• Weird Track Names

  • 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 hotbike
"Pocket Track" seems like an oxymoron, to me...
  by CarterB
Near Tuscola, Il there was a track siding called "chicken bristle"
  by ExCon90
"Pocket track" is widely used in the industry to denote a (usually) short track used for keeping a locomotive or cut of cars temporarily out of the way of traffic and yet quickly available for service. There's one at Newtown Junction on SEPTA in Philadelphia where the single-track branch to Fox Chase diverges; if an inbound from Fox Chase is a little late coming down off the branch, and there is an outbound to Fox Chase waiting for him to clear, but has a Doylestown train behind him, the Fox Chase train will be routed to the pocket track, out of the way of the Doylestown, until the inbound from Fox Chase clears and he can proceed. In effect, the Fox Chase train pulls over to the right to let the Doylestown pass, and then proceeds when the branch is clear.
  by Desertdweller
In Selma, AL, is a track called the "hambone".

On the hill west of Laurens, SC is a siding called "Dublin". It is called that because when you are "dublin" the hill, that is where you leave your cars.

  by FarmallBob
In Canastota NY had the "Onion Spur" off the NYC main. It was used to load onions from the large warehouses alongside.

While the warehouse operations are long gone (onions all ship by truck now), the spur remains. It is used occasionally to store MOW equipment or to set off a cripple. The Selkirk dispatcher still refers to it as "the Onion Switch".

  by mmi16
10more years wrote:Most of the weird names are just holdovers from events, or people from long ago that just stuck. Florence has a Seaboard Bridge spot where the SAL ran a track over the yard. Now, if you didn't know it, you couldn't tell it. Lots of places have a "dead" track because it just "dead-ends". The Charlie Baker signal in Rocky Mount was named for an old track guy who had to hand throw the mainline switches before they went to signaled territory.
Have known of the existance of the control point 'Charlie Baker', never knew it's history.
  by Thunder
Had the Old pocket, new pocket in Galesburg.Oly's Pocket was where an old head named Oly would go hide and snooze. City track, Stock yard track. the Rat track. Hmmm Others I have heard, scale track Obvious reason there.Dirt track,inbound ( no out bound though so you go out the in) table track ( no tunrtable though) Pig track and then of course you had tracks named after guys who had screwed up in a glorious fashion.
  by Dewoc19
We have a yardmaster who is really metro, to the point that everyone thinks he is gay, we nick named his last name Kardashian, well the yard he works at got redone with some new leads cause they changed the main line in front of the yard, so when ever we call the dispatched to use that lead we tell them "we want to use the Kardashian lead"
  by Railjunkie
Bull run, the connection to the old Albany station off the NYC main line.
  by The RR Authority
In the Dewitt N.Y. yard before they ruined it with their 1970's rebuild, they had a stretch of track called "the gooseneck."
  by Gadfly
We also had the "Cab track" where we kept cabooses and the clerks would service them with coal, towels, tissue, soap and water for the tank. There was also a "house track" where the switchers would park. The "pocket" was a short stub track across from the depot where other engines also were parked, or stored, along with a car or two when necessary. At the shops where I worked for a time, there was a track called the "pit track" because it was in a narrow cut so that the cars would be level with the shop driveway. This, so we could load and unload cars and get M19 Motor cars out of box cars. I remember there was one fella who was always getting his fork lift "stuck" by allowing a wheel to drop down between the car and the pavement! It wasn't dangerous, and the lift couldn't fall between there, but it was annoying as we would have to bring another lift or tractor to pull him out. He did it so much, I began to think he was doing it on purpose! This "pit track" also had to be bridged every morning with a huge runway thing that we set across the track. This allowed mules and fork lifts to travel from the shop to Stores department. When the switcher came to switch the yard, we would attach some purpose-made holders so the fork lift could insert the forks in there and remove the bridge. When the engine was done pulling the yard, the bridge was set back in place and the screw-down holders were removed so everything could travel again. At one time things were lax and there were no blue flags protecting the track(s). One day a switcher came in and *almost* ran into the bridge. After that incident, another ritual was added: the shop forces HAD to set the blue flags in place on both yard leads every morning around 7:30. If the switch engine came in, he stopped near the "scale house track" and called us on the radio BEFORE entering the yard. Another time, the engine came in on the "upper lead" of the shop, and someone (not the person that set the flag there--a big NO-NO!) removed the blue flag. The switcher almost ran in on top of a repair crew working on a Tamper!!!!!!!!!! BIG stink!!!!!! :-D

  by SlowLayne
"Daiquiri" is the siding for the Bacardi Rum bottling plant in Jacksonville.
  by ExCon90
Not a track name, but Amtrak had (and maybe still has) a CP BUD within sight of the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Newark. (No word on whether they're going to change it to CP STELLA.)
  by FarmallBob
Here’s a new one:

Last month CSX installed new a spur off the main into Union Metal Processing in Chili, NY. Union shreds old cars, appliances and other steel scrap. For many years they have shipped shredded product by truck. The new spur allows Union to ship product by rail; also perhaps to supply the operation with crushed cars.

Anyway the Selkirk dispatcher now refers to the spur as “the junkyard switch”.

  by Statkowski
New Haven Railroaad (showing my age, yes?):

Coming out of the east end of Oak Point Yard (The Bronx, NY) you had Four Bridge East (which came up from the float bridge yard)and Along the Wall (which ran alongside a retaining wall).

In New Rochelle station there was Track 6, which everyone called The Gauntlet Track (before the switch received an electric switch machine, enabling the switchpoints to actually be close to where the frog was, the switchpoints were originally closer to the original mechanical interlocking signal tower). The actual gauntlet track disappeared circa 1912, yet the name stuck for the next 57 years or so.