Home Open Account Help 186 users online

Railroaders' Nostalgia > Practical Jokes - 6


Pages:  [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ Next ]
Current Page:1 of 2


Date: 04/01/20 19:41
Practical Jokes - 6
Author: TAW

One dispatcher in Bakersfield, call him B, had quite a sense of humor. He relieved me one night for 3rd trick on the Saugus job (Burbank Jct – Mojave).
 
The operator at Saugus controlled an interlocking that included the east switch at Saugus and the west switch at Newhall. There was a road crossing between switches at Newhall. Westward train hit the approach light for the interlocking just east of the east switch. When a train hit the approach, it didn’t take long to reach the crossing.
 
On SP, operators announced every train when it hit the approach indictor: Coming west Saugus, etc. The dispatcher would then be sure the train didn’t need additional orders. If not, the dispatcher replied No more. Otherwise it was Copy three (five, etc.) and when the last was finished, then No more. On receiving no more, if the operator had orders for the train, he would make out a clearance and read it to the dispatcher. If there were orders for another train in the same direction but not this one, the operator would make out a No Orders clearance (I have _____NO_____ orders for your train). If there were no orders for any train in that direction, the operator would set the train order signal to the No Orders (green) position.
 
So, on this night, B signed the transfer. He just got in the chair when from the speaker on the dispatcher phone came
 
Saugus coming west…Saugus, there’s a truck stalled on the crossing at Newhall.
 
B Replied
 
375. No more. No more for the truck.
 
Such was his sense of humor.
 
On another night I relieved him on the Saugus job. He was on second trick, I was on third.
 
It was busy. There were more DOFTs (Dirty Ol’ Freight Trains) than usual and there were two 365s and two 375s. The last line of the transfer was “Passenger extra at Saugus for LA.”
 
Reading the orders through, it was apparent that the passenger extra was sewed in at Saugus for a long time. Everybody but the passenger extra (PX) had everything they needed for hours. That was unusual, but maybe there was a good reason, or he got buried in the rush and just missed it.
 
A good dispatcher sets up the railroad for his relief to do as little as possible in the first hour or so to give time to get a firm grip on what there is and what will be. When the guy you relieved has left something that is sure to blow up on your shift, it was called leaving you a package. Some folks would complain about how the guy being relieved handled the situation. Some would (just as they would do with a train crew), remember it forever and retaliate at some opportune time in the future. My method was just to assume the guy I relieved did the best he could and just ran out of time to fix everything, sign the transfer, look over the situation, develop a plan, and fix it. B knew that is what I would do. On this night, I signed the transfer and got in the chair. B left.
 
Ok, let’s see what I can figure out.
 
I could see a way to get the PX out of Saugus. It would take a lot of work, but that’s what I was there for. For the next half hour, I was, as a former dispatcher colleague was wont to say, busier than a one-armed paper hanger. I annulled a lot of orders and stuck out a lot of orders.
 
When I got to Saugus no more, Saugus read the clearance and there was the sound of applause coming from the dispatcher phone speaker. B came out of the adjoining (Valley-Mountain) office and said Good job! I forgot to tell you that was deadhead equipment, 14’s equipment detouring to LA because of a partial collapse in the Oxnard tunnel. See you tomorrow.
 
The third trick operators at Burbank Jct and Saugus had to crank out a lot of work, but apparently thought it was worthwhile. The second trick operators stayed to watch the show, and the audience included second and third trickers at Palmdale and Mojave.
 
Often, when you sign for a package, it is a matter of you’re fired if you don’t catch the problem.
 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?18,3895940,3895940#msg-3895940 Date: 11/23/15  4:03 Signing for a Big Fat Lap Author: TAW
 
This one would have had no consequence had I done nothing. It was a fun exercise and I got a laugh over how it was set up.


That's it. I've been writing and accumulating these for quite a while and only now noticed that it's April 1. No April Fool's day joke, just posts about jokes.
 
TAW
 



Date: 04/01/20 22:30
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: roustabout

Thank you, TAW, great stories!



Date: 04/02/20 08:10
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: WAF

I often wondered why some clearances had "No" and no train orders listed. Thanks for explaining. Learn something every day



Date: 04/02/20 10:17
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: Railbaron

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I often wondered why some clearances had "No" and
> no train orders listed. Thanks for explaining.
> Learn something every day

And I'll second that.



Date: 04/02/20 11:55
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: engineerinvirginia

Only once did I ever get a no orders clearance card......some roadmaster somewhere always had a little message about some innocuous thing that alway meant you had at least ONE message. 



Date: 04/02/20 12:20
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: TAW

engineerinvirginia Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Only once did I ever get a no orders clearance
> card......some roadmaster somewhere always had a
> little message about some innocuous thing that
> alway meant you had at least ONE message. 

