Roseville, CA
February 2000


After a one-month hiatus we have the 'bites back in print.   The editors
were just worn out over the holidays and we have been doing a lot of
stuff behind the scenes. 

(Further adventures in Texas from our intrepid correspondent)

On September 1, 1999, the Union Pacific Railroad implemented the
Dallas/Ft. Worth Hub. On September 9, 1999, a former Cotton Belt
Engineer, with over 20 years experience, was called on duty at 10:15 PM,
at Centennial Yard in Ft.
Worth, Texas.
This Engineer was new to the territory, and after making a couple (2) of
trips between Ft. Worth and Dallas, made the mistake of pronouncing
himself qualified to operate over the territory.
After arriving at work he learned that his Conductor for the trip had
less than one (1) year working experience and was not qualified over the
territory. The Conductor had requested a pilot for the trip. His pilot
had about one (1) year working experience and had not been over the
territory "in a while" and never at night. ( If this is starting to sound
like a horror on.)
After receiving the proper paper work, this crew departed the yard on
double track east bound. They were contacted by the Ft. Worth Terminal
Train Dispatcher and informed that they would be meeting a couple of
trains. The crew
Encountered an approach (yellow) signal in yard limits, the engineer went
to 10 MPH.
As this crew had been informed that they would be meeting two trains, and
with the lack of experience on the territory, the engineer proceeded
eastward "feeling" for the next signal. As many of you know, tower 55 at
Ft. Worth is a maze of tracks with numerous signals, many of the signals
are on the left in direction of approach and there are possibly 10
signals that can be seen at one time for these tracks.
At approximately 11:50 PM, the engineer was instructed to stop his train,
which he did in 1/2 an engine length. A company vehicle pulled up and
three (3) officers got out. As the first officer entered the cab he asked
the crew
if they knew what had happened back there, they responded that they had
no idea. The officers said: "Let's take a walk."
Near the middle of the second unit, this Union Pacific Officer Efficiency
Team, uncovered the "pot" signal.
They had wrapped the entire signal apparatus with what appeared to be a
piece of non-reflective black foam rubber, and made the pot signal,
The test team informed the crew that they had just failed a light out
test. The crew was transported for breath and urine test and removed from
service. Investigation is scheduled for next week.  (We're waiting to
hear the outcome.  UP loves us, right, Ike?)  

Quote of the Month

"If I were a factory employee, a working man on the railroads, or a wage
earner of any sort, I would undoubtedly join the Union of my trade. If I
disapproved of its policy, I would join in order to fight the policy. If
the Union leaders were dishonest, I would join in order to put them out.
I believe in the Union and I believe that all men who are benefited by
the Union are morally bound to be held to the extent of their powers in
the common interest advanced by the Union."
- Theodore Roosevelt
Thanks to TCU Lodge 512.  Check out their newsletter at:


What's Going On?
I gotta ask all you folks out there in UP land:  Does this only happen
These geniuses cut off two or three jobs, like for instance a herder or
utility man who gets the trains in and out of our yard, and then, like
they're really fooling us, the terminal officers "sneak" out there and
line switches, make joints, protect shoves and drive crews around the
yard.  Who are they fooling?   When our claims are paid, and they will
be, they will have paid for these jobs about three times over, and yet…
I can't believe anyone who is so obsessed with a budget can figure out a
way to pay a senior MTO to drive crews around when they already pay
someone else to do the same job .  By the way, the only job that doesn't
violate most agreements is driving crews around.  Which is about all
these guys are really qualified for, since they don't know squat about
real railroading.  Anyway, I still gotta ask:  What the hell is going on?
Does the UP intend to replace all contract employees with officers??  Are
the Renzenberger drivers about to be replaced by MYOs?  You ever ride
with these guys? These guys are DANGEROUS!   The other night an MYO told
the herder to route a train down 207, and guess what?  Another train was
entering 207 from the other end!   Nose to nose, gridlocked for an hour
and a half.  Sooner or later UP has got to realize that adding more
managers to the mix does NOT solve anything.  We have in this yard some
of the best, most experienced switchmen I have ever known.  We have
Yardmasters that know what to do.  Do they use these resources??  Paper
shuffling, number crunching managers don't get the job done, they just
play with numbers. The work belongs to professionals. WE know how to
I'd like to hear from other locations and find out if this kind of
ignorance is system wide.
On the Home Front:
Be careful where you walk around this new "showcase" yard.  It looks
pretty good in the aerial photos they use to fool the big stockholders,
but you better be careful where you step.   This place is a minefield,
and it's getting worse as the ground settles.  Also remember that these
new "user friendly" switches have had all the lubrication washed out of
them in the recent downpours and our brothers in MOW are shorthanded
themselves, so be careful lining these new modern switches.  If you find
a bad one, be sure to report it. If it's too tough, bad order the thing.
Remember, it's the BS that counts on UP!
Be Smart, Be Sure,  Be Safe,


