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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Called for a Main Line Change!


Date: 01/19/24 14:23
Called for a Main Line Change!
Author: ApproachCircuit

Sounded wonderful didn't it. Let's face it, it was at times. Even at night you knew your approximate running time and many times you would be in bed before daylight.
No hassle at the RH and believe me there were always hassles at the RH! I think on the SP it was no power. No power at 1, 2, 3am and laterI What in the hell do you do?
Well there was always plenty of Diesel Exhaust to breathe and you could stumble around on oil saturated dirt. The RH foreman's office was too small for you and he probably didn't want you hanging around
anyhow. OK let's say the power is there and you have walked thru and found everything OK. So you plop down, crack the throttle and what happens but BELLS. Oh No! And the mechanics (Frenchy and others)
are out on the carryall and god knows when they will be back. Maybe the foreman can help, just maybe.
OK lets get back to the Main Line Change. It's probably in the middle of the Night. It's always in the middle of the night when you are employed by the Railroad.
Well the Asst AGYM just informed you that your train has fallen down. (You've heard that one before) But he doesn't have further details. (the train got a knuckle or worse).
So there you sit and wait, sometimes hours!
Then the Praying starts: Maybe you will be relieved. Get your call busted. But wait! If you are lucky and the train does arrive(with problems) and you get on, you might get 50 miles and then get busted.
Or even better, get out of town to Burbank Jct and then get relieved picking up 100 miles and first out after 8 hours "rest". Oh the Money. $$$!
Sound familiar?



Date: 01/20/24 09:47
Re: Called for a Main Line Change!
Author: LocoPilot750

Working KC west in the Wellington pool, we had a deal that if you "departed" you got the 238 trip miles, even if you just made it out to the first signal, you had departed. They could send you home, but most of the time they would taxi you on to Wellington. If they couldn't get you out of town, and gave you a call & release, you got a basic day, and went 1st out on your rest.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/20/24 14:22
Re: Called for a Main Line Change!
Author: ironmtn

I had "busted calls" (which is what we called them) driving for Greyhound back in the '80s too. Usually it was protection as a second or third section for the first bus on a schedule in an era when Greyhound ran additional buses as needed. But then you weren't needed because the passenger count did not exceed available seats after all, contrary to expectations. And so the extra bus did not run the schedule - and you didn't make the mileage and pay you had anticipated out of a good day's work.

It had apparently happened enough for extra board drivers that the union had previously negotiated a pretty good arrangement for a minimum day's pay plus some extra (don't recall the details), and assured rest and good placement on the board for your next call. Dispatchers could still use you for other work once called, but with some limitations, so that you didn't end up with a long day, low miles (and pay), tired, and in a lousy position on the board for your next call. The bottom line was that there were disincentives to the dispatchers to not get drivers into a position where a "busted call" would happen. Generally it worked pretty well. But they still happened on occasion, and they were a pain in the neck when they occurred. Just part of life on the extra board.

MC



Date: 01/30/24 06:38
Re: Called for a Main Line Change!
Author: engineerinvirginia

Nowadays we have three hours if you are busted at the office but before you go on duty; and you back first out, but have to take rest...possibly short rest. If you are busted before you leave home, you just go back in place and get no money. If you go on duty and have performed service...or have been on duty 4 hours, you are paid the full value of the trip. And if you have indeed been on duty a while, they might just deadhead you to the away terminal just so they can say they got some use out of you. 



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