Teaching Resources For Railroad Engineers And Conductors ©2003-Present George K. - All Rights Reserved

What is wrong with this picture?

The Signals Quizzer, Helpful Resources For Railroad Engineers and Conductors, And A Whole Lot More
Educational Resources For Railroad Professionals - Mainly NJT-Oriented
You got questions? We got answers (most likely):
Page last updated
Please note: I am in the process of verifying that all info on this site agrees with the new edition of NORAC.

About This Site
 What's new...  Engineers, Click Here  Conductors, Click Here  This site, contacts (corrections, submissions, etc.)  Disclaimer. Please read...   Copyright notice.
 Legend: = For student and new engineers. | = For "older" engineers. | = Especially good for conductors.
Note:We need to keep all this material up to date. If you print or save any material, make sure you have the latest version fresh off this site. It is also very important to maintain the contact information for each resource you print or save, so that any corrections or additions that arise at a later time can be forwarded to the author. Also, please read the copyright notice, above.


Page navigation: Top | Signals | NORAC | Qualifying | Running | Letters | External | Etc.
The SIGNALS QUIZZERThis is the signal quizzer you heard about. Learn and practice your NORAC signals. Please note that I have included only signals found on the territories over which NJ Transit operates. The quizzer does not do signs yet (coming soon). Use the full NORAC quizzer, below, with the signs-only option clicked, to practice your signs.
(Requires Internet Explorer or Opera web browsers. Why?...)    (Why all the buzz?...)
What do signals really mean Updated! A short introduction demystifying the use of signals. Read this first.
Signal Meanings Quick GuideAfter you read the longer introduction to the meaning of signals, above, you can refer to this, shorter version to refresh your memory.
Signal ProgressionsUpdated Again! After studying indications, read this guide to understand how signals work together. And be prepared for a pop quiz! A must read for student engineers!
Memorize signal indicationsUpdated! Having trouble memorizing indications? This item highlights similarities and differences between them and makes them easier to memorize. Use it after you have studied indications on your own. (Update: Highlighted a difference between NORAC and NJ Transit's special instructions.)
A signal chart for non-engineersUpdated! An improved signals chart. Carry this in your bag!
Full NORAC Signals QuizzerUPDATED! Built based on signal pictures submitted by a fan of this site, this program quizzes you on all NORAC signals and signs, including on signals that are not found on our territory (see disclaimer above). I included it here for you to practice your signs (by selecting the "signs only" option), until the regular quizzer, above, includes signs! For version 0.3beta, I fixed a bug which did not allow the program to accept Stop & Proceeds (thanks go to Amtrak student engineer T.J. Kirchner for catching the bug). (Credits: Programming is mine, but the very neat signal pictures were created and copyrighted (© 2008) by Thomas Agnew.)


Page navigation: Top | Signals | NORAC | Qualifying | Running | Letters | External | Etc.
Cab Signal Operation And FailureAn infomap™ that offers a concise and interactive look at the rules that govern CSS territory operations, including when cab signals are missing or failed. (The infomap was optimized for the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. If your browser does not support the map, click here to see a non-functioning snapshot.) Also, check out my Cab Signal Failure Checklist. (Updated)
Enroute Warning Device FailuresA little infotable™ that nicely highlights actions required when warning devices fail enroute.
Rules In EffectWhat rules apply for various types of track status. A concise table of what rules are in effect on certain tracks, when out of service, on foul time, etc.

Qualifying And Staying Qualified

Page navigation: Top | Signals | NORAC | Qualifying | Running | Letters | External | Etc.
Guide To QualifyingFirst read Steve Kay's guide to qualifying for student engineers, which should also apply to conductors. It is the top half of the file that the link to the left will open.
Amtrak's Qualifying GuideThen read Amtrak's qualifying guide, also in Steve Kay's excellent website. This guide describes what is required by Amtrak, but it also gives you an overview of what to pay attention to when qualifying.
Major Hoboken Terminal SignalsI created this while qualifying Hoboken Terminal. It lists the signals you encounter at the approach to and from the station (not the yard tracks). I would appreciate corrections if any.
Long Branch Yard Qualifying Guide Updated! Qualifying the Long Branch Yard.
 More coming soon

