The Pennsylvania Railroad's Form C. T. 1000

What was it?
What's it good for?

The Pennsylvania Railroad published for the use of its employes a book which, among other things, specified standard identifiers for every location on the railroad. That is a very detailed picture of "the railroad". Every place where a car might be left, either for loading/unloading, or because it had to be set out due to some defect, was listed.

The following is a small excerpt from the Pittsburgh Division, as of 1923. I have simplified it somewhat. A full reproduction would require a number of "dingbats" which aren't available to most web browsers. Note that the table covers only 3.2 miles of track, look at the detail, imagine a similar table covering 100 miles.

LocationIDUserMiles from
399MSaxman Tail Track - Storage72.8
399HSaxman Water Station
399CSaxman Coll. #1 (Latrobe-Connellsville C&C Co.)
399EMcFeeley Brick Co. #172.9
399FMcFeeley Brick Co. #273.0
399GVanadium Alloys Steel Co.
399DKiser Coll. (Harry C. Kiser)
  Farmers Coll. (Farmers Coal Co.)
399BSteele Coll. (John G. Steele)
Latrobe, Pa400junc. Ligonier Valley RR
Latrobe Eastern Brick Co.73.4
401junc. Unity Branch74.3
401AWest End Colls. #2, 3 & 4 (City Coal Co.)74.7
Beatty, Pa403Station76.0

It had several different titles and different form numbers over the years, and contained various other tables of information which employees might find useful. The titles all contained the phrase "List of Stations and Sidings" often combined with "Instructions for completing reports to the superintendent of car service" or "Instructions for reporting to the car record office" or similar wording.

While the main purpose of the book was to specify the forms to be used in reporting the location of cars and the manner of completing the forms, other information was included. Perhaps the Long Island Railroad hit the mark best when they titled their equivalent book "List of Stations and Sidings with Instructions for Reporting to the Car Service Department and Other Useful Information".

"Location of Track Scales", "Location of Wagon Scales", "Location of Cranes", "Abbreviations to be Used in Reporting Car Ownership" are some of the titles one may find in various editions. The "extras" changed from year to year. For example, the 1900, 1915, and 1923 editions have tables of track scales. However, the 1918 and 1945 editions do not.

The area covered by each book also changes over time. The 1900 book, for example, lists only the lines east of Pittsburgh, and not all of them. The 1923 book is the first one which lists anything west of Pittsburgh. In addition, in some years there were smaller books printed which covered only some sub-division of "the railroad".

The 1945 book exists as CT1000, CT1000E, C, and W, for "everything", Eastern, Central, and Western Regions.

The 1923 book came out as CT1000, CT1000E, C, and ?, for Eastern, Central, and what? At the time, there were Northwestern, and Southwestern regions. Some believe that there were CT1000N and S books, others suspect there was just a CT1000W (for Western). Nobody I know has ever seen a 1923 CT1000N, S, or W.

The 1918 book is known to exist as CT1000D for Northern Division, and CT1000A for Central and Western Pennsylvania Divisions. These divisions are "grand divisions", consisting of several operating divisions. Presumably there are others, but nobody I know has seen them, nor has there been a report of a CT1000 (the "everything" edition) for 1918.

Some time ago, I solicited information from subscribers to the (now defunct) prr-talk e-mail list at Keystone Crossings as to just what editions of the book were known to exist. The rules of the game were that one had to have seen the actual book, or a photocopy of the title page. The information to be reported was the year in which the book was published and any note regarding what edition the book superseded. The replies are tabulated below.

20th Century     19th Century
YearForm No.YearForm No.
1945C. T. 10001899No data
1923No data
19181895C. R. 76
1915No data
1911No data
No data1888
1905No data
No data188276 - C. R.
1903No data
19011878No data
1900No data

A note regarding the period 1917 through 1922: If the pattern established in 1911 (or earlier) had continued, there would have been C. T. 1000's in 1917, 1919, 1921, and 1923. However, on Jan. 1, 1918, all railroads were taken over by the United States Railroad Administration, an agency of the federal government, and I suppose that rumors of some such action had been circulating for some time before. Having seized the railroads in the interest of the war effort, it was well after the war ended, 1920, before the USRA let go of that control. I suspect that that dislocation was why there was only one CT1000 in the period 1917 - 1922.

Please do not make the error of supposing that I have all the books listed above. I don't, and I don't know of any person or institution which does. Most of the information I have has come from photocopies of the books, or from others who have seen photocopies.

I'd like to thank Mark Bej, Jeff Feldmeier (a New York Central guy), Bob Johnson, Pat McKinney, Paul Schopp, Dave Wartell, and "Charlie the eBay bidder" for information received. If you know of any of these books other than those noted above, please tell me.

Prepared by Robert T. Netzlof, 15 August 2001
HTML heavily revised 31 July 2013
Comments, questions, corrections should be sent to me.