Wyoming Division Historical Society Articles Modeling the Union Pacific from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Ogden, Utah
Upgrade of Dispatcher Job February 21. 2019  Currently the Dispatcher job on the layout is not very attractive; it amount only to being a clerk logging in the location of trains from OS reports from a 16 phone system distributed around the layout. In other words it is in practice “one way,” with information up to the Dispatcher only and no Dispatcher orders (Train Orders) down to yard masters and conductor/engineers. This is solely because a phone call down to a phone from DS never gets answered; we do not have dedicated Tower Operators, because there are in practice few Train Orders necessary—the entire main line is double track. I have done the following two things, not to make the passenger trains more prototypical (although they will), but to make the Dispatcher's job more attractive, so we have a dispatcher often. Having a dispatcher who can communicate with operators on the layout floor gives him power to control the flow, as some examples later will show. I have ordered 10 battery powered radio walkie-talkies with earphones and belt hooks. They have 16 channels, and can be addressed to 1 through16, or addressed to call any single one of the 16 (10 for us) at once. They will be carried by: 1. Dispatcher 2. Cheyenne YM 3. Laramie YM 4. Rawlins (optional if job filled) 1. Rawlins needs to be worked early usually, because Sinclair is often filled with cars at the start of a session after they are delivered to Sinclair near the end of the previous session. 5. Green River YM 6. Echo YM 1. optional--this is where I usually work in mornings 2. and it is easy to block mains moving across them yard to Ideal Cement or Freight House or Coal Tower. 3. I usually move to Evanston where work takes only a few minutes if the Local has been by. 4. Then I go to Sinclair-Rawlins if no one has worked it. 5. The Echo YM or I will carry the my radio with him; He can always leave one of these places to tend to another. 7. Bob Ellis as Passenger Superintendent 8. Passenger Engineer/conductor #1 9. Passenger Engineer/conductor #2 10. Spare 1. Passenger #3 or 2. Allen in Staging so he knows problems, or 3. Lenny on floor so he knows problems if they arise, It has been Bob's procedure to post his passenger time tables and expect YM's and everyone to arrange their work to abide by them. I think this is an unreasonable thing to expect for a model railroader. None of our operators operate more than once a month. This is a hobby, not a job that a wife and 3 small kids at home depend on. Everyone including the passenger engineers are too busy to pay attention to another train. I do not mean to suggest that going over the TT with relevant YM's etc., should not work, just that it is unlikely to work all the time at this time. The crew may grow in experience and skill; it has with respect to the car and block cards. 4 or 5 years ago during set up I came across 12 or so cars separated from their cards, and as many cards separated from cars. Lately I find only 1 or 2 orphan cars or cards! That is the kind of progress I hope for. In other words, it may take years. Therefore, I have also bought 2 battery operated kitchen timers, and hope Bob will set each of them for a given YM to beep x minutes before the TT says a train is to arrive at Laramie Green River I hope this will help, but I doubt that it will solve the problem. A good dispatcher with TT in hand is the proper goal, and maybe someday we will be perfect. I realize that the TT governs, but a dispatcher is the proper one to enforce it. Radio rules of use (still informal, but we will develop them together): Bob or his engineers can use their radio to call upcoming stations (Tower Operators, YM’s or their designate), per the above list. Whoever holds a radio on the floor becomes a (floating) Tower Operator (TO). An address card will be made to go with each radio. The radios are primarily for the Dispatcher to call down to a crew member on the layout floor, to communicate with TO's about pending arrival times. all trains will continue to OS to Dispatcher (DS) with phones at same locations as before, at the pink OS fascia s igns. DS can actually dispatch!!! And call down to whichever Tower Operator he needs to. Tower Operators shall have the added responsibility of answering the radio to receive "Train Orders" which will not be numerous, so the work load will not increase much. Tower Operators shall have the added responsibility of carrying out those Train Orders, or delegating someone to do so. "Actually Dispatch" examples: DS should keep himself aware of these type of situations (examples) in addition to passenger trains notifying TO's ahead of their pending arrival (i.e., a good DS should be alert to these or similar situations. And all engineers should likewise be alert to them or similar ones: o A westbound train that has OS'd from Laramie should have already be noted by DS as bound for either NP or Denver (for example) and a preferred route should be conveyed to that engineer whether to take Track #2 to Cheyenne (i.e., to NP) or to take #3 to Denver. This requires DS to coordinate opposing trains west bound from Denver and/or Cheyenne, perhaps holding one in Denver, in Cheyenne, or on the #3 siding (double track portion). o A train already on OSL in either direction and one entering OSL in the opposite direction; one must be made to take a siding on OSL. Rather than engineers working this out at the tracks, the DS should have this task. o A Special (PFE Special) closely following a Manifest (which may need to stop to drop or pick up some cars) may be held up for the Special to pass. o DS may have incomplete OSing information that he needs to do his job right. e.g., a train may end its run, say in Cheyenne without OSing that it is done. many other examples of skipped OS reports can be imagined. a superior train may feel impeded unduly, so may ask DS if he can pass the slower train at the next siding or yard. The impeding train can be told by DS ASAP (at next OS location or sooner by a TO being approached if such TO is reached by DS A train that has worked on the main with DS permission for a given amount of time may forget to OS that he is done and proceeding forward on the main. The DS should call a TO ahead to verify the "missing" train's current position when his allotted time is up. Basically, pretend you are a faithful employee eager to help the railroad's profit, and hopeful you will get a promotion. i.e., do your part and we can improve our operations toward that mythical goal: PROTOTYPICALITY. **One time on I 40 I saw 6 trains parked--completely stopped--about 2-3 miles apart Verryl