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What's New @ RPCA

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Railroad Passenger Car Numbering Bureau

  Throughout the history of railroads one of the most complicated tasks has been the process of keeping track of which car goes where, what's in it and who owns it! For well over 100 years the railroads employed a group of dedicated clerks whose entire job consisted of watching trains come into the yard and writing down each car number and then having to figure out where the car is going. If there was a repair to be made to a car the process got even more difficult because then the railroad had to find out who to send the bill to.

  In the 1960's the railroads began to computerize and car accounting became a breeze. Although primitive to today's standards the system was cutting edge at the time. Utilizing large computer banks with reel to reel tapes, visual trackside scanners and large bar coded signs mounted on the sides of cars, the railroads finally were able to automate the car accounting process.

  As technology progressed the car accounting system became the finely tuned database now known as Umler. The system is administered by a company called Raillinc and has become so effective that any car owner now can go online and find out right where their cars are in North America.

  Several years ago all the Class I railroads in North America adopted the Umler system. And today if your railroad equipment is going to move it has to be registered under reporting marks in Umler. The process of registering reporting marks and maintaining all your car information can be a daunting job. Recognizing this, the RPCA created the Railroad Passenger Car Numbering Bureau as a service to our members. The RPCNB is an arm of the RPCA organization and is dedicated to maintaining all the data on our members cars under the RPCA reporting marks of RPCX . The RPCNB is managed by RPCA member Great Lakes Railcar. For more information on getting your car or locomotive registered please contact the RPCNB at:

Box 314
Chillicothe, IL

Visit the main RPCNB site: RPCNB


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Please include as much detail as possible, car names, phone number, emails and postal address would be appreciated.