Home Open Account Help 248 users online

Railroaders' Nostalgia > A Very Profitable Night

Date: 01/22/20 11:10
A Very Profitable Night
Author: ExSPCondr

I enjoyed the "Interesting and Profitable Day" post above, so how about a really profitable night, with very little work post?
Wes and I were called for a Sparks train out of the Rock Pile in Roseville at 10pm, which meant we had to back the power out of the roundhouse about a mile to our train. The engineer asked me if I would mind riding the point so he could run from what would be our lead unit to make sure the heaters and the speedometer worked.  I agreed, and we backed out of the house.  Eastbounds out of the Rock Pile had to depart via track 21 which paralleled the departure yard to get to the East end, and wait for a highball from the 245 herder.

Sure enough, the heaters worked, but the speedometer didn't.  Wes called the roundhouse, and they came out and changed the speedometer head, but didn't check to see if the new one worked.  We get our air test,  start to pull up #21, and guess what?  The speedo still doesn't work.

Another call to the roundhouse, and by this time its well after 11pm, so the night electricians come out and change the axle drive.  Knowing that the afternoon crew had put a new head on the engine, they say "OK, that will fix it."  We call the herder and tell him we are ready, so he lines us up and gives us a hiball.

In the meantime, they have called four more Mountain trains about a half an hour apart behind us out of the departure yard.  We take the herder's hiball and start ahead which blocks the other four trains from departing, and the speedo STILL doesn't work.  Now we are stopped on the East Main East of Berry St, and here comes the roundhouse foreman, the electricians, and the Assistant Terminal Supt.  Everybody except the electrician is MAD, he's just unhappy about being chewed on by his foreman.

This time, the electrician takes the axle drive off and turns it, and sure enough, the speedo still doesn't move.  They bring the axle drive in the cab and connect it straight to the head, and it works fine.  This leaves the only possible fault as the wires between the head and the front truck.  They are in a piece of conduit that is bent around the couple of corners, with no junction boxes, so to change the wires, just tape the new ones to the old ones, and pull them through.  In this case both the new and the old were pieces of regular black extension cord, which made the job easy.  The electricians take the drive back outside and connect it to the wires and turn it, now the speedo works, so they bolt the drive back on the axle.  (Yes, it was just bad wire in the first place, but oh well.)

Unbeknownst to us, the Asst. Term. Supt. thought we were screwing around, or screwing him, so he had called called a new crew, and planned on relieving us, which would only pay us a basic eight hour day, and cost us about three hours of initial terminal delay that we would have made if we left town.

He busted our call and sent us home at about 130am and took the crew off of the first train called behind us, and put them on our train.
Remember, were on duty at ten pm for what would have been an all-nighter, but now we get to go home at 130am, instead of trying to stay awake grinding up the mountain,  AND we will be first out at 930am.  Hurt us some more!  OK, when a crew's call is busted, and any following crews already on duty make the Yard Board before the busted crew's hours limit, it pays a 100 mile runaround.  Three of the four the trains called behind us made the Sparks Yard Board before 1030am, so that paid 300 miles.
Next applicable agreement provision pays a fifty mile runaround for every train called after we have four hours off, but less than eight, that  makes the Yard Board in less than the 8 1/2 hours we had left to work when the ATS busted our call.  They called two trains after our four hours off, and they both made it, paying us 50 miles each.

The bottom line is that we got 100 miles for the 3 1/2 hours on duty,  300 miles for the three trains on duty behind us, and another 100 miles (50 X 2) for the two trains that were called after we had four hours off.  Considering a trip to Sparks paid 139 miles, and usually an hour or so of straight time initial delay, we made out quite well.  Since each of the claims had to have the {person giving the instruction} on it, I imagine the ATS hears about it from the TS.


Date: 01/22/20 11:24
Re: A Very Profitable Night
Author: Railbaron

Proving once again that managers, especially those who don't know agreements, can be your best friend.

Date: 01/22/20 12:08
Re: A Very Profitable Night
Author: retcsxcfm

I am very surprised that "someone"
would  hold a train or trains
for a BO speedo.
Use your watch and mile posts.

Uncle Joe

Date: 01/22/20 13:02
Re: A Very Profitable Night
Author: ExSPCondr

Well Unk, have you ever heard of an equation?
Leaving Roseville for an example, the milepost is 108.  The milepost at the crew change point in Dunsmuir is 321.  Do we get paid for 213 miles?  The answer is no, we only get 210 because the Central Valley Water project moved the track out of the canyon to put in Shasta dam,and one milepost West of Delta is 3/4 mile fom the next one which reads four miles higher.  Several places on the mountain have had curves straightened out, and the mileposts are off by a couple of hundred feet.
One place on the Sunset route East of Tucson, the track speed is 40mph, and if you are on time, it will take you a minute to go a mile at forty mph.

Using mileposts and a watch only gives average speed, not actual speed when you pass the second milepost.  What happens when you time it in the mountains and you are several seconds short, do you add more air and time it for the next mile?  Then you are several seconds too long, and now you have too much air in the train which you CAN'T release going down a 2.2% grade, and you are going to stop!

Also this was just after the FRA regulation requiring a working speedometer was put in place.

