• The good and the not so great

  • 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 Aji-tater
Hey guys - while we're asking questions..... don't know if it's because of the west vs. east thing or the old vs. new, but I'm lost on the acronyms or initials. Sounds like your MOP is what we called RFE - Road Foreman of Engines. And MTO is what..."Manager of Train Operations"??? What we call a Trainmaster? I'm enjoying following the conversations but cut me in on the meanings so I don't overtax my worn-out brain trying to figure them out, LOL! Thanx!!

  by LCJ
Aji-tater wrote:Sounds like your MOP is what we called RFE - Road Foreman of Engines. And MTO is what..."Manager of Train Operations"??? What we call a Trainmaster?
You hit the nail right on the head. Thanks for tunin' in, dude.

MOP = Manager of Operating Practices = RFE

MTO = Manager of Train Operations = Trainmaster

  by Aji-tater
Thanks LCJ! I realize progress changes things and all that but dang it some things just seem to get changed for no good reason. Trainmaster was OK for a hundred years and MTO just does not have the same feel to it. Come to think of it...."Trainmaster" in my mind at least sounds like an older guy who's been around, knows his stuff, may or may not be a good boss but has authority and at least some knowledge. "Manager of Train Operations" sounds like a slot they fill with somebody off a 90-day training course who knows the "school" part of things but has never walked a mile of train on a snowy night to find why the air dumped. No doubt there ARE MTO's who know their stuff, I'm just talking about the title not sounding right.

  by charlie6017
I'm enjoying reading these myself as well. Thanks for deciphering, guys! :wink:

  by UPRR engineer
Heres a good story that happened a few weeks ago. Heres the names to make the story more funny.
Local 3 - us the train crew
Neven - train dispatcher
Mr. Coker - maintainer

There was a rail detector car, maintainer, and track guys about 5 miles away waiting for traffic to ease so they could get some track and time, we passed them on our way to Stauffer. We were at the Stauffer switch to take us off the mainline and on to the branch.

The brakeman was off at the unlock box trying to get his key to work so we could open the box to get the unlock so he could throw the switch. After a couple of minutes of watching him the conductor asked me should i yell at him to quit messing around and unlock the box? I said yes and laughed and told him to throw him the hammer. He pitched him the hammer and we laughed as he gave the box and lock a beating. One strike missed and knocked the eye off the door that holds the lock, and the door opened. I got some wire together out of the crew packs and tossed it to him so we could wire the door shut and report clear once we got on the branch. As we started in i asked if i could tell Neven. I buzzed him and said "Neven... we need a maintainer here at the switch, we couldnt get the lock to work so i came off the motor with a hammer and knocked the lock off."......Neven said as he laughed a bit "YOU HERE THAT COKER?!!!!!" I couldnt tell what Coker said because i was laughing so hard. I told Neven we had some wire with us so once we locked up we could report in the clear. Everything went good after that.

The next day we were doing something else and Neven wanted us to clear up. Once we cleared up i told the conductor to tell him we didnt need to use the hammer today. So we buzzed him and he said "locked up and in the clear ... no hammer was needed" The Salt Lake Sub is a busy place so Neven's brain is smoking "Ok locked up, what was that.......OH..OH YA (as he laughed)... didnt break anything today...ok guys talk to you in a little bit."

I tryed to take the blame for the lock because its small potatoes. I would have been proud to have Failure To Use Key At The Stauffer Switch, minus 50 points, Act 2 on my record. They were a little mad at us when we told them what we did out there. Our boss kinda frowned for a sec, then laugh, and then frown, as we told our story. I told them it was me but then the brakeman spoke up and said it was him. They didnt do anything to us.
Last edited by UPRR engineer on Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by LCJ
The Utility Hammer -- the tool of choice for a man in a hurry.

"Give it another whack!"

