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Well guys, the F.R.A (Federal Railroad Administration) has just called into action a mandated policy which states that basically, all Transportation Railroad employees must be given 2 days off per week and 10 hours rest between shifts. Many railroaders are living above their means and will hate me for this, but I say IT'S ABOUT TIME! lol Considering I spent all of my 20's on the rails and missed many family events because of being on the road and on-call all the time, I'm glad that new hire railroaders will at least get more time off than I did. This is the reason that most people who work for the railroad and once loved trains, no longer do. There is a certain mindset you have to achieve to separate trains from the company. Not to mention co-workers who hate railbuffs because they are miserably employed and not educated enough to jump ship and survive (to them anyways). No more ranting here, I just think that, personally, this is a good thing. It means I'll get to spend more time with my loved ones and layout. ^^

-Will
 

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Wow thanks for sharing that info, very interesting! A couple of years ago I was applying to UP but later changed my mind because of talking with folks like yourself. This is really good news and makes the RR more of an option for me if I ever get laid off. I won't hesitate now. I hope this helps you enjoy your work a little more! :)

Raymond
 

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Yah but the legistation gives the railroads 9 months to start the program. I'm sure most of the class I's will say they can't do this right now because of 'lack of manpower.' When do they ever have enough manpower? Never! Are you saying the FRA has ruled that it is to be effective immediately?
I agree its well needed and long overdue.
http://www.utu.org/worksite/safety/safetyact2008.htm

Craig
 

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Wow. I might even get to see my son once in a while now. He is an engineer for the BNSF and it seems like he either isn't home or is sleeping. It's about time. The old regs are why I never went into engine service when I worked for the ATSF. No regular schedule.
 

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Well CSX never has manpower because they are too busy firing everyone for trivial mishaps. The new regulation has given Class I railroads until June of 2009 to implement the changes in 'scheduling' and to prepare. They have a long history of the kind of arrogance where they won't implement incentives to make the railroad run smoother because they figure the employees should be greatful they let us work there. The biggest problem with railroads is that they try to run it like an organized business and due to irregular shipments and stripped down manpower that is not possible. I don't know about you bnsfconductor but local management is harassed so badly about getting trains out at my railroad that they treat all the employees like dirt, even the ones who try to do a good job and keep up with productivity. Morale is non-existent at CSX. The old heads at CSX talk about L&N like it was a dream job. Noone ever harassed you unless you deserved it.

I can't speak for L&N, but since I have been at CSX (10 years) things have rapidly dwindled downhill. They are unkind and unhumble to the men and women that are in the field day and night making them billions. At the very least, they could be a little more forgiving where the rules are concerned. It is sad that the workforce is threatned constantly with rules that we are supposed to keep in our overworked, stressed out heads. There are more rules than there are letters in the encyclopedia, and there are always rules that people are in violation of just because no one person can possibly memorize them all. It is also usually the nit-pick rules that get people fired. Well I hope things change for the better, I still have 30 years until retirement. In any case, I still get to run trains ;-)
 

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One thing I've always notice is trainmen bitch more than any other craft on the RR. You hired out to run trains 24/7 with a certain amount of rest between runs. You choose this side of RR because of the big bucks compared to M Of W and having to really work for a living. I came from the rail industry and I just get tired of the hearing how hard you guys work sitting in a seat and playing trains. Yep your gone from home but you chose that craft. Live with it if you like it If you want more time at home change jobs. Sounds about as bad as the auto unions more you get the more you want. People now days think they are owed something for what they do. Be grateful you have a job.


If anyone needs an hour of service is the M of W, they work longer and harder hrs and are still required to come in to work after doing 48 hrs or more straight. No time off for these folks. Later RJD
 

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"No time off for these folks"

Yes, but if you stop to send a text message on the job, you don't end up as the lead item on the six o'clock news for a week.
 

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Posted By aceinspp on 12/12/2008 8:13 PM
One thing I've always notice is trainmen bitch more than any other craft on the RR. You hired out to run trains 24/7 with a certain amount of rest between runs. You choose this side of RR because of the big bucks compared to M Of W and having to really work for a living. I came from the rail industry and I just get tired of the hearing how hard you guys work sitting in a seat and playing trains. Yep your gone from home but you chose that craft. Live with it if you like it If you want more time at home change jobs. Sounds about as bad as the auto unions more you get the more you want. People now days think they are owed something for what they do. Be grateful you have a job.


