Railroad Mile Marker Questions.....

mtntrainman May 8, 2022

  1. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    I've been working on the railroad. All the live long day....:coffee:

    Running trains all day is awesome. I occasionally find something that still needs to be done. So this week its Railroad Mile Markers. I have been researching online and understand most of it. But that still leaves a few questions. I am hoping our 1:1 train engineers or those in the know can shed some light on.

    I run double mains. Main 1 runs North. Main 2 runs South. With that in mind...Are mile markers put on the side of each main or just on one main. See pic.


    If on both mains...do the mile markers have the same number on their faces or would they be different? What I mean by different is...in the picture the northbound train is passing mile marker '2' leaving Lucky Penny Yard. Does the train coming south have the #2 on his side ? My brain wants to tell me that the northbound train may show mile 2..as the mile markers would increase as he leaves Lucky Penny Yard which is 'Ground Zero' as far as the starting point of mile measuring. But the southbound train would show a mile marker higher in number as it has been traveling south...many miles...inbound to Lucky Penny Yard which is 'Ground Zero' as far as the starting..ending point of mile measuring on THERR. Same with a single marker. Do both sides of the mile marker have the same # or......

    Yes...I am old and easily confused :confused::confused::confused::confused:

    Last edited: May 8, 2022
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  2. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter


    I asked the brains of the outfit... THERR WIFE what she thought. She says the southbound train would have the same #'s because if it started out 69 miles away...the numbers for it would get smaller as it heads towards Lucky Penny Yard and the train on the other track would be seeing #'s increasing as it was heading away and they would both be at the same point.

    I guess that makes sense eh ?:LOL:
  3. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    sooooooooooooooo...that leaves the question of 1 mile marker or 2 on a double mainline ???
    Inquiring minds want to know...TIA
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  4. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

    Now that is a good question! Having never spent much time around double track main, I have no idea! And it may depend on the railroad company. Dang, George, another rabbit trail....:confused:
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  5. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

    I think there maybe be a few correct answers as to locations of mile posts, some call them mile poles. The multiple main (different than double track) we run over, the miles posts are on the outsides of the Main Tracks (MT) and show the same mile numbers on each side of the mile post so they can clearly be seen both directions. The MT's here are east/west, with the northern most track, MT1 and it is considered the west MT, I always remember that as "how the west was one", of course as always in RRing, there are exceptions like entering DV from the west MT1 is in the middle MT2 south side MT3 north side. MT3 was the latest added and is very short. For many years the MT's south out of DV had two different mile numbers, one was ATSF the other was DRGW. The miles were changed to the same, some years ago, sure cut down on the confusion and possible mistakes for those folks.
    East of GJ at a place called Webster cut three miles just disappear, reason is Webster cut eliminated 3 miles of RR, and a some sharp curves.
    It would be interesting to hear from other locations.
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  6. Hoghead2

    Hoghead2 TrainBoard Member

    Well, I have an American Railroad Mile Marker on my wall... It says 325 on both sides, so what ever railroad used it, it was 325 miles at that point for either direction , from some same point. I also note mile markers seemed to be displayed prominently on high points visible from either direction on some roads.
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  7. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    I'm thinking the numbers are the same with one direction ascending while the other direction descending just like the interstate mileage markers which ascend West to East and South to North and descend in the opposite direction. Usually but not always, RR mileage markers mark distances from division points.
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  8. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Mileposts establish a point on the railroad; the number of tracks and train direction does not matter. As an example, here's a snippet of NS's main north of Charlotte, NC.
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  9. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    I've long been a fan of old skool MP's like these that show miles to the nearest terminal or connection in either direction. The top photo is from the EJ&E with miles to Joliet and Waukegan. The bottom photo is on the Lehigh & Hudson River with miles to Maybrook and Belvidere. An EJ&E timetable is also shown so as to establish the MP location shown in the photo to be between Barrington and Sutton.

    EJ&E Milepost.jpg

    1981-05 001 Sussex NJ [Approx] L&HR MP.jpg

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  10. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

  11. Hoghead2

    Hoghead2 TrainBoard Member

    Whilst we are on this subject, does anyone know which RR this might have come from? s-l500 (9).jpg
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    On the Milwaukee Road, their mileposts began in Chicago and grew until reaching Tacoma Junction (Fife),Washington at 2192.
  13. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Wowsers...that mile marker looks a lot like the ones I am making ! (y)(y)
  14. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

    Both sides. If you only have them on one side, and there's a train there, the train on the other track won't be able to see it. Knowing where you are is very important.
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  15. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    I have to agree. Plus...my trains run right side running. On occasion they do switch sides and run left side. They would need to see the mile markers running that side too. ;)

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  16. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    Was that the early GPS?
  17. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

    My experience is with B&O Mileposts. They are triangular in shape and have end point numbers like as shown above, but only 1 number is used for reference purposes. There are metal sign mileposts next to the track on the same side as the concrete ones.

    Example, the Toledo Division between Toledo and Cincinnati; the mile points used for reference on orders and locations are based on distance from Cincinnati. They are on the east side of the track. The concrete markers Between Willard OH and Chicago, they are based on mile points from Willard. They are on the south side of the tracks.

    All of the concrete mileposts are on the property line on that side. The metal ones are approximately 15' from the nearest rail.

    And to befuddle you even further...they numbered the telephone poles as well. Say there are 50 poles per mile; the poles between, say, MP 190 and 191 would be numbered 190-00 through 190-50. Only the "10s" posts had numbers on them, generally white paint on a black asphalt strip nailed to the pole. A slow order was then issued as, example, 25 MPH between MP (for Mile Pole) 190-4 and 190-15.
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
  18. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks all for your input. I gather that no matter how I decide to do them...it can't be wrong....(y):whistle:
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  19. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    I'll throw in a couple of data points...

    The Erie Railroad measured miles from Jersey City, New Jersey, including total distance from there when on branch lines. So "JC xxx" for example. I often had to explain when I displayed a photo of myself leaning against an example milepost that the "JC" did stand for Jersey City, a place, not a person!

    The New York Central measured distance from multiple points, like "NY" for New York City, "P" for Pulaski, New York, "S" for Syracuse, and so on.
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  20. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Oh, and don't forget, 'I'ts your realroad.' You can establish whatever convention you like. You could name the mile posts after people. Wouldn't be easy to read at 40mph but who cares?
    > "This is west bound 404, we are at MP Wife waiting for the green"
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