• Wrecks - "Trains" Special Issue

  • 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 Desertdweller
I find the Kalmbach magazine "Classic Trains" to be more in line with my own interests than either "Trains" or "Model Railroader". Too bad it only comes out four times a year. When my "Model Railroader" subscription expires, I think I will replace it with one to "Classic Trains".

"Classic Trains" deals with subjects from the pre-1970 era, with emphasis on steam and passenger and early Diesel. They generally have at least one in-depth study in each issue. The most recent was a wonderful article on the Pennsy S-2 turbine, complete with technical drawings, stats, and sidebar articles comparing it with other railroads' turbine locomotive efforts.

The only reason I'm mentioning this is I suspect there are other posters here who's interests are close to mine.

  by Aji-tater
I could fill a book with stories of half-azzed operations who "adjusted" the rule book to suit the needs of the moment, but preached rules compliance to the letter.

Was working in GCOR territory one day, had a track warrant from A to F. Dispatcher contacted me and said they needed to change things, change "F" to "E". I objected that once the warrant was in effect you could not make changes and we needed to cancel that and issue a new one. The DS got irritated and insisted we do it the wrong way. I knew the territory and operation and against my better judgement did it as told, but raised enough stink they didn't try it again - with ME. I'm sure it still happens with others.

Another common example of ignoring the rules was where you would have a track warrant to a given town, and they would want you to spot a car at a given customer. "I can't" "Why can't you?" "Because my authority only extends to that first switch at the passing siding, and the customer is 15 carlengths farther up the main." "Aw, come on, it's straight as an arrow, the other train has not even left the next town anyway, ......" etc, etc.

Or they would put some screwy rule in the rulebook and then get mad when you obeyed it. They'd have a passenger train leaving the far end of a 20 mile branch, 10 mph territory. They'd want me to go 5 miles out of town, with proper track authority, because they had not given the excursion train rights that far. Nope - can't do it. Why not, they would demand. Because you have a rule in the book which says if there is a passenger train on a given branch there can be no other movements on that branch. "Oh, well, look, I'll give you a form and you're covered". I said that form must specifically state "Rule XX of the ____Railroad Operating Rules is not in effect for this movement" or I'm not going. I'd get a reputation as an azzole who was not a team player and was trying to be a difficult know-it-all. Yet come rules class time, and the guy holding the class would thump and holler about that book being life-or-death and the rules were to be followed.

It's not just short lines by the way. On a Class I I once summoned a Trainmaster because an over-the-road crew came into town and the conductor was totally out of it. Pikced up a telephone in the office and thought it was a radio, yarded the train on the wrong track, all sorts of stuff. The TM came out, talked to the crew, but didn't want to rock the boat. He gave me a syrupy pat on the back, said sometimes things are not exactly as they seem, good job in calling him but there was no cause for action, etc. RIIIIGHT!
  by Desertdweller

You are so right!

Those back-slappers who want you to "look the other way" will be the first ones to hang you if something goes wrong. And if you keep violating the rules, something will.

I've worked on short line railroads where the CFR 240 book is considered a secret company document, kept away from the employees lest they learn right from wrong.
Usually, these are operations that prefer to hire inexperienced guys and just teach them the rules that benefit the company. If you are asked or ordered to do something that you know is a 240 violation, just refuse to do it. What are they going to do, fire you?

Les (another Azzhole)