PRR Document Index: General Information

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The following contributed material to this compilation of PRR document numbers. Dan Cupper provided all of the data for the public timetables.
Richard Ader
Chris Baer
Wayne S. Betty
Fred Brandes
Jerry Britton
Mark D. Bej
R. Dan Cupper
Harry Fitch
D. Gabe Gabriel
Robert L. Johnson
Richard F. Makse
Ken McCorry
Randy L. Mower
Robert Netzlof
Rich Orr
Dave W. Pierson
Stephen L. Phillips
Jeff Schaeffer
Paul W. Schopp
Michael Stimac
William Strassner
David J. Wartell

The following suffixes indicate web sites on which these forms are displayed or from which information was obtained.

The Broad Way (this site)
Keystone Crossings

How to Read the Tables

The document designations are ordered by document number, within the categories used by the PRR. These categories corresponded to the various department names.

Subpages of the main index page contain individual categories (prefixes), where a large number of documents with that prefix exist. Smaller groups are listed in the "Other" page. As these lists grow, they will be moved off to separate subpages.

Tables in the subpages are of the following format:
Prefix Number Name Date(s) Form Coll. of
Description of use; Notes

Prefix, Number
See extensive notes below.

The document name is meant to be as true to the original as possible. "Gratuitous" text sometimes appeared on the cover or in the title, e.g., "PRR", "Pennsylvania Railroad", or the name of a PRR Department. It is sometimes difficult to tell if this text was meant to be part of the document name or not. I have generally elected not to include this.

Indicates the date of the available form, if available and important. Dates of standard plans are not listed, e.g., as these changed too frequently. Dates in parentheses indicate dates inferred from newer or other forms, e.g., if a given document stated "supersedes Form ___ of [date]".

folded single sheet
gummed pad
hardcover book
softcover book
looseleaf (binder pages)
staple-bound book
screw-bound pages
stapled pages

Document Number Prefixes

The document number prefixes represent the issuing department. Thanks to Chris Baer of the Hagley Museum for confirming this. Here a list of known abbreviations:

A.D. Accounting Department
C.E. Chief Engineer
C.S.E.Chief Signal Engineer (probably)
C.R. ???
C.T. Conducting Transportation
G. General Office Dept.
(later renamed Executive Dept.; consisted of President, Vice Presidents, Secretary, and their assistants)
I.D. ? Insurance Department
L.G.P.possibly Letter of General Practice [ref. in I.D. 200-A, Fire Rules, coll. of JRL]
M.P. Motive Power
M.W. Maintenance of Way
P.D. ???
R.D. Relief Department
R.E.D.Real Estate Department
S. Safety
S.K. Storekeeper / Stores Dept.
Additional departments with no forms or prefixes yet known or found:
Financial Dept.
Operating Dept.
Personnel Dept.
Traffic Dept.
Legal Dept.
Special Services Dept.
Voluntary Relief Dept.

Additional comments about prefixes:

Lack of prefix

Significance and category uncertain. Categorized with C.T. for now, as most seem to be related to this department.


Significance uncertain. Was this an older designation? Categorized with C.T. for now where this appears to make sense.


Used for Safety Rules. Uncertain if this was a separate department. Also used for standard plans, e.g., "S-100-C". Doubtful that there was a separate department governing standard plans. As safety rules are a late addition to the documents, probably no conflict of prefixes was seen to exist.

General Notice

Unknown if General Notices were considered "standard forms" in the way that accounting forms, train order forms, rulebooks, etc. were, or if these better fit with Bulletin Orders, General Orders, Division Notices, and other such documents.

Punctuation, etc.

The use of periods varied ("C.T." vs. "CT") as did the use of hyphens ("CT-400" vs. "CT 400"). These varied from document to document and era to era.

Document versions

Versions of the same basic document usually received suffixed letters. Some had hyphens between the number and letter, others not. Some letters were uppercase, some lowercase. Some suffixes were more complicated (e.g. "99-C-1"). Other documents used "R-1", etc., the "R" no doubt meaning "revision".

Signing-off Process, Etc.

Gabe Gabriel provided me some interesting comments which I include below. These are specific to the C&S department, but no doubt other departments had similar procedures.
Most C&S documents were signed off by not only the C.E. [Chief Engineer], but also by the signal representative. This person had various titles depending on era, including Chief Engineer Signals, Assistant Chief Engineer Communications & Signals, Assistant Chief Engineer - Signals, etc.

The C.S.E. referenced as a document prefix is most likely for Chief Signal Engineer. This title was the most common for someone in PRR (in varying years) to have had the authority to issue documents. More often, these were issued by the C.E., with initial approval by the appropriate discipline Assistant Engineer.

I can only speak for signaling standards of course, but I can state that all signal standards were developed by signal engineers (often in conjunction with US&S by the way, with whom the "old PRR" had very close ties) with the approval of the highest signal engr (Chief Signal Engineer, when that title was present) and issued by the Chief Engineer (in charge of all engineering departments).

The PRR Standard Plans book was broken into sections, with all S-800 series for Signal Department use. Of the S-600 drawings I have or have seen, these seem to all provide inter-departmental standards.

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