• A question about max track capacity / max spot capacity

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by richardspitzer
Hi, I would like to understand well what is max track capacity and max spot capacity. I know that many times track capacity is in feet, but sometimes also say how much cars can be spotted there. For this I can take an example of 50ft boxcars and when I say max track capacity is 3 cars, I know it is about 150 feet.

But what with exactly is max spot capacity? What this says to me? Let’s say I have an industry spur track which can hold three 50ft boxcars. There is a warehouse which can load/unload one boxcar at a time. So, is this capacity one car? Let’s assume when track is fully occupied, the warehouse is along the second car of car string. But I also can load/unload first car at the beginning of this process nad then the second one. So, may I say the capacity is two cars? But at the time first car is loaded/unloaded, the third car could occupy main track. So, in this case max track capacity should be only two cars? I think max track capacity say only how many cars I can set out there, but doesn’t say anything about how much cars can be loaded or unloaded there.

And how is it with grain loaders? It obvious the loader can load only one car at a time. Let’s say we have a grain loader siding which can hold twenty-one 3-bay covered hoppers. Grain loader is in the middle of this track, say ten cars could be spotted left from the loader, one under the loader, and ten right from the loader. OK, max track capacity would be 21 cars. But how will be max spot capacity? One car? Or eleven cars? Because if I move string of hoppers left or right, cars at the front or rear end also can occupy main track.
  by Cowford
Depends how you use the word. A "spot" is a position for loading/unloading. In your example, the grain company has one loading spot and the industry's siding and loading capacity is 11 cars (assuming they have a car indexer/mover). The railroad can place or "spot" 11 cars on the industry's siding with one car on spot.