(5) The yardmaster must write a letter to his superiorsand
possibly telephone the trainmasterexplaining why he cannot do the
comparatively simple job of getting a fast freight of only 50 cars
out of the yard on time. Purely hypothetical? Don't believe it.
Incidents like this happen frequently in a busy rail yard.
b. Prevention of delays. Yard conductors can often prevent
delays by adhering to the following rules.
(1) Never hold out cars, or switch cars contrary to their
listing, unless the yardmaster has granted permission. Keep in mind
any cars so held out, and remind the yardmaster about them before the
(2) Ask another yard conductor for priority of movement if it
will result in less delay to the work.
(3) If a crew is blocked by another doing work of a lower
priority, conductors should coordinate their movement so that the
higher priority work is not delayed.
(4) If a crew is working some distance from the yard office,
and developments occur that the yardmaster could not foresee when the
work was assigned, the conductor should call the yardmaster and tell
him of the changes.
(5) If a crew is unexpectedly and unavoidably delayed or
prevented from doing assigned work, the conductor should call the
yardmaster, tell him of the delay, and ask if there is other work he
(6) When possible, the conductor should phone the yardmaster at
intervals, keeping him informed of progress or the lack of it.
3.8. ENGINE CREW
The engine crew consists of an engineer, and a fireman if steam
motive power is used, who work under the direction of the yard
conductor. The engineer supervises the fireman and both are
responsible for safe and efficient operation of the locomotive. In
addition, the engine crew is responsible for certain specific duties
in switching operations. These include: promptly executing signals
given by the ground crew; correctly interpreting each hand signal and
exercising the right to refuse a signal if it is not clearly
understood; calling and repeating to each other hand signals, switch