• Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).
Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

Moderator: MEC407

  by soolinexec
Rant? Not hardly. American jobs going overseas? Damn right! They should. Americans have become spoiled, extremely wasteful, arrogant, and cocky. We now have a society where instant gratification is priority. We lost our hunger, it's that simple. Let's spell out the hidden agenda here. In order for businesses to survive including railroads, one must adopt technology to process alot more with alot less, with extreme accuracy. This also includes technology that allows businesses to perform at a much safer level. Most of the redoric you will be hearing with be feard based. Why? Change, no one wants it. People want to go with what they know. It's those that adopt it and light it on fire that will prosper heavily. Step out our your railroad world someday and attend some of the high tech conventions. It will wake you up.

Many businesses wake up late in the game only to find out they are out of business. All the threads I've seen have 1 thing in common, It's about me. Your no exception. Step back and digest this hard. If you examine history and our challenges from years back, you will notice when USA was faced with do or die, swim or sink situations, they got innovative, worked together, looked hard and fast for new ideas, and above all, gave it their best under all situations. I can guarentee you this, if this was a life threatening situation, your gut instincts will be plotting you a better course. That is where businesses need to be operating.

No worker should have just 1 job description. A coporate mission statement needs to refelct where the company needs to go, how to get there, and bonded to each and every one of you. If you do not take care of the company, the company cannot take care of you. There is never a good time like now to start a division as us against them. There is no such thing as a failed business, just failed people. Any business can make it to the top. It is a mindset that need to be embedded and driven. Next time you come upon a switch while pulling a load and can't go any further, get out and clean it yourself. Don't waste time calling some M/W employee to drive out there and shovel it out for you. The end result is higher dwell time, customer delivery time, overtime expense, connection delays, get the picture??
  by soolinexec
And for you managers out there, get your damn act together, fast!! These posts I read I understand loud and clear. If your out there leading by antimidation, not example, enroll in a human communications class soon.
This is usually a symptom of re hire from the old roads.
Antimidation severly limits ability, remember that.

If I was your boss, I would make that school MANDATORY. You grade will also determine whether you have a job or not.

I see the division formation here. For those who think you got me figured out and perceive me as anti union, Wrong. What you don't see or don't here are:

1. Management failure in regards to win the trust and hearts of their employees.

2. Employees with fear of change due to either their own values, fear of retrobution, or even worse, ridicule or loss of pride. Or just plain greedy.

3. Have more barbacues, award ceromonies, brain storming sessions.

4. Put the challenges out to the people, get them involved in the decision making!

5. Praise in public, correct in private.

6. Send the guys to school, get them smart, embrace hi tech. I am sure you have some geniuses out there. Put them to work.

7. Keep them informed, Don't let the rumors flow. Inquiring minds want to know.

8. Set enthusium like it was a fire, make it spread. Find those who love challenges, people who have no problem stepping on toes to get it done! Promote them types. They are your backbone, look for those with can do spirit.

Can I keep going, damn right, but I won't.

  by northgandydancer
First let me tell you all that I do work for MMA but not in the transportation end of the business but rather a supporting role. It never ceases to amaze me that whenever any mention or organized labour is mentioned some member of management starts with the name calling. I thought these "professionals" with their college degrees would be above that in a forum like this but I guess not. As far as the "so called railroaders", these are the same people who stuck with the B&A after some crooks raped it for all it was worth. Please draw a line between B&A and Iron Road, they were never one and the same. It's not surprising that someone "hasn't got the time to expand on this" when someone brings some points in the way of a gentleman and is not ranting. By the way soolinexec, if the transportation people see "the company provided benefits should be disappearing soon" it would be a grand breach of labour law and I am sure the courts would intervene. "Simple minded, what you have in your head today---nothing, stupid", I'm sorry but I have seen fights start with words just like these. soolineexec, in your last post you do make some excellent points but I am sure you are not seeing the whole picture either. I see no post on things like "single man crew" or high rate, low rate jobs or having problems getting a day off. All is not as it seems at times. I do hate to criticise a man unless I have walked a mile in his shoes so I'll leave it right there.

  by soolinexec
I got a call in my shoreham yard office that you lost another upper management element out there. Another one fired? What the hell is going on??? I am beginning to wonder if your executive branch has got what it takes!!

