• arguing on the radio?

  • Discussion related to railroad radio frequencies, railroad communication practices, equipment, and more.
Discussion related to railroad radio frequencies, railroad communication practices, equipment, and more.

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by cifn2
Ever heard anything like this?

About 0915 Central Time I was listening to the St Louis Scanner on http://www.railroadradio.net/index.php

The dispatcher told a crew that she possibly had a train crew still on the train but she wasn't sure. She requested a cab, if they were coming to west into St. Louis from IL if they would stop and check the crew and see if they were on board and needed a ride. I didn't hear the crew as they were probably too far into IL, but her response was. Then if you can't do that I will be forced to file a formal complaint with your company becauset this is getting crazy it is happening too much.


  by JLJ061
One time some years ago I heard a big tiff with the crew of a passing GTW train (the conductor I had the opportunity to ride with once!); Something about the UTU or BLE and overtime rules or something like that. Was real interesting to listen in on!

  by UPRR engineer
On about every shift out here in Wyoming something comical (to the train crews) happens over the radio on the road channel. Alot of frustrating sighs from the dispatchers, quite a bit of "YOU WILL..." every week, and whining mainline crews.

Had my butt ripped a time or two from the dispatcher over the radio. :-D

Never heard of crew refusing to stop and pick up there dead brothers, pretty cold blooded,

  by LCJ
In my experience, when the DS told me to do something -- as long as it wasn't illegal, immoral, clearly against the rules, or unsafe -- I did it without any kind of argument (especially if it was on the radio).

That's not the time for going back and forth over overtime, or work rules, or anything inconsequential (to be classified as "whining"). You take care of that stuff when you complete your time claims! If they have merit, you might get paid for them in the long run. If not, you won't.

I was always told that the DS represented the Supt in his/her interactions with crews on the main line. He/she says sh**, you ask, "How high, sir/ma'am?"

  by UPRR engineer
When i had butt ripped as a conductor, we werent arguing, didnt make sure the brakeman got off the rear motor to lock up some switches behind us. Wasnt good, felt like a moron. I was the one sighing, "Buzz her and hand me the mic".

I always enjoy helping the dispatchers out, flying across there board, not a Fuel Master moment. :-D Puts a smile on my face hearing well deserved Thank You from them.

Ive learned lifes alot better if i make a good effort to get along with everyone, as long as im asked, and not pushed, ill do what ever they ask.

  by pennsy
Hi All,

Something else I have noticed, and not just in this incident. Seems that if you have a lady dispatcher, she will be catching all sorts of problems from the fellas. She will have to put up with all sorts of abuse that a male dispatcher would not. Need I remind some of these fellas that these ladies are often of the large economy size ? They could easily break these fellas in half.

As an aside, once had to call the local Police Department, since some fool had dumped what he had just stolen, burglarized, into my bushes. The lady police officer that showed up more than filled up that police car. She lifted the contraband out of my bushes with only one hand and wasn't even breathing hard. She was well over six feet tall. Her sidearm looked like a 155 mm Howitzer. Very impressive Blonde, with lovely Blue eyes.

  by LCJ
...not a Fuel Master moment. :-D
I caught that one.

  by UPRR engineer
pennsy wrote: Seems that if you have a lady dispatcher, she will be catching all sorts of problems from the fellas. She will have to put up with all sorts of abuse that a male dispatcher would not.
What? When your out with your scanner you've heard that? or are you guessing? Out in here in Wyoming our female dispatchers are mean, who knows what the hell they will do. :-D Ever stood in front of a lady judge in court? I have when i was a kid, it sucks. With our strict EEO policy, i doubt you'll hear too many UP guys giving any female a hard time over the radio. A "Stop your train" from a higher power in Omaha, and your up a deep creek.

Like i said, lifes better if you get along. I was scared when i had to tell her i messed up, let her down, and she let me know about it. Cant remember if she even let me come back out after we got the train loaded, i might have been too scared to ask.

Glad ya caught that buddy. :-D

  by cifn2
I don't think it was a crew refusing to pick up another deadhead crew, I think it was a crew hauling service something like PTI or I don't actually know any other crew transport services lol

CSX uses PTI in IL. I know a guy who used to run the local division of PTI when they had a local division.

  by UPRR engineer
cifn2 wrote: I know a guy who used to run the local division of PTI when they had a local division.
Dont know if i'd brag about that. :-D

  by cifn2
lol it has been years. He stopped working for them and they moved their operations elsewhere to Evansville,IN and to the Metro East St. Louis Area.

  by pablo
I was going to say the same thing. I was going to say that it was likely the cab company refusing to do something.

As for female dispatchers, I have heard them get crap that men don't get, and from a variety of sources.

Dave Becker

  by UPRR engineer
For those that dont know, heres the van problems i can think of, could have been one or more of these problems, or a combination of them.

1. High turn over rate.
2. Very low paying job.
3. Very little training on how to get there to pick up the crews.
4. Over stuffing of a van with crews.
5. Low maintenance on the vans, most are ran till they die.
6. Crews in the van lie about where they really are. "We cant, we are already past that exit"
7. Van driver lies about how much time they have left to work.
8. Never enough drivers and vans.
9. Borrow out drives.
Without being able to have heard what there response was to the dispatcher, its up in the air what the real reason was for not checking on the train.

  by jmp883
I'm 16 years behind the microphone as a public safety dispatcher. I also spent 1 year dispatching trains for NJT. Dispatchers should always be professional on-air. There is no excuse for losing your temper, talking about non-operational issues, or sounding less-than-professional on the air. As a dispatcher you should be able to calmly, firmly, and politely put and end to those on-air incidents. If they persist you then notify your supervisor and let him handle it. If a dispatcher feels compelled to participate then he has no one to blame but himself if things start being directed at him. If you can't do that then maybe you shouldn't be dispatching. I didn't mean to use the male gender here, obviously there are females on both sides of the microphone in both rail and public safety service.

As dispatchers we all know there are some people who become absolute idiots when they get a radio mic in their hand. Train crews/public safety people have to remember that sometimes the dispatcher is only the bearer of bad news, not the one who made the decision/command just aired. Dispatchers need to remember that they are not out in the field with the train/track crew or PD/FD/EMS unit and therefore they don't have the 'whole' picture. If both sides could remember that and treat each other with professionalism and respect there would be a whole lot less tension on the radios.

Yes, there are dispatchers who shouldn't be dispatching just as there are plenty of good people on the other side of the dispatch console as well. Like I tell my new trainees.....people enjoy listening to scanners. Some do listen for things that have been posted here to happen but the majority of them listen because they are interested in the operations of railroads or emergency services. Keep that in mind when you key up.....after all, who wants to sound like an idiot? Besides, everything we say on the air and on the phones are taped....who wants their co-workers to think they are an idiot? :-D

  by Rockin' Roller
One day in the yard at West Brownsville, Pa., there were several work trains juggling their cars around from track to track. Of coarse with all of the coal trains they had to wait sometimes. Late in the afternoon the dispatcher got on them because they were taking to long and to get off of "his" railroad. Then he gave them a couple of names of people to call if they didn't like it. There is a dispatcher in Decatur, Illinois that is kind of like that also.