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Eastern Railroad Discussion > One Man Locals/Engineer & Conductor


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Date: 03/14/23 09:01
One Man Locals/Engineer & Conductor
Author: HardYellow

I have a conductor friend who works for NS. He says most of the locals are all one man crews, a conductor. CSX is the same. I can't say for UP and BNSF. A one man local is like having a grocery store checker with no baggier/box boy. The checker has to do double duty. The costumers line up and wait. The RR shipper gets the same kind of service, with a one man local. It's always the bottom line. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/23 18:00 by HardYellow.



Date: 03/14/23 09:12
Re: One Man Locals
Author: ghemr

Conductor-only jobs have been around for years now---it's nothing new!



Date: 03/14/23 09:18
Re: One Man Locals
Author: HardYellow

ghemr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Conductor-only jobs have been around for years
> now---it's nothing new!

Okay...what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Does that make my post invalid?



Date: 03/14/23 09:20
Re: One Man Locals
Author: toledopatch

HardYellow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ghemr Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Conductor-only jobs have been around for years
> > now---it's nothing new!
>
> Okay...what does that have to do with the price of
> tea in China? Does that make my post invalid?

I'll ask the opposite - given that having conductor-only local jobs is not newsworthy, what's your point?
 



Date: 03/14/23 09:32
Re: One Man Locals
Author: JPB

By one man local do you mean a single operator with remote control operating in the confines of a RR yard? Or do the RRs actually permit one man crews to service customer sidings outside the yard?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/23 09:32 by JPB.



Date: 03/14/23 11:36
Re: One Man Locals
Author: HardYellow

JPB Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> By one man local do you mean a single operator
> with remote control operating in the confines of a
> RR yard? Or do the RRs actually permit one man
> crews to service customer sidings outside the
> yard?

One man on the ground, conductor. My point was, I don't see how that serves the shipper. The Hodunk Local shoves 20 cars up an industrial spur. That means (one man crew) has to walk all the way back to the main track, open the derail and line the mainline switch back, then walk back to the end of the cut and proceed to spot and pull the cars. Not talking about a remote job in a yard. How safe is a one man local?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/23 11:39 by HardYellow.



Date: 03/14/23 12:30
Re: One Man Locals
Author: pdt

You all mean a conductor and an engineer. right?   I would call; that a 2 man crew.  Altho i could see on the RR, they would say 1 man cause its one man from the trainman roster.   The engineers are on a separate list.  Am i correct here?  I dunno. 

Yea..ive seen locals on te NS with engineer and conductor for years.  Out here in CA, the UP and BNSF locals Ive seen have engineer/conductor/brakeman still.    Its much slower going with just one person on the ground, but some RR's just hate having employees enough...and also roads like NS have driven away enough customers in some areas, that they dont care how long it takes, cause there isnt that much to do anymore.

Local crews that i know about have been getting back at the company by really dogging it, and turning 1 crew jobs into 2 crew jobs.   Its a vicious cycle to the bottom, and nobody wins, except for the top brass who are awarded fat bonuses no matter how good or bad a job they do.   Its the wall street bubble crowd rewarding themselves.

Ive never heard anyone in the rank and file say anything good about working for NS.  27 year old "trainmasters" telling 60 year old veterans how to do their jobs, or sitting in the weeds with radar guns trying to bust a crew.  Everything ive heard sounds awful, like the NS really hates the rank and file.

IDK these days, but used to be that an ex-conrail guy could hold extra board on CSX, or a M-F regular day job local on the NS.  Kinda tell ya.



Date: 03/14/23 12:39
Re: One Man Locals
Author: atsfer

There's a podcast on Apple called "city of the rails"....episode 8 covers what the author found out about working on the RR....they shared the same conclusion..they hate us.



Date: 03/14/23 12:56
Re: One Man Locals
Author: Roadmaster

atsfer Wrote:  "There's a podcast  . . . called "city of the rails"....episode 8 . . . "

One can listen to this podcast using a web browser; all episodes are available here: https://link.chtbl.com/cotr?sid=url

Matthew



Date: 03/14/23 13:07
Re: One Man Locals
Author: radar

pdt Wrote:
> Ive never heard anyone in the rank and file say
> anything good about working for NS.  27 year old
> "trainmasters" telling 60 year old veterans how to
> do their jobs, or sitting in the weeds with radar
> guns trying to bust a crew.

Bitching is just a normal thing on every railroad.  I never saw any rail praise the company they work for.  In fact, isn't it pretty much normal for every employee to complain about something?  And the bosses have the employees to complain about, so it's all balanced out.



