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The Schoolcar Experience


mediccjh
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One big key especially for me is never allowing myself to become content with my operation no may how much time I have under my belt and no matter how good I know I am.

 

I've made trains dance to the tune of 50+ in Joralemon tube. I've made a 6 train fly into 77th n/b & s/b and 96th n/b at 40+ and stopped the train on the mark every time with the smoothness of a cat. I've had some of the best partners out there and fed off of them making the trip as smooth, quick and pleasant as you could ask for.

 

But none of that matters because as we say down here you're only as good as your last move. So I remind myself that yesterday was yesterday and even if I was at my best I try to replicate it but many factors keep that from happening. Different partner, different train, different weather, different mood (you), different passenger load, etc.

 

You'll learn to deal with these various factors. You'll learn quickly how to determine if your train has dead motors and how it compares operating one trip versus the next and it will annoy you to no end when you work the 1 & 6 because you take that train downtown and you take that same train back uptown. Poor performance the whole trip.

 

The key to becoming as some would say a "M/M" as oppose to just a "Train Operator" as some refer because they consider the train teachings today to be cookie cutter compared to the old days, is to pay attention to the details from day one. The key to this job is the details.

 

At first you'll worry about moving the train and hope you're doing it right, then you'll worry about bring it into the station and making it stop as close to the mark as possible and all of this while keeping a strong eye on the signals, then you'll gain confidence and you'll learn how to manipulate the timers to your advantage, but one of the biggest pieces of them all and mind you I'm not mentioning a whole host of other things, is keeping an eye on that road bed for obstructions, especially entering the stations and keeping an eye on the people on the platform.

 

Getting used to those who love to pretend to jump will be humbling for you but as I tell everyone else, you see it you take a brake. Why you ask? You say you know they're only faking right? Well I ask you this. Give me the statistics on the number of people who were faking the jump and for some reason ended up slipping and falling unintentionally in front of and now under the train. Don't have the stats you say? Well that makes sense because if the person is dead how can they tell you their side of the story? So simply put they're a jumper.

 

Details.....this job more than any other you might have had is about the details. Their clues are your keys to surviving 25+ years in the meat grinder.

Learn something new everyday, may sound strange but I really admire you & the rest of the RTO personal on this site I hope to meet and work with some of you guys in the near future.

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Speaking of jumpers, An SA I know once told me about TO friend of his who once nailed a jumper dead less than a quarter lenght of the station when his train was pulling in to a brooklyn station. He was under a short investigation for a little while but all the meanwhile the MTA and police treated him as if he was some sort of murderer. They were trying to figure out whether or not he had enough time to adjust. I guess they think some TO's pull in with the intention of actually killing someone. This was back in the late 80's, I wonder what the SOP is on motormen that wallop jumpers. Short voluntary suspension/leave?

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Question guys as far as the grand central shuttle is that considered a senority job?? Or do newbies get that assignment as well. That wouldn't seem like a bad gig for a newbie to get acquainted with.

 

If yer Extra Extra and OPTO Qualified they can assign you the Job Yes.

 

That ping ponging back and forth all day drove me nuts..

 

I wont even get into those Gap Fillers at Times Square if you aren't careful you can have a issue.

Speaking of jumpers, An SA I know once told me about TO friend of his who once nailed a jumper dead less than a quarter lenght of the station when his train was pulling in to a brooklyn station. He was under a short investigation for a little while but all the meanwhile the MTA and police treated him as if he was some sort of murderer. They were trying to figure out whether or not he had enough time to adjust. I guess they think some TO's pull in with the intention of actually killing someone. This was back in the late 80's, I wonder what the SOP is on motormen that wallop jumpers. Short voluntary suspension/leave?

 

 Usually a fatality gets you three days off(With Pay). Then you go from there.

 

I rather not get into the particulars of it though too many bad memories from my end...

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If yer Extra Extra and OPTO Qualified they can assign you the Job Yes.

 

That ping ponging back and forth all day drove me nuts..

 

I wont even get into those Gap Fillers at Times Square if you aren't careful you can have a issue.

 

 

 Usually a fatality gets you three days off(With Pay). Then you go from there.

 

I rather not get into the particulars of it though too many bad memories from my end...

 

I hear ya

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Always wear your ear protection. You get tested every year.

 

Yard practical, you will find out in Schoolcar.

 

Read your notes every day. Study your signals 1/2 hr a day, every day, and you'll be fine. 

 

 

What Mediccjh Said....

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As always, lots of great info on here!

 

Study signals everyday. It seems like a lot(70+ signals to memorize) but you'll realize that its easier than you originally thought to learn them. I say try to memorize them word for word. You cant go wrong if you give the exact definition that is in the book/signal guide. I know guys who, on the test, put it in their own words and passed...but you gotta realize that you dont know which superintendent will be conducting the test and u dont knkw what mood they will be in!!

 

Hearing protection is provided. A lot of guys dont wear it, but you will find out once u get down here how imperitive it is that you should wear hearing protection!! Train horns are extremely loud....going over switches or around curves makes a really loud screeching sound...when u dump a R62 type train its really loud!!

 

Yard practicals, you will practice practice practice....and practice some more in schoolcar so you should be good

 

And with this title more than others, getting rest and staying focused is extremely important!

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Employee health is not in their best interests. A healthier work force is a longer pay out for pensions and health care.

