1 MARCH 2000
10. CAR INTERCHANGE.
a. Purpose. The interchange area (or yard) consists of one or more tracks used for the transfer of cars
between the installation's railroad and the connecting commercial carrier. These tracks are usually
located at or near the junction of the two railroads.
b. Arrangement. Figure 8-7 shows an example car interchange yard. In this arrangement, one (or
both) of the outer two tracks would normally be designated as a running track and left clear of cars. The
other tracks would be of sufficient combined length to handle the largest expected number of cars to
come in or go out at any one time.
Figure 8-7. Interchange Yard
c. Running Track.
(1) An open running track through the interchange yard will allow the installation's or commercial
railroad's engine access to either end of each interchange track, and otherwise leaves an unblocked
connection between the two railroads. The running track can also be used temporarily for switching. This
would make it easier to rearrange the cars, if needed, or to pull out selected cars from any track.
(2) At installations with frequent grade crossings or where at least one heavily traveled road crosses
the tracks at grade (especially if the crossing angle is less than 45 degrees), access to either end of a cut
of cars is usually required. This will permit the engine to always be at the front of a train (pulling the cars
rather than pushing), in either direction of travel providing much better visibility and safety at road
d. Set-Out Track. It is sometimes useful to allow an additional track (or perhaps a short spur) at an
interchange yard for special over-size loads and for cars needing repair, which should be placed only at
the end of a train, or for other special movements that need separate handling.