take priority over freight movements, a passenger train may be given
superiority over freight trains by train order. Also, when the track
must be cleared of obstructions or when the line must be repaired, a
work train may be given priority over all other trains. The types of
trains are discussed in the following subparagraphs.
a. Freight trains are discussed first because of their
importance. They carry the bulk of supplies and equipment to support
military activities in a theater, and they normally have priority
over other rail traffic, except ambulance trains. The two kinds of
freight trains are through and local. Through trains carry priority
freight and generally go from one terminal to the next without
changing consist from origin to destination. Local trains pick up
and set off freight and cars at stations along the division.
b. Passenger trains transport personnel, baggage, and mail. The
coaches and cars used are those already in the theater. Although
passenger or baggage cars are preferred, boxcars, gondolas, and
flatcars may be used if necessary.
c. Ambulance or hospital trains, used exclusively for moving the
sick and wounded, are usually given first priority in a theater.
They are operated as passenger extras when required by the medical
command. Each car in the train is conspicuously marked with a red
cross and, when so marked, should not be used for anything not
connected with the ambulance service.
d. Work trains carry maintenance personnel and equipment, and are
used in such operations as laying new track, spreading ballast, and
moving wreck crews to the site of derailments. They are authorized
by train order to occupy track where their services are required.
The time limits are given in the train order and cannot be extended
unless a new train order is issued canceling the original one and
establishing new limits. When a train accident occurs or the track
is blocked, a special type of work train, a wreck train, is sent with
equipment to clear the track. This train is authorized by train
order and has superior rights.
The general rules that govern persons involved with the
operation of U. S. Army railroads are presented in TM 55200, Railway
Operating Rules. They are an adaptation of the Standard Code of
Operating Rules of the Association of American Railroads. Each
person whose duties are regulated by the rules in the manual