Thursday, November 14, 2019

Operations -Crew Schedules

If I establish a staggered starting time for operators, how will a typical session flow?

Summer/Autumn 1949
6.15 AM (Session Start)
Cut from OA-6 is on Highland Track #5
Cut from NY-2 is on Berlin Track #6
Agent #1 starts

6.30 (7 minutes)
Yard Crew #1 starts

7.05 (12 minutes into session)
NY-4 arrives. Yard crew switches the train.

444 makes station stop

8.00 (26 minutes)
Stanley Works crew starts (?)

446 makes station stop

10.30 (1 hour, 7 minutes into session)
Yard Crew #2 starts
Crossing gates at Whiting Street are not manned until 12:00, stop and protect.

12.43 PM
131 makes station stop

1.30 (1 hour, 49 minutes)
Agent #2 on duty

YN-3 arrives. Yard crew switches the train.

2.30 (2 hours, 14 minutes)
Yard Crew #1 off duty

2.45 (2 hours, 22 minutes)
Agent #1 off duty

4.00 (2 hours, 25 minutes)
Stanley Works off duty

157 makes station stop

463 makes station stop

136 makes station stop

Freight House closes

6.30 (Session End)(3 hours)
Yard Crew #2 off duty

Agent #1 is off duty for 35 minutes at the end (35 minutes).
Agent #2 is off duty for 1 hour, 49 minutes at the start (109 minutes, or more than half the session).
Yard Crew #1 is off duty for 7 minutes at the start, and 45 minutes at the end (52 minutes).
Yard Crew #2 is off duty for 1 hour, 7 minutes at the start (67 minutes).
Stanley Works Crew is off duty for 26 minutes to start, and 35 minutes at the end (61 minutes).

The through trains could be handled by the off-duty crews, except YN-3, which comes through when all crews are on duty. However, if the Agent's shifts are 8 hours, instead of 8.5 including a lunch break, then Agent #2 can bring YN-3 into Whiting Street Yard, and Agent #1 could pull it out once the switching is completed.

Would this work for other sessions too, when there are more through trains? In general yes, the Agents trade off in the middle of the day, and the other off duty crews can also sign up for some of the trains. Which means I don't need a separate through train crew member.

At Chicagoland RPM, Lowell Smith ran an operations roundtable. At his sessions (and it sounded like those of his friends), everybody is put on an extra board when arriving at a session, and those with seniority (the most hours on the layout) get to pick their job first. This type of approach didn't make sense to me for my layout, since people aren't typically running multiple trains. But I think I might try it for the next few sessions, once the layout is operational again. The "off-duty" crews can sign up for the through trains, which will still be a conductor and engineer, so they can work in different pairs.

Chances are the sessions will never run this smoothly, and the yard crews will probably work longer.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Operations - Switching Jobs at New Britain

So one of the things I've been trying to narrow down is when the switching crews go on duty in New Britain. At the Chicagoland RPM Jack Ozanich presented a clinic on Railroad Work Rules. It was very informative, discussing how the union agreements affected work on the railroad. For example, the pay for through local freights is higher than through freights. But if a through freight stops to do switching, if they pass a certain threshold, then they are paid the local freight rate for the entire run.

Since the railroad wouldn't want to do that on a regular basis, I decided to dig a little deeper in the documentation.

I already had the New Haven Agreement with Clerks, Freight Handlers, and Station Employes, so I picked up one for Enginemen and one for Trainmen.

One of the things that Jack pointed out is that there were regular start times for work across the entire railroad. So I checked the books. In the Clerks book:

Rule 53 - Three Shift Positions
When three consecutive shifts are worked covering a 24 hour period at a particular location within a seniority district or sub-division thereof, the starting time of the shifts covered by the employes engaged in such 24 hour operation will not be after 12:00 midnight or before 5:00 AM unless otherwise agreed to by the Management and the duly accredited representative.

While interesting, the Day Train Order station and Agent are at New Britain from 6:15 AM until 10:00 PM, as noted in the Employe Timetables. So that was helpful (and corresponded with information gleaned from several Shoreliner articles), since it established that the three shifts (tricks) were:

Midnight to 8:00 AM
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
4:00 PM to Midnight

The Engineers' book was also helpful:

Article 3 - Yard Service
K. Where two shifts are worked not in continuous service, the time for the first shift to begin work will be between the hours of 6:30 A.M., and the second not later than 10:30 P.M.

Since we know the station is open at 6:15 AM, that the switching crew(s) probably start at 6:30 AM. But I think that they work a staggered shift, because they also have to protect the closing of the freight house at 5:00 PM.

And the Trainmen's book provides even more (in 1954):

Five Day Work Week
Section 1
...a work week of forty hours, consisting of five consecutive days of eight hours each...