The flat, cut steel wrench, does a fair job as well........... :-D

  by SteelWheels21
We had a guy who came in two classes behind me get into trouble up on the BN in Washington that we share track with. Evidently he didn't know about their time switches with the little window that says "lock/unlock" so when the lever would't swing over, he started beating it with a chunk of rock and broke the thing off. I never heard the upshot of it, but it's no wonder those BN dispatchers and crews don't care for us on their railroad...

  by UPRR engineer
I ended up reminding Neven last week what happened at Stauffer. We were turning our power out there and i asked my brakemen how long those locks have been like that, told him about what we did at Stauffer that day. When i buzzed him up i said "Member me knocking the door off at Stauffer there bud?"..... "Yep".... "Wye's gettin that bad too there Neven." "I'll get someone over there TODAY." ...."Ahhhhright there dude." My brakemen was laughing, he didnt think id say that over the radio.

  by UPRR engineer
I "Steam Engined" a really slow hog while back too which had a brakemen and me laughing pretty good.

I was out dogcatching all night, our last thing to do was bring the Devil train in for a local crew. There was six motors on there, cut all the power off the train, take them all on the other side of the OS and i would bring the rear three over to the pit and the local crew would put the head three back on. While we were waiting for the hoghead to come out and clime on the headend, i had already separated the hoses and MU cable and what not and had that fourth motor cut in and ready to go. The brakemen on the local (Dave) and i are good friends so when he came out he climbed up there with me, once we got a light the other engineer said "Here we go". I asked Dave if i should "Steam Engine" him. He started laughing as i started notching up, we ended up running up there twice as fast had i just let him pull us up there. First time i double headed since i worked as a third party switcher.

  by BobLI
Thats a term "steam engined" I never heard before. Bet the look on the hogger you did it to was priceless!

  by UPRR engineer
Yep it was pretty fun, wasn't long before he shut the gas off and started putting the brakes on. We get along ok, he talks behind my back that im a Hotrod, so i do the same about how slow he is. Dave and him dont get along at all, so he probably enjoyed it more then i did.

  by UPRR engineer
From the Employement Forum where we talking about getting in trouble

d3crypt wrote:... or if other railroads do.
It's really not THAT bad. Your gonna get in trouble, thats just part of the job. Trying not to have a bad attitude after your spanking is whats hard. Not everyone gets the same treatment, your eather on the good list or the bad one. Protect you job (stay marked up), dont: get hurt, wine, complain, slug, and you wont get paddled too hard when you do mess up. If you do mess up, and they want to throw you to the wolves as your looking over your switching trophy's, just explain to them that your gonna have to slow down alot till your levels (discipline) come off so you dont end up being fired. They might change there mind and just slap your wrist instead. I've been there, my last good one, after the manager calmed down, all i had to do was promise id never do that again.

This is what happened:

I was kicking a long cut of long drawbar cars into two rails, 18 shots and 27's. Me and buddy were down at the 18 switch. 3 into 18, 2 twards 27..ect ect. I was letting the 18's go pretty good and just letting the 27's go about half as fast i would normally. Kinda...pretty flat down there so you really have to let them go to get them all the way into those deeper tracks. So i was just casually kicking them out as my bud was throwing the 18 for me, talking about who knows what. When i was done with the cut we headed down there to shove the 27's in. I think they were still rolling slowly as we made the hook, started shoving her easy as we stood on the back of the goat. My buddy was looking around the cars we were hooked on to and he said..."Ya were on the ground". Thats pretty much what i told the trainmaster when he came down there to see what we did. After he calmed down, he asked me how i could have prevent this from happening. I said "Kickum harder??????? :-D ....they would have made it in the rail then insted of stopping in the curve."......"KICKING THEM HARDER IS NEVER THE RIGHT ANSWER". My buddy started laughing and told him i was right. Trainmaster told me he wanted to here the right answer. I held my right hand up and said "I will not shove cars that are in a curve without stretching the joint first" Thats all that happened, no paper work, no drug test, sent us to beans while they cleaned up my mess, came back and switched more cars.

  by UPRR engineer
Heres another more recent time that nothing happened to me.

