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Railroaders' Nostalgia > The 4PM a certain trainmaster sweepstakes

Date: 02/15/19 22:40
The 4PM a certain trainmaster sweepstakes
Author: eminence_grise

Sometime around 2000, the railroad I worked for placed high resolution video cameras at many locations where trains were yarded and switched out, and crews went on and off duty. The images could be viewed from any managers computer across the system, and at the the main office and train control centre in a city three hundred miles from where I worked.

We were mindful we were being watched, and trespassers were regularly escorted off the property, but none of us guessed another use that had been found for the closed circuit TV system.

The local yard office building still had a handfull of clerks and supervisors who worked a daily 8 to 4 shift.

It had come to the attention of the person monitoring the cameras in the traffic control centre that a certain supervisor made a bee-line for a certain watering hole across the tracks as soon as he was off shift at 4PM.

Somehow, people noted that his arrival at the licensed premises varied by a few minutes every day, and staff at the control centre started taking bets as to when he would go through the door.

Here's where the security camera came into play. Although the watering hole was a couple of hundred yards from the camera, it was powerful enough to zoom in on the door of the bar.

Soon there was a daily crowd gathering at the security camera desk, and the odd cheer came from the group.

Of course, once the manager of the control centre became aware of the wagering that was taking place, when K would enter the bar, the operation was shut down.


Date: 02/16/19 09:52
Re: The 4PM a certain trainmaster sweepstakes
Author: Fredo

Railroaders have a way of finding things that are fun,especially if it is at someone elses expense.

Date: 02/16/19 16:44
Re: The 4PM a certain trainmaster sweepstakes
Author: agentatascadero

Looks like the law of unintended consequences might apply here.


Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA

Date: 02/20/19 06:55
Re: The 4PM a certain trainmaster sweepstakes
Author: RRTom

Amtrak CUS story from 20+ years ago:
My office was robbed one night of a landline phone so a camera was installed (not at my request) in my office.
The live feed was able to be seen in the glass house in addition to the views of the station tracks.
At least one employee (flagman) under my purview would hang out in the glass house and started to watch when I left my office so he knew when to get back to his post.
Henceforth I covered the camera with a rag during the day.

Date: 02/25/19 12:23
Re: The 4PM a certain trainmaster sweepstakes
Author: tehachcond

It's a good thing the Southern Pacific at Taylor Yard, Los Angeles never had one of those cameras focused on a watering hole called Footsie's across San Fernando Rd.  They could have fired every switchman in the yard for Rule G!  At least the yardmasters knew where to go to find their crews when he had a move for them.

Brian Black
Castle Rock, CO

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