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mediccjh

The Schoolcar Experience

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What are the chances on a yard practical, that they just have you talk through the sequence rather than actually performing every single step?

 

You will be tested on preparing a train for Yard Movement. If you have to prepare a train for yard movement by touching stuff, you better do it on your practical. 

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What are the chances on a yard practical, that they just have you talk through the sequence rather than actually performing every single step?

 

You will be asked to perform most steps, depending on how much time is available and how many people actually have to go. You may be asked to describe certain procedures, or things where actually doing it would be time consuming. Such as you find a pulled BCO on your train as you're preparing it for yard movement. Obviously, you're not going to call the yard dispatcher and ask about a BCO on a simulation. So you'll just explain that's what you'd do, and when told by the person giving you the practical to "cut it back in" you will be observed to make sure you know how to do just that.

 

You WILL read iron. You WILL OK at least one car for yard movement (to save time, they may not have you OK the whole consist, just one or two cars). You WILL make safety stops. You WILL cut. You WILL add. You may not leave the track (to avoid interfering with other moves going on in the yard), so you may simulate doing that, which will mean talking about getting permission.

 

Expect everything to be hands on - that's the point of a practical! You won't be caught off guard if you approach it that way. And on the yard practical remember three things when you cut:

-The first thing you do is unhook the chains, and if applicable, barrier springs

-You always cut in emergency. Don't charge the train before you throw the cutting key.

-Handbrakes on the standing pieces, no handbrakes on the pieces to move.

 

Sure there's more, but these are 3 of the most important things in cuts.

Edited by SubwayGuy
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Just going to post this in general for anyone:

 

OVERTIME SLIP BASICS

Anything that is on the payroll already you do not have to fill out an overtime slip for.

-If your job starts at one location and ends at another, and deadhead is built in you do not need to fill out a slip (Tip: look at the clearing location and time, underneath the signout time will be the time you are actually paid until).

-If your job is a penalty job, you do not have to fill out a late clear for the penalty.

 

LATE CLEARS

Late clears are simple. Code 40 for the amount you worked extra, in the comments just indicate why - customer interference with doors, held by track gangs, flagging, rerouted via local track, congestion, track circuit, signal problems, switch problems, sick passenger, police investigation...there are a million reasons to be late, and in the comments write your reasons.

 

Other scenarios: If you stay late to do a layup (after your clearing time) just write extra layup, if you stay late to work switching, just write worked balance of switching job ###.

 

 

I have a question about late clears. I see that theres a code for Late Clear for a G.O. Im assuming you use that if your clearing later than your relief time, if you clear later because of a G.O. going on, and you would put that G.O. number in the comments?

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I have a question about late clears. I see that theres a code for Late Clear for a G.O. Im assuming you use that if your clearing later than your relief time, if you clear later because of a G.O. going on, and you would put that G.O. number in the comments?

 

Yes, but this code only applies if the late clear is written into the supplement that the GO is causing to run.

 

In other words, if the supplement has you clearing on time with the GO in effect, but a track gang causes you to arrive late, use code 40 (standard late clear).

 

However, if the GO causes a supplement to run that has you, say, making a later interval than normal (or perhaps going local instead of your usual express) and you are scheduled by the supplement to arrive back at your signout location late as a result, then you use the late clear (GO) code.

Edited by SubwayGuy
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Passed my yard practical today. Won't say much about it except bring on the next challenge.

Congratulations. You just passed the toughest of the practicals although don't get complacent as I failed the Preparing the train for road service practical the first time I took it so just listen to what needs to be done and you will be fine.

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Thanks guys & yeah Andrew I will definitely stay focused. My instructors are really good & take the time to make sure you're good to go before moving on to the next lesson.

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Kind of off topic but which health insurance did everyone choose ? BCBS Basic or High Plan or United Healthcare ?  I was comparing the BCBS basic/high plan and its exactly identical except with the high plan you have 365 days of Hospital service instead of 120 with the basic. I was thinking of switching plans because it seems like I am paying $13.17 bi weekly for nothing really more beneficial.

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@ Tommy John, I'd love to know the same info.

My wife is a Long Island public schoolteacher and we have United Health Care, the Empire Government Plan. 

It's good coverage, except family premiums cost roughly $600 per month (payroll deductions).

Every district makes different arrangements for the payroll contributions made by the employee, negotiated in their labor contract, and her district isn't as generous as some others.

 

My question is what coverage do people tend to have, are they happy with it, and what does it cost for premiums and out of pocket expenses.

 

My goal would be to replicate my wife's coverage (family plan) without such steep payroll deductions.

 

This is premature, I know, because I haven't been called yet, but I'd like to anticipate expenses.

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It depends. If your doctor is in network with United, it's the cheapest. No referrals, no questions asked, everything is paid for in full.

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield you will pay copays, but you can go out of network if you'd like.

