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Date: 01/20/09 06:34
"Meals Denied"
Author: Lee_in_KC

As the "Spring Hill Local" (BNSF Ft. Scott Sub, Spring Hill, Kansas) was checking in with the DS to set up their track & time, the crew said they would like to go to dinner today. Without hesitation, the DS said, "Meals Denied." What is going on in this situation?



Date: 01/20/09 06:37
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: Amtkrd4man

Used to be that a crew can ask to go to beans. If the DS denies the request the crew gets paid a little extra... They have to ask so it is on record...



Date: 01/20/09 08:07
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: ButteStBrakeman

Amtkrd4man Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Used to be that a crew can ask to go to beans. If
> the DS denies the request the crew gets paid a
> little extra... They have to ask so it is on
> record...


And on a local this is rare to have beans denied. At least on the SP it was. Now, a main line job was a different story. Unless you were going to be held for quite some time in a siding, the dispr normally would deny your request and you just kept going. No extra payment as you got the great sum of $1.50 in lieu of stopping to eat.

Virlon

SLOCONDR



Date: 01/20/09 09:51
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: spnudge

I remember many a time being on duty in LA and the dispatcher would call me on the radio from Station 1. (Pretty rare back then.) He would ask me, "Are you going to eat this trip." I would reply, "I haven't seen the menu at Burbank Jct. yet." In other words to see how bad he was going to frog us on orders.

It was a sad day we lost the right to eat. It was nice to be able to get off the power and away from the railroad for 30 minutes or so. Almost like a nap when you are tired.



Nudge



Date: 01/20/09 10:15
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: Lackawanna484

spnudge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remember many a time being on duty in LA and the
> dispatcher would call me on the radio from Station
> 1. (Pretty rare back then.) He would ask me, "Are
> you going to eat this trip." I would reply, "I
> haven't seen the menu at Burbank Jct. yet." In
> other words to see how bad he was going to frog us
> on orders.
>
> It was a sad day we lost the right to eat. It was
> nice to be able to get off the power and away from
> the railroad for 30 minutes or so. Almost like a
> nap when you are tired.
>
>
>
> Nudge


On the (then) Conrail River Line in NY, you'd often hear a conversation like:

DS: I gotta put you guys in the hole for a northbound. Do you want Kingston or West Park (etc)?

Engr: Kingston, they have better food.


Buck fifty for missing the meal break? Sounds like the contract negotiators really dug in with both claws.



Date: 01/20/09 10:18
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: DNRY122

Reminds me of the Santa Fe 2nd District Local (LA to San Bernardino via Pasadena) in the 1960's. They would take siding to let #18 (Super Chief/El Cap) go by at Chapman (east of Pasadena). One evening I spotted the crew walking back from the Bob's Big Boy drive-in on Colorado Blvd., and envisioned a track gang adding a spur into the restaurant and car-hops hanging window trays in the lead locomotive and the caboose.



Date: 01/20/09 11:43
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: lowwater

Ok, this thread begs a couple questions.

Occasionally (used to be frequently) the DS will tell an eastbound approaching Glenwood SPrings, CO (UP), that there's no room at Bond and he'll line the train into the East Siding/Depot Siding so they can "go get some beans." Does that mean an automatic extra payment?

If the delay's going to be longer than an hour or so, he may say "dinner and a movie." Does that mean more money??<G>

lowwater



Date: 01/20/09 11:51
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: Rathole

If I see that one of my trains is going to be significantly delayed and there are eating places in the area, I'll let them know they have time to go eat, just as a courtesy.

Being a dispatcher, I often go 8 hrs on my shift with little time to eat more than a bag of chips. That is the worst part of the job. It's hard to work first shift until 3 pm without having had time to eat since breakfast.



Date: 01/20/09 12:43
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: RD10747

Years ago at Barstow, I remember some EB trains asking the DS
if they could stop behind McDonalds to pick up their food before
entering the vast hinterland of the Needles District. Most of the
time this happened ok...



Date: 01/20/09 13:28
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: WAF

Occasionally a train would request beans at Norden ( Donner Pass). Only time I have heard them denied was the train was a hotshot, RVNPP or UPWSA etc. At Minturn, CO on the DRGW, if the crew was turning back, they would request meals from the Turntable Cafe in Minturn.



