and instructions are signed with the chief dispatcher's initials.
matter affecting main-track operations, he speaks for the superintendent.
ASSISTANT CHIEF DISPATCHER
assistant chief must be qualified to assume full charge in the absence of
the chief dispatcher, as well as to take over the desk of any train
dispatcher working in the particular office. In emergencies, he is required
to relieve the dispatcher working a particular shift, sometimes called the
trick dispatcher. A large portion of his work may be devoted to processing
telegraphic accident reports and to preparing train-delay reports needed by
the office trainmaster or superintendent.
He does other related work as
works days only, while assistant chief dispatchers are assigned to the two
A train dispatcher is responsible for main-line movement of passenger
and freight trains on a division. His objective is to get scheduled trains
from one end of the division to the other according to their published
timetables, and to get extras over the road in the briefest possible time
consistent with safety.
To do this, the dispatcher wages a mental battle
with a basic problem of main-track railroading: preventing the second-class
and extra trains from delaying the first-class ones, and preventing the
extras from delaying first- and second-class ones.
Paragraph 1.1 gives
further details of the dispatcher's job.
Since modern, economical railroading often prescribes as much tonnage
for extra trains as the locomotives are capable of handling, another facet
of the dispatcher's basic problem is to keep the extra trains on the move as
much as possible and to prevent their stalling and requiring pusher
assistance from other engines along the line.
Their stalling with the
resultant delays would not in itself be serious, because, being extras, they
However, they must be kept moving, to
prevent delay to superior class trains that may be following them.
A telegraph operator is generally assigned to the dispatching office,
and frequently he is qualified or is being trained as a