More: No Operator at WB
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nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Oct 9 20:26:59 EDT 2004
Here's another point to consider in respect to situation of "no open train
order office at WB." Harry Bundy is probably the only Lister who could offer an
There were two operators in West Roanoke. (1) The opr at "DO" office at
12th Street Yard Office, who was much too remote from the two main lines to get
engine numbers, deliver train orders of block trains, and who had no train
order signals. And (2) the opr at "UN" Tower at Shaffers Crossing, who's building
was in the middle of the yard and too remote from the main tracks to get
engine numbers or block trains, and who had no train order signals.
So, in the absence of an operator reporting trains anywhere in Roanoke west
of "MH" at the passenger station, what did the train dispatcher use for an OS
time for trains departing any point in West Roanoke?
Now, the Timetable Special Instructions do show the location of all
telephones on the division, both "B" Block Phones and "D" telephones connected to the
train dispatcher. There was a "B" Block Phone at "WB, Pull Out Track."
So here's how I think the process might have transpired:
(1) Conductor registers his train at UN Tower (Shaffers Crossing) and picks
up any train orders which be addressed to his train at that point. (2) Engine
goes to WB and couples on and (perhaps several hours later) is ready to leave.
(3) Head end brakeman goes to the Block Phone and rings up operator at UN and
asks for permission to pull out onto the westbound main line. (4) Opr UN
gets permission from train dispatcher at "R" Office (train dispatcher's office
in General Offices) and relays it to brakeman on the train, and train departs.
(5) Train dispatcher uses the time he granted permission on the main track as
the OS time for his train sheet.
Sounds reasonable, 'eh?
Take another situation, viz. that of a westbound train made up in the Pull Up
Yard. It departs from the Pull Up and uses the Westbound Running Track to
Shaffer's Crossing where the 24th Street Switch Tender puts the train out onto
the main line (with the train dispatcher's permission, probably relayed through
the operator at UN.) Did the train dispatcher use for his OS the time his
permission was granted to the 24th Street Switch Tender?
And, then think of the matter of eastbound trains arriving at West Roanoke.
How did the train dispatcher know when the train was clear of the main track
and get an arrival time at West Roanoke for his train sheet? (Perhaps the Pull
In Switch Tender reported the arival to the operator at UN, who relayed it to
the train dispatcher?)
Aaaah..... so many questions, and so few firm answers ! But, absent mystery,
what would be the fun of "doing history" ?
Senator Bundy, git to the podium and make a speech !
-- abram burnett
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