Old 01-28-2006, 02:30 AM   #1
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Default Overuse of...

I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed, but a growing pet peeve of mine here is the overuse of the 'Z' symbol in the remarks field of a photo. Of course, I could be wrong, and foreign stacks really are ultra-hot, but it's my understanding that mostly domestic stacks/trailers get this designation.

But hey, it's not like it detracts from the photo.
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Old 01-28-2006, 02:37 AM   #2
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It depends. If it is a Z train, then it is OK. If it is not a Z train, and people are calling it one, that's wrong. I assume that you are talking about this, some sort of generic idea that if it an intermodal, it's a Z train? I'd ask for examples, but we probably shouldn't point out examples on the public forum.

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Old 01-28-2006, 02:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4kV
If it is not a Z train, and people are calling it one, that's wrong. I assume that you are talking about this, some sort of generic idea that if it an intermodal, it's a Z train?

Pat
Yep, that's it.
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Old 01-28-2006, 02:41 AM   #4
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Stack trains have the letter "S" and hot intermodal trains have the letter "Z". Stack trains usually have the 40 ft. containers like Evergreen, K-line, Uniglory, Tex etc. Z trains have mostly 53 ft. containers and trailers, like JB hunt, Hub Group, NACS and so on. Z trains never have all stacks but often have all trailers, but mostly it's mixed up. The biggest difference between S trains and Z trains is that the S trains are usually more colorful trains(on account of the 40 ft. containers) and Z trains are usually all white and grey(UPS).
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Old 01-28-2006, 02:44 AM   #5
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Of course, we also should clarify which railroad. UP and BNSF both use Zs in their IDs.
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:06 AM   #6
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Well the photos I noticed tonight were all BNSF, which is funny because the symbols seem so easy to get, whereas figuring out UP symbols is like trying to get the order of Visconti rule in Milan right. To me anyway.
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:08 AM   #7
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How are the BNSF symbols easy to get? I'd like to know, because I have had no luck.
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:16 AM   #8
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To maybe phrase it better, I find it easy to at least make an educated guess as to what the designation is. As far as location symbols go, I'm completely lost.
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:20 AM   #9
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I guess I'm a purist when it comes to that. If I don't know, I don't assume. Just when I think I'm looking at a U SEMBIR, it turns out to be an oddball like a U EOLBIR, same cars, different ID. That happens all the time to me with BNSF trains.
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:24 AM   #10
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I wish I could just get the train symbols. The only thing I ever hear close to a symbol is the ID, the lead engine's number and which direction it is heading. -ex- BNSF 0000 west
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:27 AM   #11
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Symbol = ID. Those are just two ways of saying the same thing.
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slopes09
I wish I could just get the train symbols. The only thing I ever hear close to a symbol is the ID, the lead engine's number and which direction it is heading. -ex- BNSF 0000 west
That's what I get most of the time. There is this one C&I dispatcher that's on duty from 0530 to 1430 almost every day that calls the trains by their engine number and train ID. I can usually identify any BNSF intermodal or manifest train that are in and out of Chicago on the Aurora sub.
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:48 AM   #13
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I've always meant to ask this... How do UP and BNSF call their symbols over the radio? Like for an H-DENBIL, or M-MEMKCK, or whatever, do they say each letter? Or pronounce it like an acronym? Say the cities? Inquiring minds (and one pea brain) want to know...
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:54 AM   #14
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They just read it by the letters, but sometimes the crews might get creative. UP used to run MENPZ, to which they would refer as the menopause. BNSF runs an H DYTGAL that I sometimes hear called the Dirty Gal, or the H MADGAL as the Mad Gal. I'm sure there are others. But normally, yes, it is just the letters in the ID.

There are also some old timers on the BNSF here who refer to C BKMSLC as the JJ069, which is its old BN train ID. I guess old habits don't die.
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:57 AM   #15
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Gotcha, thanks. Makes me thankful for good ole CSX Q127s, J708s, etc.
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Old 01-28-2006, 12:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slopes09
I wish I could just get the train symbols. The only thing I ever hear close to a symbol is the ID, the lead engine's number and which direction it is heading. -ex- BNSF 0000 west
Here in the Twin Cities, trains passing through the west and east humps use their symbol/ID names. Once they hit the road, its lead locomotive numbers. Occasionally, when an outbound from Northtown leaves, you can hear the extra stuff (i.e. H-NTWMEM0819A). With the locals though, they don't use the L873. I don't think L-NTWSTC is completely proper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BNSF_SD40-2B
Stack trains have the letter "S" and hot intermodal trains have the letter "Z". Stack trains usually have the 40 ft. containers like Evergreen, K-line, Uniglory, Tex etc. Z trains have mostly 53 ft. containers and trailers, like JB hunt, Hub Group, NACS and so on. Z trains never have all stacks but often have all trailers, but mostly it's mixed up. The biggest difference between S trains and Z trains is that the S trains are usually more colorful trains(on account of the 40 ft. containers) and Z trains are usually all white and grey(UPS).
There are also "P" and "Q" trains. The Portland-Chicago is almost pure orange Hyundai stackers, it is a 'P' train.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAHDPOP
I've always meant to ask this... How do UP and BNSF call their symbols over the radio? Like for an H-DENBIL, or M-MEMKCK, or whatever, do they say each letter? Or pronounce it like an acronym? Say the cities? Inquiring minds (and one pea brain) want to know...
It seems to be determined by crew/dispatch preference. West hump DS's usually just say Chicago (skipping the CHC, CHI) and South Seattle. Unless the acronym is pronounceable like Denbil or the 13th month of Usember. The only time they get close to creative is the 'Gail Soup.'
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