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News Wire: CSX dispatchers to soon return to Jacksonville

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Monday, June 26, 2017 1:16 PM

CSX wants to recentralize more than 350 dispatchers, get rid of divisional dispatching

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/06/26-its-back-to-jacksonville-for-csx-dispatchers

Brian Schmidt, Assistant Editor Trains magazine

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, June 26, 2017 1:49 PM

A tad late on this one.

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

And why does the truth seem too hard to be true?

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, June 26, 2017 2:14 PM

Way late and vague for being so late.  Of course, with the Company not yet having negotiated a relocation package, nothing is yet final.

In regards to the statement about reuse of the Dispatching space at the divisional offices - The Baltimore Office for both Division personnel and the Dispatching Center is leased warehouse space and is not owned by CSX.  The Dispatching Center was put in the physical location of the Baltimore Terminal Services Center, which I was a party in creating and opening in 1978 - needless to say the interior design of the 3 warehouse bays was changed between the uses.

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Posted by JoeKoh on Monday, June 26, 2017 3:53 PM

Well they didn't learn the first time.

stay safe

joe

Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt wants your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(stay tuned)

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, June 26, 2017 5:34 PM

JoeKoh
Well they didn't learn the first time.

stay safe

joe

They learned the 1st time that they had control of most of the railroad, they found out over the past 9 years that each division became its own little fifedom and it was difficult to get divisions to work together at division boundry points - trying to contact appropriate decision making personnel over the phone, that they may or may not answer, becomes a exercise in extreme frustration.

In the centrailized enviornment, decision makers can walk over to their counterpart and come to a face to face agreement on a plan of action.

I worked and observed both centralized and decentrailized in action.

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Posted by Buslist on Monday, June 26, 2017 10:03 PM

zugmann

A tad late on this one.

 

announced about a month ago. Already discussed here.

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Posted by Buslist on Monday, June 26, 2017 10:05 PM

BaltACD

 

 
JoeKoh
Well they didn't learn the first time.

stay safe

joe

 

They learned the 1st time that they had control of most of the railroad, they found out over the past 9 years that each division became its own little fifedom and it was difficult to get divisions to work together at division boundry points - trying to contact appropriate decision making personnel over the phone, that they may or may not answer, becomes a exercise in extreme frustration.

In the centrailized enviornment, decision makers can walk over to their counterpart and come to a face to face agreement on a plan of action.

I worked and observed both centralized and decentrailized in action.

 

there are rumors that one desk will

remain in the Chicago area.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, June 26, 2017 11:23 PM

Buslist
BaltACD
JoeKoh
Well they didn't learn the first time.

stay safe

joe

They learned the 1st time that they had control of most of the railroad, they found out over the past 9 years that each division became its own little fifedom and it was difficult to get divisions to work together at division boundry points - trying to contact appropriate decision making personnel over the phone, that they may or may not answer, becomes a exercise in extreme frustration.

In the centrailized enviornment, decision makers can walk over to their counterpart and come to a face to face agreement on a plan of action.

I worked and observed both centralized and decentrailized in action.

there are rumors that one desk will

remain in the Chicago area.

I suspect that may be the case, CSX over the years has championed a combined Dispatching Center for all carriers in Chicago, getting the other carriers to buy in has been a chore.

About 20 years ago, the plan was to bring Chicago Terninal Dispatchers to Jax.  The Dispatchers in many cases had sold their Chicago homes and bought property in Jax in anticipation of the effective date - 2 days before the effective date the move was canceled.  A number of upset individuals.

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Posted by JoeKoh on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 2:51 PM

Balt

I observed when the Indianapolis dispatch center had an emergency.Everything going through Deshler was stopped.What is the back up plan if a storm hits Jacksonville? I do here the dispatchers say how they have how many trains coming from "the other side".

stay safe

Joe

Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt wants your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(stay tuned)

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 3:35 PM

JoeKoh
Balt

I observed when the Indianapolis dispatch center had an emergency.Everything going through Deshler was stopped.What is the back up plan if a storm hits Jacksonville? I do here the dispatchers say how they have how many trains coming from "the other side".

