• 10 Hours Undisturbed Rest

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by UPRR engineer
Are the rest of you guys getting this now, or is it just the UP? All the BLE guys in my division voted no but sence its here now im guessing the majority of us voted yes. I dont like it much, for alot of reasons, hope its just here for a trial period. I would have held out for a few more years for a work rest agreement myself.

  by Avro Arrow
Optional on BNSF, you put in for 10 hours rest when you tie up if you want it.

  by CN_Hogger
We've got it on the CN. We can also kick for 8 hrs undisturbed. Lots of us use it.

  by UPRR engineer
We dont have a choice, we get 10hrs no matter what. I read yesterday at work that the over the road guys can choose not to when there not at their home terminal so they can get back home sooner. I guess the UTU on the UP sold the ease of laying off for this new rest rule, which sucks, i havent gotten a hold of my local chairman yet to see what the deal is with us. I read on the BLE forum that our ballots arent due in till the end of the month on the 10hrs rest, but its here already, wonder whats up with that?

  by CN_Hogger
We don't even have the option for signing for rest at the away from home terminal.... It sure would be nice to sometimes when you wait for the van to pick you up for 3+ hours after you croak and then get out on your rest.

  by PChap
Optional on CSX as well. They don't like for us to do it. Really hypocritical of them since they preach safety but want us on a train for 12 hours after only 4 or 5 hrs sleep.

  by SteelWheels21

Union Pacific Railroad began allowing more undisturbed rest time between shifts this week to cut fatigue among train crews, reports Stacie Hamel in the Omaha World-Herald.
The change was ratified by members of the United Transportation Union, which represents mostly conductors, and one section of workers who belong to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen.

Federal law requires that crews have at least eight hours off between shifts but allows employers to begin calling after six hours to arrange the next shift.

The UP change allows workers to choose eight, 10 or 12 hours of undisturbed rest when they clock out of work by computer. The railroad is bound by the request, and there is no limit to the number of times a worker can request the longer rest periods.

Allowing longer undisturbed rest "is only a small first step" and won't solve the problem of fatigue as long as work shifts are unpredictable, said UTU spokesman Frank Wilner.

Concern about fatigue has increased over the past two years as shipping demand has risen at the same time railroads are contending with a shortage of train-crew workers.

The National Transportation Safety Board held a two-day hearing last week into the cause of a June 28 train crash near Macdona, Texas. A UP train hit a BNSF train, releasing a toxic cloud of chlorine gas and killing the conductor and two residents.

The hearing focused partly on the UP engineer's erratic work shifts during the months before the accident, though his work hours met federal requirements.

UP has been studying the problem of fatigue and proposed the rest time change last fall, said spokeswoman Kathryn Blackwell.

Workers now have the right to decline an assignment and request more rest time, but union rules require that crew members be called in order of seniority.

Even if a senior crew member requests more rest, Blackwell said, the next call could come just a short time later.

"That can be minutes. And that's by union rules," she said.

Although UTU approved the change, Wilner said the proposal isn't enough.

"Ten hours of uninterrupted rest does not give a person adequate sleep," Wilner said.

Commute time, personal chores and time with family all would cut into that time, he said.

"You don't go home and immediately get between the covers and begin sleeping," he said. "Ten hours of uninterrupted rest could mean you are still only getting four or five hours of sleep before you are called back."

The answer is regularly scheduled hours, he said.

"We need to go to predictable schedules, predictable days off. And recognition that employees are entitled to a family life," Wilner said. "Continual shifts of 12 hours on and 10 hours off not only treat an employee as if he were a machine, but create the problem of fatigue."

UP also would prefer set schedules on more of its routes "where it makes sense," Blackwell said.

The railroad proposed a set schedule to unions for its coal route between North Platte and South Morrill, Neb. The proposal was defeated.

Schedules also would reduce the crew-calling process.

"That is really cumbersome. It takes a lot of time," Blackwell said.

The UTU's position is that railroads and union members should approach Congress together.

"We can negotiate a joint position and present it to Congress, the same way we did with changes to Railroad Retirement," Wilner said.

The rest of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, which is part of the Teamsters organization, has not yet replied to UP's proposal.

A Teamsters spokesman said he had no information on the plan.

"I don't even know if they've decided to vote on it," Galen Munroe said.

  by UPRR engineer
Whats do you think about it SteelWheels21? Most of the BLE stuff on your post is wrong. Where did you get that info from buddy?
I really dont like the auto mark up deal the UTU signed up for. I asked my local chairman what the deal was with us, and he said he would get back to me on it, no news yet. I dont like it, when i get sick of working i take my own days off to get some rest. I dont think getting more time off in between trips will get rid of any accidents. My board isnt spinning fast enough to make any killer cash right now anyways, but if it was to speed up id hate to have anything slow it down.

Trainmaster came in the shack friday night to give us a safety blitz about all the accidents on the northern region. About half way threw he asked who had been drinking because he could smell alcohol on someones breath..... classic. We all had to get tested, and he got nailed, rule G'd himself off for awhile, or maybe he'll never come back which is most likely.

  by SteelWheels21
It came from my local chairman, who got it from either the UTU website OR directly from the newspaper site (Omaha paper I believe). I can't comment on every aspect of the article, just throwing it out there because it's relevant.

I haven't been on the road yet so I can't honestly say either way. I would think that the choice of having 8,10 or 12 would be nice depending how tired you are. I also think it's important that you not be penalized for requesting XR. The guys out here tell me that after the first time, they dock you a day of guarantee. Why not just lay off at that point? I like my rest, so I'd be asking for at least 10 every time probably. Of course an extra 2 hours isn't going to eliminate fatigue overall, but it's a small first step.

That's a great story, btw. We had a student here get dismissed for Rule G. One time he was with a crew I was on and the foreman and I both noticed the smell. The yardmaster said put him on the motor and don't let him off (nobody wanted him fired at that point). After about 15 minutes the hog threw him out of the cab. He spent the rest of the shift standing on the walkway smoking cigarettes and trying to get sober.

  by AmtrakFan
I think that this is badly needed.

  by UPRR engineer
AmtrakFan wrote:I think that this is badly needed.
What? more drug alcohol testing?

I think theres more they could do then give a guy a couple more hours off. When i was on the brakemans extra board i was called on my rest most of the time, thats what i signed up for. I dont think most guys will use the extra time off for sleep anyways, they'll just spend more time at the bar or getting things caught up around the house, which will just make things worse after awhile. How long has the UP been doing things? 135+ There's no solution to the problem... well there is.. weed out most of the turds... or auto pilot.

  by UPRR engineer
Well good news for me, when i tied up last night the 10 hours rest didnt come up. Thank you general chairman. It must not have passed and they gave it to us anyways for awhile, or they are still counting the ballots. Hope it did get shot down and removed forever. Im sure the UTU engineers will be upset, and i cant wait to tell them i played a part in getting it removed from our tie up. HA HA Im not really that mean but ill sure let them know there in the wrong union if they wanna have a say in what happens.

  by Avro Arrow
I'm sure they care

A lot

  by UPRR engineer
I knew id get a reply from Avro Arrow if i said something about the UTU.

  by thebigc
UPRR engineer wrote: Im sure the UTU engineers will be upset, and i cant wait to tell them i played a part in getting it removed from our tie up. HA HA Im not really that mean but ill sure let them know there in the wrong union if they wanna have a say in what happens.
And you're in the right union, the truck drivers' outfit? Just my opinion but I don't really think the Teamsters has RR employees' interests at heart.

I know my UTU isn't perfect but at least it's run by railroaders primarily for railroaders.