Guys involved
1. Senor MTO: knows me well
2. MTO: hired out after me, taught him to switch cars, worked with me on the ground and had me as is his yard hog, x-yardmaster
3. MOP: x-yardmaster
4. Brakemen: works as a relief yardmaster
5. Yardmaster: hired out after me, worked with him as his yard hog and on the road a bit

I was yarding a train last spring that i dogcaught. Im pretty famous with the yardmasters for bring the trains threw the yard, and even more so for sucking the cars in once i've started in the rail, and for bringing the power back to the pit. They like it cause i dont hold up the switch engines. So we stop and drop the conductor off at the last switch that needs to be lined before i start in the rail were gonna yard the cars in. Once i start in the rail the yardmaster says over the radio "Slow it down there bud".... Me and the brakemen look at each other like what the heck and look at the speedometer... 13mph. I say "Ok ...slowing her down a bit" Theres about a 30 second pause.... "THIS IS THE LAST TIME IM GONNA TELL YOU.... SLOW IT WAY DOWN"......."Alrighty then...." So i ease it way down and call him on the phone.... "Whats going on there bud???".... "MTO's are looking out the window by the copy machine, they said those cars are rocking like crazy, they called me again after the first time i told you to slow down and told me i needed to be more aggressive and to tell you to slow down again, they thought the cars were gonna turn over.".....i was laughing....."Your MOP's gonna be over there to pull your tape when you get to the pit" ...."Alright then bud, i was wondering why you, of all people, would be telling me to slow down, thought maybe they had the radar gun on me or something, talk to you later bud."

Once we got to the depot the conductor was waiting by the van and said "Lets go get another one, managers found me, told them you'd see them when we got back."

When i did get back i went down the hall and they were standing there waiting. MTO said "How fast were you going?"..."13 when we looked at the speedometer."....MOP said "Tape said 14, whats the speed in the yard??"....As i smiled and said "What are you gonna do to me, all of you have saw how i use to run a switch engine so this aint the first time ive been caught speeding"..... MOP said "Were not gonna do anything" MTO said "I thought they were gonna tip over.... 7 miles an hour....(pause) id like you to go 5 or 6 on that piece of track."..... "OK then im restricted threw there, got it buddy."......... and that was it. They smiled and called me Speedy for a few weeks afterwards. Im sure they checked more then once when they knew i was yarding a train, nothing else was said about it. That story spread like wildfire threw the yardmasters, they all wanted to hear from me what had happened. Told them i wasnt slugging if they saw me yarding a train, just had to go slow over that piece of track.

  by UPRR engineer
First time i got in trouble for speeding when i was the east end yardhog, (LCJ met him) MOP said he pulled the tape on my goat and i was speeding, wasnt mad at all, didnt even seem like he cared, "Slow down..." OK then. Think another month pasted and i got another warning after my tape got pulled, a "compliance check up". He was a little angry. Couple months later, i show up to work, both afternoon switch crews in there, other yard hog was super slow. MOP comes in and slams the door shut and scares the crap out of everyone after saying "WHO THE $%&# WAS RUNNING THAT $%&# WESTEND GOAT AFTER NINE O'CLOCK YESTERDAY???" ...... After lunch the day before we stole the westends goat to pull the ramp, i liked getting after it thinking we were a hotshot going down to the east end. So im sitting there smiling and rubbing my face, acting like im trying to remember as he's looking at me.... "Yep, it was me."......."Get your #$% outside".... Once we got out there he ripped into me good. "I #$%&@ SEARCHED HOW MANY TIMES THE SPEED WAS OVER 11.... 35 OCURRANCES, THEN I SEARCHED 12...30 OCURANCES, THEN 13.....20 TIMES.... I KNEW IT WAS YOU. TOLD YOU TO #@$%& SLOW DOWN, ID FIRE YOUR #$% BUT THEN ID HAVE TO DO THE PAPER WORK AND RIDE WITH YOU MORE, AND I JUST DONT WANNA HAVE TO DO ALL THAT$#% #$$&$!!!!!!" He was cussing and swearing up a storm just like Yosemite Sam, his face was beet red, looked like he had tears in his eyes he was so pissed. I was a little angry myself, i said "So when they ask for a kick, you want me to look at the speedometer and not go over 10?" He did some more of his Yosemite Sam impersonation, but the answer to my question was yes, no more then 10. Took my ripping, and he told me to get back in there. Everyone thought i was fired, told them nothing happened, but i cant go fast any more. Felt like i was slugging, but i told the yardmasters what happened.

Next time i saw my MOP buddy, was like none of that happened, just like it should be. I got the point, he knew i wasnt holding a grudge. Did mess with him when he road with me..."Want me to get after it???" ...."You better not" :-D

Later he told me one of the funniest things ive ever heard, if you want me to tell you, PM me. Be warned... its bad. :-D