three echelons: the advance party, the main body, and the rear
echelon. Limited rail operations may be started within a few hours
after the military railroaders have arrived.
b. Reconnaissance. The second step is the reconnaissance of the
railway net and rail facilities. Although the highest TRS command
railway lines, the railway battalion makes the actual reconnaissance.
During the planning stages of theater operations, the transportation
photographs and intelligence data of the objective area. Command
decisions are made on the railways which would be most advantageous
for rail transportation in support of the military effort. Although
general information about the railways is normally known before
entering the theater, it is impossible to predict what they will
actually be like ahead of time.
often than not destroyed or damaged by previous combat. Therefore,
when the railway battalions are deployed to tentative locations in
the objective area, the first task of their commanders is to find out
how much damage has been done to their rail divisions. If necessary,
they may get help from higher TRS command units in doing this. This
reconnaissance should determine the characteristics of the rail line,
usefulness of existing facilities and equipment, and availability of
civilian railroaders. Collected information is forwarded to the
highest transportation railway service supervisory unit in the
c. Evaluation and deployment. The highest TRS command in the
theater makes final judgments on the capabilities and limitations of
the railway lines and facilities to be used. After determining the
method of operation to be used, it issues the necessary instructions
for rail operations. Subordinate rail units are oriented on the
characteristics of the rail lines and the operation to be undertaken;
after they are deployed, rail operations begin.
3.4. METHODS OF OPERATION.
The transportation railway service uses any and all railway
facilities found in a theater of operations. Although railway
signals and communication lines are important for safe and efficient
operation, it is not reasonable to expect to find them ready for use.
Any form of centralized traffic control, interlocking plants, and
automatic block signaling devices are usually damaged or destroyed.