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What were time books?

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What were time books?
Posted by Union Pacific 428 on Thursday, February 14, 2019 2:53 PM

Hi all, 

I have often heard mention of “time books”, kept by railroaders, mostly (I think), in the transition era and before. What kind of information was kept in these? Is there any info in them that would be of use to modelers? 

Thanks!

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, February 14, 2019 3:45 PM

I have a handful of these in my collection of RR "Stuff".

In general railroader's pay was complicated with terminal time, tonnage hauled, milage, some pay rates were based on the weight on the driving axles of the locomotives.

Hundreds of different agreements were made between the carriers and with the various crafts and unions for rates of pay.

It was in the best interest of the crew members to keep their own log of the hours worked, what train was involved, how long the trip was, who the other crew members were. all this was recorded in their time book. A "Time Slip" was turned in to the proper authority, road master, or designated office in order to get paid.

Sometimes if there was a discrepancy in the pay the railroad worker could refer back (it could have been a month ago) to the log in his time book.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, February 14, 2019 3:51 PM

I hope some of our former / current working railroaders chime in, but just to get the ball rolling...I believe 'time books' were log books kept by railroaders to keep track of what days they worked, how many hours, and such. For engine crews, they needed to keep track of which engines they operated, as different engines had different pay rates (generally the heavier the engine the higher the pay). It gave the railroaders a record to be sure they were getting credited with the work they did and paid accordingly. (I think they paybooks themselves may have been something they got from their union, but I'm not sure?)

From what I've seen, they would be helpful to a modeller. If nothing else, they tell you which engines were being used during a specific timeframe on a particular division, and what types of trains they were hauling. The Milwaukee Road Historical Society's magazine recently had an article about an engineer disputing a claim from management about taking to long to operate a train, and the engineer was able to cite a number of detailed rebuttal points based primarily on his logbook from the trip.

Stix
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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 14, 2019 3:52 PM

This all sounds like what today's construction superindendent goes through for keeping track of hours for the different trades, working on the job site.

Each and every task/job has a pay code number.  We had to keep our own hour books, and list the different "pay codes" we worked on.

Mike.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, February 14, 2019 5:01 PM

gmpullman
It was in the best interest of the crew members to keep their own log of the hours worked, what train was involved, how long the trip was, who the other crew members were. all this was recorded in their time book. A "Time Slip" was turned in to the proper authority, road master, or designated office in order to get paid.

Ed,That sums it up in layman's terms and should be easy to understand.

On some roads engineers got paid extra for each locomotive in his locomotive consist. This is why any deadheaded engines was dead in tow or at least taken off line so,the engineer couldn't claim pay for those deadhead locomotives.

Also a crew got "deadhead" pay if they was deadheading back to their home terminal by freight train..Some roads would add a extra caboose for the deadhead crew.

I don't know how things work today as far as deadheading--if its still being done. 

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 gmpullman on Thursday, February 14, 2019 9:36 PM

BRAKIE
I don't know how things work today as far as deadheading--if its still being done. 

A buddy of mine has a side job working for a limo service. His job 99% of the time is ferrying crews to and from terminals or outlawed trains. 

Another friend, when he worked for Conrail, told me he made more of his money in the back seat of a Suburban than in the seat of a locomotive. He often rode a limo from Cleveland to Conway (Pa.) then another limo to Ashtabula, Oh. to run some light engines forty-miles to Cleveland, then he had to take the limo back to Conway, only to deadhead back to Cleveland. That was like three-days pay!

I don't think Amtrak hauls deadheads like they used to. 

I have a "Rates of Pay" for engineers book here from the Michigan Central from 1947. I'll have to copy some of the pages to post here. I sure wouldn't want to be a clerk in the paymasters office. Some of the local agreements are really complicated to sort out.

Basically, it was all set up in order to keep the pay fair and even amongst crews and seniority lists. I remember when PRR and NYC men were mixed in to different pools things really got even more complicated trying to blend seniority and bumping rights and to do it without shorting somebody.

There was a very small group of guys in Cleveland that protested their pay after the 1968 merger. They took their complaint to arbitration. They won — forty-three years later! All but two of the guys died of old age before they ever saw one penny of their money they were owed.

https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/09/judge_rules_in_43-year-old_civ.html

 

Regards, Ed

 

 

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Posted by wojosa31 on Thursday, February 14, 2019 10:06 PM

Timebooks, came in many forms, some provided by Unions, others purchased from vendors, Sadlr's Timebooks contained pay rates andcomputation tables enabling the user to compute his (or her) pay to the minute.