stay safe

Joe

The First Coast area (Jacksonville - FL/GA Line to St. Augustine) was hit by 1 Hurricane in the 20th Century - Dora in 1964 and has not been hit by any in the 21st Century.  Hurricanes normally follow the Gulf Stream warm water current when they encounter it in their trek from the Tropics.  The Gulf Stream passes 60-80 miles off shore when passing the First Coast.  Jacksonville is much further West than people realize, while it is on the Atlantic coast, it is practically due South of Pittsburgh, PA

In the past when the threat of Hurricanes existed, volunteers were solicited to go to Indy where the 'prime backup' was installed (prior to decentralization).  Indy and Selkirk, being former ConRail locations were never moved to Jacksonville while the Dufford Center was in full operation.  I don't know if they will be included in the recentralization as their Dispatcher positions were lower pay rated than the CSX positions - a differential that has been maintained to this day - to my knowledge.  The former ConRail positions are represented by a different local of the ATDA (American Train Dispatchers Association) than are the CSX Dispatchers.

To my knowledge the Dufford Center has never been shut down by weather.  It was shut down one time by a Labor Strike for about 18 hours; it was also rendered out of operation one time for about 24-48 hours account of a computer virus that entered the CSX Mainframe computer system busy'd the communications lines between the Mainframe and the CADS (Computer Assisted Dispatching System) computer to the point that the CADS computer crashed repeatedly and would not permit the safe and knowledgable lining of signals or issuance of track authorities.

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Posted by Norm48327 on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 4:06 PM

Balt,

IMO, there are benefits to both sides of the equation.  Being able to communicate face to face with a dispatcher on the next segement the train has to encounter is one. So is local knoiwledge of the territory one is dispatching. The latter, and the intracies of such , may be lost on a DS who is many miles away and has little knowledge of local conditions. Based on your descriptions of the Baltimore area I would give credence to those familiar with the quirks of the local area over those who were dispatching from Jacksonville and not familiar with local conditions. There are cases to be made for both sides, but the "dishwasher" who just transferred from the Chicago area to a desk that controlls Baltimore can not be expected to know the nuances of that change.

Fifedoms will likely always exist in railroad hierarchy. Hard to do away with them. I haven't seen Harrison overcome that obstacle yet.

Norm


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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 5:50 PM

Norm48327
Balt,

IMO, there are benefits to both sides of the equation.  Being able to communicate face to face with a dispatcher on the next segement the train has to encounter is one. So is local knoiwledge of the territory one is dispatching. The latter, and the intracies of such , may be lost on a DS who is many miles away and has little knowledge of local conditions. Based on your descriptions of the Baltimore area I would give credence to those familiar with the quirks of the local area over those who were dispatching from Jacksonville and not familiar with local conditions. There are cases to be made for both sides, but the "dishwasher" who just transferred from the Chicago area to a desk that controlls Baltimore can not be expected to know the nuances of that change.

Fifedoms will likely always exist in railroad hierarchy. Hard to do away with them. I haven't seen Harrison overcome that obstacle yet.

In both the Centralized and Decentralized versions Road Review happens in the same manner - the cost in the centralized model is somewhat higher as plane fare becomes involved.  Depending upon the territory to be covered, up to a work week may be alloted to Road Review.  The biggest disconnect in the centralized model is coming to work at Jacksonville when it is 70 & Sunny and it is 10 degrees and blowing snow on one's territory - that really only becomes a factor when you have native Florida born individuals that have never experienced a Northern winter.  The Division local employees know what they can do under the conditions as they exist and that is the governing factor.

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Posted by BOB WITHORN on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 8:23 AM
Kinda reminds me of a Willie Nelson? song. On the Road Again?
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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, August 10, 2017 10:47 AM

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Friday, August 11, 2017 3:56 PM

Why the BIG spread in day rate? $110 to $358/day. Is a dispatcher day an 8:00 hr day or is there an additional time for "report" to transfer info between shifts? Lunch on duty time? My wife (retired nurse) had to get patient status from Nurse she was replacing and vis versa, update Nurse who was on the incoming shift. It is called Giving (getting) REPORT. Unpaid hours. Also had to finish charting since if it isn't charted, it wasn't done. I won't go into malpractice lawyers.

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Posted by n012944 on Friday, August 11, 2017 4:18 PM

Its been a while since I had to deal with new dispatcher pay rate progession, however I think this is accurate.