 

If you get the high option, some people use that for the added dental benefits.

 

I've always done my dental entirely outside Transit as I don't really like any of the plans they've offered over the years.

 

There's no one right answer for anyone, it depends on your circumstances, what insurance your doctor takes, etc.

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To all the vets, thank you for your insight and advice. Today I aced my Mid-term and my practice signal exam. Not going to let that sway me to relax though. Still going to hit the books and listen to my instructors. Still have a lot to learn and will still look for you guys for advice. Again TY.

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My signal exam is coming up & was wondering, when, not if, I pass, I have to take a signal practical. How does that go about & who gives the practical. I heard its "how to take a call on & keying by an automatic on a yard lead" Any truth to that?

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Yeah, that's what it is.  Yours will probably be done on either the Avenue X lead or "the hill" at Coney Island Yard.  A superintendent will be there.

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Yes, that is part of the signal exam. Remember when you are "keying by" to do it schoolcar for the practical. No rolling key by. 2 distinct stops. One 15 feet in advance in the signal, another once you've bridged the IJ while you ensure the stop arm goes down and retains. Then Restricted speed / extreme caution to the next signal.

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Signal exam & practical this week. A little nervous because I know whats at stake, but TSS gave us mock exam & we all aced it. So I'm confident but never complacent.

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Signal exam & practical this week. A little nervous because I know whats at stake, but TSS gave us mock exam & we all aced it. So I'm confident but never complacent.

Best of luck to you. It's the most stressful part of schoolcar.

Edited by SubwayGuy

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Passed exam & practical. Phew :-) Now I just hope on yard posting, someone is kind enough to share their knowledge. I feel that now....the true learning begins.

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Passed exam & practical. Phew :-) Now I just hope on yard posting, someone is kind enough to share their knowledge. I feel that now....the true learning begins.

 

Congratulations. Be sure to ask lots of questions and make sure you understand the common moves. And definitely take notes, in time you will forget things that make sense to you when they are explained, but that info will help you down the road later on.

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A couple of questions. The earliest you can request a day off is 20 days in advance? So if I wanted to request a particular Saturday off, the earliest I would call is on a Saturday night at midnight? With regards to certain jobs that finish at less than 8 hours at a different location than you reported at, those particular jobs generally have the deadhead built in?  How does one know how much they're getting paid?

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A couple of questions. The earliest you can request a day off is 20 days in advance? So if I wanted to request a particular Saturday off, the earliest I would call is on a Saturday night at midnight? With regards to certain jobs that finish at less than 8 hours at a different location than you reported at, those particular jobs generally have the deadhead built in?  How does one know how much they're getting paid?

20 days, yes. Call the IVR at midnight.

 

Deadhead is built in. The Work Program displays the pay for the job. 

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A couple of questions. The earliest you can request a day off is 20 days in advance? So if I wanted to request a particular Saturday off, the earliest I would call is on a Saturday night at midnight? With regards to certain jobs that finish at less than 8 hours at a different location than you reported at, those particular jobs generally have the deadhead built in?  How does one know how much they're getting paid?

 

That is correct for AVA, OTO, PLD, unscheduled vacation days, and your birthday. If you want Christmas (12/25) off, you call December 5th at 12:00AM. AKA the night of December 4th. Vacation weeks and scheduled vacation days (which are chosen annually during the fall pick) are the only days you may request off more than 20 days in advance.

 

Yes, as medic said, the work program displays the time worked and the pay for the job.

 

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-This is a #4 line job that starts at Utica Avenue and ends at Woodlawn, just like the question you're asking.

-To the right, (721) is the time worked. Job works 7 hours and 21 minutes.

-Job pays 833 (far right). 8 hours and 33 minutes. How this is calculated: 7 hours and 21 minutes worked + Deadhead time of 61 minutes from Woodlawn to Utica Ave. (not listed here - but you can calculate it from the work program) = 8 hours and 22 minutes total work. The 22 minutes is overtime (in excess of 8 hours in a day), so add 11 minutes bonus for time and a half = Total pay 8 hours and 33 minutes.

-Underneath you see 619. This is the night differential. 6 hours and 19 minutes of the total job pay will be paid with night differential added. Night differential is paid on holidays, weekends, and time worked on weekdays after 1800 hrs, and before 0559 hours.

-Underneath you see 05. This is radio time. You do not have WAA or boost time at the end of your job, so you will be given 5 additional minutes pay for radio time. So the job actually pays 8:38 when all is said and done. If you see 00 here, your job does not have radio time. If you see a number between 01 and 04, your job has some WAA or boost (but less than 5 minutes worth) so your radio time is reduced by this amount of WAA or boost.

Edited by SubwayGuy
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Heading into my first night of yard posting. My one and only concern is actually getting a senior guy that doesn't want to train me. If I can get someone that is willing to train me, he/she will have my undivided attention... and my gratitude.

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