With this, we move just a bit beyond beginner and toward intermediate. It is good useful information for understanding some of the things needed in designing your pike layout. Our models, like the prototype, have limitations on where certain size cars and locos can travel.

How close to the track should a station platform or team track platform be? How high does a bridge need to be to clear the trains underneath it? How close to the track can you have a ground throw switch stand before the cars hit it? All of these questions are matters of clearance. Yes, there are a few differences because we are working with models, but the shape of the clearance template is very close until you get to the most modern diagram for double-stacks.

You can read this in D9p of the Data Sheets members only. How does this affect you? For the simplest layout without grades, tunnels or buildings close to the track, not very much. However, as you begin to think in terms of hills, bridges and tunnels, you need to realize that the width of tunnels and the height of bridges above the track become important and very dependent upon what kind of trains you want to run. Most pre cars and locos will pass under a bridge that is 3 inches above the track in HO.

They will also run through most ready-made tunnel portals quite well whether single or double two tracks side by side portals. However, modern double-stack trains will hit that bridge and 'maybe' make it through a tunnel portal, but probably not. Short freight cars will take 18" radius curves quite well, but long ones may hit buildings and telephone poles set close to the track to the inside of the curve.

The sharper the curves, the further away from the track things need to be. It's called Clearance! How did we get that bridge 3" above the track assuming that it is a railroad bridge? We had to go up a grade to get there. Now, we look at how long it took us to climb and that becomes percentage of grade.

May beginner's train sets provide ramps, stone pillars or 'wooden' bents to cary the tracks up and over other tracks. In may cases, these result in grades that are much steeper than you would find in the real world. A very good grade would be in the neighborhood of 2 percent. That is to say, a 2 inch climb in linear inches.

railroad clearance diagram

Ok, you don't have that much space? You can get away with grades that are in the neighborhood of 2. Realize that the steeper the climb, the less cars your locomotives can pull up the incline. Also realize that most steam locos won't pull as well up grade as do diesels. Running upgrade on a curve adds to the effective grade. What started out as a 2. There are formulas for calculating this, but we are not going into that now.

If we determine that a railroad bridge needs to be 3. Well, the same way the prototype does it. Lower the track under the bridge!A loading gauge defines the maximum height and width for railway vehicles and their loads to ensure that they can pass safely through tunnels and under bridges, and keep clear of trackside buildings and structures.

The term loading gauge can also be applied to the maximum size of road vehicles in relation to tunnelsoverpasses and bridgesas well as doors into automobile repair shopsbus garagesfilling stationsresidential garagesmulti-storey car parks and warehouses. The loading gauge restricts the size of passenger coaches, goods wagons freight cars and shipping containers that can travel on a section of railway track.

It varies across the world and often within a single railway system. Over time there has been a trend towards larger loading gauges and more standardization of gauges; some older lines have had their structure gauges enhanced by raising bridges, increasing the height and width of tunnels and making other necessary alterations.

Containerisation and a trend towards larger shipping containers has led rail companies to increase structure gauges to compete effectively with road haulage. The term "loading gauge" can also refer to a physical structure, sometimes using electronic detectors using light beams on an arm or gantry placed over the exit lines of goods yards or at the entry point to a restricted part of a network. Compliance with a loading gauge can be checked with a clearance car.

In the past, these were simple wooden frames or physical feelers mounted on rolling stock. More recently, laser beams are used. The loading gauge is the maximum size of rolling stock.

This is distinct from the structure gaugewhich is the minimum size of bridges and tunnels, and must be larger to allow for engineering tolerances and car motion.

The difference between the two is called the clearance. The terms "dynamic envelope " or "kinematic envelope" — which include factors such as suspension travel, overhang on curves at both ends and middle and lateral motion on the track — are sometimes used in place of loading gauge. The height of platforms is also a consideration for the loading gauge of passenger trains. Where the two are not directly compatible, stairs may be required, which will increase loading times.

Where long carriages are used at a curved platform, there will be gaps between the platform and the carriage doorcausing risk. Problems increase where trains of several different loading gauges and train floor heights use or even must pass without stopping at the same platform. The size of load that can be carried on a railway of a particular gauge is also influenced by the design of the rolling stock.

Larger out-of-gauge loads can also sometimes be conveyed by taking one or more of the following measures:. Rapid Transit metro railways generally have a very small loading gauge, which reduces the cost of tunnel construction.

These systems only use their own specialised rolling stock. The loading gauge on the main lines of Great Britain, most of which were built beforeis generally smaller than in other countries. In mainland Europe, the slightly larger Berne gauge Gabarit passe-partout international, PPI was agreed to in and came into force in This results in increased costs for purchasing trains as they must be specifically designed for the British network, rather than being purchased "off-the-shelf".

