track. Careful yardmasters never trust the bill rack implicitly-too
many people use it. Instead, they rely on the journal in which only
they are permitted to make entries.
3.5. YARD SWITCHING CREW AND ITS ACTIVITIES
A yard crew is generally composed of four members:
engineer, the conductor, and two brakemen. The brakemen may also be
called switchmen; the one working farthest rearward from the engine
is also known as the rear brakeman or fieldman, and the other the
forward or head brakeman.
If the workload requires it, additional
brakemen may be assigned.
fireman is assigned.
Where a long lead with a large number of
switches exists, an extra brakeman or a switchtender may be assigned.
a. The yard conductor, sometimes called the switch foreman, is in
complete charge of the crew and is responsible for carrying out the
yardmaster's instructions in a safe and expeditious manner. Usually,
the yardmaster delivers instructions in writing, and a conductor
should insist on this if verbal instructions are complicated or apt
to be confusing.
Computer lists are often used if available.
conductor's duty is to inform his crew fully as to what is to be done
and what method is to be followed.
b. The crew switches and makes up trains, places cars on side
tracks and spurs for loading or unloading, and does all switching and
moving of cars in the terminal or the yard to which it is assigned.
Various methods of switching may be used, but in principle they are
much the same. The first cut in the train at top left of the switch
list back in figure 2.3 would be switched as follows: the conductor
sends the rear brakeman (fieldman) down track 5 to make the cut.
When the fieldman reaches the car numbered 19495, he uncouples at the
far end of this car. He signals the engineer to back up, and the 28
cars are pulled out on the lead. The head brakeman boards the fourth
car counting from number 19495.
The fieldman lines the lead switch
for track 16. The conductor then signals the engineer to kick, and
when the draft, or cut of cars, has picked up enough speed, a stop
signal is given.
The head brakeman, who generally rides the draft,
pulls the coupling lever between the third and fourth cars.
draft stops and the three cars upcouple and roll in on track 16 on
The fieldman opens the switch on track 6, and six
cars are kicked to this track in the same manner.
The process is repeated as many times as there are cuts of cars
to be placed on tracks. Both brakemen have copies of the