 

Now if they were to find a way to get a contract that relieves them of those obligations then they would be more than happy to provide better health protections to the workforce on their way to find out ways to automate the system more lol!

Edited by RTOPRO
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Maybe this isnt the right forum for this question, but i was hoping some of the senior guys can answer this. Why does the crew office schedule us xx people the way they do?! My first 4 days are usually early early am jobs(4-6am reports) and my friday is usually a late late am job(10-11:55am report). Its been like that for the last month or two.....every week like clockwork! Are they trained to schedule us like that??? Does anyone know the reason why?

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Maybe this isnt the right forum for this question, but i was hoping some of the senior guys can answer this. Why does the crew office schedule us xx people the way they do?! My first 4 days are usually early early am jobs(4-6am reports) and my friday is usually a late late am job(10-11:55am report). Its been like that for the last month or two.....every week like clockwork! Are they trained to schedule us like that??? Does anyone know the reason why?

Only 1 month you have been lucky they've been doing that to me since day 1 and all three tours for me.  I was told by my motors instructor that they do this in order to  always have coverage but I think they do it just to torture us lol.

Edited by Etrain
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They schedule you that way for coverage based on who's available at any given time of the week.

 

Example: Early AM (your Monday) reports. The one thing they always have to factor in is did you have 12 hours off between reports. Well on your Monday they don't have to worry about that at all so you are used to fill the earliest jobs possible, or you will be assigned to an early AM board report. This covers the open slots for those very early jobs and allows them to focus on getting those who have been working the week (middle of their week) assigned to other areas where they can have 12 hours between reports.

 

On the flip side, (your Friday) same thing, they don't have to worry about your reporting back to work the next day so scheduling you to the latest AM job possible. There are no concerns about you needing 12 hours allowing them to more effectively assign those who have to report back the next day.

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Anybody that went thru schoolcar during holidays i.e thanksgiving when it falls on thursday do they give you that Friday off?? I start schoolcar the week before thanksgiving and trying to figure out if I can plan a wekend w the family. .thanks in advance

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Anybody that went thru schoolcar during holidays i.e thanksgiving when it falls on thursday do they give you that Friday off?? I start schoolcar the week before thanksgiving and trying to figure out if I can plan a wekend w the family. .thanks in advance

Don't plan on having the full weekend off bro! We did get the Friday off, but in return we had to report the Sunday after!

Only 1 month you have been lucky they've been doing that to me since day 1 and all three tours for me. I was told by my motors instructor that they do this in order to always have coverage but I think they do it just to torture us lol.

 

Lmao!! I was staring to think it was just to stick it to us as well!!

They schedule you that way for coverage based on who's available at any given time of the week.

 

Example: Early AM (your Monday) reports. The one thing they always have to factor in is did you have 12 hours off between reports. Well on your Monday they don't have to worry about that at all so you are used to fill the earliest jobs possible, or you will be assigned to an early AM board report. This covers the open slots for those very early jobs and allows them to focus on getting those who have been working the week (middle of their week) assigned to other areas where they can have 12 hours between reports.

 

On the flip side, (your Friday) same thing, they don't have to worry about your reporting back to work the next day so scheduling you to the latest AM job possible. There are no concerns about you needing 12 hours allowing them to more effectively assign those who have to report back the next day.

As always, thank you for your insight. Now it makes sense and I'm not so so bothered by it!!! I had been hearing that they do it just because they can and want to carve into our personal lives...and on the other end k had been hearing its for coverage purposes. Now that you explained, it makes sense!!

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Beneka cool thanks for the answer. Thats what I thought they might do.

 

Also for guys already in.. as far as work boots. I know they take you to get a couple of pairs, in RTO can you wear any black or brown boot still?? I researched and back a couple years ago you could but they said then it might change. Just wondering what ppl were wearing if what they supply is good or better off getting something on your own since you would want to be comfortable seeing you have different seasons Winter & Summer i.e insulated boots etc. TIA 

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Beneka cool thanks for the answer. Thats what I thought they might do.

 

Also for guys already in.. as far as work boots. I know they take you to get a couple of pairs, in RTO can you wear any black or brown boot still?? I researched and back a couple years ago you could but they said then it might change. Just wondering what ppl were wearing if what they supply is good or better off getting something on your own since you would want to be comfortable seeing you have different seasons Winter & Summer i.e insulated boots etc. TIA

They take you to get one pair while in schoolcar. You will see plenty of people wearing their own types of boots, mainly Nike ACG boots, but while in schoolcar u gotta wear the TA approved footwear. If the ta shoes are bad for your feet, i believe you can get a note from your doc and then you'll be able to wear any OSHA approved footwear. I did hear something about is not having a contract with that same shoe company...idk how true that is

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Only 1 month you have been lucky they've been doing that to me since day 1 and all three tours for me.  I was told by my motors instructor that they do this in order to  always have coverage but I think they do it just to torture us lol.

 

"Needs Of The Service" Its nothing personal. They are short Staffed so you might bounce around for a spell. They had me going from AMs to PMs back to AMs as well. Never worked Midnights  as Extra Extra and Boy im glad i haven't.

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Yeah the midnight tour is when all the ghosts, phantoms and demons start showing up. Aka rogue track gang with no flagging protection, signals that usually have line ups with no line ups at all around curves and worst of all, the more dangerous drugged up/pissed over drunk passengers. LOL

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