Date: 01/20/09 13:57
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: supt

SP western lines agreement on Locals crews get the $12.50 SP meal for not stopping for beans. On through freight I get 1.50 added to my trip for not getting a meal break. When I make a westbound move over the mountain, if I am going to be held at Stanford flat for an EB the DS will usually give me the option of stopping at Truckee to get something to go. EB other than Colfax or Truckee there is nothing available to stop for.



Date: 01/20/09 14:45
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: InsideObserver

The famous SP "paper steak".



Date: 01/20/09 15:26
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: ats90mph

SPLoopLarry can tell you some funny stories of when McDonalds (Maybe it was Carls Jr), delivered food up to the crew in Mojave.



Date: 01/20/09 15:32
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: jackpot

This used to be a huge hassle on the BN(SF) due to the "northern lines meal allowance" agreement. After a crew was six hours on duty, the train dispatcher would have to provide 30" for a CONDUCTOR to take an uninterrupted meal period, or else the conductor would get a $50 claim against the company.

Used to be you could set your watches to the six hour mark after a crew came on duty for them to ask. Many would even call you up before coming on duty to advise you that they wish to eat at the 6 hour mark.

The dispatcher would have to either agree to their request and provide the 30" period within 90 minutes of the request, or deny it. By approving the request, the railroad did not have to provide a location to stop the train where there was a restaurant, just stop the train. This was often a bone of contention to the conductors-- "but dispatcher, there's no place to eat here!" So sorry! Take your 30". Occasionally, conductors would get into fights with engineers, who didn't want to stop, and who wouldn't get paid for being denied.

For a while, dispatchers kept track on a printed form of each train and whether or not the crew requested to eat. Eventually, the meal claim was negotiated out of the contract. But it used to be a real pissing match between conductors and dispatchers, who were caught in the middle.

(As for the dispatchers, they TOO had a meal allowance: they could put in a WHOLE $1.50 claim daily if they were not able to take a 20" period UNINTERRUPTED to eat their lunch at their desk. Rarely happened, though not many even bothered to put in the claim).



Date: 01/20/09 15:44
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: ohcr1551

Slightly off topic, but when I don't have time to eat a decent meal I've found a few flavors of energy bars that are decent. They keep well, are one-hand operation if you need to type or answer the phone, etc., and can be stuffed in a coat pocket or desk drawer.(I try to keep a couple in the car with the water and other emergency supplies.)

--Becky



Date: 01/20/09 15:46
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: ejeliberty

Lee_in_KC Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As the "Spring Hill Local" (BNSF Ft. Scott Sub,
> Spring Hill, Kansas) was checking in with the DS
> to set up their track & time, the crew said they
> would like to go to dinner today. Without
> hesitation, the DS said, "Meals Denied." What is
> going on in this situation?

It depends on the territory you work on. If it's through freight on CTC or ABS (TWC) territory, the DS can tell you where you might(or will)be held for a while, and crews can plan accordingly. On a branch line, the crews that normally work the job know exactly where to stop, and for how long. I don't understand what you mean by the crew checking with the DS to set up their "track & time". The only time "track & time" would be relevent is for maintenance in CTC territory, or for work trains working with a foreman of a track gang. Most meal rates are figured into the trip rate or mileage a crew gets for that run, if the DS said "meals denied", that means that the DS has too much traffic to run and to get the work done or into the clear ASAP. No holding the main for Arby's! On BNSF, work trains are advertised as "pack a lunch".



Date: 01/20/09 16:04
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: imrl

A crew well qualified on their territory will know where all the places to eat are and will usually also have their phone numbers for a call ahead order. We have a dairy Queen right off the main at Bonner Springs, KS, that we rails frequent. The last time I went in there, the young clerk asked me if it was to go and the older clerk behind her said that I was a railroader and that it was to go, as she pointed to my train parked across the street.

Another time, the DS let us know that we would be held out of town for awhile. We stopped right across from the DQ, tied the train down, and the whole crew (engineer, conductor, brakeman, and a student) went over and had a nice break away from the train. The DS called me on my phone (pre EO #26) when he was ready for us.