The roundhouse forces at Sparks,the next terminal had been abolished by this time, and I will guarantee that the next crew wouldn't have taken the train with a bad order speedo either, so what are we going to do? Call the dispatcher and tell him the speedo just quit 5 miles out of town?  Or get off and have the next crew stop after they have gone a mile and the speedo doesn't work?  They're not going to get fired, WE ARE.

I will guarantee that at least one of the trailing units had a working speedo, which means an event recorder....
5 mph over, and both the Conductor and Engineer are subject to discipline.
Tell me what thanks we would have gotten for taking that unit with a BO speedo?

Date: 01/22/20 21:55
Re: A Very Profitable Night
Author: DevalDragon

If a speedometer goes bad order during a trip the train continues to the next repair facility. The train cannot leave the originating terminal with a bad order speedometer.

Date: 01/23/20 08:51
Re: A Very Profitable Night
Author: swingnose

Seriously? Definitely not today lol

retcsxcfm Wrote:
> I am very surprised that "someone"
> would  hold a train or trains
> for a BO speedo.
> Use your watch and mile posts.
> Uncle Joe
> Seffner,Fl.

Posted from iPhone

Date: 01/23/20 09:30
Re: A Very Profitable Night
Author: Trainhand

Ok Joe, you are retired from CSX. In the 70's or so, an engineer took a train from Pensacola, FL toward Chattahootchee, FL. There was an ICC edict that a Family Lines RR Train had to have a working speedometer on the lead engine. I think this was brought about by the burning of Waverly, TN by the L&N> The engineer tried to be a good employee and left on he TM instructions. He derailed east of Pensacola. The cause of the derailment was excessive speed.This derailment broke open several tanks of clorine. Some people were killed. The engineer was fired. I don't know if he ever got back. The TM had selective amniesa and said I didn't tell him to violate an ICC edict. The TM kept his job.

This just goes to show that the RR will talk safety and rule compliance until you get in a pissing contest with them, then its I'm right you're wrong and I didn't tell you to violate rules.
Have been there.
Sam also retired from CSX 

Date: 01/23/20 10:18
Re: A Very Profitable Night
Author: TAW

Railbaron Wrote:
> Proving once again that managers, especially those
> who don't know agreements, can be your best
> friend.

I worked with an ex-GN assistant Chief (not even a manager) who hated NP with a passion. With the BN merger, he found himself being responsible for NP train on his railroad. One Friday, one of the NP locals ran out of time. Instead of sending a relief crew, he sent a taxi. He wasn't about to dogcatch an NP crew. They could wait until Monday. Detail: GN locals were using pool cabooses. NP locals were using assigned cabooses. They were paid until the caboose returned to their tie up point. In this case, that was four days later and generated substantial revenue for the crew. My colleague learned to turn down his disdain for NP a bit.

Another dispatching colleague had started railroading on a steel or tie gang (one or the other) back when they were self-sufficient wherever they went, living in bunk cars and having a kitchen car for meals. The gang was moved to some bookdock point on the Oregon Trunk (between Wishram WA and Bend OR). The gang traveled by road. The outfit cars were to move on a work train. An ex-SP&S Chief with a disdain for Gandys decided that he would save money by moving the outfit in revenue service on the next train that had room rather than spending the money on the work train. Several days passed before there was a train light enough to handle the outfits. Meanwhile, the gang had to be put up in a hotel and eat in restaurants, costing a significant chunk of money and time...AND,,,were on continuous (pay) time until their outfit cars arrived and were ready for occupancy. Hey, at least he was spending someone else's budget, a precursor to (and model for) the BN RESBU Wars of the 80s.


Date: 01/23/20 11:49
Re: A Very Profitable Night
Author: PHall

These are the type of agreements that the members ask "what is this for" when they're voting on the contract and the union guys say don't worry you'll love it.
And then this kind of stuff happens and you do love it! All the way to the bank!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/20 18:13 by PHall.

Date: 01/23/20 12:17
Re: A Very Profitable Night
Author: 3rdswitch

Another fine example of KNOWING the agreements. After the Harbor extension of yard limits from Los Angeles to include both the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, twenty miles from the old original yard limits, I put in so many time claims I was told by a union official that I was number one special claim originator on the whole DIVISION. Someone showed me that our tie up computers had a memory so I put the most used claims in the memory only having to fill out a few blanks instead of typing the whole thing every time. It worked great until they came out with new computers.

Date: 01/26/20 13:29
Re: A Very Profitable Night
Author: WP-M2051

Forty years ago when I was a hog for Santa Fe, I was hostling in the winter at Richmond CA (we had straight seniority - if I couldn't hold the extra board or fire pool freight, I'd work as a hostler rather than run switch engines with the crappy CF7s).  Anyway we sent out a set of power with 3 bell ringers, the lead being a blue nosed 3200 class GP30.  The blue nose told you it probably had not been shopped in a while (yes, I know San Bernardino painted some of those heaps with the old scheme up to the late '70s).  The engineer called the roundhouse once he got the  power on his train to state that the speedo. was BO.  Off we go to check it out:  the cable from the axle to the cab was completely missing!  Well, the guys went with it all the same:  a tule fog night on a 928 shyyt train to Fresno.  Glad I missed that one.  

[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0872 seconds