only if class is equal; it does not apply to two extra trains in opposing
directions on single track.
Thus, in this text, a first-class westward
train is superior to a second-class eastward train.
Train orders are written orders delivered to train crews to convey the
dispatcher's instructions. The orders may help or restrict; they may amend,
annul, or supersede the class and directional superiority that the timetable
establishes, as chapter 4 explains. They are the tools a dispatcher uses to
operate trains not listed in the timetable. On occasion, he also uses them
to establish rules for moving trains efficiently over a division when
unusual operating problems occur.
A train order, however, does not waive
compliance with a rule for one train unless it instructs another crew to
protect the first train. Train orders are discussed further in chapter 5.
Each American railroad has its own set of operating rules.
based on a standard code but are tailored to fit the operating needs of the
particular line. Even though the rules themselves may be modified, the rule
numbers remain the same. Rule 99, for instance, means the same thing to a
railroader in Iowa as it does to one in Ohio. Although the rules number in
the hundreds, all are important to the safe and efficient operation of
The rules cover standard time, timetables, signals, train
superiority, movement of trains and engines, and train orders.
Operating rules for military railroads are contained in Technical Manual
(TM) 55-200, Railway Operating Rules; a number of them are quoted in
Two rules are of particular importance to the immediate
discussion, rules 86 and S-87, which are quoted and discussed in the
Note that a rule number without a letter prefix
applies to single and two or more tracks, one with an S to single tracks,
and one with a D to two or more tracks.
a. Rule 86 reads: "Unless otherwise provided, an inferior train will
clear the time of a superior train in the same direction by not less than 10
minutes, but must be clear at the time a superior train in the same
direction is due to leave the next station in the rear where time is shown."