The BN custom was work messages just handed up on a clear board. There was one  Wishram-Pasco pool conductor who had a habit of "not getting" messages to work the aluminum plant at Cliffs. I caught him one afternoon on a train that normally worked Cliffs. Trains that worked Cliffs generally got the message at Roosevelt, not Pasco because we had to wait until the aluminum plant called ready for a switch. Knowing that this guy would "not get" a message (message? No dispatcher, we didn't get any message) and scoot right into Wishram, I put a board (19 train order signal) on him, stuck out a work message, and cleared him up on no orders. He couldn't deny he got the message.

He called from the phone at Cliffs all upset. He told me that what I did wasn't fair and I should never do it again.

TAW



Date: 04/03/20 11:18
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: 90mac

I was fortunate in the early 80's to hang with the second and third trick Operators at Burbank Junction.
John Schwitzner and Roger Olivier.
They took me under their wing and showed me the ropes.
It was still busy then and I got to help with some of the work.
I am so grateful to those fellows and to experience the end of an era.

TAH

Posted from Android



Date: 04/03/20 12:08
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: hoggerdoug

As one Dispatcher told me "you know it's going to be a bad shift when you bump into the fellow your are relieving in the parking lot heading to his car".

Being in the running trades, on a bad day, I have suffered right along with the Dispatchers.

Doug



Date: 04/03/20 15:37
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: ExSPCondr

You knew it was going to be a bad day when you were an extraboard ydm.called to be the daylight Shops Yardmaster on the SP.  Apperently the regular day ydm called the midnight clerks before calling time, and if it looked looked like it was going to be a bad day, he would lay off.
G



Date: 04/05/20 06:07
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: Englewood

The Penn Central ops I worked with at Englewood told stories of running phanton trains in the 
Whiting, Ind. area.   I forget the details but it was between two towers where a foreign line
operated over the PC.  

Another op at Beverly Jct. figured out how to mess with the DS ringer circuit whenthe beloved dispatcher Mr. "G"
was in the seat.  



Date: 04/05/20 11:54
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: TAW

Englewood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Another op at Beverly Jct. figured out how to mess
> with the DS ringer circuit whenthe beloved
> dispatcher Mr. "G"
> was in the seat.  

Anything to harass that guy would have been a good thing.

TAW



Date: 04/05/20 14:25
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: 567Chant

"... a partial collapse in the Oxnard tunnel."
Where is that? 26?
Thanx!
...Lorenzo



Date: 04/05/20 14:55
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: TAW

567Chant Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "... a partial collapse in the Oxnard tunnel."
> Where is that? 26?
> Thanx!

Been a long time - Chatsworth, not Oxnard, but I don't know which one.

TAW



Date: 04/05/20 14:57
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: TAW

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One dispatcher in Bakersfield, call him B, had
> quite a sense of humor. He relieved me one night
> for 3rd trick on the Saugus job (Burbank Jct –
> Mojave).
>  
> The operator at Saugus controlled an interlocking
> that included the east switch at Saugus and the
> west switch at Newhall. There was a road crossing
> between switches at Newhall. Westward train hit
> the approach light for the interlocking just east
> of the east switch. When a train hit the approach,
> it didn’t take long to reach the crossing.
>  
> On SP, operators announced every train when it hit
> the approach indictor: Coming west Saugus, etc.
> The dispatcher would then be sure the train
> didn’t need additional orders. If not, the
> dispatcher replied No more. Otherwise it was Copy
> three (five, etc.) and when the last was finished,
> then No more. On receiving no more, if the
> operator had orders for the train, he would make
> out a clearance and read it to the dispatcher. If
> there were orders for another train in the same
> direction but not this one, the operator would
> make out a No Orders clearance (I have
> _____NO_____ orders for your train). If there were
> no orders for any train in that direction, the
> operator would set the train order signal to the
> No Orders (green) position.
>  
> So, on this night, B signed the transfer. He just
> got in the chair when from the speaker on the
> dispatcher phone came
>  
> Saugus coming west…Saugus, there’s a truck
> stalled on the crossing at Newhall.
>  
> B Replied
>  
> 375. No more. No more for the truck.
>  
> Such was his sense of humor.
>  
> On another night I relieved him on the Saugus job.
> He was on second trick, I was on third.
>  
> It was busy. There were more DOFTs (Dirty Ol’
> Freight Trains) than usual and there were two 365s
> and two 375s. The last line of the transfer was
> “Passenger extra at Saugus for LA.”
>  
> Reading the orders through, it was apparent that
> the passenger extra was sewed in at Saugus for a
> long time. Everybody but the passenger extra (PX)
> had everything they needed for hours. That was
> unusual, but maybe there was a good reason, or he
> got buried in the rush and just missed it.
>  
> A good dispatcher sets up the railroad for his
> relief to do as little as possible in the first
> hour or so to give time to get a firm grip on what
> there is and what will be. When the guy you
> relieved has left something that is sure to blow
> up on your shift, it was called leaving you a
> package. Some folks would complain about how the
> guy being relieved handled the situation. Some
> would (just as they would do with a train crew),
> remember it forever and retaliate at some
> opportune time in the future. My method was just
> to assume the guy I relieved did the best he could
> and just ran out of time to fix everything, sign
> the transfer, look over the situation, develop a
> plan, and fix it. B knew that is what I would do.
> On this night, I signed the transfer and got in
> the chair. B left.
>  
> Ok, let’s see what I can figure out.
>  
> I could see a way to get the PX out of Saugus. It
> would take a lot of work, but that’s what I was
> there for. For the next half hour, I was, as a
> former dispatcher colleague was wont to say,
> busier than a one-armed paper hanger. I annulled a
> lot of orders and stuck out a lot of orders.
>  
> When I got to Saugus no more, Saugus read the
> clearance and there was the sound of applause
> coming from the dispatcher phone speaker. B came
> out of the adjoining (Valley-Mountain) office and
> said Good job! I forgot to tell you that was
> deadhead equipment, 14’s equipment detouring to
> LA because of a partial collapse in the Oxnard