As previously described, they were a means of recording workdays, by date, assignment, power, sign up time/location, sign off time/location, miles / hours, number of cars, (trainmen rates), aritraries and allowances.

They also kept records of away from home lodging, meals and other away from home expenses, and rest between assignments. They were considered official records by the IRS and ICC.

Most were divided into twenty - six pay weeks which mirrored the bi-weekly payroll under wich most operating railroad employees were paid. I used to staple, my pay stub on to the appropriate pages of my timebook.

Believe, I still have one somewhere on a shelf in the trainroom.

After computer printouts and readouts became available, they became less popular with mot modern employees.

Boris 

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Posted by wojosa31 on Thursday, February 14, 2019 10:35 PM

gmpullman
There was a very small group of guys in Cleveland that protested their pay after the 1968 merger. They took their complaint to arbitration. They won — forty-three years later! All but two of the guys died of old age before they ever saw one penny of their money they were owed.

Interesting story. They were Cleveland union terminal employees, who must ave been covered by the PC Merger Protective Agreement, or they would not have been offered employment at Collinwood.

Seems like a long time to fight their claims, but because their jobs came under the Railway Labor Act, the prcess continued and ultimately became a court case. I  would not be surprised to see the litigation go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Boris

 

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Posted by OldEngineman on Thursday, February 14, 2019 10:48 PM

I have almost all of my "time book records" going back to 1979. Although a few of them were kept in the "pre-printed" books that were put out by the brotherhoods, I actually kept the lion's share of my time records in small sprial notebooks on paper with lines I drew in it myself.

Starting in 1987, I also kept a digital record of my trips, so I have both.

Entry columns would be: Date - Train no. - Eng. no. - On duty time - Departure/arrival times - Off duty time - Miles (where pertinent -- only in freight -- Amtrak was an hourly rate) - Conductor's name.

One thing a T&E employee learned quickly when new was that he had to keep track of "his time", so that when one got paid, you could look back and see if they paid you right (see example noted by wjstix above).

I'm not sure that any of this would really be useful to modelers. But it certainly was if you were doing it for the pay!

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, February 15, 2019 7:07 AM

OldEngineman
I'm not sure that any of this would really be useful to modelers. But it certainly was if you were doing it for the pay!

There are certain segment of modelers that spend just as much effert on the "paper work /paper trail" in the logistics involved with railroading, as they do running and building trains.

Maybe some of the info found in a time book could help in researching what particular loco was where and when, especially for the more "prototypical" group?

Maybe?

I"ve found a few of my time books that I kept while in heavy construction, is was kind of neat to see where I was working on a particular day, and what we were doing, but that's it.  They got pitched after I "reminisced" for a bit. Don't want to go back there!

Mike.

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Posted by Union Pacific 428 on Friday, February 15, 2019 8:01 AM

Hey guys! Thanks for the input. I might see if I can find me an old UP time book at a train show or something. Might be interesting. 

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, February 15, 2019 5:29 PM

Tony Koester wrote in Model Railroad Planning about how old timebooks kept by crewmen who operated on the division of the Nickle Plate he models helped him determine what locomotives saw service on what trains in what years, how long the trains were, loads v empties, and a host of other information he found useful in planning how to operate his NKP railroad.   They spelled out the time diesels displaced steam very precisely, to the day.

So yes they can be useful and interesting to modelers.  Note that they tend to be written in a sort of shorthand that might take some time and experience to "translate."

Dave Nelson 

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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, February 15, 2019 11:02 PM

Union Pacific 428

Hey guys! Thanks for the input. I might see if I can find me an old UP time book at a train show or something. Might be interesting. 

 

The unions still issue time books to members.  There are also some private time books available. www.dailytimerecord.com/products.htm 

I use a 3.5 x 8 tally book for my time keeping.  Besides keeping track for railroad purposes, it also - at least until the recent federal tax changes - helped keep track of expenses for tax purposes.  I used to use, and some still do, a booklet provided by the railroad titled, Freight Conductor's Train Book.  It had a lot places to record information besides the normal basic information.  (It still has information on recording and handling livestock and cars in ventilator service.)

Jeff

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