Dispatcher question

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CPSK
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Dispatcher question

Post by CPSK » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:10 pm

Hi;
I just watched the episode of Numb3rs that involved a collision between a freight train and a passenger train in southern CA (filmed before the Metrolink crash).
In one scene, the FBI was talking about a two-step process that a dispatcher needs to complete before a switch can be thrown. Is this for real? Or is it just Hollywood making up stories?
This RR probably wasn't CTC, since this dispatcher's office seemed very small.

Anyone?

Thanks

FW

MNRR_RTC
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Re: Dispatcher question

Post by MNRR_RTC » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:53 pm

On my console, you can move a switch by going either entry-exit function or single function. An entry-exit function means you click at the starting route of an interlocking and then click to the desired exit point and press the button. This will then align the switches and display a signal. If you use the single function, you can throw the switch normal or reverse, without have to display a signal. I use this function when working with a signal maintainer doing switch testing. I also have a switch block function that will lock the switch in the desired position and it cannot be thrown unless the block is removed. Hope this helps.
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd."-Jules, "Pulp Fiction"

CPSK
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Re: Dispatcher question

Post by CPSK » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:56 am

MNRR_RTC wrote:On my console, you can move a switch by going either entry-exit function or single function. An entry-exit function means you click at the starting route of an interlocking and then click to the desired exit point and press the button. This will then align the switches and display a signal. If you use the single function, you can throw the switch normal or reverse, without have to display a signal. I use this function when working with a signal maintainer doing switch testing. I also have a switch block function that will lock the switch in the desired position and it cannot be thrown unless the block is removed. Hope this helps.
Is that a CTC system? I'm not at all familiar with this, except I know a little about the differences between general CTC and non-CTC (don't know what it's called) systems.
I would somehow suspect that Hollywood makes up most of what they show on TV when it comes to trains. Whatever fits their script<g>

Just curious: Do you enjoy yourk work as a train dispatcher?
I have "played" a simulation (Signal Computer Consultants) on my PC, and enjoy it when I have the time, but I don't know if I would like doing it as a job.
Seems like on a mainline, there would be a lot of stress.

Thanks for your reply

FW

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Re: Dispatcher question

Post by MNRR_RTC » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:42 am

Sorry, I wasn't clear about that. Yes, I operate a CTC system. All our lines are CTC with the exception of the Beacon, which is currently out of service. 2 of the 3 branches that we run are manual block (dark territory). To answer your second question, while it is indeed a highly stressful job, I do enjoy it alot. I was in train service for a year, and I sucked at it. I found that I was able to do better as a rail traffic controller. Plus, it is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You just can't beat that. :-D
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd."-Jules, "Pulp Fiction"

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Dispatcher question

Post by Rockingham Racer » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:51 pm

Another dispatcher question: do rail grinders, geometry cars and the like shunt, so that they show a track circuit occupied; or do you have to "block behind" them?

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Re: Dispatcher question

Post by MNRR_RTC » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:16 am

Rockingham Racer wrote:Another dispatcher question: do rail grinders, geometry cars and the like shunt, so that they show a track circuit occupied; or do you have to "block behind" them?

Some track cars shunt and some don't. That is why you always block up the track that they are either traveling or working on. They are also supposed to report clear of every interlocking that they pass to me so I can open up behind them and use the track for train movement.
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd."-Jules, "Pulp Fiction"

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Dispatcher question

Post by Rockingham Racer » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:52 pm

Yes, I was aware of the track car situation. I'm wondering about stuff like the Sperry Rail Car, rail grinder trains, and geometry car trains.

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Re: Dispatcher question

Post by MNRR_RTC » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:49 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:Yes, I was aware of the track car situation. I'm wondering about stuff like the Sperry Rail Car, rail grinder trains, and geometry car trains.
Though the vehicles you mentioned are self-propelled, I still have to apply track car rules when they travel. If they are working, then I would take the track out of service. This way, they can go back and forth over any section of track they need to.
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd."-Jules, "Pulp Fiction"

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Dispatcher question

Post by Rockingham Racer » Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:16 pm

Okay. Thanks for the replies!

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