defeat a planned operation. There is no simple, hard and fast rule
for dealing with the countless occurrences that may hamper efficient
yard operations. Their elimination depends primarily on the sense of
team play and good judgment exercised by all yard employees. If a
crew handling one job sees an opportunity to speed overall operations
by either increasing their pace to clear the way for another crew or
accepting a momentary delay of their work to permit another crew to
complete a task of higher priority, such opportunities should be
exploited fully. In brief, the complete operation is the concern of
every man in the yard, and each must work with that idea in mind.
3.7. YARD DELAYS
Most railroaders know and fear the consequences of delays to
mainline trains but are often less conscientious than they should be
about delays occurring off the main track. Aside from the
possibilities of accidents or rules violations, short delays to main
track trains on commercial railroads do not usually have serious
consequences, if they are not too numerous. Unless a schedule is
extremely rigid, most passenger trains and fast freights can make up
a 10minute delay, if they have 5060 kilometers in which to do it.
Delays to yard crews, however, are almost never made up. They may
start a chain of events that increases the delay to three or four
times the original time figure. How these delays pyramid and become
serious, and what yard conductors can do to prevent them is outlined
in detail in the following subparagraphs.
a. Typical yard delay. Assume that a yardmaster is building up a
scheduled manifest train on track 5 in the combination yard
illustrated in figure 1.2. A manifest train is a fast, through
freight usually carrying priority cargo. Already somewhat short on
time, he receives notice that four expedite cars for the head end of
the train will be sealed and ready at 2130 at the siding of the
manufacturing plant warehouses shown at the upper left of the
illustration. Note that they are on the side of the main track
opposite the yard.
(1) The yardmaster sends a crew in on track 5 with instructions
to couple 45 care and pull them up and stop within 4 car lengths of
the air plug. The 4 car lengths represent the space for the four
expedite cars. On moving down track 5, however, a switchman
discovers that only 40 cars are on the track and that the last car
number does not agree with the one given him by the yardmaster.
Accordingly, he checks with the crew switching at the east end and
discovers that it is holding out five cars belonging on track 5.
Unknown to the yardmaster, these five cars were held out for
convenience in switching. Ten minutes are used waiting for them.