But there are other rules that can help narrow down the details.

Rule C-1. Regular Engineers (still in Article 3)
...all time worked in excess of eight hours continuous service in a twenty-four hour period shall be paid for as overtime...

But as you may know, in this era crews didn't outlaw until 16 hours of service. And many people have stated that the crews would probably work 12 hours each day. If they worked 16 hours, they would have to be off duty for a minimum of 10 hours, which means the start time would have to shift 2 hours every day. But I thought that it would be unlikely for them to be having a local switching crew work overtime regularly. The jobs seem to be fairly well organized. But could I find evidence of this?

Actually, yes. From a Locomotive Utilization Report from April 20, 1948. This was a report that was produced along with a document that was looking at the difference in efficiency between diesel and steam locomotives. That document is interesting enough, but the report is what was useful here. It records the utilization of every locomotive on that day, as measured by miles (for road trains) and hours worked (for yard work).

In most cases, diesel switchers worked multiples of 8 (8, 16, or 24 hours). For yards where switchers worked 24 hours (like Waterbury), they would have had three crews.

Two 44 tonners (as usual) worked New Britain. 0802 and 0812. Both switchers worked 8 hours. While this is a single day, it was a single "normal" day and I think it shows (since few of the switchers in the report worked an odd number of hours, a few 9 hours, one or two 11 hours), that the yard jobs were typical day jobs, 8 hours/day.

This is supported further supported by:
D. Yard crews shall be assigned for a fixed period of time when shall be for the same hours daily...So far as practicable assignments shall be restricted to eight hours' work.

E. Regularly assigned yard crews shall each have a fixed starting time...

O. Yard crews will be allowed 20 minutes for lunch...without deduction in pay.

Which means the shifts are 8 hours total, inclusive of lunch breaks.

So in order to protect the 5:00 PM closing of the freight house, the second switcher must have started later in the day. Now the question would be when?

Back to the Engineers' book, this time for road crews:

Article 2 - Freight Service
As noted, engineers are paid based on the type of service (through vs. local), but also by weight on drivers. This matters:

E. ...the total weight on drivers of units operated by one engine crew shall be the basis for establishing the rate.

So let's look at AO-5, with an ABA set of locomotives. The weight on drivers for the DER-2a is 240,600 lbs and the DER-2b is 236,400, for a total weight of 717, 600 lbs. This gives the engineer a rate of 18.19 for through service, and 18.71 for local service. Where the yard crew rates for a DEY-3, -4, or -5 is between 16.89 and 17.49. The yard crew is paid hourly, so there is no reason to pay extra money to the road crew if there is a yard crew on duty.

In other words, due to both service and the weight of the locomotives, the yard crews should be doing the work where possible. Are there exceptions? Yes. The Conversion Rule.

H. Conversion Rule
Engineers, in through or irregular freight service required to pick up and/or set off a car or cars at three or more points, or, when the time actually consumed in pickup up and/or setting off exceeds one hour and thirty minutes in the aggregate for the entire trip during any one trip or tour of duty will be paid local freight rates for the entire service performed.

Rule 21 for Freight Service in the Agreement with Trainmen is basically the same and applies to conductors, brakemen and flagmen in addition to engineers.

There are some exceptions, and an entire section later in the book to clarify this rule, but for our purposes this is sufficient other than to note that we won't need to consider the origination or destination when working through this problem. Here's the schedule for AO-5 in 1946:

Hartford.............L 8:00 PM
New Britain.......A 8:25, L 8:40
Waterbury..........A 9:40, L 10:30
Ansonia.............A 11:10, L 11:25
Stearns...............A 1:15 AM, L 1:45 1:55
Hopewell Jct......A 3:35, L 3:45
Maybrook...........A 5:00

First, it's interesting that it doesn't leave Hartford early enough to beat the midnight deadline. So they are paying a day's per diem on all of these cars.

But to determine whether the second switcher would still be on duty at 8:40 PM depends on how many other locations the AO-5 crew would have to switch. Looking at the Utilization Report, Waterbury and Ansonia have switch crews on duty 24 hours/day. It doesn't look like the train picks up anything at Danbury, although there are two switch crews there and on April 20, 1948 they worked 8 and 11 hours (with the second crew also running 106 miles as the Danbury local).

That means there are no crews at Stearns and Hopewell Jct. If Danbury is not switched, then a crew is not needed at New Britain since the road crew would be within their 3 allowable switches. If Danbury is switched, this might be different. So it's quite possible that the crew was gone by this time.

The only other train coming through in the early evening is ANE-1, through the end of 1948.

ANE-1, has stops in New Britain (7:55 to 8:05 PM), Plainville, Waterbury, and Ansonia. Plainville doesn't have a yard crew, but New Britain doesn't need one either since Waterbury and Ansonia do.

