• Switch Question

  • 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 strench707
Hey guys, I had this post on the CSX forum but nobody could help me so I was hoping by posting here someone could help! My question pertains to the CSX Railroad but an explanation from any RR would be a good starting point. This was my original post:

"Hello All!

I am a CSX railfan local to the DC and Baltimore area and what interests me a lot is switches and signals.

I have been trying to figure out how CSX names/numbers their switches on the RF&P specifically but maybe all of the subs share a common pattern?

For example if you had a set of crossovers how would the switches be named?

By named I mean like Switch A3 or Switch 91 or however they do it.

Thanks in advance for any help!


So if anyone has any insight please let me know, I find this stuff really interesting!


  by Jtgshu
Im not sure with CSX, but Amtrak often numbers their crossovers (2 switches allowing a train to cross from one main track to another) like the tracks that they connect.

For example, at an interlocking, there are two crossovers - from track 2 to track 1, and then track 1 to track 2 (in the eastward direction for example). Those crossovers would be numbered the 12 and 21 switches. the both of them on the same crossover would be the same number, as they work together.

If a track is a labeled as a Letter or a name, sometimes they will use like a high number, like 91 or 19 or something like that, with the 9 representing the lettered or named track (A or B or whatever)
  by strench707
Very cool, thanks for the Amtrak information!

What I have seen from CSX is usually single digits or a digit and a letter which is what really has me stumped. Amtrak's system makes a lot of sense but I think CSX has some other system. They must have a pattern considering it would eb impractical not to do so.

  by Bobinchesco
The Amtrak system described by JT came into use in the NECIP program. Prior to that switch numbers related to its associated lever on the interlocking machine. Typically switches were odd numbered and signals were even numbered.