Guide - Page 3
Listening in on the action!
So you've got a scanner, its all programmed up, and you're itching to use it! Where to go, now?
First, some background one Railroad operations. A lot of this can be found in the Operations section off of the main page.
First, you hear all sorts of talk about Conventional & Trunked systems, CTCSS tones, EDACS, tone squelch, repeaters, offsets, etc. They are all big words, but you'll be pleased to know that railroad radio is VERY simple to listen to. Railroad radio is a typical 'one at a time' radio system, in that both parties communicating use the same frequency one at a time to communicate. One party transmits, says 'over', released the PTT ("Press to Talk") button on their radio, and the next person communicates when the system is clear.
Normal railroad communications take place on 97 AAR (Association of
American Railroads) frequencies located in the VHF band, ranging from 160.110
MHz to 161.565 MHz (15 KHz increments). Railroads across North America use these
frequencies. As well, a train's EOT (End of Train) devices operate on two
specifically designated frequencies: 452.9375MHz and 457.9375 MHz. As stated on
the previous page, activity on
these frequencies consist of short data bursts (sometimes called
"squawks"), as the box at the end of the train communicates with
computers in the locomotive, relaying everything from rear-end brake pressure,
the speed of the rear of the train, etc. These are very handy for the
train watcher, because they give you some advance warning of an oncoming train
(usually 1 kilometer).
"CN Detector. Halton. one-eight. South Track. No Alarms."
CP Detectors are a bit more wordy and speak like a highly corrective Kindergarten teacher
"CP Detector. Mile one-naught-six, Galt Sub - South Track. Total axles four-six-nine. No Alarms. Repeat, Mile one-naught-six Galt Sub South Track. Total axles four-six-nine. No Alarms. Message Complete, Detector Out."
Both voices are male. Out west, where they felt the detectors were taking up
too much radio traffic, CP decided to speed up the detector's voice, and it
sounds more like a chipmunk than a human.
CP ONE-SIX-THREE-THREE! ROLLBACK PROTECTION ENGAGED!
ONE-SIX-THREE-THREE OUT! (or something like that)