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Nostalgia & History > This was not a happy crew!


Date: 05/21/20 04:31
This was not a happy crew!
Author: Roadjob

Train service employees, no matter what road had one universal dislike...waiting. Yes in some cases they were getting the benefit of a fatter paycheck, but the boredom of watching a red or horizontal signal was like watching paint dry. Once in awhile the conductor or engineer would get on the radio and let the terminal yardmaster, or dispatcher know that they were still alive. On a personal note, my brother in law was a CSX engineer, and he told me of times he would sit still for the better part of a 12 duty hour day, then the powers that be would ask him if he could make a "good" move to get his train to a certain point. Needless to say, at that point, he was a "yes."Then he'd start out and come up with some "mechanical" problem, and stall the train somewhere to tie things up. This was an ongoing war, and sure no way to run a railroad, but he said this head game went on all the time.FYI, he couldn't stand the BS, and went on to get a job that gave him a normal life. Case study today. You are looking at an eastbound Conrail train at Banks tower west of Harrisburg and Enola on the old Pennsy Middle Division. Banks is where many times eastbounds went to die! A train could pull up west of the tower and spend lunch and dinner time there. You were at the whim of the superindendent, or, yardmasters in either Enola or Harrisburg. This train sat for six hours waiting to get into Enola. The gentleman on the ground, is the conductor, who walked the length of his 84 car train, just for something to do. About every 15 minutes I kept hearing this PIEN letting anybody know they were still sitting at Banks. That is what got me to the spot, just to see what was prompting the pleas. On talking with the crew, there was the usual ranting about the lack of mental capacity of the suits. These guys were pissed. The picture does not do justice to actually being there, but looking at these guys, and knowing the story, I think you can now read minds! At least they were finally moving....as a footnote, they dragged into Enola, and went on the law halfway down the receiving track. Paybacks were a bitch.1978

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD
commercial photography



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/20 04:34 by Roadjob.




Date: 05/21/20 06:00
Re: This was not a happy crew!
Author: Frisco1522

Our big bugaboo with 1522 usually was when we were coming back into St. Louis and would be held because of the "Amtrak" window.  Several time we sat at Oak Hill Jct for a couple of hours waiting for a late Amtrak.  Hell, we could have been tied up and home by the time he dropped the signal.  Helluva way to run a railroad.



Date: 05/21/20 06:09
Re: This was not a happy crew!
Author: WM1977

Yep, payback is a b&^%h. Eastbound coal train on the B&O Old Main Line Subdivision, stopped us at Hoods siding for westbounds. We were starting to run out of time when the dispatcher finally called us and said he was going to run us east to Davis siding. Problem with this move was that the access to east Davis is by a very bad dirt gravel road not fit for van or taxi. I told the dispatcher that they couldn't get to the head end of the train at East Davis. Dispatcher said go to Davis siding. We did, ran out of time, waited for relief. Our relief arrived about 2 hours after we ran out of time. The head end crew had to walk the 120 cars to the front of the train, they were pissed. Relief crew moved the train east where my guys dropped of at a convenient location, we picked them up. Of course it was now rush hour in Baltimore so traffic was a mess. By the time we made it off we had about 16 hours of pay, not too bad, just a little annoyance for us. I should note that this was typical of some of the moves at that time, too much coal business in the early 1980s.
CR



Date: 05/21/20 06:47
Re: This was not a happy crew!
Author: ClubCar

WM1977, it was not just too much coal business.  It was, like in many other businesses, the wrong persons making the decisions.  In the case of railroads, too many times these decisions are made by someone who absolutely does not understand nor know the railroad.  There are also cases where past decisions by again, people who do not know the railroad nor have they ever been out on the railroad to know what actually happens, who made very bad decisions.
John in White Marsh, Maryland



Date: 05/21/20 09:27
Re: This was not a happy crew!
Author: Q-GP30

That kinda stuff still happens today. Worked the BNSF K-Line from West Quincy MO to St. Louis. Many a time you’d pull up to Market St. where the train would enter the TRRA trackage to get to Lindenwood. Many times the TRRA dispatcher would ask how much time you had left, if you didn’t have two hours service left they would hold you right there to die.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/21/20 09:48
Re: This was not a happy crew!
Author: Trainhand

Have done the wait game too many times. The BS of the rr is one of the amny reasons I retired with 391/2 years instead of 40. I didn't want to take another computerized rule test, among other things. The hold out, if you were coming for Augusta, you wouldbe held at Central Junction for various reasons, had to run a NS yard job across,make a yard move for Savannah Yard, its double track to Southover, the dispatcher had to keep the other one for a spare, or just lack of communication. You changed dispatchers there so it was always a surprise when you showed up. Moncrief at Jacksonville was bad at times, but the yardmaster would talk to you and give you a guess. The ramp at Jax always held you at a crossing called the Red Dog crossing because someone who lived there had an Irish Setter who liked train crews. Baldwin was going to hold you even if you had a thru train. I made the statement on morning, that if Castro invaded south Flordia and you had the 2'nd Marine division, Baldwin would have to run a westbound local. The old SAL conductor said,nope they will take you I have had the 2'nd Marine division going to south FL in the cuban missle crisis and we just swapped crews at the old yard office.



Date: 05/21/20 13:17
Re: This was not a happy crew!
Author: halfmoonharold

In my experience dispatching, I found that crews would take all the OT they could get heading to the away-from-home terminal, but they usually wanted to burn the rails up when heading home. Also, long-pool crews wanted to turn and burn, but short-pool crews would often muck around and try to get OT, which seemed to only kick in at 10 hours. 



Date: 05/21/20 14:26
Re: This was not a happy crew!
Author: RGTower

Hurry up and wait.



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