Some railroad photos

This is a rail inspection car. It uses a lot of technology to look at the condition of the rail and roadbed.

  • It uses induction to detect flaws in the track web.
  • it uses ultrasonic to look for cracks in the rail head.
  • it uses gyroscopes to find track that is off profile.
  • it uses GPS to exactly plot where the track really is.
  • it uses light and lasers to find cracks in the rail ends.
    As much as it looks like a RV out for a camping trip, the mission of this self propelled railroad car is not enjoyment, but safety.
    This track inspection car can pull up to 5 freight cars of tools, parts, and equipment.
    Note that railroad signals are reveresed from traffic signals. RED is on the bottom, while GREEN is on top. Why? Because the bottom aspects are more likely to be obscured by weather (ice, snow, foliage) while the upper aspects are not. The rule on the railroad is that if you can't tell what a signal is displaying, then it is displaying the most restrictive aspsect it can. That means at a "home" signal, if you can't see a yellow or green, then the signal is RED. You must stop, you may not proceed.
    What is a "Home" signal? It is a signal that does not have a mile post number, a grade (G) plate, or a distant plate (D). If you see a signal without any signs on it, likely it's a "Home" or "Control Point" signal. If it's red, and an engineer passes it while not showing a yellow or green, he is fired, decertified for 5 years, and cannot work as an engieer until re-certified. He cannot apply to be re-certified for 5 years.
    Let's talk about speeding. In your car, do you exceed the speed limit by more than 5 miles per hour? If an engineer does that, he can be fired and decertified for up to 24 months. If he exceeds the speed limit by 10 miles an hour, it's 60 months. The conductor usually gets it in the neck too, since (s)he's expected to notice speeding past 5 MPH. When taking pictures of the RR, consider that your photo may be used against the crew! Be sure to strip out metatags from cameras, and fuzz the engine and car numbers (if the photo is less than 3 years old.) Of course, unless you have permission, you should always fuz out faces.
  • Bucket list rail fan trip:

    View Larger Map

    I'll bet you didn't know that rail cars and locomotives have RFID tags on 'em. They do. The tags operate a the following frequencies. The frequency is selected by the railroad and I don't know how they go about that, other than there's 2 frequencies for trackside (I'd guess a better way to say it is "Not in the switch yard"). AEI frequences:

  • 902.250 MHz [intermodal/yard]
  • 903.750 MHz [intermodal/yard]
  • 910.000 MHz [intermodal/yard]
  • 911.500 MHz [trackside]
  • 913.000 MHz[intermodal/yard]
  • 915.000 MHz [intermodal/yard]
  • 917.000 MHz[intermodal/yard]
  • 918.500 MHz [trackside]
  • 920.000 MHz [intermodal/yard]
  • 921.500 MHz [intermodal/yard]

    More than you could possibly want to know about AEI can be found here