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Dispatchers
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   Author  Topic: Dispatchers  (Read 1954 times)
big_hack
Former Member
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #40 on: Nov 3rd, 2005, 12:54am »
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In almost 30 years of railroading, I worked many positions:clerk, operator, dispatcher, brakeman, engineer, yardmaster and lastly, trainmaster....nothing compaired to working a dispatchers job, orI should say having it work you..toughest 8 hour shift, mentally, that you will ever have.

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Kaastle
TRAINing
Posts: 1
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #41 on: Jun 15th, 2006, 3:39am »
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The way our yards are plugged I don't see how they get anything done.

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brandon1282
TRAINing
Posts: 8
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #42 on: Jan 25th, 2007, 2:01pm »
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does anyone know how much railroad dispatchers make?

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dgmarklin
Historian
Posts: 350
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #43 on: Feb 21st, 2007, 8:34pm »
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on Jan 25th, 2007, 2:01pm, brandon1282 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
does anyone know how much railroad dispatchers make?

 
 
IDK, just google.com it


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Dean
Railroadman
Historian
Posts: 1035
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #44 on: Feb 21st, 2007, 9:34pm »
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Seems like I heard that NS pays about $25.00,but I don't know if that
is starting pay or normal. Not really sure about CSX.


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The best locomotives D9-40CW, AC4400,
and SD70MAC. Maby you can beat the train...
Maby you are dead wrong Lets add Amtrak
to the list of favorite RR'S too.!!

Ham Radio call sign KC8ZFW

The Best Horn K5LA.!!

The Best Signal C&O Cantilever.!!

NS Pokey Dispatrcher to the 233 over.
130_MM
Enthusiast
Posts: 41
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #45 on: Mar 7th, 2007, 11:54am »
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Joke heard at a dispatcher's retirement party:
 
Q: What's the best thing about being a dispatcher?
 
A: You don't have to work with one!
 
 


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jmp883
Enthusiast
Posts: 37
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #46 on: Jul 31st, 2007, 10:12pm »
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It's been a while since I've been here, and since this thread was active, but let me throw my experiences and thoughts into the mix.  
 
As for dispatcher styles I definitely have one.  Very laid-back and easy to deal with on the air and phone, both as a public safety dispatcher and as a train dispatcher.  Treat me with respect and work well with me and I'll treat you with respect and work well with you.  
 
Prostock 19 wrote:
 
Quote:
Do you feel that train dispatching is easier, harder, or about the same as police dispatching  
 
I applied for CSX dispatcher out in Indy, and waiting to hear back.

 
Having done both I feel it's about the same.  When things are going smoothly the dispatcher is basically just monitoring the status of his trains or PD/FD/EMS units.  When things get crazy on the railroad the dispatchers job is to keep the railroad flowing as smoothly as possible.  I've been a public safety/9-1-1 dispatcher since 1992, my dream job that still hasn't become a 'job' yet.  As a public safety dispatcher, when things start getting crazy, it's our job to make sure the proper PD/FD/EMS units are dispatched and that no area of the town is stripped of protection.  
 
In 2002 my best friend, who is a train dispatcher (and former locomotive engineer and conductor), told me that there would be train dispatcher openings coming up where he works, a major northeast commuter railroad.  I took the tests and began work as a train dispatcher trainee in March of 2002.  I figured that by combining my two loves, trains and dispatching, I'd have the ultimate job.  Reality couldn't have been further from the truth.
 
I very quickly came to the realization that the company I chose to work for was (and still is) very over-managed and micro-managed.  Whenever anything went wrong, which was usually several times a day on all the lines we dispatched, the bosses would come out to the affected desk and usually have an argument over how to handle it.  They wouldn't listen to the dispatchers involved (who usually had the best solution to the problem), and they would openly fight amongst themselves as to which one of them had the best solution to the problem.  One specific problem I had with a manager came only several weeks into the job when he asked me about a specific matter that, even as a railbuff, I did not know about.  His reply:  "Well you're just f--kin' useless!"

From that point on until I left the railroad in December of 2002 that was his name for me, in front of others or one-on-one.  I couldn't complain to the union (not a member yet), nor could I really complain to the management (most of them weren't any better than he was).
 
Another major issue that ruined what could have been a great job is the lack of a formal training program outside of the two required NORAC rules classes/tests.  You post with someone to learn the job and that was a problem.  The first problem I ran into posting was that most of the dispatchers I posted with knew the job very well but weren't the best teachers.  You can know the job inside out but if you can't teach others you're not worth a damn as a trainer.  A formal classroom training program where they teach railroad terminology, what and how the equipment works, and what train dispatching is before you get to the dispatch floor would make trainees posting times much easier.  The desk I was training on was a 2-man desk.  This is where the second problem I had while posting came up.  One of the dispatchers in the office, for whatever reason, had decided that whenever any of the dispatchers in the office were working with me they were actually harassing me, not helping me.  This dispatcher would go out of the way to make sure the dispatcher working with me, along with the Chief Dispatcher, knew I was being 'harassed'.  Needless to say I never learned anything while working with that dispatcher (as an aside that dispatcher is now a manager in the office-go figure!).
 
