Home Open Account Help 230 users online

Railroaders' Nostalgia > Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972


Date: 04/07/22 11:23
Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: TAW

I encountered in my files a scan of a booklet that Frank Bannister, SP Chief in Bakersfield, issued to train dispatchers in 1972. As you can see, he didn't expect much from us.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dza6a8ytde07q73/FMB%201972.pdf?dl=0

TAW



Date: 04/07/22 14:22
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: WAF

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I encountered in my files a scan of a booklet that
> Frank Bannister, SP Chief in Bakersfield, issued
> to train dispatchers in 1972. As you can see, he
> didn't expect much from us.
> https://www.dropbox.com/s/dza6a8ytde07q73/FMB%2019
> 72.pdf?dl=0
>
> TAW
Sounds like this orginated right out of RDS's office or RLK's



Date: 04/08/22 10:28
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: Zephyr

Wow!  That is quite the memorandum!  Nighswonger in Los Angeles never issued anything like that to us dispatchers.  We were supposed to just know all of that through experience.  We called it "What's Hot and What's Not!"  It seemed to change on an almost daily basis, except for the BSM, APW, GS and MTS.



Date: 04/08/22 16:57
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: ironmtn

I gave this document a quick read, and am going back through it again more carefully.

Impressive, to say the least, both in its expectations, but also in the succinct, careful and precise way in which it lays out the duties and expectations of a dispatcher, and, importantly, the rationale for them. All encapsulated and rolled up into key goals or competencies. Clearly and articulately stated, and distilled down to the critical essentials. I've never been a DS, nor worked on the railroad. But I have written documents like these for training work I've done in other industries. And I am very impressed.

Most of all, the emphasis on planning as perhaps the single critical skill that undergirds everything else is particularly striking. You have discussed that many times, and it's here too. To know and articulate a critical skill that permeates all other tasks is a make-or-break factor for good training, good supervision, and mastery by the employee. This document knows what it is about, clear-eyed and unflinching.

I can't help but think that dispatchers who met these competencies, and who constantly polished and improved them, would have been excellent train dispatchers.

Thanks for sharing this. Quite a document.

MC



Date: 04/09/22 05:35
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: Highspeed

And the #1 priority? the Customer !



Date: 04/09/22 08:25
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: TAW

Zephyr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wow!  That is quite the memorandum!  Nighswonger
> in Los Angeles never issued anything like that to
> us dispatchers.

FMB was such a perfectionist that even though the Valley-Mounten and Saugus districts handed off trains to each other on the fly at Mojave, the handoff had to be in the form of a written call figure to the operator at Mojave to be given to the other side...even though there was just an open doorway between us.

TAW



Date: 04/09/22 16:55
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Zephyr Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Wow!  That is quite the memorandum!
>  Nighswonger
> > in Los Angeles never issued anything like that
> to
> > us dispatchers.
>
> FMB was such a perfectionist that even though the
> Valley-Mounten and Saugus districts handed off
> trains to each other on the fly at Mojave, the
> handoff had to be in the form of a written call
> figure to the operator at Mojave to be given to
> the other side...even though there was just an
> open doorway between us.
>
> TAW

Actually I met FMB a few times while working the LA BAK pool. Thought his booklet was well written and agree the customer is the one that pays our salaries.

Posted from Android



Date: 04/09/22 17:33
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: engineerinvirginia

Some of these instructions sound like the chiefies are trying to load their repsonsibilities onto the trick dispatchers....like balacing crews, looking out for held away payment expenses and minimizing deadheads and so on....this is pure Chief work and if THEY aren't doing it their job needs to be abolished....Trickies help crews run their trains...Chiefies count crews and money...and if they want to be worth their salt....tell crew management when to order a train....IF the relavent yardmasters have told them the train is ready to go. So on the whole a Chief is not what most of them think they are. 



Date: 04/09/22 18:31
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: TAW

engineerinvirginia Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Some of these instructions sound like the chiefies
> are trying to load their repsonsibilities onto the
> trick dispatchers....like balacing crews, looking
> out for held away payment expenses and minimizing
> deadheads and so on....this is pure Chief work and
> if THEY aren't doing it their job needs to be
> abolished....Trickies help crews run their
> trains...Chiefies count crews and money...and if
> they want to be worth their salt....tell crew
> management when to order a train....IF the
> relavent yardmasters have told them the train is
> ready to go. So on the whole a Chief is not what
> most of them think they are. 

Well, I was one, for a long time (three railroads). You don't have it quite right, at least for where I worked.

