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Date: 04/19/17 09:03
Order the rotary
Author: TAW

Some folks have no sense of humor at all.

The thread https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?2,4274641 reminded me of an interesting street running event.

I was BN night Chief in Seattle, before merged offices, so it was the GN office handling Seattle - Vancouver BC, Seattle - Wenatchee, and assorted branches including some NP branches - Darrington and Sumas. I was relatively new to BN, a dispatcher date of 1977 and this was probably a year or so after that. The Chief was still The Chief at the time. I sat down to a railroad that was given to me by the 2d trick Chief to be mine for the next eight hours. There were no levels of management, no conference calls, no being Howdy Doody to some Buffalo Bob manager. https://www.trumanlibrary.org/images/buckstopsherefrontsmall.jpg

The Kingdome was also relatively new and the Seahawks fans were becoming particularly bold https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,4102768,4103402#msg-4103402 (Mariners fans weren't as bad - not even close)

Over the years, the fan situation kept getting worse, to the point that the police sealed off the area for a mile around before, during, and after a game. https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?18,3775916,3775916#msg-3775916

The north end of Stacy yard was still connected to the main line at North Portal by way of ex GN and NP tracks under the Alaska Way viaduct. In the distant past, one of them had been the main track of the NP Sumas branch, but it had been merely yard track for a long time. Every night, a fleet of north trains left Stacy: 144 to Sumas, 184 to Vancouver BC, and the Ferndale turn to...Ferndale. They all used the old NP line between Stacy and North Portal.

One night, the Seahawks fans were particularly bold, with dozens parking on the track between Stacy Street and North Portal. I had just come to work, around 1030p and was just getting into the state of the railroad. The phone rang:

Chief

Stacy Yard
(yardmaster). 144 can't get out. There are cars parked on the track between Stacy and Royal Brougham; he says, a lot of them. What are you going to do about it?

Uh...ok, that's unusual. The yard usually wants to be autonomous...all the way to Wenatchee, and they don't want the responsibility of dealing with the cars on the track?

(Years later, a trainmaster was fired after I got a 5am call from the regional Assistant Vice President, outraged about not being notified about the wreck on the main track at Interbay. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about. He said that he was watching on TV, the hook picking up a wreck at Galer Street.

Wreck at Galer Street, not that I know of.

Well, I'm watching the hook working. YOU call the hook. Why do I have to find out on the morning news?

Probably the same reason I have to find out from you, since I can't watch the news. I didn't call the hook.

Then who did and what happened?

Not a clue. Maybe somebody can tell me what is happening on my railroad once you find out.


Click)

Ok, fine...

Order the rotary. That ought to cover it.

The rotary?

Sure.


Click.

I called Lincoln Towing.

BN Chief Dispatcher. How many trucks can you get to Alaska and Royal Brougham right away.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......sixteen?

All right; send them to clear the BN tracks. There are more cars than that, so clear the track, set them aside until they are all off the track, then haul them away.


The phone rang right after that:

Chief

Stacy trainmaster. The yardmaster said you're going to order the rotary?

That ought to cover it, I think. Head on up there and watch the action.


A little while later, the Stacy yardmaster called

We're moving again.

OK


That was it. Over the years, folks got used to the fact that they might not always hear what they would expect (depending upon how they asked or reported), but when they called, stuff got done. One afternoon I just sat down to second trick. The phone rang

Chief

The voice of the terminal superintendent replied: You are the meanest, most single minded, stubbornist, most arrogant SOB I've ever worked with.

I laughed. Your railroad run good when I'm working?

It sure does. Don't ever change.


Click

I learned that from the best: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,4270790,4271145#msg-4271145 Date: 04/13/17 20:55 Re: Timetable Thursday – B&OCT / Alton Chicago Terminal 1940

From https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?18,4134890,4135555#msg-4135555 Date: 10/07/16 08:04 Re: Respect
With that kind of responsibility and authority, at times one needs to sound arrogant, but should never be arrogant.

TAW



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/17 12:42 by TAW.



Date: 04/19/17 18:50
Re: Order the rotary
Author: rob_l

As usual, great stories.

A side question: Why in 1977 was BN still using Stacy St. Yard in such a significant way instead of concentrating carload interchange between road trains at Interbay? What traffic was handled at Stacy St. vs. what traffic was handled at Interbay? Some Vancouver trains terminalled in Interbay and others in Stacy St? Seems like a hopeless operating plan, sure to end up with cars in the wrong place and missed connections.

