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Western Railroad Discussion > Personal cell phone/tablet/laptop use by crews


Date: 04/06/12 09:24
Personal cell phone/tablet/laptop use by crews
Author: DFWJIM

Hello everyone,

I am not in the railroad industry but as I understand it cell phone/tablet/laptop use for personal business is not allowed by railroad companies while on duty. However is it common for crews to call/text and/or check their computers on the "QT" while on duty? Of course with cell phones being so small it seems like it would they would be easy to use without being noticed.

Thanks



Date: 04/06/12 09:33
Re: Personal cell phone/tablet/laptop use by crews
Author: imrl

Well, on the UP, we are allowed to use our cell phone for voice calls only and only while stopped and not performing other required duties. While there may be some who think they can get away with using their phones while they shouldn't be, and even a few who think they can get away with checking crew boards while on duty, if they ever have an incident like a crossing accident or a major derailment, this violation WILL come out. It's not worth your job or worth the fine from the FRA.



Date: 04/06/12 09:38
Re: Personal cell phone/tablet/laptop use by crews
Author: CCMF

Makes one wonder how many guys have multiple phones ...... it's akin to dual logbooks used by truckers albeit not exactly the same.

Bill Miller
Galt, ON



Date: 04/06/12 09:53
Re: Personal cell phone/tablet/laptop use by crews
Author: Lackawanna484

CCMF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Makes one wonder how many guys have multiple
> phones ...... it's akin to dual logbooks used by
> truckers albeit not exactly the same.


In some places, police authorities do what are called "tower dumps" where all cell phone transactions through a particular cellphone tower are downloaded and screened. You can filter for direction (toward the track, for example), and you already know the time within a minute or two.

In many rural western locations, there are just a few cell towers.

The company and the cops have a lot of tools at their disposal, even detectors to determine if (any) cellphone or G3/4 device is in use in the area. I think we had a thread on that a while back.



Date: 04/06/12 10:33
Re: Personal cell phone/tablet/laptop use by crews
Author: ATSF2921

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CCMF Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Makes one wonder how many guys have multiple
> > phones ...... it's akin to dual logbooks used
> by
> > truckers albeit not exactly the same.
>
>
> In some places, police authorities do what are
> called "tower dumps" where all cell phone
> transactions through a particular cellphone tower
> are downloaded and screened. You can filter for
> direction (toward the track, for example), and you
> already know the time within a minute or two.....

Actually, the Service Providers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint..etc) do the "tower dumps" by legal request from Law Enforcement Agencies. My spouse, who works for a Service Provider, is very familiar with this process and frequently is called upon to testify in court hearings on the data collected from such tower dumps.

Take care,

Russell Honey
Springfield, MO
My Flickr page



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/12 10:41 by ATSF2921.



Date: 04/07/12 06:26
Re: Personal cell phone/tablet/laptop use by crews
Author: santafe199

Lackawanna484 Wrote:


> The company and the cops have a lot of tools at
> their disposal, even detectors to determine if
> (any) cellphone or G3/4 device is in use in the
> area.........................................

George Orwell becomes even more correct with his visionary novel "1984"...

Big Brother IS watching!



Date: 04/07/12 19:46
Re: Personal cell phone/tablet/laptop use by crews
Author: NYC6001

imrl has it right. You can use your cell phone for voice calls only, when you are stopped and not doing any work. Even then, it supposed to be brief - not hours and hours. Do the rules get broken? Sure. But like another poster said, if you get into a major incident, you could be discovered. It isn't worth it.

Any and all texting and internet use is prohibited while on duty.



Date: 04/07/12 22:35
Re: Personal cell phone/tablet/laptop use by crews
Author: rrman6

I've heard tales of back in the early to mid 1960's on the Rock Island Golden State Line between Pratt and Liberal Kansas that a rear brakeman in the caboose cupola of some westbound PFE drags was known to talk via portable CB radio on Ch. 9 with some truckers on US 54 highway that runs adjacent and parallel to the rail line. Probably wasn't Kosher to do such, but was long before the cellphone tracking of today also. Gave some variation to the long slow trip of about 35 MPH uphill toward Liberal dragging a hundred PFE ice reefers while watching for signs of a dragging brake or hotbox, long before the detectors of today. "Gotchur' ears on Good Buddy?"



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