ISSUE 3 Volume 99 ROSEVILLE CA
MARCH 1, 1999
As we expected, the construction of the new Roseville Yard has changed
the way we do business around here. We donít
bang out three or four hundred cars a day anymore, so we are no longer
the heroes of UP around Roseville. Itís truly amazing
how quickly they can turn on us. SP had and UP continues to have the
BEST DAMN SWITCHMEN walking the face of the
earth. Stub your toe and see how they REALLY feel about us!
Wear your earplugs so you can't hear the empty flat car about
to run over you. The usual non-operating executives have decided
that we canít switch cars anymore so we are not allowed to
do our work. But, on the other hand, we are expected to do our
work. But, donít do anything that might make the news! But
hurry up and get the cars out of the yard. But go ahead and
write up your work report. But donít forget to fax it to St.
Call who? Please stand by!!! On the other hand, if you
get really good ear protection, maybe you wonít hear the UP Nazi
BULLSHIT they tend to spew out when they can't figure out that
running a railroad is what we do.
HEADS UP DEPíT
Roseville Hub Corrected rosters are now loaded in TCS. Check
your placement on the Hub and appropriate zone rosters for
your crafts(s). This endeavor was made in UPís usual careful
and considerate manner, which means itís probably all screwed
up. Your seniority on other than your own zone roster will look funny,
but donít panic. Iím told the super computer in Omaha
canít figure out a way to put you behind a younger person without
making up a phony date. Just be sure youíre right on the
hub and your own zone roster. Clear as mud.
Contact your LC with any changes so he can pass them along to the Gen.
Remember to mark your calendars for March 20,
1999. Thatís the Annual Retirement Dinner. This year
itís at the Rocklin Events Center, 4495 Granite Drive, at 5:30 PM.
promises to be every bit as good as in years past with plenty of food,
drink, old head stories and other nonsense. Door prizes
have been donated by local merchants and Iím told the food is above
average. Local 492 and 1570 sponsor this event every
year for those who have seen the light, pulled the pin and rejoined
the real world. Donít miss out. Call Wally Wilson at
887-6640 for more info.
Rumor has it that the next generation of UP 7500 horsepower
locomotives are on the drawing boards as this is written.
undercover agent has reported that the power units, traction motors,
and computer controls are much the same as previous
models. However, the manufacturer, General Motors, has had a
problem with the bodywork, as they cannot chrome plate an
entire locomotive. This was to be in honor of the new president
of our company, who has previously personally supervised the
manufacture of millions of Americaís toasters.
This just in: In another effort to honor our new
leadership, the UP paint shop at Stinkfinger, Missouri, has dedicated
compactor of their own design, painted yellow and grey, and named the
Davis Masher. This wonder machine is powered by
an electric motor from the Emerson Electric Co.. Union
Pacific is planning to manufacture the units at their former armature
unwinding plant in Flamefart, Iowa, just west of the rebuilt 5
Ĺ" disc refurbishing mill in which they have recently invested
2.5 billion dollars. Rumor has it that the funds for this bold
venture came from the layoff of over 12,000 totally useless
employees who were wasting their time running trains and serving
As the sun rises over the new and improved Roseville Yard, I can only
wonder what new adventures await us as the age of
UP dawns upon the former unsuspecting residents of this
traditional railroad town. The fact that Roseville was chosen to
the center of the HUB must count for something, even though the
chooser was UP. The old SP would not be what it was
without Roseville. No one who knew those days will ever forget.
The new UP wonít soon forget us either, you can bet on
Donít Let Ďem shove you around!
Yes folks, like two nuptials performing a mating ritual, these two
archaic and top heavy organizations are drawing nearer while
at the same time playing coy.
Reality check. There needs to be two unions. One for the operating
dudes (and dudettes) and one for everything else (yeah
right, like the machinists and electricians would divorce themselves
from their non-railroad alter egos.) Really, how long are we
going to put up with the divide and conquer tactics of the railroads?
Back to the subject at hand. OK, its a done deal. Golden parachutes
for all. The BLE hi-balls their convention so no elections
are on the horizon. The UTU opts to hold their convention cuz (they
believe) all the opposition to the incrowd has been
adequatly neutralized and the insiders will continue to reign.
What can we do? Why, lets have a "name the new union
contest." That's about all the input we will have anyway. The
the contest is to think of a good acronym and then fill in the words.
The "El Paso Express" (thanks Lanny and without Bob's input
- good job) came out with the front runner: T.U.N.A. or
Transportation Union of North America. An absolutely wonderful
acronym. "TUNA, something fishy here" or "TUNA, this
union stinks" or my favorite "SUNA to TUNA, it took us
switchmen 30 years, just one more letter and we're back to our
How about this? B.L.E.E.D.S or "Brotherhood of Locomotive
Engineers Except for Damn Switchmen" Ahh shucks that won't
work, the hogheads insist that North America be in the name. So any
acronym must have N.A. in it Ooooh, Ooooh, how
about N.A.T.O. or North American Transportation Organization. I don't
think that acronym has been taken. Yep, I just
checked with my gun-toting, freedom fight'n fieldman and he sez NATO
Here's some more. The "Brotherhood of Locomotive
Trainmen," or the B.L.T.'s Then also "Transportation
Mostly Sick and Tired Emasculated Railroad Slaves or TEAMSTERS.
You can make a difference. Help give this new org a name it deserves.
