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The Schoolcar Experience


mediccjh
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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

Lol!!! I'm dreading having to work midnight tour. I've heard that a lot of people have been lucky and never been scheduled for that tour and I hope I'm one of them. I find it so hard to sleep a good 8 hours in the day time and even if I do, its still hard for me to stay up and operating during the midnight hours. I'm sure I will adjust if I have to, but I'm hoping to stay am's!

 

It still amazes me how many track workers/signal maintainers be on the road bed with no flagging! Have the gotten THAT comfortable down there. I've had a few close encounters already...people crossing tracks with no flags, or just chilling there on the roadbed as we coming around curves...crazy

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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

 

Lol!!! I'm dreading having to work midnight tour. I've heard that a lot of people have been lucky and never been scheduled for that tour and I hope I'm one of them. I find it so hard to sleep a good 8 hours in the day time and even if I do, its still hard for me to stay up and operating during the midnight hours. I'm sure I will adjust if I have to, but I'm hoping to stay am's!

It still amazes me how many track workers/signal maintainers be on the road bed with no flagging! Have the gotten THAT comfortable down there. I've had a few close encounters already...people crossing tracks with no flags, or just chilling there on the roadbed as we coming around curves...crazy

oh common now... midnights are the best. I been XX on the midnights now for about 5 months. TSS's aint around or are few and far between, no rush hour crowds no one knocking on my window and no trains in front of me all greens. And when you get used to seeing all greens those yellows stick out at you like a sore thumb. But thats usually only when you get a work train in front of you. And remember no one over runs a station on the midnights and the radio is always quiet. I lock my cab door and i enjoy the peacefulness and just operate, nothing like it.

 

Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Lol!!! I'm dreading having to work midnight tour. I've heard that a lot of people have been lucky and never been scheduled for that tour and I hope I'm one of them. I find it so hard to sleep a good 8 hours in the day time and even if I do, its still hard for me to stay up and operating during the midnight hours. I'm sure I will adjust if I have to, but I'm hoping to stay am's!

 

It still amazes me how many track workers/signal maintainers be on the road bed with no flagging! Have the gotten THAT comfortable down there. I've had a few close encounters already...people crossing tracks with no flags, or just chilling there on the roadbed as we coming around curves...crazy

It is  hard in the beginning but you do get kind of used to it but the hardest part is like you said dealing with those nut jobs that disregard all types of flagging rules and really push your patience to the limit  with all sorts of improper flagging, my God have I slowed down since I went Midnights after  a couple of close encounters of my own.  Like dagenius69 said the best part is the fact that nobody is calling you asking you where you lost your time and believe me you will loose a lot time with all those track gangs out there.  Everybody is more relax at that time of day so no snarky control center lol.

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Is that how it usually works you get AMs PMs or Midnights then stay on that tour while your a XX??

 

Also gl to those starting schoolcar this Monday Captgombo & Urraca and any1 else. Keep us in the loop as to what Div you guys get.

Your tour of duty and days off can change week to week depending of what their needs are.   Some people have been lucky and had stayed with the same tour since they came out of school car but others like myself had their tours changed several times it will be like that while you are extra extra, you call every Friday after 12 noon to find out what your days off and tour is going to be for the next week. It can be taxing at times but we all have to go through it, it's not easy in the beginning with you trying to get a grip of operating the trains and learning the lines but that's why you have to take your time doing everything so you get it right from the get go.

Edited by Etrain
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Is that how it usually works you get AMs PMs or Midnights then stay on that tour while your a XX??

Also gl to those starting schoolcar this Monday Captgombo & Urraca and any1 else. Keep us in the loop as to what Div you guys get.

when you come out of school car you probably will be jumping around for a while with regards to your tour and rdo. It gets easier as you move up the extra list. Once you get near the top of the list your tour and rdo will most likely stay the same. Also if you are a midnight person and that's what you prefer let the crew office know once you come out. Most people don't like the midnights so when you tell them that's what you want they will usually keep you on that tour and your rdos will probably stay the same for the pick. Since this pick started in June my tour and rdos haven't changed.

