Side tracks and sidings : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

As a boy growing up in 1960's Tallahassee, I used to sneak away from my Lipona Road home down to the SAL/SCL yard. While the memories are now vague, I do remember employees often using the term "side tracks". Were they referring to sidings? Or was this possibly a reference to industrial trackage? The term "side tracked" is now part of the American vocabulary and I'm wondering about the origins of this metaphor. Regards, Danny Harmon Tampa

-- Danny Harmon (, November 19, 2001


According to Harry Forman's "Rights of Trains", the term "siding" refers to tracks used in meeting and passing trains. Other tracks - house, team, city, business, storage, etc., are refered to as "side tracks". In a pinch, any of these tracks can be used to meet or pass trains (provided the tracks are long enough or the trains are short enough) but this would be the exception rather than the rule.

Hope this helps.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, November 19, 2001.

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