as messages. But a few guys really got into it and had actual full sized flimsies printed up, then used them appropriately. Somewhere in my files I've an example or two. Darned if I can find them right now.
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  9. #19
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    I believe on Conrail the Daily Bulletin would spell out the location of any temporary block stations, so the crews would know what to look for where.
    The only thing I want with "CSX" on it is my paycheck

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BnOEngrRick View Post
    I believe on Conrail the Daily Bulletin would spell out the location of any temporary block stations, so the crews would know what to look for where.

    Problem is any bulletins are long gone. So when a person comes upon orders from one of those temporary sites, identifying where it was established can be quite a search.
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