Crew

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Crew

Unread postby Stinger4me » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:10 am

I have some questions about crew size and eliminating the caboose. Did these two items coincide? I left RR service in '68 and I know by the early 80's there were FRED devices in use. Thanks very much for your help with this request.

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Re: Crew

Unread postby SD80MAC » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:00 am

Absolutely. With the advent of the EOT and distance counters, the engineer could get all of the relevant info for the rear of the train (namely air pressure) without having a crew on the rear. 4 man crews were subsequently reduced to 3 and then 2 in most cases. Some railroads, like GTW and CP, ran with 4 man crews and cabooses into the 90s.
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Re: Crew

Unread postby AARR » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:18 pm

It seems like the early 90's when GTW negotiated some two man crew for a limited number of trains including one that was a auto parts train. I think it originated in Detroit and picked up auto parts at Pontiac, Durand, Lansing and Pavilion IIRC. Final delivery was to a western RR in Chicago.
SD80MAC wrote:Some railroads, like GTW and CP, ran with 4 man crews and cabooses into the 90s.
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Re: Crew

Unread postby Stinger4me » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:59 pm

Was the GTW still using cabooses in the early 80's? It would be crowded with a 4 person crew in a locomotive.
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Re: Crew

Unread postby C&O Dispatcher » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:33 pm

When I started on C&O in 1970 four-person crews were the standard with sometimes the addition of a fireman. By the time I started dispatching in 1976, the fireman position had basically become an engineer-in-training position. In non-signaled territory, the rear brakeman was also the flagman and had to protect the rear end of the train when necessary. On the PH, Bad Axe and Elmdale Subs we normally protected their rear end by train order so the flagman did not have to protect against following trains. In manual block territory, they only had to go back 1500 feet to flag since a following train would be running on a occupied block at "stop short of train ahead" speed. Otherwise, they had to go back about a mile to flag, leave torpedoes and fusee and then walk back half the distance toward their train with a flag in hand. Speaking of firemen: in the early 70's, Ohio law still required a fireman on all trains but Michigan did not. A fireman would ride all of our northbounds out of Walbridge and hop off at Erie and wait in the depot (before it burned down) to hop on the next southbound to Walbridge. When I worked at Carleton in the 70's, on the DT&I the rear brakeman was the only one in the caboose. The conductor rode in one of the trailing units on the head end. If you hung up train orders for them, you had to have three hoops -- one for the head end, one for the conductor and one for the caboose.
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