The TGVswhich are 2. These container trains piggy-back trains fit into the B envelope with a flat top so that only minor changes are required for the widespread structures built to loading gauge B on continental Europe. A specific example of the value of these loading gauges is that they permit double decker passenger carriages. Great Britain has in general the most restrictive loading gauge relative to track gauge in the world.

This is a legacy of the British railway network being the world's oldest, and having been built by a plethora of different private companies, each with different standards for the width and height of trains. After nationalisation, a standard static gauge W5 was defined in that would virtually fit everywhere in the network. The W6 gauge is a refinement to W5 and the W6a changed the lower body to accommodate third-rail electrification.

While the upper body is rounded for W6a with a static curve, there is an additional small rectangular notch for W7 to accommodate the transport of 2. While W5 to W9 are based on a rounded roof structure, those for W10 to W12 define a flat line at the top and, instead of a strict static gauge for the wagons, their sizes are derived from dynamic gauge computations for rectangular freight containers.

There is also a gauge for locomotives.Store Home. Buy Downloadable PDF.

Clearance diagrams

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Get answers with our frequently asked questions. The Hiring Process. The Clearance map is for information only and should not be used for final clearance authority. Use this interactive map to explore the Clearance routes.

Double click on the map or use the zoom function in the left corner to see any area of the map in more detail. Visit our printable clearance map page for PDF versions. Use the on-map search feature to locate a particular state, city or postal code.

Loading gauge

Select a Filter Option to view the Clearance types. Subscribe to receive Customer Service Advisories. History and Evolution From horse-drawn rail cars to electric locomotives, CSX celebrates a rich history covering almost years.

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Intermodal Intermodal combines the efficiencies of rail with the flexibility of truck. CSX Real Estate Covering 23 states in the East, Midwest and South; the District of Columbia and 2 Canadian provinces, our skilled professionals bring a proven track record to our clients, our communities and your projects. Supplier FAQs Get answers to your questions about investment recovery; purchase orders, invoicing and payment; and shipping materials.

FAQs Contact Us.Found this image. Might help sort out some of the discussions we've had from time to time here. How are these clearance diagrams based on clearances around curves?

Do the diagrams determine the inside of a curve with wheel base? Or are curves built with clearances based on their degree of curvature and various plate car's wheel base? The diagrams are what they are. The clearances on the ROW have to be maintained to allow the equipment. Effect of most mainline curves is very small. A cushion is maintained to take care of slight shifts over time, rocking, etc.

Click on it and it can be blown up to make the writing understandable - still a lot of plates in one location. Never too old to have a happy childhood!

railroad clearance diagram

I was impressed with how big the California recommended clearance requirement is. Maybe the CPUC has a few people who can think. The idea was if you had shorter cars, there would be less over and underhang on sharp curves, and you could make the train cars wider. I believe he was suggesting 11 feet 6 inches. Wider is better. We have had this discussion before, and the tight seats as to both leg room and width characteristic of motor coach buses and of airliners is an economic decision rather than intrinsic to those modes, but the general sense is that trains are roomier.

If you go four across, the extra inches of elbow room you get on a train are an advantage over the other modes, although I point out that the original Shinkansen had 5 across in coach and that in Japan they have some "wide body" trains where they seat 6 across.

But under US conditions and traditions, a train is probably going to be 4 across in coach, but a wider train could offer more comfort. Maybe you could use this for more elbow room, or maybe you could go to a twin-aisle seating? So with the idea that wider is better, the British have historically had a rather tight loading gauge, and Don Oltmann was commenting that there is a little bit of a more compact feel to their trains.

The Continent has had a slighter wider loading gauge, but has the fact that the Talgos are 9 feet 6 inches across even the Americanized ones -- I checked the dimensions of Talgo 8 on the Talgo Web sitehas this entered into any considerations? I think they get that with that oval rather than squared off cross section?

Is 11 feet or even 11' 6" a possibility with a short enough wheel base as in articulated trains, either Talgo or TGV style? Could you get that with an Electroliner-style "fishbelly" cross section? IIRC, the original Douglas "tubeliners" i. As for seating vs seating, I suspect ADA requirements would favor the seating with wider aisle for wheelchair access. The Pacific Surfliner bi-levels have seating on the lower levels presumably to give wheelchairs enough aisle width and the handicapped toilet is also on the lower level.

I'd guess that 11' should be doable with a fishbelly cross section for routes outside of the NEC. US main line passenger cars are inches wide at high-platform level say 48 inches above top of rail.

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railroad clearance diagram

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