Yard Ops Question

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Yard Ops Question

Post by NYC27 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:13 pm

How do you safely operate switchers in a flat yard when you have one working each end at the same time?

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Re: Yard Ops Question

Post by rovetherr » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:38 pm

NYC27 wrote:How do you safely operate switchers in a flat yard when you have one working each end at the same time?
Same as any time two or more crews are working in the same area, communication between crews to determine who is doing what, where, when, and for how long.
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Re: Yard Ops Question

Post by Minneapolitan » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:22 pm

Basically, what he said. Too much radio chatter on the same channel sucks, so keep everything short and simple. When the air waves are swamped with communication, don't be afraid to use the word "over" as a courtesy to both your own crew and other crews even though, depending on specific company rules, using the word "over" is not required within yard limits.

Also, know WHO is on your channel and if things are getting too clogged with talk to think and work safely, ask a crew to work on another channel. More preferably, do this yourself. This is usually okay, depending on the yard, but it must be clear to all parties that one crew is switching to another channel and isn't hearing everything going on. And if you need to switch back to another channel and communicate to another crew, wait a few seconds and listen before talking so you don't interrupt them right when it's "two cars...one car...half...20 feet..." When I hear this, I expect the crew member to then instruct a stretch. THEN he'll likely take "3-point" or "red zone" protection and that's a great place to hop in on the radio.

Sometimes this excessive chatter is coming from a section crew working on track somewhere nearby. If they're only communicating among themselves then they'd generally be the ones to ask to switch channels.

All this being said, I've always wondered if in certain yards, at least in the old days, common practice would be for each crew to use certain yard tracks to switch and have a designated track where crews can transfer cars between them. For example, a crew works each end of a twelve-track yard. The east end crew switches on tracks 1-5, the west end crew switches on tracks 8-12, and if either crew has cars that the other crew will ultimately need then they get shoved down tracks 6 or 7 for the other crew to deal with.
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