Date: 03/14/23 13:36
Re: One Man Locals
Author: TomG

HardYellow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> JPB Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > By one man local do you mean a single operator
> > with remote control operating in the confines of
> a
> > RR yard? Or do the RRs actually permit one man
> > crews to service customer sidings outside the
> > yard?
>
> One man on the ground, conductor. My point was, I
> don't see how that serves the shipper. The Hodunk
> Local shoves 20 cars up an industrial spur. That
> means (one man crew) has to walk all the way back
> to the main track, open the derail and line the
> mainline switch back, then walk back to the end of
> the cut and proceed to spot and pull the cars. Not
> talking about a remote job in a yard. How safe is
> a one man local?

I've watched the California Northern run with one man. He's an engineer and pulls up to a turnout, stops and climbs down. Thenn there us a yellow stobe on the cab flashes that tge remote is on and he moves the train to clear the turnout. He turns the turnout and rides the cut back and does his work from the back until done. Then rides back to the turnout, closes it and either walks back to the locomotive or shoves back to where he is and climbs back on and heads down the line. It doesn't loose a lot of time.



Date: 03/14/23 13:46
Re: One Man Locals
Author: wabash2800

That's something until he does what caused the runaway loco in Ohio some years ago.

Victor Baird

TomG Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've watched the California Northern run with one
> man. He's an engineer and pulls up to a turnout,
> stops and climbs down. Thenn there us a yellow
> stobe on the cab flashes that tge remote is on and
> he moves the train to clear the turnout. He turns
> the turnout and rides the cut back and does his
> work from the back until done. Then rides back to
> the turnout, closes it and either walks back to
> the locomotive or shoves back to where he is and
> climbs back on and heads down the line. It doesn't
> loose a lot of time.



Date: 03/14/23 13:49
Re: One Man Locals
Author: longliveSP

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You all mean a conductor and an engineer.
> right?  

Um, no. But thanks for playing.



Date: 03/14/23 14:37
Re: One Man Locals
Author: EL833

Well, only way there can be a "conductor only" job without an engineer (which then makes it a two man job) is to use a remote unit. Somebody has to make the locomotive go forwards, backwards, and stop. We had no one man remote jobs on NS that I know of, at least in my territory. All remote jobs were two remote qualified conductors. Now, we did often refer jobs as "one man jobs" once they took the brakemen/switchmen off many jobs. But in reality pretty much every job, remote or with an engineer, were two person jobs. It did take longer to do the work (how well I know), but the poorer service generally was the result of NS cutting back switch days for a customer and/or starting the jobs at a much farther away yard.

Roger Durfee
Akron, OH



Date: 03/14/23 16:23
Re: One Man Locals
Author: HardYellow

Okay,Okay...When I started the thread about one man crew on locals, I meant a conductor with no brakeman. So, let's call it a two man crew, conductor and engineer. Forget all this remote control talk...NOW.



Date: 03/14/23 18:00
Re: One Man Locals
Author: jgilmore

Hasn't the conductor pretty much been the switchman/brakeman for a long time now? I guess the easier question is, are there any 3-man locals anymore?

JG



Date: 03/14/23 18:48
Re: One Man Locals
Author: HardYellow

jgilmore Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hasn't the conductor pretty much been the
> switchman/brakeman for a long time now? I guess
> the easier question is, are there any 3-man locals
> anymore?
>
> JG

I was told the UP and BNSF still have three man locals.



Date: 03/15/23 02:15
Re: One Man Locals
Author: justalurker66

HardYellow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Okay,Okay...When I started the thread about one man crew on locals,
> I meant a conductor with no brakeman. So, let's call it a two man crew,
> conductor and engineer. Forget all this remote control talk...NOW.

OK ... what you describe is a standard two man crew (can also be a two person crew if one is open minded).

One conductor doing his job of throwing switches and directing the train as the one engineer controls the throttle and brakes and follows direction.
The conductor also gets the pleasure of tying down cars dropped and releasing hand brakes on cars being picked up - among other duties.

"One man" is a hot button topic - but what you meant is NOT one man.

I have seen two man crews assisted by a utility person in a truck throwing switches and flagging crossings (when needed). There is talk about splitting the two man crew and running the train as engineer only with a conductor/utility person following the train in a truck to do the ground work. The bigger discussion is over non-locals becoming engineer only with roving conductors serving multiple trains. Not a good idea (in my opinion).

I believe most locals could operate with a split two person crew ... one on the train and one in a truck ... and may be more efficient if they can get to where they need to work faster than walking from the engine or being dropped or picked up by the engineer.



Date: 03/15/23 02:23
Re: One Man Locals
Author: justalurker66

wabash2800 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That's something until he does what caused the runaway loco in Ohio some years ago.

The engineer in Ohio was not attempting remote control operation. His mistake was not correctly setting the brakes before getting off of the engine to throw a switch.
 



Date: 03/15/23 08:50
Re: One Man Locals
Author: HardYellow

"One man" is a hot button topic - but what you meant is NOT one man.

Correct, I meant Engineer and Conductor only on a local. Seems as though most UP & BNSF locals have three men, Engineer, Conductor and a Brakeman. 



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