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Western Railroad Discussion > The ol' Runaround!


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Date: 03/10/12 14:25
The ol' Runaround!
Author: santafe199

It's unwanted and usually not kind. It can be pretty ugly, even brutal. Sometimes it arrives completely unexpected. And lots of times the train crew thinks the DS is just picking on them. Yep, it's called the "runaround". You can be rolling down the line on your merry way to having a good trip and BAM! "Right turn, Clyde!" You have to take some siding for a not-so-good meet. Most of the time it's to let some train occupying a higher slot in the pecking order around yours. Bad enough your good trip just took a hit, but invariably there will be some kind if interaction between the two crews involved. I've seen everything from peace-sign grins, to full moons, to no-shows. The in-motion no shows are usually guilt-ridden runaround-ers who prefer not to be in the line of fire; that fire being the wrathful glares from the runaround-ees who are 'slowly rusting to the rails'. So as they are running around you they don't even give you the courtesy of being visible in their cab windows. Yes Virginia, it happens.

Runarounds are a very regular & normal part of the everyday job on the road. But that doesn't mean you have to like them! The level of your morale can often depend on the status level of the train that's clipping yours. We've all been runaround by hotshots. It goes with the territory. A crew being clipped by passenger varnish won't even bat an eyelash. A crew can sometimes even take a tiny bit of pride in being runaround by the company flagship (i.e. "Super C"). But you know your trip just went in the can when you get runaround by the lowly Pipestone Quarry bound ballast empties, miles from nowhere because your grain train will have to suffer a long wait for helpers at Livingston anyway, several miles & untold hours in the future. To make the mood worse is to have to listen to a senior engineer with about 100 years of seniority pi$$ & moan about "2 shot-nosed kids off the engineer's extra board running around my a$$... on the MAIN LINE, no less!".

Ah yes, life on the road!

1. MRL 256 on the point of a suddenly-hotter-than-us ballast empty shot in the left side mirror on the cab of BNSF 4097 on grain train PKRTAC 9-05 parked in Quebec siding, MT on July 9, 2009.

And have a NICE day! :^(
Lance Garrels
santafe199



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/23 23:33 by santafe199.




Date: 03/10/12 14:40
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: espee4ever

Great story and interesting photo as well. I am glad to see the 256 looking well. I got the chance to photograph the MRL in 2010 and have been wanting to go back since. Again, thank you for sharing.

— espee4ever



Date: 03/10/12 16:14
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: ButteStBrakeman

Hehe, right you are Lance! But then again, you have been the one to run araound another guy.... but still a pisser.

V

SLOCONDR



Date: 03/10/12 16:46
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: santafe199

SLOCONDR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hehe, right you are Lance! But then again, you
> have been the one to run araound another guy....
> but still a pisser.
>
> V
>
> SLOCONDR

Oooh yeahhh (hee hee hee) been there, done that a time or two...

Posted from Android



Date: 03/10/12 16:53
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: imrl

I hate to be ran around, but love running around people. Go figure that one! Luckily for me, run arounds online are rare. We do, however, still get ran around leaving the terminal or crew change point.

Nice picture, Lance!



Date: 03/10/12 17:04
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: 3rdswitch

A different kind of run around that I hated even worse is when in pool service the knuckleheads in the crew office deadhead a crew up from LA to Barstow and put them on a train on duty ONE MINUTE before you are rested after ten hours in the motel! Talk about wanting to go postal.
JB



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/12 17:10 by 3rdswitch.



Date: 03/10/12 18:58
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: ButteStBrakeman

3rdswitch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A different kind of run around that I hated even
> worse is when in pool service the knuckleheads in
> the crew office deadhead a crew up from LA to
> Barstow and put them on a train on duty ONE MINUTE
> before you are rested after ten hours in the
> motel! Talk about wanting to go postal.
> JB


That is so GD CS, and CMS at UP does the same thing.

V

SLOCONDR



Date: 03/10/12 19:59
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: Splitrock323

You just have to believe in " railroad Karma", I do. It works well for me.

Thomas G



Date: 03/10/12 19:59
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: santafe199

SLOCONDR Wrote:

> That is so GD CS, and CMS at UP does the same
> .....................

Ya know what?!? I'm thinking Todd may just have a precedent here to start another: 'Hey railroaders, give us your best/worse/funniest/weirdest/stupidest most extraordinary (read: patience destroying) meet situation' testimony. What'dya think, Todd??? (snicker)

And boy, DO I HAVE another meet story waiting in the wings! (as does Joe) (as does Bob) (as does the other Bob) (as does Greg) (as does an entire slew of railroaders belonging to the TO ranks.....)

Your move, Todd (with all respect!)

Lance



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/20 08:43 by santafe199.