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 04/19/17 19:03
Re: Order the rotary
Author: TAW

rob_l Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As usual, great stories.
>
> A side question: Why in 1977 was BN still using
> Stacy St. Yard in such a significant way instead
> of concentrating carload interchange between road
> trains at Interbay? What traffic was handled at
> Stacy St. vs. what traffic was handled at
> Interbay? Some Vancouver trains terminalled in
> Interbay and others in Stacy St? Seems like a
> hopeless operating plan, sure to end up with cars
> in the wrong place and missed connections.
>

In Seattle, Stacy was the (compass) northbound yard and Interbay was the (compass) southbound yard. At Everett, Bayside was north and Delta south. All of the coast line trains originated Stacy and terminated at Interbay.

After Stacy was reduced in size and replaced by SIG, all of the Everett - Vancouver BC/Sumas traffic originated and terminated at Bayside/Delta. Interbay became a yard for both directions, with an Everett turn handling the traffic between Interbay and Everett. Since the north trains were built in Bayside, the Everett traffic could be mine run out of Interbay, reducing the tracks needed for spread. What was left of Stacy became an industry yard.

TAW

TAW
> Rob L.



Date: 04/19/17 23:10
Re: Order the rotary
Author: rob_l

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> In Seattle, Stacy was the (compass) northbound
> yard and Interbay was the (compass) southbound
> yard. At Everett, Bayside was north and Delta
> south. All of the coast line trains originated
> Stacy and terminated at Interbay.
>

Thanks. A little follow-up:

For trains coming up from the Portland and Klamath Falls gateways, like #138, #146 and #150, did they set out their north cars in Stacy St. and then terminate in Interbay? If they didn't stop at Stacy St., how did their north cars get handled through Seattle?

TIA,

Rob L.



Date: 04/20/17 04:24
Re: Order the rotary
Author: TAW

rob_l Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> TAW Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >
> > In Seattle, Stacy was the (compass) northbound
> > yard and Interbay was the (compass) southbound
> > yard. At Everett, Bayside was north and Delta
> > south. All of the coast line trains originated
> > Stacy and terminated at Interbay.
> >
>
> Thanks. A little follow-up:
>
> For trains coming up from the Portland and Klamath
> Falls gateways, like #138, #146 and #150, did they
> set out their north cars in Stacy St. and then
> terminate in Interbay? If they didn't stop at
> Stacy St., how did their north cars get handled
> through Seattle?
>

They would go to Stacy, but after BN removed the track between Stacy and North Portal, not usually all the way to the yard. They would pull the Colorado or one of the PC tracks between Argo and Spokane Street and the power would leave via the wye. Back in those days, the Tacoma Chief would arrange pickups, setouts and blocking. If there was a good connection with one of the two daily Tacoma - Interbay transfers, any traffic that needed to go to Interbay would be set out at Tacoma. In those days, a Tacoma - Interbay round trip with one crew was common, and was usually a quit job.

For a while, there were folks in Ft Worth who were designing schedules that included Stacy and Interbay blocks. The only way to handle them was to leave the rear end on the main at Argo (rule 251 and no facing point crossovers for reversing around them) or take one of the blocks to the wrong yard then transfer the block that was in the wrong place. By that time, the Chief was no longer involved in blocking and setouts; it was all by the book. When the train reached the point at which by the book was impossible (Argo), a trainmaster would decide which block went to the wrong place.

Removing tracks without a plan for the traffic that uses the tracks, and scheduling and blocking without being familiar with the railroad are both sub-optimal ideas.

TAW



Date: 04/20/17 09:41
Re: Order the rotary
Author: cewherry

In the early 1980's,(80-84), IIRC the north bounds that Rob cites would sometimes, not always, make a set-out into one of the tracks
that lay adjacent to the main between Holgate St. and Horton St., cutting to clear S. Lander, if needed, then proceeding on
to Balmer Yard (Interbay) with the balance. These set-outs may have been only Seattle traffic destined to shippers on the
2nd or 5th Avenue leads. The proximity of any Amtrak following from the south seemed to be a factor in the decision.
I also have recollection of heading in at Argo, pulling through Stacy St., leaving the train there; then using the NP running track along
Alaskan Way to get the power to the roundhouse at Interbay.

I do remember #138 and #146 but #150 escapes my memory.

Charlie



Date: 04/20/17 10:23
Re: Order the rotary
Author: TAW

cewherry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In the early 1980's,(80-84), IIRC the north bounds
> that Rob cites would sometimes, not always, make a
> set-out into one of the tracks
> that lay adjacent to the main between Holgate St.
> and Horton St., cutting to clear S. Lander, if
> needed, then proceeding on
> to Balmer Yard (Interbay) with the balance. These
> set-outs may have been only Seattle traffic
> destined to shippers on the
> 2nd or 5th Avenue leads.

