a. Freight trains. Through freight trains make long hauls at
relatively fast speeds; they handle the bulk of supplies needed for
military operations in a theater. When necessary, freight cars may
be used for large troop movements; in such a haul, the trains are
classed as passenger trains. In contrast with through freights,
local freight trains operate at much slower speeds and make frequent
stops at small stations.
b. Passenger trains. Through passenger trains are used to move
passengers, express, and mail over long runs. Local passenger trains
may operate at a relatively slow speed and make frequent stops at
c. Work trains and wreck trains. Work trains carry equipment and
workmen to maintain railways and rail facilities. Wreck trains carry
heavy equipment to remove disabled trains or wrecks from the rail
lines so that train operations may continue. Work and wreck trains
do not carry passengers or freight.
d. Ambulance trains. Normally, most patients removed from the
combat zone by surface transportation are evacuated by ambulance
trains. Through TRANSCOM's movements control center (MCC), the TRS
furnishes the medical command (MEDCOM) the motive power, operating
crews, and maintenance for ambulance trains. The responsibility for
the movement priority of such trains lies with the TRS. They have
priority over all other trains except those necessary to meet
emergencies affecting combat forces, for example, an ammunition
train. The TRS also performs running repairs on ambulance trains;
one direct support ambulance train maintenance crew is assigned to
each ambulance train. Red Cross markings are displayed on all
ambulance trains, as provided for in the Geneva Conventions.
Normally, these trains operate from railheads in or near the combat
zone to ports, airports, or terminals at the rear of the theater.
The MCC furnishes the MEDCOM with a train schedule regarding pickup
and destination stations.
3.3. ESTABLISHING RAIL OPERATIONS
In the initial phase of military operations in a theater,
establishing rail transportation is a difficult task; however,
certain procedures have been set up for use in starting rail service.
The exact order does not matter greatly since many of the functions,
discussed in the following subparagraphs, may be accomplished
a. Phasing in of rail units. Naturally, the first step is
moving rail units into the objective area. This is accomplished in