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Thread: Where can I find a RR organizational chart showing who reports to who?

  1. #1

    Default Where can I find a RR organizational chart showing who reports to who?

    Often you hear about RR positions (especially in the transition era) but I can't seem to find a chart that shows who was at the bottom and who was at the top and what the reporting strcture was.

    can someone point me ion the right direction?

  2. #2

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    Since no one has replied yet, I'll pop in. Somewhere, in all my railroad reference material, I have an organizational chart for the mid-1950's Great Northern. The key there is somewhere. I won't have time this weekend, my son is coming for a visit, but if no one else comes up with one, I'll try to find it.
    Kevin

    General Manager
    Red Oak and Western Railway Company

  3. Default

    Maybe not the time frame that you want, but here's a link to the first one. You may have to download and manipulate it to read it.
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...road,_1855.jpg

    Willie

  4. #4

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    WOW! I had no idea it would be that complex.
    Just trying to find out the general who's boss is who's. As far as I can tell the boss of a given train is the conductor. He is over everyone. Then the Engineer? Where are the Fireman, brakeman, yard master etc RN the hierarchy? In a day in the life of a Railroad worker in 1940's or 50's who's directly involved and who do they report to? Not interested in business people above those that make it happen every day.

  5. #5

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    In view of that, the dispatcher is GOD. He is the person responsible for all train movements outside of yard limits. Dispatchers issue orders to "Trains" which is railroad speak for the conductor. He, the conductor, then authorizes the engineer to make "movements". The fireman is more or less outside the "operations" hierarchy. The brakemen are pretty much at the bottom of the pile, though the do get to direct the engineers movements when switching.

    The Yard Master is the ultimate control within the limits of the yard. He assembles a switchlist (or waybill or whatever the particular railroad calls the form), gives it to an engineer who, along with his brakemen, locate and assemble the train. The train is then placed on a lead track for pickup by a road crew: conductor, engineer, and remaining crew.

    The dispatcher gives his orders to an operator where he (the dispatcher) is located. The operator then transmits the train orders to the operator of the nearest station ahead of the train. Depending on the nature of the order, the station may stop the train or pass orders on the fly. As part of their responsibilities, the station operators report when a train in "by" (passed) the station. This way, the dispatcher knows the approximate location of every train in the territory he is responsible for.

    On a large road, there is a Head Dispatcher who passes orders on to Division Dispatchers.
    Last edited by Red Oak & Western; 08-05-2017 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Added station staff
    Kevin

    General Manager
    Red Oak and Western Railway Company

  6. #6

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    Ok so where does the dispatcher get his information from? And who's his boss?

    so Far;
    On the main ------- In the Yard
    Dispatcher ----------- Yard Master
    Conductor ------------ Brakeman
    Engineer -------------- Engineer
    Brakeman ----------

    Correct?

  7. #7

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    Pretty much correct, with the proviso that the train's engineer in much like a modern pilot. While air traffic control gives the pilot instructions and expects them to be followed, ultimately, the pilot is responsible for the safety of the aircraft. So with the train, the engineer can question the safety of any movement.

    The dispatcher's boss would be a district or regional General Manager - one of those "business" side jobs you said you weren't interested in. The dispatcher gets his information from various sources, again, depending on the operating rules of the railroad, timetables being one form. Understand that most trains on real railroads are point-to-point operations; in essence, moving cars (or people) from one yard (station) to another. The local, or peddler, freight gets its pickup and drop off list from the Traffic Manager, but once out on the mainline, its operation is under the control of the dispatcher.
    Kevin

    General Manager
    Red Oak and Western Railway Company

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gdelmoro View Post
    Ok so where does the dispatcher get his information from? And who's his boss?

    so Far;
    On the main ------- In the Yard
    Dispatcher ----------- Yard Master
    Conductor ------------ Brakeman
    Engineer -------------- Engineer
    Brakeman ----------
    Second fireman would be the bottom of the engine craft people while a rear flagman would be the bottom of the train craft. But I'm pretty certain by WWI the duties of the flagman had been moved to the Switchman, and by WWII to the Brakeman.

    AND it can also depend on the railroad whether they are called brakemen or switchmen, or both. I'm looking at a class 1 railroad's list of crew members right now and they still have two levels of brakemen BRS and BR1 can't tell which is higher. They appear to only have one level of switchman - SW1. I would assume switchman is the lower of the two. Some railroads have a Foreman instead of a Conductor for yard trains. There can also be an Engineer Foreman depending on how they structure their yards, I don't know if this dates back to the transition era or not.

    On a foreign train (BN train on UP tracks) there are Pilots that are "over" the regular crew. Basically they give advice about the road situations and rules. There is a regular Pilot over the Engineer (whether the pilot or the engineer is actually pulling the throttle), and also Foreman Pilots and Conductor Pilots.

    And then there are all the trainee positions.

    Then there is the issue of who is the boss verse who is answering to whom for operation. Technically the engineer and trainmen's boss is a Line Supervisor not the Dispatcher. The Dispatcher is the "boss" in regard to how and when a train is run, not for personnel issues.

    The Train Dispatcher (different from the Crew Dispatcher) usually gets instructions from a Train Master, Train Masters are responsible to Director of Train Operations, and him to Supervisor of Transportation
    The Yard Master, to the Manager of Operational Practices, to the Director of Terminal Operations, to the Supervisor of Transportation
    The Crew Dispatcher (Crew Caller) reports to a Crew Supervisor, who reports to a Manager of Crew Utilization, and him/her to Director of Crew Operations. to the Supervisor of Transportation.

    There are also district and sub-district and station managers and supervisors, so one needs a flow chart to figure out all the real reporting vs. dotted line run a train reporting structures.

    Once again these exact titles and positions are going to vary by railroad. I've only used one current class 1 railroads structure as an example. I know that in the end of the Santa Fe many of these positions had been eliminated for the sake of efficiency.
    Last edited by Iron Horseman; 08-05-2017 at 08:29 PM.

  9. Default

    The dispatcher gets most of his information from the schedule. The dispatcher is responsible for everything that happens within his jurisdiction.

    It's his job to keep traffic moving and avoid collisions.

    When extra traffic exists he makes new trains with train orders. He can delete freight trains if the traffic less than normal.

    I guess the answer to who is boss over the dispatcher depends a lot on the size of the railroad. I am sure the PRR had many managers above the dispatcher. On a smaller railroad the dispatcher would probably report to an operations manager /vice president or something similar.

    A railroad is a complex system. Presumably the connecting railroad(s) especially friendly ones would share information on traffic levels.




    Modeling the roaring 20's
    President of the Lancaster Central Railroad
    President of the Western Maryland Railway

  10. #10

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    When I first started this post I expected to get a typical company org chart. When Willie posted that (well it looked like a 200 year family tree) chart I knew this was not going to be an easy answer. I'm a pilot so that analogy probably provided the best overview of how railroads work. As a pilot, I'm in charge of the aircraft but I can't even move until ground clears me, i can't take off or land until the tower clears me and if I'm flying IFR I have to follow either a published route or the directions of several entities within the ATC system.

    Thanks to Kevin, Iron Horseman and RBNM Fan I have learned so much and can see I have aloft more to learn.

    THIS is just ONE reason this hobby is so great. There is always something to learn, something to build, fix or improve and there are communities, forums and many other sources of information and people like you guys who are always willing to share knowledge, experience and opinions.

    Thanks

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