Western Pacific Railroad Operations

Organization of personnel and delegation of responsibility varies widely with the size of the company and with varying management concepts among companies. However, the following is a typical skeletonized outline of the usual lines of responsibility, with emphasis on operations.

President or Chief Executive Officer - has overall responsibility for all matters pertaining to the railroad and has a staff comprised of:
Vice President - Law
Vice President - Accounting and Finance
Vice President - Labor Relations and Personnel
Vice President - Real Estate and Industrial Development
Vice President - Traffic, responsible for sales and tariff rates
Vice President - Operations, responsible for all matters pertaining to train operations and for maintenance of track and structures and of mechanical equipment.

The Vice President, Operations - will have a staff of:
Chief Engineer
Chief Mechanical Officer
Superintendent, Transportation
General Superintendent, (Train Operations).
The General Superintendent - has responsibility for a number of Division Superintendents.

Division Engineer, responsible for maintenance of tracks structures, signals, etc., on the Division.

Master Mechanic - responsible for the maintenance of locomotives, cars, and other mechanical equipment while on the Division.

Trainmasters, carrying out the policies and instructions of the Superintendent relating to train and yard operations, and assigned to specific territories within the Division.

Chief Train Dispatcher, is the direct authority for the movement of all trains on the Division, and issues all orders in the name of the Superintendent. He/she is responsible for the preparation of all timetable train schedules and must authorize the movement of all trains not scheduled in the timetable, except as otherwise specifically authorized by the operating rules and timetable instructions.

He is assisted by:
Train Dispatchers who are responsible for all train movements on a line, or lines, of railroad having specific limits.

Train Directors, Tower Operators and Operators who are responsible to the Train Dispatcher for all train movements within specific segments of the Train Dispatcher's territory.

Chief Crew Dispatcher is responsible for the proper manning of all trains and switchers with engine crews, (consisting of an engineman plus a fireman if required), train crews, (consisting of a conductor or yard foreman plus generally 2 or more trainmen or brakemen), and the assignment of all other jobs to be filled by personnel on the rosters of the enginemen, firemen, conductors, trainmen and baggagemen. The Chief Crew Dispatcher and staff must make assignments in accordance with the manning rules and practices of the Company and in accordance with the current agreements between the Labor Organizations and the company, covering; seniority, assignment to "regular" jobs, maintenance of "spare boards" and assignments therefrom, qualifications for the job to be covered, etc. They must maintain daily records for each employee of the job covered and time on duty and time off duty.

Rules Examiner and Staff instruct, examine, and either qualify or disqualify those employees whose duties require them to be familiar with the Book of Operating Rules and the Timetable.

Road Foreman of Engines generally receives assignments from the Superintendent but reports to the Master Mechanic on mechanical matters. He/she instructs, examines and qualifies or disqualifies enginemen on the book of Air Brake Rules, in the operation of engines and in the handling of trains of various consists over the road.

Such examination will include written and/or oral tests and a sufficient number of field trips with the candidate to know that he/she can properly handle engines and trains.

He will also examine the candidate on the physical characteristics of the lines of railroad over which he/she is to operate, before the candidate is qualified.

He also instructs enginemen in the handling of new equipment.

Safety Agent. On sizeable railroads a director of safety will be assisted by safety agents working at the division level whose duties will include:
1. Conducting periodic safety meetings with operating and maintenance personnel.
2 . Periodic inspection of the property with respect to safety and fire protection.
3 . Assisting in the investigation of train derailments, personal injuries, etc. and preparing reports as required by regulatory bodies and railroad officers.
4. Liaison with the safety section of the A.A.R.
5. Maintenance of a call list of companies especially equipped and available to handle potentially hazardous lading in case of an accident involving such lading.

Copyright © 1996 - 2017 by Frank Brehm. All Rights Reserved.