Running And Learning To Run

Page navigation: Top | Signals | NORAC | Qualifying | Running | Letters | External | Etc.
Guide To TrainhandlingIf you are just starting trainhandling, read Steve Kay's guide to trainhandling for student engineers, which is the bottom half of the file that the link to the left will open.
Engineer's Checklists:Airline pilots have checklists for everything -- why not locomotive engineers? So far, we have the following:
Infotable™ of MUing equipment.How do you set up equipment in lead/trail/MUed?
Notes On The 2.3 Locomotive TestThese were my notes on how to execute a TRO-4 2.3 test. You may find them useful. However, make sure that you follow LETP instructions to the letter.
Locomotive air brake demoDownload Jim Faulkner's neat, animated demonstration of the workings of a locomotive airbrake system. Jim is an engineer on the Hoboken side.

Letters From The Front

Page navigation: Top | Signals | NORAC | Qualifying | Running | Letters | External | Etc.
This feature includes pointers, tricks and techniques, learned (sometimes the hard way) on the (battle)field. This will eventually be a page of its own. Feel free to contribute here and I will be sure to give you credit.
 Mind Your Speeds And Qs. A nice trick to keep us from messing up.
 ALP-46s: Releasing The Brakes In Idle.
 PSNY "Starter Signal" Job Briefing. People still seem confused by that rule. This should help.
 Remember the LMO. How to memorize reams of information.

External Resources

Page navigation: Top | Signals | NORAC | Qualifying | Running | Letters | External | Etc.
The Ten Commandments For Student EngineersSteve Kay's (the venerable "web guy") fantastic writeup that is a must-read for any student engineer (and promoted engineers also). These ten (give or take) commandments contain words of wisdom to live by, friends! Do not read anything else, before you read this. Memorize the commandments and recite them when you wake up and before you go to bed! Carve them on stone tablets and hang them on your wall! And, most of all, obey them! Then, and only then, you will have a long and fruitful life an as engineer.
Guide To Qualifying And TrainhandlingSteve Kay's guide to qualifying and trainhandling for student engineers. More words of wisdom from the "web guy." Read before attempting to qualify, and then read again when you start trainhandling.
Links to other sites:
BLET Division 272 (Hoboken Division Engineers) Site: Steve Kay's "unofficial division 272" site includes some great training material! Outstanding physical characteristics qualifying study guides for the Hoboken Division. Don't miss Amtrak's Qualifying Guide, a how-to guide which should be useful to any engineer or conductor. A whole host of other useful information that affects our work.
BLET Division 171 (Hoboken Division Engineers) Site: The site has good union and job information, as well as some great photos. I found their post of a typical cab car download particularly interesting. Bear in mind that this is only a report of the locomotive data, and that in all likelihood, the download review program provides access to the raw data, where exact mileage positions can be determined.
BLET General Committee of Adjustment NJT Site: Great links for entities and issues that affect our jobs.
UTU Local 60 Site: Structured in the form of a forum, the site features useful information for our conductors and assistant conductors.
News That Affect Our Jobs:
NEWS: NJT looking to order new MUs.. Requests for proposals going out for electric MUs to replace the existing ones. (From Railway Age news. Link appears broken at the moment. Try this one, instead.)
NEWS: Atlantic City Express Service starts Feb. 6. ACES (Atlantic City Express Service), the long awaited service, is about to become reality.
NEWS: NJT RSS News Feed. Websites can now include live travel alerts feed from NJT. (If the article does not come up, click here.) You can subscribe to this RSS feed here.
NEWS: THE update. Project is delayed by a year. (If the article does not come up, click here.)
NEWS: Bridge in North Bergen.. Bridge to separate freight and passenger rail in North Bergen. (If the article does not come up, click here.)
NEWS: THE tunnel update . NJ Transit OKs $124 million more for Hudson River rail tunnel design. (If the article does not come up, click here.)
NEWS: ALP44 "O" and "E" overhaul.. Engineering firm hired to oversee the midlife overhaul operation.
NEWS: Fifty more multilevels added to the order from Bombardier. This brings the total order to 329, with 170 already delivered.
NEWS: Monmouth County supports the MOM line, says rail route no danger to historic battlefield. The county contradicts State environmental impact findings. The Middlesex, Ocean, Monmouth link (MOM) has been under study for years.
NEWS: NJT orders 26 dual-powered ALP-45DP (catenary + diesel) locomotives from Bombardier. They will address needs anticipating the THE expansion, providing one-seat access to NYC. The order falls under the $1.29 billion Fiscal Year 2009 capital program and is subject to funds availability. The purchase is part of NJT’s ongoing rolling stock modernization program, which "includes 326 Bombardier MultiLevel commuter railcars, 27 Bombardier ALP-46 electric locomotives, 110 electric multiple-units, and 1,365 new buses." Update: The dual-powered locomotives are to be designated ALP-45DP, based in part on ALP-46 and delivered starting in 2011. Click here for an update.
NEWS: Gov. Jon Corzine signs a budget bill that includes $2.94 million for the Lackawanna Cutoff. The first part of the project involves the reconstruction of a 7.3-mile track between Andover Township and Port Morris. The overall proposal includes train stations in Scranton, Tobyhanna, Mount Pocono, Analomink, East Stroudsburg and Delaware Water Gap.
NEWS: NJT proposes new rail links in Southern NJ.
NEWS: Advocacy groups question Hudson River tunnels plan, but planners urge implementation.
NEWS: 27 new ALP46s are coming from Germany, starting late 2009! Known as class ALP46A, they will be built for the multi-level coaches and feature improved acceleration and increased operating efficiency. The ALP-44s are also slated for overhaul.
NEW! NJT News Search: Search the industrial press for news that might affect your life.
NJT News Search: Search Google for news that might affect your life.

