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frequentflyer

OBS Chief
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Jun 10, 2008
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708
Do not know if this has been posted but it makes you appreciate the on board crew more.


We know why the Engineer needs to know the signals, but when does the Conductor knowing them come into play.
 

Acela150

Conductor
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
8,714
Do not know if this has been posted but it makes you appreciate the on board crew more.


We know why the Engineer needs to know the signals, but when does the Conductor knowing them come into play.
You must not have seen my thread entitled "Careers on the Rails".

As someone who has been a conductor, why shouldn't a conductor know signals? Conductors are in charge of the safe movement of the train. ;)
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,270
An example of when the Conductor uses their knowledge of signals is whenever the train is doing a back-up move. The Conductor at that point is watching the backup move, watching for broken rail, and watching and calling signals. This happens on a daily basis for many trains.

Conductors have to have a large knowledge of train operations, they conduct brake tests, sometimes have to set out or add cars / equipment, and they spot the train at many stations (meaning they call where the train stops at various platforms.)
 

Acela150

Conductor
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
8,714
An example of when the Conductor uses their knowledge of signals is whenever the train is doing a back-up move. The Conductor at that point is watching the backup move, watching for broken rail, and watching and calling signals. This happens on a daily basis for many trains.

Conductors have to have a large knowledge of train operations, they conduct brake tests, sometimes have to set out or add cars / equipment, and they spot the train at many stations (meaning they call where the train stops at various platforms.)
We have a winner!!! Shove movements are conducted on a daily basis. A classic example of a train that performs a shove move everyday is the CZ. They shove into Denver everyday. Regional trains are shoved into South Station in Boston and Union Station in DC everyday, multiple times a day.

The only time a conductor is to look for Broken rail is when the train is operating at Restricted Speed. Other then that it's shove until you don't have to anymore. Also to be looked out for are switches against your train, derails, as well as men and equipment.
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
769
If I were younger I might consider applying to Amtrak ... not sure why I never thought of it years ago
 

gswager

Conductor
Joined
Aug 22, 2002
Messages
2,849
Does the conductor have to be in locomotive with engineer during restricted speed?
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,270
The only time a conductor is to look for Broken rail is when the train is operating at Restricted Speed.
I was a conductor on a short line railroad that was non-signaled. So “looking out for broken rail” was involved in every shove. With a signaled Mainline system I suppose you’re right! Ha.
 

Acela150

Conductor
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
8,714
Does the conductor have to be in locomotive with engineer during restricted speed?
So there is some yes and no to this. Most of the time, no. But NJ Transit, LIRR, and I believe Metro North have a rule that indicates a second person must be in the cab upon arrival of certain terminals. Hoboken, Atlantic Ave, and Grand Central.

I was a conductor on a short line railroad that was non-signaled. So “looking out for broken rail” was involved in every shove. With a signaled Mainline system I suppose you’re right! Ha.
During my time at NS I once rode a shove about 3 miles on all clears! Lucky for me the ROW was only good for 25! LOL!
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
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Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,406
The Silver Star also shoves Into Tampa.

Another train that makes a substantial shove although it isn’t Amtrak is VIA’s Ocean. It shoves across the Saint Lawrence from St. Foy to Charny. Over a few crossings, and by one station.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
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Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,270
The Illinois Central trains have to shove in / out of Chicago. Also the crescent typically shoves into New Orleans as well.
 

ehbowen

Conductor
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Messages
2,276
The Illinois Central trains have to shove in / out of Chicago. Also the crescent typically shoves into New Orleans as well.
I believe that all trains shove into New Orleans. At least, I've never personally seen a locomotive next to the terminal.
 

NSC1109

Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
244
Outbound LD trains shove into CUS South Terminal after being turned out by Lumber Street. I believe the CONO is the only LD train that shoved into CUS on arrival and doesn’t need to be turned around.
 

Triley

Conductor
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,391
Outbound LD trains shove into CUS South Terminal after being turned out by Lumber Street. I believe the CONO is the only LD train that shoved into CUS on arrival and doesn’t need to be turned around.
The Builder gets wyed on its way to the yard, and operates "normally" both to the station, and on its way out. It's the only westbound train to do so. This is how most OBS easily tell which train is the Builder when it's in the yard (only old heads and more observant can spot a diner, sleeper, and coach, from the exterior).
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,406
From the time I spent in the Chicago yard I’ve gotten good at telling the various LD trains apart.

The builder is the only one facing northbound in the yard. Plus the diner and lounge are not adjacent.

The California Zephyr is the longest consist that faces south, with three sleepers.

The Southwest Chief has two sleepers.

The Texas Eagle almost always has one locomotive as does the City of New Orleans. However the difference in departure times makes that easy to figure out.

The eastern trains generally when I was there were always parked on the same track. The Hoosier State/Cardinal always adjacent to the PVs, next over the Lake Shore Limited, followed by the Capitol Limited.
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,399
We know why the Engineer needs to know the signals, but when does the Conductor knowing them come into play.
They are also supposed to "feel" the train comply with the signals. In other words, if track speed (which the conductors are supposed to know) is 79mph and the engineer calls out they are passing an approach signal, the conductor (where required by rule) is supposed to repeat the signal and actual "feel" the brakes being applied. If they don't notice a "perceived" reduction in speed, they are supposed to say something.

This also applies to missing train stations.
 
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