The Bakersfield office had a Division Chief (super chief) and an ACD for east and west of Fresno on every shift.

The instructions were for all dispatchers office personnel, and the tricks and chiefs were expected to work together to run a good railroad. FMB would show up at any time of the night and expect everyone to know what was going on and what was going to happen - trick and chief. There was a red phone on the wall next to the east Asst. Chief desk. It would ring at exactly 6am every day. The Superintendent would be on the other end of the phone. He wanted a complete rundown of everything happening and going to happen on the division between Burbank Jct and Polk (near Roseville) and Tracy. He could copy about 60 WPM. If the Asst Chief sent too slow, he would assume the guy didn't know and hang up. You DID NOT want him to hang up on you.

The one thing not covered was the 144 units assigned to the San Joaquin Division. The east ACD was responsible for the power and had to account for all 144 of them at transfer time. If The City (power bureau) wanted to use any of them, the east ACD was responsible for knowing where they were and what they were doing. The ACD who let The City borrow units was also responsible to eb sure no trains would hold for power because of it.

Worth their salt...where I worked (in Olden Tymes) the Chief set call times at terminals and the trick man set call times for main line changes.

Until around 1980, where I worked, dispatchers were given the full responsibility and authority for their position, trick or chief, and were expected to use it to run the railroad efficiently.

TAW



Date: 04/09/22 19:46
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: ExSPCondr

All of the time TAW worked as a Dispatcher for the SP, I was either a Yardmaster or an Assistant Trainmaster on the LA Division.  What he says is correct, one thing needs to be clarified:  ACD is the abreviation for Assistant Chief Dispatcher.

The Assistant Chiefs were indeed responsible for the power, crews, and cars.  In LA working as the AGYM on Sunday or Monday when we weren't getting many empty cars out of industries to go North, we woiuld quite often get a phone call from the ACD wanting a cab hop run from LA to Bakersfield with four big units to protect the Eastbound lumber loads that had left left Eugene Oregon on Friday.
 
At City of Industry, the only difference  was that I was talking to the East ACD instead of the Mountain.  Instead of setting calls, we had to schedule what order the Eastbound trains would arrive in, so two or three pickups could be put in the same track in the right order for lack of room. 

After WC opened, all the Eastbound cars went in one train, and the ACD had to know how many cars we figured we would have, ten hours ahead of time.  He or she also had to figure on having enough power and crews at WC to bring cars back to C of I and LA.
G



Date: 04/10/22 08:18
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: TAW

ExSPCondr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> All of the time TAW worked as a Dispatcher for the
> SP, I was either a Yardmaster or an Assistant
> Trainmaster on the LA Division.  What he says is
> correct, one thing needs to be clarified:  ACD is
> the abreviation for Assistant Chief Dispatcher.
>
> The Assistant Chiefs were indeed responsible for
> the power, crews, and cars.  In LA working as the
> AGYM on Sunday or Monday when we weren't getting
> many empty cars out of industries to go North, we
> woiuld quite often get a phone call from the ACD
> wanting a cab hop run from LA to Bakersfield with
> four big units to protect the Eastbound lumber
> loads that had left left Eugene Oregon on Friday.
>  


Case in point: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,818639,818686#msg-818686 Date: 11/14/04 10:49 Re: Largest Power Move? Author: TAW

TAW



Date: 04/10/22 10:10
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: trackplanner

Very interesting read, thanks for posting!
 



Date: 04/14/22 19:26
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: jcaestecker

The customer is ALWAYS right, even if he's wrong.  There's no business if the customers are chronically unhappy.

-John



Date: 04/14/22 19:45
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: jgilmore

Hmmm, $230 for DOL recrew, that was very costly back then according to the notes. Guess it's not viewed so costly nowadays since recrewing is so common and looked at as still cheaper than keeping more full-time employees on the payroll. I'm guessing that lack of training and competency along with lack of authority for dispatchers contributes to the problem, but does anyone nowadays even quantify and keep track of the added expense (with dead trains, increased equipment costs, etc.) of all of this compared to how things were run back in the day? They make software for everything these days right?

JG



Date: 04/15/22 05:13
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: Englewood

Would be interesting to know how many
of the MCO's, DTO's, MTO, and whatever other
titles are given those who now "perform" chief
duties ever worked a desk.

 



Date: 06/16/22 07:07
Re: Train Dispatcher expectations-Bakersfield 1972
Author: kurtarmbruster

Great, priceless information here, gents, thank you.



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.1034 seconds