And Then There Is...

Page navigation: Top | Signals | NORAC | Qualifying | Running | Letters | External | Etc.
This section includes some diversions and light-hearted items. After I changed careers completely and was hired on the railroad, I discovered the whacky world of railroading. You really have to have a sense of humor to work on the railroad. So, I decided to surf the web and see what else is going on out there. Here is what I found. (As always, feel free to contribute.)
A trainman's bad dream.
And you thought MMC was hard to qualify. (Partial view of the approach to the Frankfurt station, in Germany)
Older Items...
Are you Engineer material? Take this test and find out! The average engineer can survive it for 2.6 hours.  (Just kidding.) (Huh?)
I am told that you can't actually "drive" a train since you cannot steer it, and that's why we should not be called "drivers." Not so in Europe, though. Click here to see why in Europe locomotive engineers are actually called "drivers." Here is another proof. And yet another. You still don't believe me? Well, here is an engineer caught in the act of actually steering the train!!! I guess, they can steer them in Europe. (Huh?)
Engineer, beware the Dispatcher's wrath! What can actually happen if you ask for rule 92.
Would you release the handbrake? (Hint) (Cab photo of a US loco in Greece.)
NORAC Rule 80 in full effect!
"I need center doors, crew! Check center doors!"
Now that's a cab! Engineers have Internet access and can play Halo II -- while not moving, of course. (Not really.)
No joke here. Just in case you ever wondered what a simulator looks like. I said, just in case...
The latest in cab simplification technology: Mind Controlled Locomotive® (MCL) (Well, actually...)
You are about to pass a train carrying spent nuclear fuel rods. (Really!) Do you blow the horn very softly?
The newest cab climate control technology to be installed in ALP46s for use when theirs has a mind of its own.
Proposed Signals That Did Not Make It To The 9th Edition Of NORAC. The inside story.

Site hand coded and maintained by George K.
Powered by Affiance Web Solutions®, LLC.
©2003-Present George K. (deltareum-at-yahoo-dot-com) - All Rights Reserved

Material on this site is provided free of charge without guarantees as to its accuracy. Only railroad-provided material should be considered authoritatve.