Steve F45 wrote:as a train dispatcher, do you have to qualify on each line just as a locomotive engineer would?
It is extremely important for the dispatcher to be familiar with their territory. The track model on their screen is only indicating where the train is based on what block the train is occupying through the signal system. If you aren't actually familiar with the territory that is going to mean nothing, since all the track model shows is broken lines for the blocks and the interlockings, and they are in no way in relation to what is actually out there (ie curves, direction, etc). So you have to be able to know where that train is in the real world in relation to where it shows up on your screen. Besides trains, it is also important when you have workers fouling the track to know just where exactly they will be working so you can properly block that particular track so there will be no surprise visits from a train when they don't expect it. If there is any kind of emergency, you're going to be the one that train crews will be contacting. You'll be the one that needs to relay any necessary information to police, fire, ems etc like where to meet the train, closest road crossing or station, and whether or not it is safe for them to go on the tracks.