1 MARCH 2000
a. This chapter describes the process of selecting the route for the track connecting the terminal
facilities with the commercial railroad serving the installation.
b. The location process begins by roughly defining potential routes or areas through which a railroad
might practically run. Additional and more detailed information is then collected, and the route
alternatives are gradually reduced until the final route is chosen. Before this process begins, the initial
location and orientation of terminal facilities (as described in chapter 8) should be completed.
c. The ideal route is usually the one that:
(1) Is shortest in length.
(2) Has the lowest grades.
(3) Has the least curvature.
(4) Costs the least to build.
(5) Most conveniently serves the installation and all terminal areas, as well as connecting carriers.
(6) Causes the least interference with other activities and modes of transportation.
(7) Is environmentally compatible with adjacent land use.
(8) Provides reliability for use in all weather conditions.
d. Since the above-listed objectives often conflict, the engineer's job is to determine the appropriate
compromises that will produce the best route under the circumstances the one that best meets all
e. If initial line locations prove unsatisfactory in some important aspect, it may be desirable to look for a
different terminal location or to re-orient a terminal so that the line can serve it from a different direction.
f. Throughout the route selection process, it is essential to have good maps (including contour maps) of
the area through which the railroad may run. If not currently available, these should be obtained as the