Sunday, June 24, 2007

Single Track

From: "Steven Steiert"

With only one track, how did the trains avoid head on collisions?

How many trains would occupy a 500 mile stretch in 1870?

—Steve Steiert, Dixon, CA


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Randall Hees"

The line had passing sidings. Trains were governed by a published timetable, which any changes or extra trains listed on trainorders, which every crewman on every train in the affected area would be issued. These were distributed by telegraph (which was avalable from the time of construction.) It didn't always work, hence the famous November 14, 1869 Simpson's head on wreck, which killed a number of people.

The railroad was divided into roughly 100 mile sections.

Typically any given spot, on any given day would see 3 east bound passenger trains and one to two east boound scheduled freights, plus the same traffic west bound plus local passenger trains (in some areas like Oakland a lot of local traffic) plus any extra frieghts (in the early 1870's pretty rare) plus work trains (in the early 1870's there could be lots of work trains, distributing ballast and such).

So, on a typical section of line, away from Oakland or Sacramento, between 8 and 10 regular trains, (with 8 probably more common) plus extra traffic.

—Randy Hees

6/24/2007 11:00 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Steven Steiert"

Thanks ... a wonderful website ...

—Steven Steiert

6/24/2007 1:00 PM  

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