Send your entry to the editor and the winner will receive
an all expenses paid winter trip to beautiful downtown Omaha for 4
days and 1 night. The winner will also receive a gold bound
edition of the "General Code of Operating Rules," a
rare edition of "TCS, The Compleat Book of Secret Commands"
but not least, "Work Order Reporting for Dummies." (Offer
void where prohibited. Contestants must have an IQ)
WORK ORDER BLUES
Bad Order Bob - BadOrdrBob@aol.com
Will somebody please tell the Union Pacific Railroad that the wires
are crossed somewhere between St. Louis and the West
Coast? In my attempt to escape the confusion and frustration of
reporting industrial switching work to St. Louis only to find the
following shift things were screwed up worse than ever I sought refuge
on the midnight shift working a yard goat in tiny Ozol
Yard in Martinez.
Mind you we have a total of four yard tracks and the "Pit"
or service track. We have to get permission to occupy the
just in order to switch a track as there is no tail or ladder track at
present. This is not much of a problem on the third shift as
there is little or no Amtrak traffic. Though there can be as
many a four trains picking up and/or setting out while we duck in and
out of their way trying to build two pickups and two local trains.
As if this wasn't challenging enough the lists we get are a conundrum.
That is to say, a "cluster f__k" in railroad jargon.
can understand how the list can get turned around and be East to West
instead of West to East, or even East to West on the
"East" end and West to East on the "West" end.
The one that confounds and befuddles me in when a solid set out,
the Yardmaster, can be scrambled up like the cards in "52 Pick
Up." The Yardmonster swears he wrote it down correctly and
sent it to St. Louis just as it rolled by, but, by the time it comes
back via the miracle of electronics and company program
reporting something goes terribly wrong.
I'm convinced that somewhere, somehow, a cable must be twisted, or
jack plugged in backward, because the brass at the top
has assured every bureaucrat and regulator that will listen that we
are happy, self-motivated, well paid, well rested, content,
inspired, loyal, obedient, (did I leave out anything?) qualified
employees who are accurate and precise when reporting
information because we know how important it is to the smooth and
efficient operation of our well oiled machine.
So why do I find myself standing in the dark, in my raingear, rolling
the cars by while hopelessly lost and calling the dingmaster
to step outside and make some sense of the confusion. I must ask
again as I did last summer, "When are they going to get this
TAKE BACK THOSE CONTROL POINTS
Write your congressman. Write your MTO, MYO, MAP, MOP, SYO, SOB,
your griever, your grandmother. Write to
whomever will listen.
We want control over the control points. Whoever heard of CP West
Atkinson. They can't even get the street right. Its on PFE
road stupid. Atkinson ends at the auction. We should have the right,
no we demand the right to name our control points. This is
our railroad and if the idiots really want us to feel good about it,
they should at least consult the employees before they start
naming stuff. Control Point Citrus Heights, Ye Gawd, who thought of
that one. The old station name was Walerga.
We need to honor those ancient railroaders who lead the way for us.
Think about it; CP Hoyes and CP Carlini, what a pair.
Those names need to live on forever so their stories can be told to
the following generations.
Lets get serious, start a petition, send it to Ike Evans. This would
be a cheap way to boost morale.
SNAKEBITES is the unofficial newsletter of the Roseville
Switchmen. Any resemblance to actual facts or characters on this
railroad is unintentional and should some drone take offense, the
editors suggest the idiot continue to read the drivel that is
printed in INFO magazine which is produced by the masters of
propaganda and illusion that are hiding in the midst of some
cornfield in Nebraska. SNAKEBITES comes to you absolutely free, but to
be removed from the mailing list will cost $100.00.
Comments, criticism, feedback, and $$$ should be directed to our
OF THE MONTH AWARD
This month we have multiple honorees, as it takes teamwork to stoop
One of our poverty-stricken new hires, still being paid at training
rate (read: Minimum Wage.) inadvertently left his company
issued radio on the seat of a carryall.
Seeing as none of our honest and upright employees turned it in, our
rookie was in hot water. Your local DTO wanted to
terminate him at once, as it is much easier to fire a Non - Union
represented guy and these poor souls are at the mercy of
management for the first 60 days they work here.
Our unfortunate new hire pleaded for his job and, in his ignorance,
offered to pay for the radio. Now, we all know these
high-tech marvels from Motorola are expensive, right? Try
$710.00. Thatís right. But our local managers took pity
going to let him pay for it in four installments. This pleases
our Supít and his head bean-counter to no end, of course. Now
can balance our budget.
Roseville CA 95747
Meantime, our poor unfortunate is trying to save up enough dough to
move his wife and two small
children from back east. Guess the reunion will have to wait a
while. It ainít in the budget.
ASK DAN LANDERS
I screwed up and left my packset in the carry-all. The company
threatened to fire me so I offered to work for free to pay it off.
So theyíre gonna take it out of my paycheck. Iíve got a wife and
two kids back on the farm. I live in a boarding house, no car
and I donít have a pot to piss in. Am I just out the dough?
A cherub from just off the farm
Welcome to corporate Amerika, where every enterprising individual gets
rewarded. Any olí head switchman would tell you
that ya gotta make that money back a little at a time. 10 minutes OT
here, 15 minutes OT there. Itíll take a while, but with
"Work Order Reporting" nobody will notice and in a couple of
years, youíll have made that $700 back plus thousands of
dollars in interest.