Maybe it's about time you called in consultants and educate yourselves on how to take care of your people! Your going to alienate you workforce if you keep going down this dysfunctional path. You have hacket people among you??

Why do I get this feeling your all staying in the main office instead of out in the field where you belong??

  by Realityrail

In the past I agreed with most of your positions. But this time I do not.

MMA has changed most of the senior managers. These include Vice Presidents of Transportion (incumbant resigned), Engineering (two incumbants resigned), Marketing (incumbant retired) and Finance (incumbant is now VP of Marketing). Also, a signal department manager recently resigned. That's the fact Jack!

As for being in the field, you are dead wrong on your observatiosn. Managers, from the president on down spend a very significant amount of time in the field, meting formally and informally with the staff. This has made the place better than it was in the final Iron Roads days.

Please be careful in your future comments and stick to facts. Opinions are useful, but they need a basisi.

Finally, I reacll that when the Soo Line purchased the Milwaukee Road, they did a real crappy job of communication. What are you doing these days in the field to make your own railroad better? From what I hear, it is not all peaches and cream.

  by soolinexec
Now there, that's what I was looking for! Did you notice the change in my correspondence? I am very fluent on Communications I might add. In order to get to the truth, I had to negatively load my reply. Brought out the best in you huh? Sorry. The answer to your question concerning takeover of the Milwaukee Road to the Soo? Dead $%&*(@ right, very piss poor communications. No feedback to employees if any. Why do you think we have 3 railroads out here: CPrail, Sooline & Milwaukee road agreements. Believe it or not, if you ask employee's which railroad they belong to, you will get 3 different answers.

I will say this, if you have any ex CPRail employees, hang on to them! They teach their employees great communications skills. You can always tell a CPR or ex CPR employee from low keyed, do not get excited that easily, and always have a good attitude and extremly ingenious! As for your ex Signals manager employee, I will square that rumour away fast! Thanks for the correction.

Don't loose faith in me now, Sometimes my dependable sources engage in disinformation. But, I will do a 180 like right now when corrections are warranted.

I offer this advice. Do not adopt the autocratic leadership. The best way to run a business is to promote brainstorming sessions with your people!
Always solicit ideas from everyone. Make it public, get them to talk.

Miltiarys best kept secret, recognition, recognition, recognition, recognition!!! That's what keeps people in. Awards, certificates, letter of recognitions, letter of appreciations, have emlpoyees meeting and single out workers in front of everyone and present awards.

People love recognition!! That's what makes a good business great!

Bring to mind any past VP's, directors, etc and see if what I said doesn't fit.

My motto is: It's not how big the dog is in a fight, but how big the fight is in the dog.

  by soolinexec
You know me, i gotta add more:

1. DO NOT be afraid to single out individuals for recognicition. Yes, employess will complain, whine, talk in a negative light but, they will respond to their example and respect their fellow employees for it. It's called Embrace and Empowerment.

2. Get those Newsletters out on a regular basis. Don't go on and on about what manager's have done in the past and what they are doing about it. It's about the employees and their accomplishments. Make that ewsletter mandatory

3. If an employee through their suggestion resulted in savings for the company, promote it! Get it in the newsletter. It should always be forward looking.

4. Think of your business as a pyramid with management at the top, then turn it completely upside down.

5. If employees have talents that are not being used, use them. Scrap the " thats not my job" mentality.

  by northgandydancer
You know for a moment there I thought you really might be in touch with reality in northern Maine. You have insulted every person who worked for the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad when you made reference to hiring relatives of employes as a big mistake and by telling everyone they were too stupid to think for themselves. You have tried every avenue of needling possible and finally you have gotten a rise out of me, as I am sure was you intention all along. Unless you have walked a mile in someone's shoes please don't pass judgement. This little railroad (B&A) did very nicely until big business got involved. The first year of deregulation say it as the only railroad of it's class to turn a profit and that is something that it always did. All is not hunky-dorey on MMA and is attributed to many causes, most of which is the downturn in freight. Freight transportation is a fickle thing and is dependent on factions that are not always negotiable.
Well now you have proven yourself right by getting a rise out of someone on the "frontline", congratulations. An old man once told me "he who stirs it is the first one splashed".