The yard crew isn't needed for either of these trains. So my assumption is that the last work the second crew does is pull the freight house. When ANE-1/EA-2 were running they would have had to pull the cars up to Track #5 on the Highland, after 1948 the cars were picked up at Whiting Street yard. I don't think this would take more than an hour.

Agent #1: 6:15 AM to 2:15 PM
Agent #2: 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Although they are paid exclusive of a 30 minute lunch, so maybe:


Yard Crew #1: 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Yard Crew #2: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

I'll take a closer look at how this will work for an ops session in the next post.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pullman-Bradley 11-Window Coaches Part II

Although we tend to call these Osgood Bradley Lightweight Coaches, I noticed that in the New Haven published promotional materials they called them Pullman-Bradley cars...

Anyway, this is still in a proof-of-concept stage, as I'll need to figure out just how I'll put these back together, and what parts I'll need. This is a test, with strips of styrene behind the side to bring it to the right plane. It's just tacked together with Aleene's Tacky Glue right now.

Here it is next to an (as yet) unmodified Rapido car:

One thing I noticed. If you look at the modified car, the bathroom bulkhead is not in the correct location. I checked the plans, and the location of the bulkhead differs only by 1/8" between the 10-window and 11-window cars. While the windows are smaller (as they should be) on the brass car side, there is obviously a discrepancy of some sort. Since the bathrooms are entirely hidden behind frosted windows, I'll just move the bulkhead. I also need to figure out what seats to get for the new coaches, since they have more. I might test fit a Branchline/Atlas interior (after counting seats).

You can see on this end that there is a gap I'll need to fill as well. The best approach would be to add a bit of filler on both ends and center the side that way. Overall, though, it looks like this is going to work pretty well. I need to figure out how to do the window glazing. Most likely I'll just have to put something behind the brass car side, so they won't quite be flush with the car side. But the brass side is pretty thin, so I don't think it will be too bad.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Oh yes I did!

John and I just got back from the Chicagoland Railroad Prototype Meet this weekend. We had an awesome time. Got to meet a number of people in person that I've spent a lot of time chatting with via email, and new people too. I highly recommend the meet, and plan on attending next year too.

But that's not what this post is about.

Tonight I started a new project. I won another Custom Brass 11-window Osgood Bradley streamlined passenger car. I have a bunch of the Rapido cars, but unfortunately they have yet to get around to the 11-window cars. And the reality is, those are the ones I actually need. The 10-window cars were primarily for mainline trains, and the 11-window cars had additional seating for commuter service. In all, I could probably use as many as five of the cars, but right now I have three.

Anyway, since I won the car, I decided to see if the Rapido underframe would fit in the car, since my eventual plan is (was?) to do just that. With a bit of work, and the removal of a number of parts on the brass car, it works.

There is more work to do, but it shows that the concept will work. Then I decided that I thought the roof would fit too. So I started to remove the roof. But the ends look better on the Rapido car too, and the way the end meets the roof is also different. As I worked my way of separating the roof from one side, I found that it would be easier to just remove the side itself.

Which presented another approach. Seeing if the side would fit the Rapido car:

So that's what I've started to do:

So yes, I removed the side from both a Custom Brass and a Rapido Osgood Bradley car. I'll have to remove the second sides of both cars, and figure out the best way to reassemble everything. I can use the bulkhead and toilet, but will need to get some additional seats and fix the seating too.

And of course, once I get these together, Rapido will be free to release their 11-window models for me to replace them with.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

More Operations

Among my more exciting recent acquisitions is additional paperwork for operating the layout. More importantly, it also answers some lingering questions...

First up, I finally found an actual New Haven Railroad Switchlist. It's too big for my scanner, so it's at Chris' waiting to be scanned. I already knew what they looked like (and the form number) because there was a picture of the "old" one in a booklet about the installation of an IBM computer system c1947 (available here thanks to John C. Carlton).

But what I found after that was a form that I didn't know existed:

This is a switchlist for yard crews and is the primary form that the agent/yardmaster will be creating for the switching crews. Especially since it's now clear that Stanley Works, for example, will request switching moves several times a session.

Note the "Order No." field, with instructions at the bottom. These are generated sequentially through the week, as needed. It identifies where the car is located, where it will go, and the conductor needs to complete the placement time when complete.

Based on what I'm learning from Dale over at the CNZR and Joseph at the Pioneer Valley Railroad, there will be priority switching orders (such as perishables, the freight house, and industries like Stanley Works), and regular switching orders. I don't see anything on the form to indicate this, so it will probably be something more informal.

In the meantime, time to get working on the infrastructure so I can get back to operating.