The "South Lander' setouts. That started happening after the days of the Chief arranging Interbay traffic setting out at Tacoma for a "Crew Job." After that went away to strictly by the train brief, the trainmaster at Interbay or Stacy would be presented with the package to deal with on the fly.


> The proximity of any
> Amtrak following from the south seemed to be a
> factor in the decision.


The days before the Seattle Terminal dispatching district. Back then, it could take many hours to run between Interbay and Black River. When North and South Portal and Argo were closed, the company put a new (piece of junk) electronic interlocking machine in the baggage room at King Street Station, intending to move the Interbay operator there to handle 23rd, Galer, North Portal, South Portal, and Argo. We dispatchers told them NO! We threatened union action and they believed us, which is a good thing because we weren't bluffing. In the long run, we saved them from their own stupidity, because a normal trip between Interbay and Black River went from around four hours to around 30 minutes.

I was one of the original Seattle Terminal dispatchers - 2d trick. Ed Barker was 1st. If I remember correctly, TCM was on 3d. On the first day, I got to work early so EDB and I could develop a way to run our railroad. The way it had been run was going to end. The whole idea of verbal control because it was yard limits, making a direction to run only to a certain place mandatory was mine, imported from IHB back in the days that I worked McCook. There ws some question from some others about whether we had the authority to do that. We said that we did and it became standard practice. Years later, the Rules Department came up with the OCS written form for the verbal instructions.


> I also have recollection of heading in at Argo,
> pulling through Stacy St., leaving the train
> there; then using the NP running track along
> Alaskan Way to get the power to the roundhouse at
> Interbay.

Yup. That was normal before BN, in their Infinite wisdom gave away the line between Stacy and North Portal without figuring out how it would work. At the time, we told management that a power switch on the main for the coach wye was essential if that was to be the only way out of Stacy to the north. Oh yeah, with the money we'll save, a power switch there will be no problem. You'll get it at the same time as we close North Portal. Years later, Sound Transit bought a power switch for the coach wye.


TAW



Date: 04/20/17 11:56
Re: Order the rotary
Author: Waybiller

What was the reasoning behind having Stacy St be the northbound terminal and Balmer be southbound?



Date: 04/20/17 15:13
Re: Order the rotary
Author: retcsxcfm

>
> Wreck at Galer Street, not that I know of.
>
> Well, I'm watching the hook working. YOU call the
> hook. Why do I have to find out on the morning
> news?
>
> Probably the same reason I have to find out from
> you, since I can't watch the news. I didn't call
> the hook.
>
> Then who did and what happened?
>
> Not a clue. Maybe somebody can tell me what is
> happening on my railroad once you find out.



>


>
> That was it. Over the years, folks got used to the
> fact that they might not always hear what they
> would expect (depending upon how they asked or
> reported), but when they called, stuff got done.
> One afternoon I just sat down to second trick. The
> phone rang
>
> Chief
>
> The voice of the terminal superintendent replied:
> You are the meanest, most single minded,
> stubbornist, most arrogant SOB I've ever worked
> with.
>
> I laughed. Your railroad run good when I'm
> working?
>
> It sure does. Don't ever change.
>

The above quotes are classic TAW! Keep them coming.

BTW did you know an operator at Union near CUS Steve
Harding? He later became a dispatcher.I think CB&Q
then BN,later BNSF.He wound up at Ft.Worth and like
you ended up taking early retirement.He now lives
in South Carolina.

Uncle Joe Oates



Date: 04/20/17 15:21
Re: Order the rotary
Author: TAW

retcsxcfm Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------


> The above quotes are classic TAW! Keep them
> coming.
>
> BTW did you know an operator at Union near CUS
> Steve
> Harding? He later became a dispatcher.I think
> CB&Q
> then BN,later BNSF.He wound up at Ft.Worth and
> like
> you ended up taking early retirement.He now lives
> in South Carolina.

Nope. Only knew one person on that seniority district. She quit in WA, went to Chicago to hire out to get away from the guy running the operators board in Seattle...who hated operators.

I only knew one Cicero dispatcher, Mick Parcel. We worked together on system capacity and scheduling for several years.

TAW



Date: 04/20/17 20:25
Re: Order the rotary
Author: jo-tower

Uncle Joe'

That was Steve HOLDING, not Steve Harding.
Steve Holding got his start on the "Q" at
the Montgomery, Ill. stock yards. He had
a nickname, it was the "cattle baron".
He is active in several railroad historical societies.