ed 040520 looks like should have been Chatsworth, not Oxnard - been a long time

> tunnel. See you tomorrow.
>  
> The third trick operators at Burbank Jct and
> Saugus had to crank out a lot of work, but
> apparently thought it was worthwhile. The second
> trick operators stayed to watch the show, and the
> audience included second and third trickers at
> Palmdale and Mojave.
>  
> Often, when you sign for a package, it is a matter
> of you’re fired if you don’t catch the
> problem.
>  
> https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?18
> ,3895940,3895940#msg-3895940 Date: 11/23/15  4:03
> Signing for a Big Fat Lap Author: TAW
>  
> This one would have had no consequence had I done
> nothing. It was a fun exercise and I got a laugh
> over how it was set up.
>
>
> That's it. I've been writing and accumulating
> these for quite a while and only now noticed that
> it's April 1. No April Fool's day joke, just posts
> about jokes.
>  
> TAW
>  



Date: 04/29/20 00:29
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: Seventyfive

Englewood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Penn Central ops I worked with at Englewood
> told stories of running phanton trains in the 
> Whiting, Ind. area.   I forget the details but
> it was between two towers where a foreign line
> operated over the PC.  
>
> Another op at Beverly Jct. figured out how to mess
> with the DS ringer circuit whenthe beloved
> dispatcher Mr. "G"
> was in the seat.  

I never heard the phantom train stories around Whiting, but will give that one some thought.
As for dispr. G, I posted with a Leverman-Operator who knew how to hit the dispatchers' ringer
box with a hammer while he was ringing so that it stuck and kept ringing.  For a long time.
You should have heard G in the background !  Those were the days.



Date: 04/29/20 08:36
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: TAW

Seventyfive Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I posted with a Leverman-Operator
> who knew how to hit the dispatchers' ringer
> box with a hammer while he was ringing so that it
> stuck and kept ringing.

One B&OCT New Year's Eve, my trick man decided to ring 0-0-A (Call All) on the dispatcher phone selector at midnight. He is the only one Iever saw use it. The index card on the selector still had a bunch of phones listed that we never used (left over from the days before dial phones) and didn't know if they actually existed (roundhouses, crew callers, etc .). It took the wire chief a long time to get the phones to stop ringing. Since the B&OCT dispatcher wire was full of sleepy hollow places like State Line, Dolton, 75, and Ash Street, there were a lot of operators who were not amused, as well as the yardmasters at Robey, Barr Ashland, and Barr Halsted. The wire chief was not amused either.

TAW



Date: 04/29/20 08:47
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: Englewood

Here is another one that was told to me by someone who was there.
A DS office somewhere along the SP Sunset route.

On some occasion an office trickster set off a loud "firecracker" in 
the case of one of the old style CTC machines.  That to enhance the noise.
The vibration broke almost all the bulbs on the face of the machine.
More bulbs than that office had a stock of.  An emergency delivery was
necessary from distant offices to get everything squared away.



Date: 04/29/20 10:47
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: Seventyfive

A note about dispatcher "G". i heard a year or two later, that he was arrested in CUS for impersonating a police officer.
I don't recall if he was pretending to be a Chicago, CUS, or some other jurisdition's policeman.  Wish I could have seen that.



Date: 04/29/20 11:14
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: TAW

Seventyfive Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A note about dispatcher "G". i heard a year or two
> later, that he was arrested in CUS for
> impersonating a police officer.
> I don't recall if he was pretending to be a
> Chicago, CUS, or some other jurisdition's
> policeman.  Wish I could have seen that.

For a short while, there was a 3d tricker at Dolton who was impossible to get along with. There was a story that he was sent home from Nam and thrown out of the army for being a pathological killer. He did what he wanted when he wanted and no officer, Trainmaster, Asst. Supt., or even Supt. would challenge him. I wondered back then what it would have been like for he and G to work the same shift.

TAW



Date: 04/29/20 13:49
Re: Practical Jokes - 6
Author: Seventyfive

I heard a story from Tony that one night at Dolton the Leverman-Operator was causing big trouble.
Don B. was a Trainmaster at the time and went over there to straighten him out.  I have likely forgotten
most of the story, but recall Tony saying the Dolton Police ended up there to break it all up.
Were you around for this one, Tom ?



Pages:  [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ Next ]
Current Page:1 of 2


[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.1638 seconds