RRHX - Michigan Railroad History
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Re: Rights of trains Question for Doug Hefty
There are no longer any "rights of trains" or train superiority, if you will. Some trains may be given preference over another in dispatching, for example a high priority train, a train on short time, etc. etc, but that doesn't make them "superior" under today's rules. However, to answer your question, under the old train order rules, an extra train was only "superior" by direction in regard to other extra trains. On the C&O, eastward or southward trains were superior to westward or northward trains. So, for example if a meet order read "Extra 3020 East meet Extra 3011 West at Vassar" the westbound would take siding because it was moving in the "inferior" direction. Actually, on the C&O, meet orders had to state which train would take siding, and you could have either train take siding. Usually you had the shorter train, or the one to arrive first, or the one who could be doing his work from the siding, take siding. So, on the C&O, meet orders always read like this: "Extra 3020 West taking siding and meet Extra 5927 East at Alma." Many other railroads did not have the "take siding" requirement, unless the dispatcher wanted the train in the superior direction to take the siding. I hope this makes sense and helps. Also, by train order, you could give an extra train right over a scheduled (superior) train to make the scheduled train wait for the extra to arrive: "Extra 3011 West has right over No. 58 Eng 5927 St. Louis to Edmore." In this case, No. 58 could not leave Edmore until the extra arrived. Additionally, CTC has always superseded the superiority of trains, and now with TWC, Form D, etc, there is no need for superiority outside of CTC. There is much more to this, and lots of other orders that establish superiority under the old rules, but I'll stop here for now.
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