Train symbols for locals?

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Train symbols for locals?

Postby RiverLine » Wed May 07, 2014 5:32 pm

Hi all,

I'm hoping to learn about the symbol code the PC used to identify locals. For example, if a local train ran from Kingston, NY up the Catskill Branch would it have had a letter and number designation? Anyone have any info?
Thanks!
Ralph
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed May 07, 2014 6:46 pm

In the early Penn Central days I believe the CMB job was KB-1 from Kingston to Bloomville and BK-2 from Bloomville to Kingston.
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby RiverLine » Thu May 08, 2014 6:53 am

Thanks! So it seems the PC used their usual letters-indicate-destinations symbols for locals too. That's what i was hoping to learn. Thanks again!
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby Bigt » Wed May 28, 2014 3:35 pm

In the early 70's, on the Montreal Secondary, out of Massena, the local from Massena
to Canton and return was the CTSE. The crew told me that it stood for the Canton
Travelling Switcher. There was another run out to Rooseveltown also, but, I do not
remember it's designation.
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby RiverLine » Thu May 29, 2014 9:56 pm

That's interesting. Thanks!
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri May 30, 2014 12:38 am

I was re-reading a Penn Central freight symbol book for 1970 and it showed a local working between Massena and Canton with only the symbol "Local". There were two other locals out of Massena listed as MRC-1 and MRC-2 and working Massena - Rooseveltown all three doing local switching. There was also a local out of Malone working to Beauharnois, Quebec and return again doing local switching at Malone, Huntingdon and Beauharnois. The symbols CT and SE or CTSE combined were not listed in any of the Penn Central books that I have. I have some but not all of the books of the period.
Much later on in the Conrail era there were trains listed as CNSE and CPSE in that area but that was much later than the dates in question here.
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby BR&P » Fri May 30, 2014 2:30 pm

There was the old NYC system with 2 or 3 letters and sometimes a number. But occasionally there were some less orthodox ones. We even had a local named with the local Trainmaster's initials!
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby RiverLine » Fri May 30, 2014 7:40 pm

Thanks guys! I'm appreciating the information!
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby Backshophoss » Fri May 30, 2014 7:54 pm

Back in the PC days,the Harlem line was covered by 3 locals,WP-1,North White Plains-Oak Point,JN-2,Put Jct-North White Plains,
and JN-Z,Put Jct-Millerton,later cut back to Wassaic. Local power was normally U-23B's. Not sure if JN-2 or JN-Z handled the
"Carmel yard track" remains of the put to Carmel. The division post between the NE/Metro Regions was just north of
Dover Plains back then.
All were considered to be NE Region freight trains while in Metro Region territory
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby Bigt » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:20 pm

Yes, the "symbols" might very well have been those used by the crews and operators
out of Massena and the area. I do have a few Form 19 Train Orders from that period
that are specifically made out to the C&E of the CTSE at Massena, or, Canton. I recall
the two locals to Rooseveltown.....they switched the old (now gone) GM plant, known
as the Central Foundry (made engine blocks for various GM products), and, the old
Reynold's Metals Aluminum Plant (now owned by ALCOA). There were also a local
based in Ogdensburg that ran through Heuvelton, Rensselaer Falls, to Dekalb Junction
and return, but, I don't recall the symbol for it. All of these locals ran with ALCO RS-32s
and either a N9e or N11 transfer caboose.
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:32 am

Bigt wrote:Yes, the "symbols" might very well have been those used by the crews and operators
out of Massena and the area. I do have a few Form 19 Train Orders from that period
that are specifically made out to the C&E of the CTSE at Massena, or, Canton. I recall
the two locals to Rooseveltown.....they switched the old (now gone) GM plant, known
as the Central Foundry (made engine blocks for various GM products), and, the old
Reynold's Metals Aluminum Plant (now owned by ALCOA). There were also a local
based in Ogdensburg that ran through Heuvelton, Rensselaer Falls, to Dekalb Junction
and return, but, I don't recall the symbol for it. All of these locals ran with ALCO RS-32s
and either a N9e or N11 transfer caboose.


In the train order days trains were established by right or by class. Right was conferred by train order and class was conferred by the employee timetable in the form of a schedule. I suppose if a local freight train had right conferred in the timetable the order could address the train by the symbol or number as it appeared in the timetable. If right was not conferred in the timetable the train ran as an extra conferred by train order. In this case the train would have been identified by engine number or numbers coupled in some cases. The right would have to be conferred by timetable in order for any symbol to be used and in some cases timetables carried some freight schedules but with the notation that these schedules conferred no timetable authority. What year or years is involved in the above? I have copies of the timetables for the period and in checking from 1969 (day one of Penn Central) up to about late 1972 there were no freight trains in the timetable with a CTSE symbol or even anything close. There were the following on the Mohawk/Syracuse area: 163 northbound from Huntingdon to Adirondack Junction, Quebec; ULF-1 and LFU-2 between Utica and Lyons Falls and finally OFD-2 southbound from Oswego to Woodard all of which ran at least daily except Sunday and were listed as second class trains. In this case track authority was conferred by timetable thus the second class status. Earlier timetables included a couple more trains including the Utica - Lake Placid train which went north on Sunday and south on Monday. I would question the legitimacy of any trains with symbols not in the timetable.
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby Bigt » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:33 pm

Noel,

I stand corrected. After I posted yesterday, I looked through my old paperwork. It
was not on a Form 19 that I saw the "CTSE"....it was on a computer printout showing the
train consist for that one particular day. This was obviously something generated by the
yard clerks......car initials, number, type (generic listing, box, tank, etc.) ld /mty, and
customer. This would lead me to believe that the CTSE - Canton Travelling Switcher
"title" was derived from the men in Massena. Also, my old train orders showed that
the local to Canton ran as an extra - as you stated - in the two orders I happened to
come across, with engines 2030, and, 2032.
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Re: Train symbols for locals?

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:09 pm

Yes, use of train symbols was common on wheel reports, consist sheets and other paperwork. Sometimes the paperwork was even done up before anybody knew just what was going to be used to pull or push the train. Even air slips often had the train symbol rather than the engine number although sometimes they would have both.
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