This month, we are once again humbled by the power of one of our own to
screw the pooch into the ground on so many occasions, do it again and
again, and still walk around on the same planet as the rest of us.   Once
again, this brother has demonstrated his total inability to grasp
reality, and at the same time look at us all with that "Who, ME?"
expression we have come to know so well.   It is our honor to present the
Dumb-Assed Switchman of the month award to Rod Chandler for the second
time since the award has been established. Also, this month we are adding
the supplemental Carl Bradley Wake-Up Call Award for the first time.  A
seasoned veteran like Rodney will surely pick up this award many times in
the future.   Stinchfield ate all the burgers, but we'll give Rod a five
day, all expenses paid mini-vacation, compliments of the UTU Job Benefit


Indian tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead
horse, the best strategy is to dismount.  However, on the Union Pacific,
we often try other strategies with dead horses.  See if any of these look

    * Buy a stronger whip
    * Change riders
    * Appoint a committee to study the horse
    * Move the horse to a new location
    * Provide status reports daily on the dead horse
    * Rename the dead horse
    * Create a training session to increase our ability to ride
    * Add more managers/supervisors per dead horse
    * Hire a consultant to give their opinion on dead horses
    * Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position
    * Terminate all live horses to redefine productivity
    * Schedule a meeting with the dead horse to discuss his productivity
* Do a cost analysis study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper  
* Hire another consultant to refute the first one's opinion that the
horse is really dead
    * Form a team, positioned to shift the horse's paradigm
    * Finally, if all else fails, prop the horse up, put ribbons in his
       mane &  tail, and see if you can't find a buyer


Dear Reptile,
It has come to the attention of some of us in Omaha that your agents have
planted hidden microphones and cameras here on the 12th floor.   We know
this is true and we would request that you remove them at once.   Due to
the nature of our work, we cannot function with this much scrutiny.  Even
the STB and FRA have removed their devices after certain of their
officers were made part-time consultants.  You guys, on the other hand,
remain anonymous. 
Our crack debugging team from computer services has been unable to locate
and neutralize all your plants.  Of course, these are the same guys who
maintain TCS in all its efficiency.   Everyone here is looking over their
shoulders and speaking in whispers.  On the plus side, there is a lot
less yelling around here.  Still moaning and occasional weeping, but it's
a lot quieter.  We've had to put Dick back in cold storage for a while in
case he gets an idea and hurts himself.  Please, remove your devices
before Phil gets here.  We're desperate.  You guys are a real pain.
As always,
The VP's


This from one of our newly screwed Brothers:

Top ten reasons you know you're a UP new hire

10.      You like to sleep in your car.
9.       You like doing the same work for less pay.
8.       You have a travel trailer and have nowhere else to be just now.
7.       You're not sure how your wife got pregnant since you weren't home.
6.       You like sand in your Vaseline.
5.       You take verbal abuse from your supervisors and you're starting to
like it.
4.       You're thirty something and just moved back home.
3.       You have worked on all the subdivisions at least once.
2.       You were hired in Roseville and never worked there.
1.       You're sitting at home right now watching Jerry Springer.

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