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Chesapeake & Ohio This road operates 22 miles of double track in this manner and will shortly add to this mileage 13.7 miles, making a total distance in one stretch of 35.7 miles; trains are controlled by a special lock and block system, supplemented by interlocked signals. “In addition to the section equipped as above, we operate trains against the current of traffic by train order, this latter practice being in effect on all double track and is done at no stated period, but when the occasion warrants."

The average daily traffic is 30 trains per day and the maximum daily traffic, 46 trains, namely, 14 passenger and 32 freight trains. The average daily movement against the current is 3 passenger and 3 freight trains, and the maximum 4 passenger and 7 freight trains.

The following is a description of the device in use for diverting traffic:

"Each interlocking station is provided with an alternating current generator delivering current at 175 volts with a frequency of 100 cycles. The direction of traffic is controlled by traffic levers which must be unlocked from the remote station when the operator turns the generator by hand. The traffic levers cannot be unlocked while there is any part of a train in the block. In other words, when traffic has been diverted, the normal direction cannot be restored until the entire train has cleared the block and when the normal direction is set up, traffic cannot be diverted until all trains have cleared the block."

“Our scheme of diverting traffic is different from any scheme used on other roads, and it is not endangered by crossed wires, grounds or lightning. We can, therefore, feel that we are diverting traffic with 100 per cent safety."

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy The Burlington is a pioneer road in this method of moving trains; it has been handling traffic in this way for over 13 years and has had no accidents attributable to it. It operates 989 miles of double track in this manner, as follows:

125 miles equipped with absolute permissive block signals.
430 miles equipped with straight automatic block signals, and

434 miles equipped with manual block signals.
Lines Equipped with A. P. B. Automatic Signals—125 Road Miles.

This double-track is signalled so that each track may be operated practically as single track. The average number of trains per day is: Normal. Passenger trains.

.12 each way. Freight trains..

15 each way Maximum. Passenger trains.

. 15 each wav. Freight trains..

.25 cach way, The average number of trains per day operated against the current of traffic is : Normal. Passenger trains.

6 each way. Freight trains.

6 each way. Maximum. Passenger trains.

.12 each wav. Freight trains.

...12 each way. For movement against the current of traffic trains are controlled by the A. P. B. automatic signal together with train orders. Trains are operated against the current of traffic for any distance to get around a proceeding train or trains, provided the track is not required for the movement of oposing trains. There are 15 facing-point crossovers in this territory, of which 66 per cent are interlocked.

This company has been operating against the current of traffic for over 13 years and has had no accidents attributable to this method of operation and states that it is its opinion that it is just as safe to operate against the current with proper precautions as it is to operate single track and that its experience of many years bears out this view.

The added cost of arranging automatic signals to cover movements in both directions amounts to approximately $1,000 per road mile. The company is of the opinion that operating against the current in this territory has obviated the necessity of constructing about 40 miles of third track at an estimated cost of $1,200,000.

With regard to the advantages of this method of operation, the company advises as follows:

"It assists materially in getting trains over the road, reduces time of trains between terminals and penalty overtime to train crews, frequently avoids tying up trains account of the 16-hour law and in general results in more intensive and economical use

of the tracks and other facilities." Lines Equipped with Straight Automatic Signals-430 Road Miles.

No detailed information is given regarding traffic in this territory, due to the fact that this mileage covers a number of separate pieces of double track with varying conditions and traffic on each section. There are 39 facing point crossovers in this territory, of which 18 per cent are interlocked. Movements against the current of traffic are controlled by train order and block signals. Lines Equipped with Manual Block Signals-434 Road Miles.

This mileage is made up of several different sections with varying conditions and traffic and for that reason no data is given as to number of trains operated and the number of trains run against the current. Movements against the current of traffic are handled by train order in combination with manual block signals. In this territory there are 37 facing-point crossovers, of which 16 per cent are interlocked.

In the month of September, 1921, a careful check was kept of the number of train movements against the current of traffic for a period of 15 days, with the following results :

Total Per Day Passenger

803 53.5 Freight

627 41.8


.1430 95.3 These movements against the current took place on 989 miles of double track.

The chief operating officer of the C. B. & Q., in making reply to the questionnaire, states his views concisely as follows:

“I do not think it is necessary to add anything further, except to say that the experience of this Company over a long period of years leads us to the view that the practice facilitates the movement of traffic materially and at the same time is safe if surrounded by proper precautions.”

Chicago & Eastern Illinois This road operates 167 miles of double track and 17 miles of triple track on which 37 passenger and 107 freight trains are operated normally each day, increasing at times to 39 passenger and 135 freight trains per day. The normal movement against the current of traffic is 4 passenger and 13 freight trains, but a maximum of 14 passenger and 31 freight trains have been moved in this manner.

All movements against the current of traffic are controlled by train order, automatic block signals providing protection in one direction only, which is with the current.

Trains are operated in this way at any time of day when necessary to facilitate a movement. All classes of trains are diverted to the opposing track, returning to the normal track when convenient, and these "Movements are as fully protected and as safe as in the operation of a single track which is not protected by automatic block signals.” About 75 per cent of the facing point switches are interlocked.

Chicago Great Western This company is using 50 miles of double track when it becomes necessary to facilitate the movement of fast freight trains using opposite track to pass a slow or drag freight train. The average daily movement of trains is 20 and the maximum 26, of which 2 are passenger trains. No distinction is made in the class of trains that are diverted. All facingpoint switches in this territory are interlocked except two, and the automatic protection is in one direction only.

"We have never experienced any trouble due to operating trains against the current of traffic in a limited way. As previously stated, we have only gone into the operation of trains in this manner in a very limited way and when we do find it necessary, every precaution is taken in the way of notifying track men. signal men, and agents where it is possible."

