speed limits in yards

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by CAS, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. CAS

    CAS Member

    How are speed limits figured out for the yard? Is there a standard speed limit for the size of the yard?

  2. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    Hi CAS, I think, depending on the railway, the speed limit for each yard is standard over the whole railway, our local railway speed limit for yards is 30kph. From what I've seen, chasing and riding trains, it should be standard.

    You see each railroad has a rulebook to follow so, in my mind, it wouldn't help making exceptions. I guess it's like driving your car, 40 - 60kph in residential areas, 70 - 100kph for main roads and 120kph for highways.

    Speed restrictions on the other hand can differ. There is normally a speed restriction for going through sets (turnouts) as well.
  3. CAS

    CAS Member

    I was sorta of curious of this, for my layout. but i did want to know for my layout also.

    Because i was playing Microsoft Train simulator, and i could have sworn that 1 yard, the speed limit was like 60. Then a different scenario, same line, different yard, the speed limit was 10. I guess i'll have to go back and play both scenario's again to see what was what.

  4. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    I have MSTS as well, which yard and activity? Also, why not try researching C&NW history or talking to an old employee?

    I think the actual speed limit down that line is 10mph if you are refering to that yard and siding that branches of from that yard after Whitefish.
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I have railfaned several yards and notice most train enter the yard around 15 mph..Remember these trains will be stopping and above all safety is the main factor..You see crews must be alert for closed switches and yard movements as well as employees working in the yard.
    When I worked on the PRR the yard limit with in the boundry of the yard was 10 mph.On the chessie it was 15mph.
    Another then to remember is a "yard limit" may start miles from the yard and that will come under different speed rules..
    Here is a site that will help you.
  6. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

    Restricted Speed not exceeding 10 mph.
  7. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I suppose that may be true on some roads but,not all seeing a yard limit can start several miles from the yard its self and can be higher up to 20 mph and 10-15 within the yard especially on arrival tracks.
  8. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

    Other than main track can have "controlled speed" not exceeding 20 mph.

    Every yard I have been in now requires restricted speed not exceeding 10 mph and in most instances you don't even make it 10 mph.
  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    That must be a new rule..I recall entering Russell (Ky) yard at 15 mph and slowing from there...Of course we didn't have RC yard engines either.Up to 2004 I watch NS enter Bellevue around 15 mph until the train cleared the street crossings.Also noted when he went by Ranger tower(the yard tower) his clip was down to about 10.
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    For your model railroad, you might consider something on the order of double whatever number turnouts you are using (in mph). SO if your yard is built with #4's, then your limit would be 8mph (or round it to 10mph). If you use #6's in the yard, then try 12mph (or round to 15mph).

    15 mph is 3 inches per second, or 4 seconds per foot. 10 mph is 2 inches per second, or 6 seconds per foot. Calculate other speeds at http://www.nhsouth.com/crafts/workbench/ssc.htm

  11. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

    But only for HO scale. :)
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Touché...! ;)

    Yes, I should have qualified my calculations... :oops: However, the link I provided is not nearly as narrow-sighted as I, and will allow calculations in any modelling scale, as well as any "custom" scale you choose. ;) :D

  13. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    Simply knowing there is a sped limit, plus the old axiom of "no more than four" for coupling operations does the job for me. I don't have a sophisticated enough set up to be able to actually state how fast my locos are going. About all I can do is slow them down as they approach the yards, and do my coupling/switching/yard operations at minimal speeds.

    I've seen at least one actual yard where apparently they have a full speed mainline parralell to the rest of the yard. (Champaign, Illinois) Then again, it was probrably 25 years ago that I saw an Amtrac fly through there at about 60 MPH.
  14. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    We have a yard speed of 10 mph with industry leads at 5 mph. In Roseville California, the yard speed can go as high as 30 mph. The yard actually has slow orders for some of their yard tracks due to track conditions. For the most part, on the UP we are restricted to 10 mph.

  15. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Most modern railroads also have a clause that declares "being able to stop within half the distance of sight." Just because you're authorized up to ten of fifteen miles-an-hour doesn't mean it's a safe speed for the conditions in a yard.
  16. nhguy

    nhguy Member

    Then there's the railroads that operate their entire trackage as 'yard limits'. These usually don't exceed 25 mph. Most common yards are 10-15 mph. Hump yards probably less than 5 mph because of the 'pin puller' job which is walking speed for a human or 2 mph. But you would really have to go by what the rule book for the railroad your modeling or taking ideas from is.
  17. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

    Yards and "YARD LIMITS" are two different terms.Yards can be any tracks for switching, storing, repairing, classifying trains and equipment. The Yard speed includes "Restricted Speed,(Able to STOP within 1/2 the range of vision), not to exceed 10 (15,20,5) mph" per local or company rule. "YARD LIMITS" is a designated piece of unsignalled main, secondary, running track with some type of radio, phone, written control by a dispatcher, where crews may work industrial, yard or other sidings and use switches, or foul that main (with Dispatcher's permission ). If the Dispatcher KNOWS that track to be CLEAR (nobody fouling and the last crew there having lined and locked all main track switches "normal") he may let you proceed thru "Yard Limits" at normal track speed...If ALL of the above isn't KNOWN...Restricted Speed again. Hope that's clearer, 'cause my typers are tired ! When in doubt, take the safest course. Bob C
  18. iis612

    iis612 Member

    When I worked for CSX we were permitted to operate at "Restricted" speed, for any movement on yard tracks. Which means no more than 15 mph, or half the distance of sight.
    Mainlines are governed by yard limits as well. Typically they are governed by signal indications. On the Saginaw sub your best speed on the main through yard limits was 45mph.
  19. eric halpin

    eric halpin Eric Halpin

    The Saskatoon Model railroad site has a fairly detailed explanation of how to calculate speed in different scales. To get an accurate feel for the speed they recommend using a marked 5-10' track section for HO to calculate the speed. Take a look at the Saskatoon site for full details.
  20. kutler

    kutler Member

    Actually I've known of many instances where yard limits exist in harmony with a signal system. One company's Yard limit rules indicated that 3rd, 4th class and extra trains may use the main track in yard limits without train order authority providing they clear the time of first and second class trains. Additionally a clear signal in yard limits is one indication that the main track is clear in yard limits(but only to the next signal). In most instances train dispatchers cannot tell you if the main track is clear because by the nature of yard limits he doesn't control those movements.

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