Date: 03/10/12 21:04
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: ButteStBrakeman

santafe199 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> SLOCONDR Wrote:
>
> > That is so GD CS, and CMS at UP does the same
> > .....................
>
> Ya know what?!? I'm thinking Todd may just have a
> precedent here to start another: 'Hey railroaders,
> give us your
> best/worse/funniest/weirdest/stupidest
> most extraordinary (read: patience destroying)
> meet situation' testimony. What'dya think, Todd???
> (snicker)
>
> And boy, DO I HAVE another meet story waiting in
> the wings! (as does Joe) (as does Bob) (as does
> the other Bob) (as does Greg) (as does an entire
> slew of
> railroaders belonging to the TO ranks.....)
>
> Your move, Todd (with all respect!)
>
> Lance


LOL Lance! Good one.



Date: 03/10/12 22:18
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: SCKP187

It's called "The Big Picture!" (sorry, don't slam me for this one)
Brian Stevens



Date: 03/11/12 07:15
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: imrl

Yeah, they like to say that we don't see the big picture. But sometimes, I think the big picture must be drawn on a Big Chief tablet with washable markers!



Date: 03/11/12 07:31
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: santafe199

imrl Wrote:

> Yeah, they like to say that we don't see the big
> picture...........................

I always had a great smart-a$$ retort (but was never brave enough to use it): "Yeah well, the little piece of your 'big picture' that I CAN see is
so badly out of focus I DON'T WANNA see the big picture!"

Cheers!



Date: 03/11/12 08:52
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: Milw_E70

santafe199 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yep, it's called
> the "runaround".

Happens to me all the time.



Date: 03/11/12 09:04
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: RS11

santafe199 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> imrl Wrote:
>
> > Yeah, they like to say that we don't see the
> big
> > picture...........................
>
> I always had a great smart-a$$ retort (but was
> never brave enough to use it): "Yeah well, the
> little piece of your 'big picture' that I CAN see
> is
> so badly out of focus I DON'T WANNA see the big
> picture!"
>
> Cheers!


I like that. :)



Date: 03/11/12 11:22
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: kk5ol

I guess it has a lot to do with where & when. I was working around Canadian, TX in the mid-90's. Almost every evening I'd hear the dispatcher put some wb manifest train in the hole @ Canadian for a wb Z train. Then on arrival the Z would pull to a stop engine-to-engine w/ the M train & swap crews. Seemed rational to me to spread the joy/misery . . . and keep the number of dog-catches to a minimum out in the middle of nowheresville.

RailNet802, out



Date: 03/11/12 11:36
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: JLY

Splitrock323 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You just have to believe in " railroad Karma", I
> do. It works well for me.
>
> Thomas G


Does your pay stop when you have been "Runaround"?



Date: 03/11/12 12:52
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: Rathole

Please spare me. You could interview every crew member in the U.S. and hear tales of woe. "I'm always getting run-around." "I never get to deadhead." "Joe Blow gets all the preferential trains - who does he know?" "I know they have my name on some kind of list in the chief's office." Local chairmen fuss at the chief dispatcher for having too many crews at away from home terminal. Then the chief deadheads, and the deadheads run around crews on the road. If you have a busy railroad, it's pretty hard to pick a time to deadhead and not run around somebody.

Face the facts, if every hot intermodal had to drag around behind a loaded bulk commodity train because we don't want to run around someone, we would soon lose the intermodal business back to the highways, then the railroads would cut jobs and instead of getting run around, a lot of T&E guys would not be working for the railroad period. I hear outbound crews complain because a hotshot is coming in on the tail of something like a grain train. But put the hotshot train around the grain BEFORE the crew change point, and then THOSE guys complain about getting runaround. Fellows, SOMEBODY has to get run around! I've even heard crews complain because they fear getting run around 200 miles down the road. So we're supposed to delay other time freights and wait until intermodals within 3 hours all run thru a terminal instead of having them 200 miles down the road before they are overtaken? I'm not saying some run arounds aren't the result of poor planning by dispatchers. However, by and large, it's just a fact of life - run arounds have always happened and always will.

I know this thread was initially started somewhat tongue in cheek, but some crews really do make a big nasty scene over getting run around.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/12 18:48 by Rathole.



Date: 03/11/12 15:42
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: BobV

Like we said in the Navy.."it all counts on 20"



Date: 03/11/12 19:20
Re: The ol' Runaround!
Author: santafe199

Rathole Wrote:

> Please spare me.........

> Face the facts.........

> I know this thread was initially started somewhat
> tongue in cheek.......................

You NAILED my whole intention with my thread!

LIGHTEN UP!!!!!

This hobby is supposed to be FUN. I absolutely LOVE the idea of Railfans & Railroaders combining in 1 place to share & trade experiences & photography with each other! WHY would you want to taint that whole scene with a militant attitude like that?

Take 2 aspirin, and call SOMEBODY in the morning!

Lance



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/20 08:41 by santafe199.



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