• CSM Centralized Freight Station List?

  • 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 Cowford
Railinc is a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and acts as the information clearing house for the railroads... an easy way to look at it is that they act as a data warehouse for most data that railroads have to share with each other for operations and accounting purposes. It's safe to say the user guide is for a tool that allows users to access/maintain/cross-reference station data. This data would not include "siding" data, per se... it won't tell you siding lengths... or even if the station is a sign in the woods or a major hump yard. Railroads maintain a variety of codes for each station, including standard point location code (SPLC) number (used for geographic location purposes); freight station accounting code (FSAC), used for local billing (I believe) and interline settlement issues between carriers; open and prepay station list (OPSL), used to identify station and associated rail service. (I believe the OPSL code serves as the basis for railroad-issued service embargoes.) Each railroad maintains their own codes and specific characteristics associated with each station code.

This information is proprietary to paying users, i.e., the railroads... but it's just as well: I can't see any of the information provided would be of use- or of interest- to the trainspotter.
  by FormD
Yes I am familar with Open and Prepay List. The problem is getting a list of active sidings. Since Conrail pulled many siding from small buisnesses and told them to ship by intermodal finding whats left can be tough. Perhaps this is the tool. For planners like below the problem can be a federal issue-
Transportation Center Seminar Series presents…..
Amelia Regan
Professor of Computer Science
Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences
University of California, Irvine
Freight Data Availability, Gaps and
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009
3:00 – 4:00 pm
Refreshments will be available at 2:30 pm
Transportation Center –Lower level
Northwestern University
Chambers Hall - 600 Foster
Evanston, IL
Despite the recent economic downturn, which has taken much of the immediate pressure off the freight
transportation system in the US and internationally, freight movements are an important component of
our transportation system. In regions like the LA basin, Chicago and NY/NJ, freight transportation, both
on rail and roads (and to a lesser extent, in the air) heavily impacts the passenger transportation system.
Understanding the freight system is a key issue for transportation policy makers and planners. However,
data on freight movements remains incomplete and inaccurate. In my talk I will review major freight
data sources and their strengths as well as discussing weaknesses and gaps. I will then discuss promising
avenues for filling these gaps and correcting data errors.
Amelia C. Regan, is a Professor in computer science at UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and
Computer Science. Dr. Regan's primary interests lie in algorithm development for large scale network
optimization problems. Applications are optimal contracting, long term investment decisions,
transportation logistics, freight and fleet management, and intermodal transportation systems. She
specializes in freight network modeling and in particular, applications of information technology to
freight and fleet management. She received a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Texas.
She joined UCI in 1997. Dr. Regan was the inaugural recipient of the UCI Academic Senate’s
Distinguished Mid‐Career Faculty Award for Service
  by Cowford
I'd say that seminar is to discuss gaps in freight data from the perspectives of origin/destination / geographic lanes, commodity, and volume. Railroad data is relatively easy to mine, but truck data is much more perplexing. Getting a count of individual spur tracks, loading/unloading capacity, active status, etc. is, in itself, not very useful for the transportation planner. The end game is piece together aggregated traffic flows and trends to better understand capacity issues. In other words, planners are more interested in knowing how many tons of X, Y, and Z moved between, say, New Hampshire and Mid-Altantic states, than how many industrial spurs there are in Merrimack, NH.