• Measurements - Mexico? SI or U.S. "customary units"?

  • 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 MaineCoonCat
Both Canada and Mexico use the International System of Units (SI) measurement (aka. "metric") system in general.. Canada however still uses what is now known as U.S. "customary units" for railroad purposes, which I'm sure is due to the huge U.S. interchange. Is Mexico also still using U.S. "customary units?
  by MaineCoonCat
I've found an answer courtesy of Francisco Fabila Rubio, Coordinador de Relaciones Institucionales of Kansas City Southern De Mexico who responded to my e-mailed question about this:
The Canadian and USA railroads are part of the Association of American Railroads, AAR (http://www.aar.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;), so they are basically utilizing the same ‘rail’ language even though they have different measurement systems. We need to keep in mind that the English language is one of the two official languages in Canada, which makes easier the ‘rail’ communication between Canada and the USA.

On the other hand and as you know, the official language in Mexico is the Spanish and even though the Mexican railroads are part of the AAR too, they have tried to use most of the ‘rail’ language utilized by the AAR.

Talking about the ‘mileposts’ which is actually a post that indicates some location at the line/track, the railroads of the USA and Canada represent this location in miles, while the railroads in Mexico are showing this location in kilometers, but they are familiar with the measurement system (British Imperial System-English units), so communication among the members of the AAR is not an issue.
So don't look for "mileposts" in Mexico. Hopefully someday the U.S. will adopt SI measurement.
  by ExCon90
It doesn't seem to me that it would be cost-effective to install kilometer posts and renumber signals (and catenary posts?) throughout the U. S. I think the policy should be "whatever works." And what we have works.
  by Backshophoss
Most Bills of Lading created in Canada will have the weight in kg and lbs for loads leaving for the US.
  by ExCon90
Would I be right in assuming we don't do likewise on shipments originating in the US and destined to Canada? Or, since most bills of lading today originate in the shipper's computer, do shippers themselves include the kg equivalent on shipments for Canada? In fact, I'd be surprised if there's even a field on the B/L for a separate weight in kg; I suppose it would have to be put in the commodity field.
  by Backshophoss
That was a shipper's option,when the B/L was created at the shipper,total weight in kgs and lbs at the bottom of the bill as seperate
When setting up PARS paperwork, lbs was accepted,the border broker would handle the coversion to kgs at the Port of Entry into Canada.
Same with "In Bond" moves.