Manifest trains

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by TEP 60, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. TEP 60

    TEP 60 Member

    Why are mixed freight trains called "manifest" ones?
  2. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    When you say manifest freight, I think of finished goods and produce heading to market. Due to the produce being highly perishable and tv's being expensive (or radios earlier), these things were raced over the mainline...usually by the fastest freight power on the railroad. This would be a mohawk on the NYC, a berk on the nkp, etc...

    My beloved NKP's premier trains weren't passenger trains... they were the OB-1 and the OB-2 which raced over the line at 60mph behind the S-2/3 Berkshires such as 765, 759, & 779. These trains usually had lots of reefers.

    Edit: Manifest freights would travel from major yard to major yard...with any local deliveries dropped into trains pulled by 2-8-2s or 2-8-0s. These locals were much slower trains...sort of like the UPS delivery trucks vs. the UPS semis and airplanes. Other freights would be things such as coal drags.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The manifest is the paperwork that includes the car number, the product or merchandise on the car, the shipper, and the receiver of the merchandise or load. It may also include a different pick up address or delivery address if those addresses are different than the shipper's or receiver's billing address.

    It is not so common now, but in the days prior to the completion of the interstate highway system that resulted in freight being transferred from trains to trucks, there was also lcl or less than car load freight where a number of shippers would bring freight to a freight warehouse owned by the railroad and freight going to the same destination city would be combined on a single freight car bound for a similar freight warehouse in a distant city where the car woudl be unloaded and the freight distributed to individual receiver's.

    In the old days, the conductor would receive a stack of manifests for all of the cars on his entire train to be turned in when the cars reached their destination.

    I think the term "manifest freight" is actually a redundancy, since every freight is a "manifest freight." In practical terms, some unit trains may have identical manifests for every car in the train excepting the car numbers because the entire train is loading in one place from one shipper and being delivered in another place to a single receiver.

    I suspect that the "manifest freight" refers to a train where the various car loads are picked up from different shippers and/or delivered to different receivers.
  4. kutler

    kutler Member


    Are you referring to CPR's term for a manifest freight.
    If so it's just another form of CPs newspeak.

    The first time I heard the term was in regard to asking crews to protect trains at away from home terminals.

    Crews are to be asked to protects either Fast Freights, Manifests or Bulk trains. Fast Freights and Bulk trains are easily definable, I suppose Manifest is a catch all phrase for all other trains in this sense.

    CP has been tinkering around with speed restrictions for trains that are of lesser priority. Fast Freights are ok for track speed, Manifests have restrictions like 45 or 50 mph listed on their consist. I don't know if CP still does it, maybe a RTE will weigh in on the subject.

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