• switch lists

  • 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 sammy
How are the typical yard switch lists layed out? When pulling cars to make up a train, do they give the location of every car, by track number only, or do they specify wear in the row of cars on that track the car is located? I guess what I want to know is do you have to hunt for a car in a line of them, or does it tell you right wear to look? And are these lists wrong very often?

  by UPRR engineer
Yes to all of your questions. gives the sequence number, then the car (up 75423) whats in the car in a small note most of the time, and what track the cars are suppost to go to and what train it came in on, or what train it is gonna leave on.

  by sammy
So when making up a train, while you have to pay attention to what goes wear, you dont have to worry about knowing if this chemical car can be spotted next to this one. Or do you have to know what all the numbers on the placards mean. I start my conductor trainee class in a little over a week is wye I want to know.

  by sammy
LEt me cut you off at the pass hear. I know you need to know if this car cant be next to this one. I mean the swith list sould already have this figuerd out. I was woudering if you had to konw all the diff. numbers.

  by LCJ
If by the numbers you mean the four digit ID numbers on the placards for the hazardous materials cars, then the answer is no -- you don't have to memorize them all. You should be issued a little orange book that has all of the emergency response information in it indexed by ID numbers or by shipping name.

Also, your company-issued hazmat book will have a train placement chart and a switching chart to reference when you aren't sure with that stuff.

You should become familiar with the numeric hazard classes, too (1 thru 9) and what they each stand for. Here's a link to them: Here

  by Aji-tater
Sammy, it also varies with where you work. Some places, especially the larger ones, you may have somebody in a tower telling you what to do and what order they want it done in - you're not expected to get the "big picture", they'll do that. (I'm talking about making up the train - if you are a conductor of one departing the terminal, you do have to be aware of what cars can't go next to what other ones).

On a small railroad, or at a smaller terminal of a big railroad, the crew has more responsibility and it may well be up to that particular conductor to be sure all the regulations are complied with.