NS Train Symbols

Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:53 am
Location: Columbus

Re: NS Train Symbols

Post by vtk » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:09 am

Crew symbols (rarely paid attention to) are 7-character codes beginning with the train symbol. The 4th character seems to always be a letter which probably has some geographical significance, and the remaining characters appear to be assigned sequentially within some predefined range to each crew on the train.

Crews deadheading from one terminal to another get symbols with the "train" portion usually in the range 470-489. If you hear such a train symbol on the radio, it's probably actually a crew in a road cab.

Caution on the even/odd rule in Ohio: on the Columbus and Sandusky districts, east is south and west is north. So geographically, even symbols are heading south and odd symbols head north.
I know at least 6 ways to get there. Do you have a preference?

Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:42 pm
Location: Carrolltown PA, near NS Pittsburgh Line

Re: NS Train Symbols

Post by Missyg24 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:15 am

whats SWB?

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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: USA

Re: NS Train Symbols

Post by mmi16 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:23 pm

All carriers have their own train naming conventions - those conventions revolve around data processing requirements of the original computer systems each of the carriers installed and or the computer system that prevailed when carriers merged. Since each carrier developed their own computer systems, they also developed their own train naming conventions. Each carrier's system makes sense, in the context of that carriers operations and is functionally Greek to others that are not familiar with the rules which make the train naming system.

In the dawn of the computer age, processing power, memory and data storage were all expensive and system designers designed their systems around the 80 characters available in the standard IBM card - how few characters could be applied to each element of significant data and fit all the required data within 80 characters.

While today's computer age is far different than what it was when the systems started, the legacy computer systems are so ingrained into the present day operations of the individual carriers, unless there are more mergers the existing systems will continue in their present data formats for the foreseeable future.
Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:12 pm

Re: NS Train Symbols

Post by EliWilson97 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:05 pm

Does anyone/any website have any current NS train symbols around Harrisburg, PA?

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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:38 pm
Location: Jenkintown PA

Re: NS Train Symbols

Post by RDGAndrew » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:35 pm

Does anyone/any website have any current NS train symbols around Harrisburg, PA?
Yes! Check out http://www.parailfan.com - lots of good stuff there including a searchable train symbol database. Gives you origin, destination, lines used, days of operation. Seems to be pretty up-to-date.
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:59 pm

Re: NS Train Symbols

Post by nova08 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:57 am

EliWilson97 wrote:Does anyone/any website have any current NS train symbols around Harrisburg, PA?
This website seems to be the most up to date these days


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