For South dispatchers hired off the street.

$110 dollars a day while in training class.

65% of full rate. (currently $232.93) while training on a desk but not marked up.

Once ready to work by themselves(marked up), 80% of full rate, currently $286.

Then a 5% bump on the anniversary of your mark up date, until you reach 100% of the full rate.

 

A new dispatcher hired from withen the company would keep his/her pay from their last job while in training.  They would then either go to the 65% or keep their previous pay, whichever is more.  Once marked up, their pay would depend on their time with the railroad.  If they had more than four years, they would go to 100%, 3 years 95% and so on.

 

As for the East progression, I can not speak on that.  They are on a different contract with different rules.  They do top out at $20 less a day then the South people, but have some more flexable work rules.

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Posted by caldreamer on Friday, August 11, 2017 4:59 PM

If a dispatcher works at a daily rate of say $365 and an emergency comes up and he has to to another center where the daily rate is $110.  He would NOT be bumped to the lower rate due the temprary duty because of the emergency. 

If he transferred to the lower daily rate location, then his pay would go down to the $110 rate.

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Posted by guetem1 on Friday, August 11, 2017 11:50 PM

I have worked in a centralized dispatching center my entire career, however my territory is adjacent to the dispatching center.  I have worked subdivisions half a continent away.  You can do it, but there is nothing like seeing it with your own eyes, having the conductor who works a local showing you why it is a bad thing to make him clear the main line at a certain location.  It is also good to be able to put a face to the voice you hear on the phone/radio everyday.

  Admittedly it is hard to budget for a road trip for every dispatcher in your division to fly from Texas to Washington state and find relief dispatchers to cover each desk.  You'd think that professionalism would win out over self interest but unfortunately not in every case.  Sometimes you have an adjacent DS who wants to force all his traffic to your side and then demand you handle all the coordination necessary to call relief crews for the trains you have delayed while he forced his traffic onto you.  Some of his/her trains may be priority traffic, some may be short on time, so oftimes there are reasons why he/she may be pushing all the traffic to you and it may be justified.  These are the times when face to face helps, these are also the times it would help to talk it over with a beer or two after work, but that does not happen like it did 20 years ago, I have never seen a dispatcher I work with in a social situation outside of work in 18 years.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, August 12, 2017 9:28 AM

guetem1
I have worked in a centralized dispatching center my entire career, however my territory is adjacent to the dispatching center.  I have worked subdivisions half a continent away.  You can do it, but there is nothing like seeing it with your own eyes, having the conductor who works a local showing you why it is a bad thing to make him clear the main line at a certain location.  It is also good to be able to put a face to the voice you hear on the phone/radio everyday.

  Admittedly it is hard to budget for a road trip for every dispatcher in your division to fly from Texas to Washington state and find relief dispatchers to cover each desk.  You'd think that professionalism would win out over self interest but unfortunately not in every case.  Sometimes you have an adjacent DS who wants to force all his traffic to your side and then demand you handle all the coordination necessary to call relief crews for the trains you have delayed while he forced his traffic onto you.  Some of his/her trains may be priority traffic, some may be short on time, so oftimes there are reasons why he/she may be pushing all the traffic to you and it may be justified.  These are the times when face to face helps, these are also the times it would help to talk it over with a beer or two after work, but that does not happen like it did 20 years ago, I have never seen a dispatcher I work with in a social situation outside of work in 18 years.

With all due respect, socialization after work hours is a personal issue, not a centralized dispatching issue.  You make the friends you want to socialize with - in many cases these friendships are made at work; in many other cases they are not.

In the case of CSX centralized dispatching and distributed dispatching friendships were initiated in one of two ways.  With the original centralization process in the 1988-90 range, the dispatchers were all housed at the same lodging facility (at company expense) for up to two months and they developed relationships by working and living together.  In the distributed enviornment, new hires were needed to supplement the existing dispatchers.  The new hires all went through a training routine at the Atlanta REDI center for approximately 6 months and were also in a situation where the worked and lived together in a group.

Making friends is a personal issue, not a company issue.  Some people are lost without a vast number of friends.  Some people are loners and don't require a vast network of 'friends'.  YMMV.

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