• Form 19's & other Train Orders

  • 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 SooLineRob
Hello all...

A post in another forum has led me to ask another question about the "old" Form 19...or Train Order.

Before the introduction of today's "pre-printed, fill in the blank" train orders, such as NORAC's Form D or GCOR's Track Warrant, how were "train orders" written? I believe the LIRR/NY&A still uses the Form 19. Was there a "standard" phrase or wording used to give a train/engine authority to occupy the main track(s)? Did each railroad Company/Train Dispatcher office have their own "wordage" they used on their orders? IIRC, the Form 19 simply had a "fill in the blank" spaces for the T.O. number, date, Superintendent's, Dispatcher's, and/or Operator's initials. The "body" of the order was blank; and authority was written as a sentence(s). I believe a "Clearance Card", or "Form A" was issued to crews listing the total number of orders they were to receive at each office/station. In the first examples below, Eng 123 would get #'s 177, 109, 117, and 118. Eng 456 would get 177, 109 and 110. The words "No., 19, To, Complete, M, Disp/Opr, and Supr" were the only text that was pre-printed on the form/order I believe. These examples are in an "unscheduled, freight only" enviroment; no timetable authority/symbol freights/passenger/1st or 2nd Class trains to confuse the mix. Any help or input is appreciated...

"Alpha" is MP 0.0 and "Zulu" is MP 100.0; "Lima" is a 24 hour Train Order office/station...

No. 177 Aug 3 1970

To: C&E Westward trains at Alpha
C&E Eastward trains at Zulu

Look out for men & equipment working on Rt 100 OHB MP 15.24 between 8 AM & 6 PM Mon-Fri
Whistle & ring bell approaching work site

Complete 422 PM Disp/Opr MNO (or name Oscar)
Supr DEF

No. 109 Aug 10 1970

To: C&E Westward trains at Alpha
C&E Eastward trains at Zulu

Do not exceed 25 MPH MP 10.5 to MP 11.1
Do not exceed 10 MPH MP 26.3 to MP 26.6
Do not exceed 35 MPH MP 44.0 to MP 44.9
Do not exceed 10 MPH on siding Sierra
J Doe & Co spur at Uniform OOS & spiked for Main Trk

Complete 1240 PM Disp/Opr ABC (or name Charlie)
Supr DEF

No. 117 Aug 10 1970

To: C&E Extra 123 West at Alpha

Eng 123 run extra Alpha to Echo
Take siding at Echo

Complete 546 PM Disp/Opr JKL (or name Lincoln)
Supr DEF

No. 118 Aug 10 1970

To: C&E Extra 123 West at Alpha

Eng 123 run extra Echo to Whiskey after Eng 456 East arrives at Echo

Complete 550 PM Disp/Opr JKL
Supr DEF

No. 110 Aug 10 1970

To: C&E Extra 456 East at Zulu

Eng 456 run extra Zulu to Echo

Complete 117 PM Disp/Opr ABC
Supr DEF

No. 119 Aug 10 1970

To: C&E Extra 456 East at Lima

Eng 456 run extra Echo to Alpha after Eng 123 West arrives at Echo

Complete 733 PM Disp/Opr JKL
Supr DEF

No. 120 Aug 10 1970

To: C&E Extra 789 at Zulu

Eng 789 run extra Zulu to Whiskey and return to Zulu

Complete 740 PM Disp/Opr JKL
Supr DEF

No. 121 Aug 10 1970

To: C&E Extra 246 East at Zulu

Eng 246 run extra Zulu to Whiskey after Eng 789 arrives at Zulu
Take siding at Whiskey

Complete 912 PM Disp/Opr JKL
Supr DEF

No. 122 Aug 10 1970

To: C&E Extra 123 West at Lima

Eng 123 run extra Whiskey to Zulu after Eng 246 East arrives at Whiskey

Complete 956 PM Disp/Opr JKL
Supr DEF

Thanks for taking the time to read these. Those of you that worked with train orders...do they sound right?

