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Prototype train crew car forwarding paperwork

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  • Member since
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Prototype train crew car forwarding paperwork
Posted by Union Pacific 428 on Saturday, June 30, 2018 8:03 AM

Hi all, 

Does anyone know what paperwork forms the conductors/train crews of local wayfreights actually used to forward cars and spot them at various industries in the late 1950’s? I know that waybills are the “standard“ car forwarding paperwork from the era, but I have also heard that they were mostly used by agents and car clerks for accounting purposes. So what would the men on the ground actually moving the cars have used? Is this were the chalk marks and route cards on the car doors came into play? Thanks. 

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Posted by dehusman on Saturday, June 30, 2018 9:39 AM

The conductor carried waybills, which were used to provide the information to make lists and the train crews actually used the lists to do their work.  Here is an image of a typical list, virtually every railroad had some version of this type of document:

In yards clerks/yardmasters made the switch lists and the original list.

Out on line the agents would make a switch list to tell the crews what to pull or respot at the industries.

Chalk marks might be used by the crews anyplace and in larger yards they often tack/stapled a "route card" to the side of cars (that's why there is a "tack board" on the sides/doors of cars).  The GH&H railroad was a railroad from Houston to Galveston jointly owned by the MKT and MP.  Even into the 1980's all the cars coming into Galveston got a route card stapled to them, a blue one on the MP cars and a tan/manila one on the MKT cars.  The cars were switched by where they went in Galveston and then when they came back into the yard the crews switched them out by the color of the tag, blue went back to the MP and tan back to the MKT.

 

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, June 30, 2018 10:09 AM

Now all we brakeman had to deal with is the car number and destination.

A switch list made life simpler when it came to swinging on/off moving equipment.

The conductor would place the waybills in a mailbox by the dock or a exit door next to the dock for the industry's receiving clerk. The outbound waybills would be here as well.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by jeffhergert on Saturday, June 30, 2018 8:38 PM

It's my understanding (from hanging around the local RI depot in the late 70s) that the waybills would go with the cars.  When a car was set out or spotted, the waybill went to the nearest railroad agent who was responsible for that location.  For example, the RI agent at Marengo IA handled that station and also Ladora, Victor and Brooklyn.  If the local (or a through freight setting out a defective car at one of those stations) would leave the car's waybill at Marengo.  Even if the car was set out at Brooklyn.  A train picking up at one of those stations would get the proper waybills at Marengo.  Non-continuously manned stations had a bill box outside by the door for such exchanges when the agent was off duty.

An industry would not see the waybill itself.  There could be other paperwork exchanged, such as switchlists to show what was, or needs to be, done.  (Some large industries will provide their own switch lists.)

Freight conductors would also have a Train List or Wheel Report.  A list of every car in the train, starting from the caboose and going forward.  It would have information, taken from the waybills about every car.  Modern day crews still get a computer generated train list.  The paper waybill going with the car is no more and hasn't been for many years.

Jeff 

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Posted by Union Pacific 428 on Sunday, July 01, 2018 4:22 PM

Thanks to all who replied. So as I understand it, freight crews mainly transported the waybills to the agents in the towns where they were delivering cars, and used switch lists prepared by the clerk/agent to actually do their work.  

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Posted by cuyama on Sunday, July 01, 2018 6:30 PM

Union Pacific 428
So as I understand it, freight crews mainly transported the waybills to the agents in the towns where they were delivering cars, and used switch lists prepared by the clerk/agent to actually do their work.  

Refer to professional railroader Dave Husman's post above:

dehusman
The conductor carried waybills, which were used to provide the information to make lists and the train crews actually used the lists to do their work.

The conductor on the train often used the waybills to create switchlists. In many switching locations, there were no agents or clerks in "town" -- or even a town at all.

Most of us would prefer to re-enact the thinking role of the conductor, not the pin-pulling and flagging role of the brakeman.

[Of course, this depends on modeled era -- today it's different]

Byron

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Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, July 01, 2018 9:00 PM

cuyama
Most of us would prefer to re-enact the thinking role of the conductor, not the pin-pulling and flagging role of the brakeman.

"

Byron,Without us " pin-pulling and flagging role of the brakeman" the conductor would not get the job done under the older work rules and job classification

A conductor's job was to supervise,ensure all work was completed,ensure there was no rule or safety violations and do the required paper work. 

And that was the case during my 9 1/2 years of being a brakeman..

Having boots on the ground and doing the actual work you learn a lot of things.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by cuyama on Sunday, July 01, 2018 9:55 PM

No offense, Larry, I just find it more fun to be the conductor on the model. The professional railroader conductors with whom I have operated have taught me a lot about how to operate, but of course not as much as any real-life railroader knows!

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  • From: OH
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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, July 02, 2018 8:55 AM

cuyama

No offense, Larry, I just find it more fun to be the conductor on the model. The professional railroader conductors with whom I have operated have taught me a lot about how to operate, but of course not as much as any real-life railroader knows!

 

Byron,Different time frames with different job classes and work and safety rules.Things we did as part of the job will get you fired today.

We had no three step,on the PRR we rode the roof to relay hand signals if their was a need,we had to climb the side ladder to get to the brake wheel in order to set or release the brakes and later we would step in between to set or release the brake.

The conductor left paper work in a mail box. He would receive paper work from the same box.

Did you know the brakemen planned their work(moves) strictly by switch list and special instructions with precision team work??

As you may have notice the way some modelers switch cars would get them fired.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.

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