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NS Dispatcher Centralization

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RadioDitch

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For those who haven't heard, dispatchers systemwide and their ATDA union reps on Norfolk Southern were notified this past Tuesday that all dispatchers are being centralized to Peach Tree Ave in Atlanta. Not might, not possibly, they are. Desks begin moving May 1st. Some territorial responsibilities may be altered once in Atlanta.
 

wa8pyr

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For those who haven't heard, dispatchers systemwide and their ATDA union reps on Norfolk Southern were notified this past Tuesday that all dispatchers are being centralized to Peach Tree Ave in Atlanta. Not might, not possibly, they are. Desks begin moving May 1st. Some territorial responsibilities may be altered once in Atlanta.
Boo hiss. . . .

Tom
 

RadioDitch

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It's the way of the world. CSX is moving their dispatchers back to Jacksonville.
So they are going through with it now? They had issued notice they were going to, then issued another notice saying it was indefinitely on hold. But with Canadian Pacific's worst rejects running CSX, anything changes at a moment's notice. I mean, at this point nothing CSX does surprises me. The parallels between CSX and Penn Central are mounting.
 

wa8pyr

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So they are going through with it now? They had issued notice they were going to, then issued another notice saying it was indefinitely on hold. But with Canadian Pacific's worst rejects running CSX, anything changes at a moment's notice. I mean, at this point nothing CSX does surprises me. The parallels between CSX and Penn Central are mounting.
A couple of weeks ago at Hamilton, OH I heard the LA Dispatcher tell a track worker the first Louisville Division desk was getting moved to Jax from Cincinnati the week of 1/15, with all desks moved by Feb 13. Haven't heard the LF Dispatcher call himself "LF Dispatcher Jacksonville" yet, though.

Of course, I still have to wonder about the logic of putting a consolidated facility of this nature right in the middle of hurricane alley. . .
 

RadioDitch

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Of course, I still have to wonder about the logic of putting a consolidated facility of this nature right in the middle of hurricane alley. . .
That and 9/11 were the reasons they decentralized in the first place. As to elsewhere, I can tell you Halethorpe (Baltimore) and Selkirk (Albany) are all still in their respective offices as of today.
 

wa8pyr

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That and 9/11 were the reasons they decentralized in the first place.
Actually, I recall there also being a great deal of pressure from the Feds about serious lack of training having something to do with the centralized facility. There were a number of instances of dispatchers transferring to territories they had never visited and were barely qualified on.

One story had it that a dispatcher took over some territories in Ohio, yet he had never once been north of Georgia. . . despite the requirement that dispatchers ride their territories twice a year to maintain familiarity with the physical characteristics of the territory and facilities.
 

RadioDitch

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Actually, I recall there also being a great deal of pressure from the Feds about serious lack of training having something to do with the centralized facility. There were a number of instances of dispatchers transferring to territories they had never visited and were barely qualified on.

One story had it that a dispatcher took over some territories in Ohio, yet he had never once been north of Georgia. . . despite the requirement that dispatchers ride their territories twice a year to maintain familiarity with the physical characteristics of the territory and facilities.
I don't doubt it, but hurricanes and national security were the reasons CSX gave at the time.
 

cbehr91

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A couple of weeks ago at Hamilton, OH I heard the LA Dispatcher tell a track worker the first Louisville Division desk was getting moved to Jax from Cincinnati the week of 1/15, with all desks moved by Feb 13. Haven't heard the LF Dispatcher call himself "LF Dispatcher Jacksonville" yet, though.

Of course, I still have to wonder about the logic of putting a consolidated facility of this nature right in the middle of hurricane alley. . .
The former Huntington desks (LE, LF) have already moved to Jacksonville with the remainder of the Cincinnati desks to be moved next week. I heard a firm date of Tuesday the 6th from a dispatcher talking to a maintainer on the radio, but like anything on the railroad is subject to change.
 

RadioDitch

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The former Huntington desks (LE, LF) have already moved to Jacksonville with the remainder of the Cincinnati desks to be moved next week. I heard a firm date of Tuesday the 6th from a dispatcher talking to a maintainer on the radio, but like anything on the railroad is subject to change.
Any timeline for the Selkirk desks? Florence and Halethorpe went before Christmas apparently. Colour me oblivious.
 
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cbehr91

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Indy desks moved this week. Chicago desks are supposed to be the first week of March.
 

wa8pyr

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It's the way of the world. CSX is moving their dispatchers back to Jacksonville.
Yes, but we expect sub-standard performance from CSX corporate.

I was down in Kentucky this past weekend fanning on the CC Sub, and the DS couldn't stop himself saying "Cincinnati" at least two out of every five transmissions. I have to feel for those folks, especially the ones close to retirement; the former Huntington dispatchers have ben moved twice in two years, assuming any of them stuck with it.
 

RadioDitch

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...assuming any of them stuck with it.
That's apparently an issue with the NS Harrisburg Dispatchers. Allegedly a few of them were told that if you elect not to move, you may not have a job in another trade. In other words they may not allow them to bid over from dispatcher back to T&E/Car/Yard/Admin. Which wouldn't surprise me considering some of the crap they've pulled on whistleblowers regarding the mindblowing failure that is Siemens Movement Planner (aka AutoRouter, aka the $100M train wreck waiting to happen).
 

emsc352

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ns centralation

As a former dispatch supervisor I have a question. How strong of a radio signal must you put out to reach trains say in ohio from the Pennsylvania location. Also how far will the signal travel to a train that is moving?
 

RadioDitch

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As a former dispatch supervisor I have a question. How strong of a radio signal must you put out to reach trains say in ohio from the Pennsylvania location. Also how far will the signal travel to a train that is moving?
In general, railroads use remote base radios placed strategically along their system to provide communications coverage. They are usually placed at Interlockings/Control Points and distance between bases varies based on terrain and all the other common factors that affect signal range. Usually they're anywhere from 15mi-30mi apart. Often closer in urban areas. Train dispatchers can select which base they wish to transmit on from their desk in the operations/dispatch center. They can use a single base or multiple bases at once. Bases are generally linked to the dispatcher's console via internet or dedicated telephone line. The general standard for a Class I railroad's lineside remote base is 50w-100w. I've seen bases in more remote locations in the midwest on BNSF set up for 200w. Most railroads use simplex or duplex.

Some railroads however, such as R.J. Corman's various roads, love their repeaters. R.J. Corman Pennsylvania Lines' repeater in Rockton, PA is 75w and sits on the highest point in State Game Lands 90. It has a 74mi effective range. The receiver in combination with the site placement is also pretty kickass...with no tone on the input, it routinely receives and rebroadcasts NJTransit Newark Division communications in the summer, of which the closest base is 360mi away. The site routinely sees some pretty awesome tropospheric propagation.

So it all comes down to system, power, terrain, and placement like anything else.
 
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milf

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And some of the base antenna set ups are very directional for coverage just along trackage, while others are omni and have great big circles of coverage. If they have not only the train ops, but also MOW, and yard ops from the same site, they need the wide area coverage, whereas if they only have say a basically straight line east/west they only need directional signal. And with multicast/simulcast on multiple sites sometimes, it can get interesting monitoring.
 
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