Towers and Passenger Trains

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Sep 23 13:47:48 EDT 2013

One final tidbit, which really doesn't bear upon the present N&W situation but may be of interest nonetheless. In the extremely busy, heavily trafficked, 4-track NYC territory out of New York City, the operators reported trains to the quarter-minute. For recording the information on the block sheet, they used a superscript of "2," "3" or "4."
Not sure that Tug was still staffed in 1984, but the OS's there and at other points
recorded by the dispatcher are in 5 minute increments. As for schedules, railroads
had a trick known as "padding" and usually it was reflected in the time shown at the
next-to-last station on the district and the arrival at the final terminal on the district.
From the timetable in effect at the time of No. 3's derailment, there were 13 minutes
allowed to cover the 1.43 miles between East Williamson and Williamson. No. 3 may
have been 24 mins. late passing Iaeger, but barring further delays (or derailments), its
delay based on arrival at Williamson would have been substantially reduced by the "padding" factor. Harry Bundy

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