Hey Rob, what's up brother? Right on the money, regarding those "19's" and accompanying clearance form "A". Remember the CT-401, before it became Form-D ? Train orders are written, on the appropriate form (19's,D, 401, track warrant, etc) by the copying employee. That clearance form A is also handwritten, but it is done by an employee that copies, then hands off those train orders, to a train. I.E. tower operator, block operator, and so forth. The clearance form is your assurity that the operator handed you everything. When you do it yourself, you repeat it back (train orders) or read it back, and check appropriate acknowledgement boxes (track warrants). You are familiar with the "new" GCOR rules, regarding phonetically repeat of number(s), and spelling directions, etc. Train orders were ALWAYS like that, with all numbers being spelled out individually, as well as stations and directions. In a perfect world, all track would be CTC or under "261" rules, and there would be no need for these things, excepting maybe running against the grain, or travelling through out of service tracks, work trains, etc. It looks good to me, although there didn't appear to be any "Valley" orders in there :wink: Regards

  by SooLineRob
Hey G A! What's the good word? Thanks for the reply...

For simplicity, I left out all the "transitional" forms and rules various companies used...the 401, VCS, Signaled DCS, D-251, etc. and stuck to a main track with a manual block system...

How about a 19/Train Order that granted two trains overlapping authority on a section of Main Track outside Yard Limits? Say, a work/ballast train dumping rock between Romeo and Uniform, able to duck in the clear at Sierra, and a "through train" must head through those limits from Lima to Zulu?

Would 19's/Train Orders name locations other than stations/sidings, such as mileposts like today? Could the same work train above get a "work/both directions" order between MP 66 and MP 78 instead of "Romeo" and "Uniform"?

Could a 19/Train Order specify a time limit Main Track authority was granted? The work train above, for example, have a "work/both directions" between MP 66 and MP 78 from 8AM to 6PM and "other through trains" have orders specifying the limits and time?

P.S. Couldn't rattle off any Valley locations off the top of my head...so I stuck to the good 'ol "Anna...Bess...Cloy..." LOL!

In theory, a "19" could be written, to train 123 east @ alpha, run extra alpha to lima, clear main track @ foxtrot. After arrival of extra 321 west @ foxtrot, proceed to lima. OR it could go alpha to foxtrot, clear main @ foxtrot. A second flimsie could be in hand, allowing foxtrot to lima, after reporting 321 west by foxtrot. Depends on who's road, and rulebook, I would suppose. (now you know why there are so many cornfield meets, in dark territory :( ) If you run alpha to lima daily, without ever making a meet, and one day you are told to wait at hotel, factor in a tired crew, inattentiveness, etc........ BN is famous for the "overlapped" train order meet. I think they hold the record, for head-on collisions, as well as following collisions, due to "running out of limits" You would imagine all those wasted engines, crews and insurance claims would have already been enough to pay for a signal system, even if it only supplemented the train order/track warrants. That's how we ran over the BN on the Soo. track warrants, with signals, and remote switches, operated by the train crews. At least we had a FEW signals, to give you time to stop, then run, if needed :-D Regards

As for those last 2 questions, I will say, I am not entirely sure. I don't believe I ever carried a train order, directing me to/from a MP. Always a station although, if you had to assist a train, for whatever reason, you would be run to the nearest MP, then get a restricted order, to occupy limits with another train. As long as there is a physical MP in a location, I wouldn't see why you couldn't get one to it. (just hope the block-line is near by, or your radio works, etc...) Normally, something is at a station, like a station, signal, siding, etc., some reason for that name in the TT, and a reason to use it for your limits.
That last question, is a "hanger" though. I don't imagine any DS or OPR would tie his own hands, by limiting a train in a block, unless it was protected by a TT scheduled train, in which case you MUST clear limits for train xwz by five minutes, etc. Imagine the poor soul, who has to run find a block-line, to tell the DS he can't clear those limits, and needs more time. Thank God for all those towers, and operators, who can run trains against the grain, to pass other guys, holding tissue on a segment of track, without delaying a through freight. Most times, you would clear up, report limits clear, and talk again when you needed to come out. Of course, you know the variations are as many as the roads, and the crews running them. Regards :-D

  by SooLineRob
Kinda thought I was asking for trouble on those last two questions...

I recall a GCOR Track Warrant has lines/boxes for "time limits"...



...only saw a handful of these though...

Authority was "extended" beyond the time limit, if needed, until the Dispatcher was contacted, so a crew did have authority to be on the MT from 1730 to 1756, when the dispatcher finally answered the radio/block line and issued a new warrant...or limits were reported clear...