"It is our opinion that unless the practice is a general one, so every one connected with the operation is familiar with it, there is a certain amount of hazard in connection with the operation."

Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific The Rock Island makes use of 25 miles of its 309 miles of double track for movements opposing the current of traffic, and at times some five miles of third track. Also automatic signals are installed on these tracks for the protection of trains in the normal direction of traffic, and movements are controlled by train order and manual block when traffic is reversed. The movements are made at any time whenever "it is necessary to facilitate the movement of high class trains through districts in which switch engines are not employed.”

"The principal use of the opposing track is on the Illinois division, which is double track for 183 miles, on which there is a short mileage of third track. Opposing track double-track movement is used principally in the morning for inbound trains (i. e. toward Chicago) for a distance of approximately 25 miles on account of heavy inbound passenger and fast freight movements, and in the reverse direction during the evening rush hours."

Passenger trains only are diverted to the opposing track unless important freight trains will be unreasonably delayed, in which case they are also diverted. Diversion approximates 25 miles, but trains are usually returned at the first convenient point.

Facing point crossovers are not interlocked, but consideration is being given to making this installation. The reply states further, with regard to the safety or hazard of these movements

“In my opinion, trains can be safely operated against traffic only by confining such use in territory other than that used by switch engines, which are liable to be found using either track. and only under standard train rules on a track not fully protected with automatic signals. This should then not be done until all

train, engine, station, track and B&B employes clearly understand such use is liable to be made of these tracks and they may expect such use at any time and arrange protection accordingly. This I consider very necessary so engine and train men will understand that extra precaution must be used to avoid accidents and delays on account of track and bridges being impassable and necessary highway crossing and station protection being given to such movement. I feel this precaution is necessary whether this reverse movement is made under train order with manual block protection or automatic block signal and interlocked protection."

In answer to the question, "Has operating against the current relieved your company of necessity of building additional main tracks to handle its traffic?" the reply was

"No, as cost of delays which would occur under present conditions, if the opposing track were not used, would not offset the cost of building additional track."

Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis The "Big Four" began to utilize its double track by running trains against the current of traffic whenever the traffic warranted that method. It is operatinfg 539 miles of double track, all of which is operated against the current of traffic when required. The average number of trains per day is as follows:

Normal Trains Maximum Trains Division

Passenger Freight Passenger Freight Cincinnati



34 Chicago



30 Cleveland-Indianapolis



24 Cairo



8 St. Louis


23 The average number of trains operated against the current of traffic daily is as follows:

Normal Trains Maximum Trains Division

Passenger Freight Passenger Freight Cincinnati



13 Chicago


8 Cleveland Indianapolis



12 St. Louis ..



15 Movements against the current of traffic are controlled by train orders and the manual block system. Each track is signaled as a single track at all interlocking stations ; home signals are placed upon bracket masts to give the same signal aspects for trains moving against the current of traffic as is provided for those running in the normal direction. On portions of the road where automatic signals have been installed, it is the practice to provide automatics with the current. Where grade signals are used, they are controlled electrically to the next interlocking station.

Trains are operated against the current a sufficient distance to get them around another train operating in the normal direction or to let a train operating in the normal direction pass. Double track crossovers on the St. Louis and Chicago divisions are all interlocked; those on the Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Cairo divisions are 80 per cent interlocked.

With regard to the general proposition of operating regularly against current of traffic, this road has stated its views as follows:




“It has been the practice of the Big Four to operate trains against the current of traffic ever since its double track has been built. We are, therefore, very strongly of the opinion that the operation of the double track in the reverse direction is as safe as the operation of any single track, if indeed it is not somewhat safer, because of the fact that particular attention is paid by all those interested in such operation.”

On one division this method of operation has relieved this company for the present from the construction of six miles of third track and about six miles of passing track, costing approximately $600,000. It has also saved the construction of about 17 miles of third track and about 9 miles of sidings on the Chicago division.

Erie The reply received from this road was so comprehensive and so much to the point in a study of this subject, that it is quoted in full, as follows:

"The Erie railroad operates trains against the current of traffic on double track 1,268 miles. Automatic block signals, interlocked towers, telephone 'train dispatching and message circuits are installed. At present we are operating daily on an average of 700 freight trains and 700 passenger trains. Of this total number an average of 145 trains per day are operated against the current of traffic, a few of which are passenger trains, the majority freight trains.

“When moving trains against the current of traffic we usually confine the movement between towers. A ‘31 train order' addressed to the operator and all east or westbound trains, as the case may be, is placed at the tower beyond the point where the train operating against the traffic is to cross back to its own track. Practically all reverse movements are provided for at interlocker towers having control of crossovers. The inferior train moving against the current of traffic receives a '19 order' after the '31 train order' has been placed and acknowledged.

"For a substantial number of years, ways and means have been provided which have facilitated the movement of traffic and the utilization of facilities. When installing automatic block signals, train order signals, consisting of a short arm attached to the pole 21 ft. below, the block signal was installed at advantageous points, which signal is ope ed by the tower operator under the direction of the train dispatcher. These train order signals have three indications : “(a) Arm horizontal, red light; indication-stop on main

track and report for instructions. It is forbidden to use a crossover at any point where a telephone train

order signal is located without permission. "(b) Arm inclined 45 deg. above horizontal, yellow light; in

dication-take siding, and when clear of main track report for instructions. Passenger trains report before

pulling in the siding. "(c) Arm inclined 90 deg. above horizontal, green light; in

dication--proceed regardless of following superior trains (except as otherwise provided) until otherwise ordered. It is forbidden to accept the proceed indication if there is any known cause that will prevent making the usual running time. When a train accepts the proceed indication and for any cause is unable to make the usual running time it is required that the train be protected.

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