CJV in Aurora, Ill.



Date: 04/20/17 20:54
Re: Order the rotary
Author: rob_l

Waybiller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What was the reasoning behind having Stacy St be
> the northbound terminal and Balmer be southbound?

I cannot speak for the BN decision makers who set up that scheme, but it makes sense to me. Trains coming north from the Portland and Bieber gateways would have a lot of loads destined to southside Seattle so would need to stop on southside Seattle anyway. I suppose most northbound trains to Everett, Bellingham, Ferndale and Vancouver from Seattle in those days would be handling mostly empties or local dead freight like wood chips. Trains from the east handling north cars could set out at Everett/Delta and carry their Seattle and south cars on into Balmer. Combined with south cars coming from points north of Seattle, trains for Portland and Bieber gateways could be conveniently built at Balmer.

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 04/20/17 21:05
Re: Order the rotary
Author: TAW

rob_l Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Waybiller Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > What was the reasoning behind having Stacy St
> be
> > the northbound terminal and Balmer be
> southbound?
>
> I cannot speak for the BN decision makers who set
> up that scheme, but it makes sense to me. Trains
> coming north from the Portland and Bieber gateways
> would have a lot of loads destined to southside
> Seattle so would need to stop on southside Seattle
> anyway. I suppose most northbound trains to
> Everett, Bellingham, Ferndale and Vancouver from
> Seattle in those days would be handling mostly
> empties or local dead freight like wood chips.
> Trains from the east handling north cars could set
> out at Everett/Delta and carry their Seattle and
> south cars on into Balmer. Combined with south
> cars coming from points north of Seattle, trains
> for Portland and Bieber gateways could be
> conveniently built at Balmer.
>

That and also more blocks to build south than north, so they made use of the hump.

TAW



Date: 04/20/17 21:48
Re: Order the rotary
Author: Waybiller

Thanks to both of you. Makes sense.



Date: 04/21/17 23:06
Re: Order the rotary
Author: SP8100

TAW Wrote:
> They would go to Stacy, but after BN removed the
> track between Stacy and North Portal, not usually
> all the way to the yard. They would pull the
> Colorado or one of the PC tracks between Argo and
> Spokane Street and the power would leave via the
> wye. Back in those days, the Tacoma Chief would
> arrange pickups, setouts and blocking. If there
> was a good connection with one of the two daily
> Tacoma - Interbay transfers, any traffic that
> needed to go to Interbay would be set out at
> Tacoma. In those days, a Tacoma - Interbay round
> trip with one crew was common, and was usually a
> quit job.

TAW,

What do you mean by a "quit job"?? Is that a high senority run??


SP8100



Date: 04/22/17 06:21
Re: Order the rotary
Author: TAW

SP8100 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> What do you mean by a "quit job"?? Is that a high
> senority run??
>

A quit job describes an assignment that generally gets all the work done and go home in less than a full work day, for example, an 8 hour switch job or transfer that gets done with the assigned work and goes home in 7. The term overtime job describes one generally typically doesn't get done with the assigned work in 8 hours and goes on overtime. Those jobs are generally the result of too much to do for one crew and not enough for two. Quit jobs are usually the result of assigned work that folks who really know their stuff can finish in less time than folks who don't (or are lazy).

The highest seniority is typically found on either of those kinds of jobs. Some folks are after the money; some folks are after the time at home (or other non-railroad place).

TAW



Date: 04/23/17 13:36
Re: Order the rotary
Author: cdrapollo20

If you don't mind me asking what type of rotary are you talking about? You're not talking about a snow rotary right?



Date: 04/23/17 14:08
Re: Order the rotary
Author: TAW

cdrapollo20 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you don't mind me asking what type of rotary
> are you talking about? You're not talking about a
> snow rotary right?

Sure was.

TAW



Date: 04/23/17 14:24
Re: Order the rotary
Author: cdrapollo20

Were you just messing with everyone or there is some alternative use of these rotaries? Us Floridians are unfamilar with snow lol.



Date: 04/23/17 18:09
Re: Order the rotary
Author: TAW

cdrapollo20 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Were you just messing with everyone or there is
> some alternative use of these rotaries? Us
> Floridians are unfamilar with snow lol.

Yup. Messing with them. A rotary is an impressive and powerful machine. It could do some serious damage to an automobile, probably more in imagination than in reality, but at the expense of damage to the rotary. I always went to as far as I could to take care of everything happening on my railroad or that affected my railroad, but insisted that I not be addressed in a manner that might be used on an errant dog (or errant teenager)...and that included management officials.

TAW



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