Transmitting train orders over the telephone circuit carries the highest
Such conversations may account for most of those held over the
wire, particularly if the division consists of a single main track.
Ordinarily, a dispatcher does not permit train order transmittal to be
interrupted because of the importance of his listeners' copying and
repeating the orders correctly. An interruption should not be made unless a
person is certain it is warranted. However, on rare occasions interrupting
a conversation is justified.
A person may want to break in upon a train
order transmittal to report a wreck, washout, rock slide, or some other
occurrence which conceivably might cause the dispatcher to change the train
order he is dictating or having repeated.
Other reasons might be an
immediate need to contact the dispatcher to prevent a wreck or serious delay
to main-line trains.
Most users calling the dispatcher try to establish their own priorities.
However, because of the extreme complexity in trying to set such priorities,
no hard-and-fast rules as to who may speak first can be made. The callers
simply compare the importance of their business with what is being discussed
at the particular time. A silence of 3 or 4 seconds after a conversation
ends generally signifies that nobody is going to speak and that anyone with
low-priority business can break in.
Frequently, several individuals may be waiting for an opportunity to
talk to the dispatcher when train orders are not being transmitted. Again,
this brings up the problem of priority of business which is probably best
explained by discussing the types of calls ordinarily made over the usual
These may be roughly divided into three categories
and are treated in paragraphs 3.4 through 3.6 in the general order of their
Emergency calls that are not directly related to main-track
operations are covered in paragraph 3.7. The detailed conversations in the
following paragraphs are keyed to the double-track Elwood division
illustrated in figure 1.4. To gain a better understanding of the types of
calls made over the circuit, refer to the map and try to place yourself in
the caller's location.
Frequent calls to the dispatcher deal with matters directly connected
with main-track operation.
The five principal sources of calls in this
category are telegraph operators, yard crews, yard masters, road crews, and