If anyone needs an hour of service is the M of W, they work longer and harder hrs and are still required to come in to work after doing 48 hrs or more straight. No time off for these folks. Later RJD




Hmmm.
Interesting attitude.

Especially when the morons decide a 150 mile trip will get you dead in 12 hours halfway there.

Kinda like the "Chicken Regs" in the Navy.

Folks who thought it was their job to bust everybody's chops all the time over some "oolie" they found.




Why "came from the rail industry and I just get tired"?

You get tired of it?
 

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aceinspp, ".... I just get tired of the hearing how hard you guys work sitting in a seat and playing trains. ...."

And do you know how hard it is to keep a trainset under control and prevent it from derailing and causing a fire and what not? And what do you do? Swing a hammer, dig a hole? That's easy. Making sure a trainset does not derail can get pretty tricky....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the support guys, I really appreciate it ^^ RJD, as for you, this country has turned into the corporate haven it has because people like you say it is ok. You submit to people with inheritted wealth and say it is ok because they 'earned' or 'deserve' it. Bear in mind a moment that none of these CEOs would give a nickel to save your life, but you empower them to turn the workforce into nothing short of slavery. People with that attitude are typically wealthy or have a knack for finding it. People vote and policize based on what works for them, it is human nature that we should base our lives on us and those we love, that is reality. However it is also reality that there are some people who have spirit and will stand up for what's right and just. America was built on these principles, why is it a bad thing to practice them today?
If I sign my name to an application that says "You will have free insurance, get $60,000+ per year, have a fair amount of time off, be compensated well for going above and beyond the call of duty" then heck yes I am going to stand up when that is not delivered when I spent $5,000 to go to their "Railroad School" in Atlanta, which promised me a job and then furoughed 85+ people off with no way to support their families and now $5,000 in debt with no job. If you can justify this with "that is how business goes" then by all means... sign up. But being betrayed by the people who promised you a livelihood and then cost you your home placing a $5,000 bet in their foney promises should be inexcusable in a country based on "unity". There is a definite and fine line between rich and poor, and typically the lines are never crossed because of the lifestyles these people lead. The fact is, rich and poor are the same people with different purposes. The rich have been educated to exploit the poor to make their wealth, and while the poor suffer, the rich feel no sympathy in bestowing onto their prey that they have somehow earned through rite or education the right to exploit them. Meanwhile the poor are too tired or apathetic to fight back. It is sad....

Now as an M.O.W worker, I cannot make things better for you. Only you and your craft brothers can do that. But, are you the "realist" that takes whatever comes, or are you the man who stands up and says "NO! I HAVE PUT MY FAITH, FORTUNE, AND DEVOTION IN THIS JOB BECAUSE I WAS PROMISED CERTAIN THINGS AND I KEEP HAVING THEM TAKEN AWAY!" Go ahead RJD, go ahead and switch jobs for your entire career whenever you begin having advantage taken over you. You are going to find that when you are 60 years old and are starting at the bottom of the totem pole again that it is not so easy. Things are much more complex than filling out an application, kissing the interviewer's butt, and brown nosing your way to the top. I'm going to stop now because I have to get sleep but think about what I said. I was merely making a gesture of appreciation for the F.R.A coming to the defense of overworked employees. If you consider that whining, then you should learn a thing or two about being humble to those who are trying to help you.

I honestly can't believe I stooped down to answer your post, but I think it is important that other railroaders know that they don't have to deal with the harrassment, bullying, or loss of jobs that they are experiencing. They have a voice and should use it. RJD I bear you no ill will. I understand that it is a Taurus' nature to debate and argue, but just remember that where you will put a fire, you must beware of the ensuing water to drench it. This is also nature's way. On your side of the equasion, I do hope that M.O.W gets some more time off, I think you guys deserve it too. I'm not combatting any other department in any way, I think we are all in it together and unity might really help to change things. I will say however, I have yet to see an M.O.W crew hit a dump truck at 57 MPH, kill the guy, only to find out it was the father of a close friend of yours. Things like that don't erase overnight.

That is not upper management's fault, but it is their responsibility to be understanding when they see tears falling from your eyes and ought to want to comfort you rather than assign blame on you to have a scapegoat to keep their own jobs. Seriously, I'm done this time. HUGS to all of MLS, thanks for reading my rant, I apologize but I am a passionate guy, just like RJD.