Back on the IMRL, I remember once that we were going to stop at Braymer, MO, and the DS informed us we would be there for a few minutes waiting for a meet. We asked if we could go into town and get a bite to eat. It was the Busy Bee Cafe. We sat down and the waitress handed out menus. When we took our order, the young waitress asked if it was for here or to go. Without batting an eye, I said it was to go as we didn't want to leave our train double parked. She looked at me, then at my engineer, then back at me and bust out laughing. I told her to go look outside and she did, and came back and said that she would wrap up our food to go, still laughing.

ejeliberty Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I
> don't understand what you mean by the crew
> checking with the DS to set up their "track &
> time". The only time "track & time" would be
> relevent is for maintenance in CTC territory, or
> for work trains working with a foreman of a track
> gang.

Not true. Knowing the territory in question a little bit, the local may serve industries that require several movements over a controlled signal to perform all of the work. Getting track in time will allow the crew to do those moves without contacting the dispatcher every time.



Date: 01/20/09 16:43
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: xsphogger

Back before the "Alameda Corridor" I worked the "J" Yard hauler out of West Colton. We would "go to beans" at a resturant in the Huntington Park casino. It was the only resturant that had locomotive parking. 90% of the time we made a round trip from West Colton!



Date: 01/20/09 16:46
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: ejeliberty

imrl Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A crew well qualified on their territory will know
> where all the places to eat are and will usually
> also have their phone numbers for a call ahead
> order. We have a dairy Queen right off the main
> at Bonner Springs, KS, that we rails frequent.
> The last time I went in there, the young clerk
> asked me if it was to go and the older clerk
> behind her said that I was a railroader and that
> it was to go, as she pointed to my train parked
> across the street.
>
> Another time, the DS let us know that we would be
> held out of town for awhile. We stopped right
> across from the DQ, tied the train down, and the
> whole crew (engineer, conductor, brakeman, and a
> student) went over and had a nice break away from
> the train. The DS called me on my phone (pre EO
> #26) when he was ready for us.
>
> Back on the IMRL, I remember once that we were
> going to stop at Braymer, MO, and the DS informed
> us we would be there for a few minutes waiting for
> a meet. We asked if we could go into town and get
> a bite to eat. It was the Busy Bee Cafe. We sat
> down and the waitress handed out menus. When we
> took our order, the young waitress asked if it was
> for here or to go. Without batting an eye, I said
> it was to go as we didn't want to leave our train
> double parked. She looked at me, then at my
> engineer, then back at me and bust out laughing.
> I told her to go look outside and she did, and
> came back and said that she would wrap up our food
> to go, still laughing.
>
> ejeliberty Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I
> > don't understand what you mean by the crew
> > checking with the DS to set up their "track &
> > time". The only time "track & time" would be
> > relevent is for maintenance in CTC territory,
> or
> > for work trains working with a foreman of a
> track
> > gang.
>
> Not true. Knowing the territory in question a
> little bit, the local may serve industries that
> require several movements over a controlled signal
> to perform all of the work. Getting track in time
> will allow the crew to do those moves without
> contacting the dispatcher every time.

Just take the switch in hand operation, this allows crews to go by the signal as many times as they want without contacting the DS. Track and Time is a useless route to go when you can get "permission" to handle the switch in hand after being talked by the absolute red signal. Why fill out a track and time form? Once the switch is in hand, the DS no longer has control. I've done it a hundred times, unless I have a DS that has a God complex and doesn't want to "let go". Not to mean any disrespect, but the GCOR rules on track and time only cover work trains or maintenance(CTC). When I have a DS with the complex, I just get talked by it everytime. I don't know of any BNSF dispatcher that wouldn't give the crew that switch. If the DS gives track and time, they will have to give it to where your train sits, the control point, and where you want to go. Why give away that much railroad?



Date: 01/20/09 17:17
Re: "Meals Denied"
Author: spnudge

Still, the point is being able to get away from the noise, railroad, etc just for 30" was worth it. Especially when you know you are going to die on line and lord knows when you will be able to get something to eat.



Nudge



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