1 MARCH 2000
DETERMINING TRAFFIC AND LOAD CARRYING REQUIREMENTS
a. The first step in designing a railroad is to determine the type and volume of traffic to be handled.
Traffic type and volume will generally govern the size and arrangement of terminal facilities, the number
of auxiliary tracks required, and track structure design.
b. The traffic handling capability at an installation must cover existing and foreseeable requirements,
that usually include:
(2) Training exercises.
(3) Installation supply (routine traffic).
c. Once assembled, data on traffic volume and type should be reviewed and approved before
proceeding with the design process.
2. TRAFFIC TYPE. Information gathered on traffic type should include:
a. Type of cargo to be handled.
b. Type and size of freight cars to be used.
c. Manner in which cargo will be loaded and unloaded.
d. Height and width of cargo (for clearance requirements) handled on open cars (flatcars and gondolas).
e. Special requirements or restrictions for loading, unloading, or moving the cargo (especially when
handling hazardous cargo).
f. From this information the required type of loading facilities can be determined. Planning and design
for loading facilities are covered in chapter 8. Table 2-1 lists the most common cargo types along with the
freight cars and loading facilities usually required to handle the cargo. Figure 2-1 shows common freight