Don't recall NORAC having a "time limit" provision...

  by thebigc
SooLineRob wrote: Don't recall NORAC having a "time limit" provision...
No time limit provision on a Form D but time limits can be specified in the Line 13 Other Instructions or Information portion.

  by SooLineRob
Thanks Big C...

Did the NORAC Form D ever get another pair of lines authorizing a Main Track Switch to be left in REVERSE POSITION / STOP AND RESTORE FOLLOWING SWITCH (S) TO NORMAL POSITION to facilitate freight movements in caboose-less train operations? The only MT Switches permitted to be left in REVERSE are Sidings and Junctions. I recall the "OTHER INSTRUCTIONS/INFORMATION" line on a Form D being used for this (among other things, like you said, time limits).

The GCOR Track Warrant got those lines in the mid to late 90's...as well as having the "OTHER SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS" line and the two "time limit" lines...

And the "OTHER SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS" line also is used to authorize "Radio Blocking" between two trains; both caboose-less freight trains receive a Warrant with the SAME limits, and the lead train verbally reports clear of/complete by a location to the following train...makes "dark" territory very "vocal"...since no cabooses, no flag protection to keep things "quiet".

  by thebigc
Line 13 can be used for anything pertinent that there's no specific line for on the D itself. It's generally used for cancelling BO items for your train or for UGB strikes.

Are you referring to leaving a MT switch open or reverse and then departing or just "holding the main" while servicing a consignee? Permission to hold the main is just a verbal thing but leaving a main track switch reversed for the next guy might be good line 13 material for more than one reason.

  by SooLineRob
Leaving a switch REVERSE and departing that location, leaving it for the next train to stop and restore to normal. The departing train pulls out of a siding, and their warrant has a line for leaving the switch reversed. The next train that receives a warrant through the limits were a switch is reversed, has a line instructing them to stop & restore the switch to normal and report it to the dispatcher.

Leaving switches reversed is solely for trains entering or leaving the MT to or from sidings/junctions/connecting lines. Industry tracks/sidings/spurs cannot be left reversed.

I could be wrong, but most places now, that open switch is a moot point. those 2 wrecks last year and this year kind of did away with that. In fact, now you have to keep a record of switch positions, and crew members who verified the correct position of them, no? It might not have made all properties yet, but I do believe it's coming. Some poor folks even have to keep a log, of signal aspects, time past them, and even speed!!! Hardly leaves time for napping :wink: I am not a big fan, of "line 13" because it's the place the carrier can break the rules, so to speak, and get away with it. Try telling the DS you want a "line 13 to run Pax speed, with your coal train", and see what he says :-D . Just an observation.......

  by SooLineRob
Yes, G-Arm...

When trains enter a Main Track from a siding/junction and are authorized to leave the switch reversed, a crew member must report to the Dispatcher, stating something to the effect...

Conductor Johnson transmits:
"RST&U 123 West complete by West, W-E-S-T Siding Switch Echo at 21:08, West Siding Switch Echo left in reverse position, reported by Conductor Johnson, over."

Dispatcher Lincoln responds:
"Roger, RST&U 123 West complete by West Siding Switch Echo, West W-E-S-T Siding Switch Echo left in reverse position at 21:08, 2-1-0-8 reported by Johnson, is that all correct, over?"

I wouldn't be surprised either if there's a new group of rules coming out governing Main Track Switches in "dark territory" in light of recent, tragic events...
Golden Arm-you are correct with the form for switch verification ----reaching out to all major lines. I know that CSX has it in our set of dispatchers messages, that we receive before each trip. I can see where this was probably something that was long overdue!

Nashvillie Newbie

Last 3 properties was on, were all GCOR, and all had "new" rule in effect (since NS killed 11 people in SC, or was it GA?) about NO switches left reversed, period. In fact, any place we stopped, and worked, had to report switch lined and locked, time it was locked, and who looked at it! A bit drastic, to be sure, but anything to cover the carriers ass, is the way it goes these days. No more leaving mainline switches un-attended either, for following crews. If switch is reversed, it must be attended by crew using it. If you don't have that yet, you will, it's only a matter of time...... :(
  by freightguy
Here is one my recent Form 19's:


AUG 30 2005





Made COMPLETE Time 1016 PM