 

 

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The problem ends up being the odds. The more you chance fate the more the odds start running against you and at some point your luck runs out. There are more close encounters on the midnight tour than most are willing to admit, but there seems to be a quiet understanding on both sides that as long as nothing bad happened everyone should keep it moving. I've heard too many stories and yes this place being the rumor mill so you have to take everything with a grain of salt but that does work both ways. Some of that stuff is true and yet doesn't surprise me and no I won't go into details.

 

Even though the other tours tend to be headaches the one thing all sides realize is that the 9-5 suits from system safety are more likely to be watching during the day.

 

The one drawback about the mid tour is the heightened need to stay even more aware. Why? Depending on the line you work you can literally encounter 20+ track gangs. It's no joke! We recently came off a close encounter incident on the A line where a worker attempted to cross the tracks and failed to look almost getting clipped. I talk about that one because a notice was issued division wide. Now that's a known incident. What about the ones that remain unknown?

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The problem ends up being the odds. The more you chance fate the more the odds start running against you and at some point your luck runs out. There are more close encounters on the midnight tour than most are willing to admit, but there seems to be a quiet understanding on both sides that as long as nothing bad happened everyone should keep it moving. I've heard too many stories and yes this place being the rumor mill so you have to take everything with a grain of salt but that does work both ways. Some of that stuff is true and yet doesn't surprise me and no I won't go into details.

 

Even though the other tours tend to be headaches the one thing all sides realize is that the 9-5 suits from system safety are more likely to be watching during the day.

 

The one drawback about the mid tour is the heightened need to stay even more aware. Why? Depending on the line you work you can literally encounter 20+ track gangs. It's no joke! We recently came off a close encounter incident on the A line where a worker attempted to cross the tracks and failed to look almost getting clipped. I talk about that one because a notice was issued division wide. Now that's a known incident. What about the ones that remain unknown?

 

That is where it should stay *Division Wide*. I feel incidents like that shouldn't be mentioned Here in the Forum..

 

Im sure you read my Post in the Crew Room yes?

 

That is why there is a place we can talk about that.

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That is where it should stay *Division Wide*. I feel incidents like that shouldn't be mentioned Here in the Forum..

 

Im sure you read my Post in the Crew Room yes?

 

That is why there is a place we can talk about that.

 

What's worse is social media. I wonder if TA workers are  increasingly becoming social media addicts and taking to Facebook/Twitter all sorts of TA incidents, nags or peeves.

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Midnights are the best. I've been out since May, and have had the same tour (Midnights by choice) and RDOs. It works for me. I picked up some AM jobs after sitting on the Board; I wanted to put a bullet in my head after a few of them. 

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That is where it should stay *Division Wide*. I feel incidents like that shouldn't be mentioned Here in the Forum..

 

Im sure you read my Post in the Crew Room yes?

 

That is why there is a place we can talk about that.

That notice was issued TA wide! We it here in the A division as well

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I have picked up AM jobs while on Board on Midnights  also and I have to say those were some of my worst days in RTO so far.   The thing about midnights for me was getting the rest but now I have my system and I get the rest I need.  If am on board for six hours and pick up a late Midnight or AM Job the first thing I do before leaving is call the screw office for a change of assignment for the next night because you definetely want to get a much later report in order to get your proper rest. 

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Hahaha u guys are scaring me w AMs. I agree I would think midnights are the best for less traffic and supervision and all but I'm worried about the sleep issue.

Don't Worry about those things yet, you will post on  all 3 tours towards the end of school car and you will be able to see for yourself what we are talking about.  All tours have their positives and negatives but if you really want this job at the end of the day you will find a way to adjust to anything they throw at you so stay positive.

Edited by Etrain
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If you like maximum intensity. AMs will be your tour of choice. That's just the thing. It's intense from the point you go to work. Now the myth is about traffic. Most real AM jobs have report times between 5-7 am. Reason being is you are arriving so you can provide service to those going to their 9-5 grind. Hence you honestly beat the traffic.

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If you like maximum intensity. AMs will be your tour of choice. That's just the thing. It's intense from the point you go to work. Now the myth is about traffic. Most real AM jobs have report times between 5-7 am. Reason being is you are arriving so you can provide service to those going to their 9-5 grind. Hence you honestly beat the traffic.

