It’s been a paperwork sort of week. On Tuesday at work, we held the wall in an ISO audit, with me with two big three-ring binders full of paperwork details. But more importantly, this month I also wrote a switch list generator for our club. The problem we faced was with our waybills and people walking off with pocketfuls of them. And every time they did, we had to make new waybills and generate entire runs of switchlists. A pain, it twas.
So now I generated full lists for every train. The trick here was the order things happened. Cars would come in at different times and would have to be on the right tracks. Every car needed to be in the right place, in the right list, and be represented correctly. It was a lot of database work.
Finally I got the lists working and printed. The plan was to put them into play tonight for the session, and Bob (the other dispatcher) would run the desk while I’d be out on the floor, shoving a local and answering questions.
Robert, not feeling good tonight. Can’t make it. -Bob
So after the dry-heaving, I realized that I’d faced the same thing with the audit, having to get volumes of paper in perfect order. Same thing here. I was certain it was right. So I gave everyone the run through, went back to the dispatcher’s office and ran the railroad. It was a clean run of our line, 66 warrants and everything moved. Not only that, the passenger trains were all pretty much spot on timewise. And the switchlists? Outside of a couple of strays that washed up into the yard, pretty much everything moved as it should. Given the chaos our card system can get into, this was pretty good. Overall, I’m satisfied with it.
Now to make it even better. I’ve got those strange TY&E captive service runs between the Tipton Glassworks and the GM plant. And those gon cars. Looks like I’ve more programming ahead.
NEXT MONTH’S BLOG – THE RETURN OF MATTHEW THE DISPATCHER!!!