NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Jul 16 09:01:02 EDT 2007

Ultimately, the dispatcher probably bore the responsibility for
the "saw-by" which occurred at Prospect. At Fort Wayne, and
probably at other division points, the Superintendent reviewed
the previous nights performance with the Chief Dispatcher
beginning at 7:00 AM. During the session, the Chief Dispatcher
would explain delays -- it was kinda a "Monday morning
quarterback" event known in the dispatching office as
"confessions". No doubt the chief at Crewe had a lot of
explaining to do.

The incident at Prospect did bring to light an oversight the
railroad was making. Remember that this occurred in the
late 50's or early 60's. The initial terminal would report a
train's consist in loads, mtys, and tons. E.G. 60 X 80 - 9100,
translated that means 60 loads, 80 mtys, 9100 tons. That
would calculate into a train with 140 car LENTGTHS. The
standard car (on most roads) was figured at a constant of
40 feet. Certainly Prospect with 8340 feet would clear a
train of 200 cars, plus three units and a caboose ! BUT
WHAT IF - sixty-five of the cars were those new 89-foot TTX
flats ?

With the introduction of jumbo tanks and covered hoppers,
bi-levels and tri-levels, the old standard of 40-foot cars no
longer applied. In advising the dispatcher of a train's
consist, the expression became 60 X 80 - 9100 PLUS 65L.
Translated, that's 60 loads, 80 mtys, 9100 tons and
65 LONG cars. Now I believe a computer calculates the
train's length.

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