Employed as: Brakeman, for 20-30 years
Posted: 21 October 2017
Foamers. railbuffs, Public!
Conductor 30+ post brought back some memories from hell. If you didn't
quite understand his post let me help educate you.
when a crew was done working and marked off on their time ticket if
they worked less than 12 hours(11:59) they were subject to be called in
8 hours to return to work. This included the 2 hour call to order them
back to work. So in other words your phone would ring 6 hours after you
got home so they could tell you to come back in 8.
Now lets do some math here. Say you live in the parking lot in a
trailer. You mark off and walk to your trailer. Take 15 minutes to
shower and clean up. 15 minutes to prepare a meal and eat and 15
minutes to do what ever chores or other things needed(read mail,
contact family, etc..) and then give yourself 15 minutes to fall
asleep. You have now lost 1 hour of your 6 hours of rest you are going
to get before they call you to report in 8 hours. That's 5 hours left
to sleep. Think about all the people who lived 30 minutes to an hour
away. Those poor people were totally screwed if they were first or
second out for jobs being called back to back. If you worked over 11:59
you were allowed 10 hours rest. That meant you were called in 8 hours to
report back in 2 (10). LUCKY SOULS! You were better off making sure you
worked for 12 hours or more. And you did not get any extra time added
back to the 10 hours rest like you do now.
How in the hell did the feds ever allow that to happen to railroaders.
No way in hell that happened to pilots or air traffic controllers.
Thank god after years of derailments and train crashes because
railroaders were just plain worn out that the feds had to do something
about it. Now we get 10 hours of undisturbed rest. That means NO PHONE
CALLS until 10 hours are up. No calling us in 8 to tell us to come back
in 10. If we outlaw (12 hrs. on duty) we get time added to our 10 hours
rest for every minute we are out there until me mark off. Say we are
stuck on a train waiting for a ride and it takes us 14 hours to get off
of it and get back to the yard. That will give us an additional 2 hours
to add to our 10. Get the idea! Best thing that ever happened to
So now you ask why the problem with the train line up schedules if we
finally get a few extra hours undisturbed rest? Say you come home and
you have only worked 11:59. You are going to get 10 hours rest.
Well,not really. Depends on how far away you live and how long it takes
you to do your chores, etc, as described above. Most people average 6-8
hours left over to sleep if they know they are going to go right back
out when their 10 hours are up. Before you go to bed you look at the
train line up schedule and you see 3 trains to run. You are 3rd out on
the pool so you assume you will get the 3rd train. That train in not
scheduled to leave until 15:00(3:pm) the next day! YEAH!!! Now you
think you can stay up a little later and do laundry, shop, yard work or
if you have a family make the wife happy and do something with the kids.
The first train gets called, the second and now all the sudden the 3rd
train is getting called at 7 a:m! WHAT THE HELL! How could the train
be called 8 hours earlier than scheduled. Better yet they throw a
different train on there that wasn't even on the schedule. If you
think this doesn't happen then think again! This has been going on
for years. On lets not forget the extra board men who don't work
pools. They are on call 24-7 until they get to their off day. This
happens to them all the time. Because of this if a person is 1st out to
be called you CAN NOT BE TO FAR AWAY FROM YOUR HOME. You are prisoner to
the phone and your house if you are first out on an extra board. They
pull unscheduled extra trains out of their hats all the time! I myself
have been in the middle or mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, getting
my hair cut, etc. and have been called short and surprised and have to
quit what Im doing and rush back home and finish later. Yeah, we all
know railroading is a sucky business, but it is not so far behind in
technology that management cant figure out where their trains are and
when they will be arriving that they cant do a better job than what
they are doing. There is absolutely no excuse for any train to be
called 4-8 hours earlier than scheduled. No excuse for a train to show
up out of the middle of know where with no warning for the crew!
Railroaders base their whole lives on what they see on those schedules.
THE COMPANY KNOWS THIS! They don't care. Its the same junk every week,
every month, every year and no one seems the least bit interested in
hearing what we have to say! A lot of people in the public who don't
understand our issues think railroaders do nothing but complain and
bi...h 24 hours a day. Yes, there are those who do and will complain
about anything, but maybe it is because they have been conditioned to
react this way. Valid pay claims not paid, trains screwed up, hours
waiting for trains to show up while you sit in the crew room when you
could have slept a few more hours. Management breathing down your neck
to get out of the yard when they have done everything wrong so you
cant, improper paperwork, no locomotives ready and on and on and on!
Now we aren't allowed to take turns taking a nap on the engines while
we wait for hours sometimes to move our train or get relieved. No more
using our phones on the locomotive while we sit for hours waiting.
Camera's on the engines watching our every move. Do railroaders
complain and bi...h? You bet your bottom dollar. And for damn good
reasons. The company created the monsters not the crews!
So now you have a little more knowledge of our "making" over the
years. Some of the battles we have had to deal with and some we are
dealing with now. The next time you read a post from someone
complaining about the train line up schedules you will understand!
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