After ten months of this I finally gave up and 2 weeks before Christmas 2002 I walked in and just quit.  On the way home from quitting I stopped at my former PD and asked if they'd be able to hire me back.  One week before Christmas they hired me back and life has returned to normal for me.  
 
Let me make very clear that, with the exception of that one dispatcher I mentioned above, all the other dispatchers I worked with were very good people who were a pleasure to work with.  When things were running well the job was a pure joy.  Unfortunately those days were few and far between.  
 
Has my love of railroading diminished?  Not at all.  I got to see how railroads operate from the inside and it has definitely enhanced my railfanning as well as how I operate my model railroad.  My best friend is still working there and deals very well with the state of things only because his experiences as a locomotive engineer and conductor were even worse than my experiences as a train dispatcher trainee.
 
I'm back dispatching PD/FD/EMS units and loving every minute of it!  Yes...the scanner in the dispatch console is always tuned to the local freight and commuter railroads   !  


« Last Edit: Jul 31st, 2007, 10:27pm by jmp883 » Logged

Amateur radio....the only REAL radio left in the world.
prostock19
Historian
Posts: 486
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #47 on: Aug 1st, 2007, 5:44am »
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Thanks for the input.  Since I posted that question, I have hired out for CSX in Selkirk as a conductor and just celebrated my 2nd anniversary there.  I am still considering going up to dispatch, but I am taking things one day at a time.

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1oldgoat
TRAINing
Posts: 23
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #48 on: Apr 27th, 2008, 12:05pm »
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If I'm not mistaken, when dispatchers give out orders (OK, track warrants) they give their initials.  Out on the NW end of the BNSF they make the initials into an acronym.  FCM becomes "Freight Can't Move", DAD is "Delay Amtrak Daily".  Usually it's all good natured kidding as most crews understand what the DS is up against.  
 
Question is do they assign these nick-names for dispatchers elsewhere, or is this just a local thing?


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jmp883
Enthusiast
Posts: 37
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #49 on: Apr 27th, 2008, 12:32pm »
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Yes...it is just good-natured kidding.  
 
Don't forget about the Amtrak Acela....Amtrak Customers Enjoy Late Arrivals!
 
Or when Southern Pacific tried to buy Santa Fe.  Several locomotives were painted with SPSF markings....Shouldn't Paint So Fast!
 
I was even able to do that to my ham radio callsign:  KC2PJL...also known as KC2 Port Jervis Line.  This is a rail line here in the east that I railfan and used to dispatch when I was a train dispatcher.  Incidentally the FCC assigns their callsigns randomly....I had no say in getting that callsign.  I can request a vanity callsign but why bother, KC2PJL fits quite nicely!


« Last Edit: Apr 27th, 2008, 12:44pm by jmp883 » Logged

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1oldgoat
TRAINing
Posts: 23
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #50 on: Apr 28th, 2008, 11:17pm »
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Thanks, but do the crews elsewhere assign acronyms using the dispatchers' initials?
 
You dispatched the line to Port Jervis?  During the EL years or after?  Darn it, still can't find my time machine.  Would love to set it for 1950, check out MQ, then visit Maybrook before heading for Jersey City!  Berks, K-5s and PAs!


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jmp883
Enthusiast
Posts: 37
Re: Dispatchers
 
« Reply #51 on: Apr 29th, 2008, 9:27am »
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1oldgoat wrote:
 
Quote:
Thanks, but do the crews elsewhere assign acronyms using the dispatchers' initials?  
 
You dispatched the line to Port Jervis?  During the EL years or after?  Darn it, still can't find my time machine.  Would love to set it for 1950, check out MQ, then visit Maybrook before heading for Jersey City!  Berks, K-5s and PAs!  

 
Unfortunately it was well after the EL years!  I worked for NJT during most of 2002.  Read my post earlier on this thread to see how things didn't work out for me.  It is a shame things went the way they did since I truly did enjoy working as a train dispatcher.  According to my friend still there things really haven't improved much and they still have a fairly high rate of turnover.  Key among the reasons trainees leave is due to a lack of a formal training program and the way the trainees are treated by the supervisors.  Same reasons that caused me to leave after 10-11 months and go back to PD/FD/EMS dispatching.
 
Yeah....I wished I had a time machine too....I'd love to spend a day at MQ Tower, Maybrook, Newburgh Jct, Campbell Hall.  I often wish I had been born in 1954 instead of 1964, I'd have caught a lot of stuff I can only see in books and on-line!
 
Oh well...........


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