The only downside to that scenario is if you live in Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, or northern NJ. From what I've heard it's a bitch being the vehicle who is the trailblazer on those snowy mornings. The one who the snow plows follow. I worked the pm tour for my whole career. I considered transfers and work trains as pm jobs, even those 55 hr G.O.s I worked on weekends with no relief. I don't ever remember weather being a factor in my case but I knew many good am people who caught crap from the crew office because of conditions on the roads. Even when the LIRR, MNRR, and NJT were being delayed the crew office, or some people in the office, would give employees a hard time. As RTOPRO put it the AMs are intense. I'd say the midnights are the most dangerous for train crews and work gangs, as well as riders. Just my opinion though. Carry on.

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RTOMan is right. I think I got too caught up in the moment discussing the nasty nature of the business. The passion of this place will sometimes make me forget the setting.

 

Its ok Brother i can completely Understand.  :)

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Knock on wood. Well ive been lucky enough to have been kept on the same tour since I came out of school car in february. Only thing that has change were my RDOs, once. They changed them when the new pick started in June but it was cool. Idk about you guys but i LOVE AMs. I love the rush hour, the crazy crowds of people, operating a packed to capacity train and moving that sucker swiftly yet safely and getting everyone to work on time. I like when control center starts going crazy when the road blows up. That radio gets entertaining. AMs makes me feel more like a train operator. If i were on midnights id be bored as hell and would probably fall asleep or something crazy cuz its too quiet. Some early AM jobs i get a taste of the all greens and no customers. I dont like it, too boring.

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Each tour is different, and no one is "factually" better than the other...it's all opinion and what you prefer:

 

Midnights

Good - No pressure to be on time, less people out, exposure to the more exotic general orders and some interesting jobs like the gel train

Bad - Drunks/homeless, hard to get proper rest, track gangs (often improperly flagged) everywhere, very slow pace, most lines are local only, you basically will "lose" one of your RDO's each week staying up after you clear on your Friday to live a normal life with friends/family

 

AMs

Good - convenient for those with families, relatively normal working hours (often easy to get rest), normal pace of work, jobs not often seriously affected by GOs (except on weekends), AM tour has the most overtime (penalty jobs)

Bad - on time performance is important and lateness is questioned, large crowds of people, if you drive to work this is the hardest tour to commute in and out on, early AM jobs are very difficult to commute using the system itself to get to as service is minimal in the wee hours, most non-RTO supervision is out during AMs (IE the people that will take you out of service if they observe anything even if minor...remember most RTO supervision is there to help you not write you up).

 

PMs

Good - best tour for getting proper rest, evening hours are very enjoyable to operate (not very crowded, no track gangs yet...fast runs), generally fast pace of work (except for the 2 hours of PM rush)

Bad - on time performance is still important, large crowds during rush hour, if you are slow it will show especially in the evenings, can begin to get drunks/homeless towards the end of tour, if you take public transit home you'll have a long slow ride home plus may not actually be able to commute home if your bus/commuter train has stopped running for the night

Edited by SubwayGuy
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Ah great question. Avoid getting a backpack if at all possible. Better to go with a decent size tool bag.

 

There is a new bulletin out (NOT BANNING BACKPACKS) forbidding anyone from wearing a bag on the back and/or shoulders when walking on or about the tracks. The problem with backpacks is that they stack your belongings very unevenly making it difficult to carry by hand. You don't need those problems when walking on or about the tracks so a tool bag that more evenly spreads the weight might be your better bet.

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AMs

Good - convenient for those with families, relatively normal working hours (often easy to get rest), normal pace of work, jobs not often seriously affected by GOs (except on weekends), AM tour has the most overtime (penalty jobs)

Bad - on time performance is important and lateness is questioned, large crowds of people, if you drive to work this is the hardest tour to commute in and out on, early AM jobs are very difficult to commute using the system itself to get to as service is minimal in the wee hours, most non-RTO supervision is out during AMs (IE the people that will take you out of service if they observe anything even if minor...remember most RTO supervision is there to help you not write you up).

 

@SubwayGuy who is NON RTO supervision?? Just curious on this.

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