-Will
 

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Two and a half years ago I made the jump from Custody ( as in line) Officer to Classification Counselor because I just couldn't stand the mandatory overtime anymore. I just couldn't work an unplanned double shift (16 hours) with 8 off followed by another unplanned double because the powers to be refused to hire more staff. I would get too tired, it was dangerous. I went in knowing in law enforcement things happen and cannot always follow a set schedule due to emergencies. Staying over to help with an emergency shakedown is one thing. Working last minute doubles and missing planned family functions in order to make some political hack's budget look good is another. We were told it was a temporary situation and then it continued for years. I became angry and bitter and am much happier now. Relying on employee's dedication to their careers is not an excuse for chronic understaffing. After long enough even the most dedicated get burned out. So I have an idea of your situation. Pardon the rant.

I sincerely hope this works out for you, the other trainmen/women and your families.
 

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I'm not trying to get into this argument...but this rule change just seems to be reflective of the changing workforce in the US...and the positions being taken in the argument are based more on age than what department on the railroad you worked in.

There have been hundreds of papers and articles written about managing the new generation of workers...a group called the "twenty somethings". This group of folks has different expectations from jobs...and clearly different demands as well. This is the generation of workers who grew up in an environment where success was the norm...and failure was painted over. Losing teams got trophies too. Personal choice (by the player) was OK...versus what was best for the team. I'm NOT knocking this generation of workers...because they weren't the ones that provided this environment...but they were the benefactors (or victims as some might say).

This FRA rule change looks a lot like a change to make work "nicer"...something that would be particularly important to younger workers...and NOT important to the older folks that are in management. As someone older, I completely understand the management philosophy taught in the "school of hard knocks"...and the "sink or swim" teaching technique. But...all these artilces say the same thing...if you use that style of management today, you'll drive the younger employees away. They'll just quit. Given that state of affairs, sometimes the only way a management change can happen is when it's forced...and it looks like the FRA just FORCED a management change.

I think we're gonna see a LOT more of these kind of changes in US employment in the next decade. The worker "twenty something" is going to become a manager "twenty something" in 10 years. While the older folks can carp about what is wrong or what isn't right...the "twenty something" point of view isn't wrong...it can't be. You have to view it as "it just exists"...and work rules must reflect this existence.

Without younger employees on the job...a business eventually fails unless it completely automates. Sometimes, what the employees "want" can't be provided without the business collapsing. We see that across the board in manufacturing jobs in the US...many of which are moving off shore because labor costs are lower. In this world of railroading...the workers need to understand that automation that takes their job away IS possible. The technology is there to automate train operations...and thanks to the commuter train/freight train crash in LA last month, the basic technology to automate train operations is NOW REQUIRED to be put into all engines by some date in the future.
 

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The best to come out of this new FRA ruling is the mandated time off between tour of duties. Up until now, a T&E employee had to have 8 hours off after work, but it wasn't exactly "undisturbed rest". Typical example fellow employee arrives back in his home terminal & marks off at 400pm. Has a cup of coffee at the yard office and then fights rush hour traffic to get back to his house at 530pm. Has dinner with the family, goes to bed at 700pm. At 1000pm the crew dispatcher calls him to inform him he's called for the midnite train south. He gets up, showers, packs a lunch and overnite bag, and starts on his 45" drive back to the yard office to begin another 12 hour train ride. Lets see, the railroad shows him as having 8 hours rest ( off 400pm back on at 12 midnite) but as you can see he only got 3 hours sleep - this is a typical day for a T&E road crew (doesn't have enough seniority to hold a yard assignment) easy to see how fatigue sets in. New ruling means if he's off at 400pm the crew disp cannot call hi house until 12 midnite so he gets an additional 2 hrs sleep.
 

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Sounds like there be room for a lot of jobs in the railway biz - and don't we have a new Pres who wants to put people to work? Might be some way these two imperatives could be combined.

There used to be a program around here where down on their luck folks would be taken on by employers - but most of their wages would come from the state. The ones that panned out would get hired by the company at the same rate the state was paying, but then had to repay the state the money the state paid them over a long period of time. The amount paid back came right out of their checks. I seem to remember it described as state paid 'on the job training'.
 
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