Normal Direction of Travel

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Summary: The Normal Direction of Travel or NDOT determines the direction and operation of lighting. It is Bit 0 of CV29 and is usually set to 0 (Off). Changing the CV which controls this feature will reverse the locomotive's direction of travel and lighting effects. Early diesels were constructed with the cab at the front (cab/carbody units), such as the EMD/GMD F and E series, the ALCO PA/FA, and FM's C-Liners.

With the appearance of the hood units (ALCO's RS series, EMD/GMD GPs or FM's HH series such as the Train Master), many railroads opted to run them long hood forward, with the engineer and fireman in the cab toward the rear, like a steam locomotive, for crew safety. Later many were converted to short hood forward for visibility.

The NDOT would be used to determine long or short hood forward. The alternative to this CV would be to reverse the motor connections.

If the motor was mis-wired resulting in the wrong direction of travel, the proper solution is to reverse the wires. The NDOT bit may be used for something else, and altering it unnecessarily could create problems later.

This feature is contained within CV 29, but not all decoders include this feature.