Mileposts and distances

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Nov 22 22:06:44 EST 2016

On 11/22/2016 7:18 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:

> Jimmy Lisle and others in the operating or formerly so, department, 
> care to toss in your thoughts and judgments here?

Yes Bob, I would!

     Your statement...
/*"*//*To change well-known meeting points with new MP's would have 
really messed up the old heads on the RR who were used to meeting at a 
specific spot, or knew their grades were in a specific spot for either 
accelerating or braking."

*/...may only be true only if you happen to believe the old story about 
the engineer using a cow for a mark when returning to couple to his 
train and the cow had moved, thus causing him to run into his own train. 
*/Changes such as realignments develop slowly over the time of 
construction. So, it is not like the earth suddenly changed overnight. 
The men could see what was going on and would be prepared for slight 
changes in alignment and just because a milepost is moved a few feet 
wouldn't really matter. Not all trains handle the same, so, braking and 
accelerating points change with each train. An engineer would use the 
general area's landmarks to help decide when to brake or accelerate and 
those points might change by only a few car lengths depending on how 
that particular train handled.
     You are correct about the distance between mileposts not being 
exactly a 5280' in length. I have gone over the track chart for the 
Roanoke District and found that most miles were either a few feet over 
or under, but, nothing way off. Does this matter? In the grand scheme of 
things, not really. However, if you happen to have not been able to 
check your speedometer through the test mile, it makes it hard to check 
with accuracy on a short or long mile.

Jimmy Lisle

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