Educational memo 16-01
As a part of our duties in T&E service we are sometimes required to interchange with foreign Carriers. What we can and cannot do work wise on those foreign properties, and what those railroads that interchange with us are allowed to do on our property have been settled by a long line of Arbitration awards and much disagreement between the union organizations, and the Rail Carriers, and to a great extent between the Carriers themselves.
Several things to keep in mind when interchanging and when other railroads interchange with us. First, interchanges must be done on designated interchange tracks. That interchange must be on the minimum number of tracks that can hold the interchange either delivery or pick up. This means that if Carrier A has Carrier B come onto its property delivering 30 cars, has Carrier B’s crew pull in on a track 1 where there is only 20 cars of room, and then set the 10 remaining cars to track 2 which can hold 20 cars , they are within their rights to do so. IF however under the same scenario, they have the crew pull in on track 1, leave the 20 cars, then have the crew put 5 cars on track 2 (which holds 20 cars) and the remaining 5 cars on track 3 (which can hold 20 cars) then this constitutes switching on a foreign Carrier and the crew (Road or Yard crew) is entitled to a days pay.
Second, the question to ask is “does the work involved either in what you are ordered to do, or what another Carrier is ordered to do on our property, does that work infringe upon the “work” of the other (delivering/receiving) Carrier? “ If say the NS comes onto CSX property and the CSX Yardmaster has that NS crew do switching in the CSX Yard, that infringes on the rights of CSX crews to switching work. Conversely if CSX were to go onto NS tracks and the NS Yardmaster ordered the same,that would infringe upon the rights of NS crews to switching on their property.
Some common examples:
Scenario 1: South Buffalo RR “H” Yard, Yardmaster orders crew to pick up 1 car off 10H (holds 15 cars) and 40 cars off 4H (holds 40 cars). This is acceptable.
If however the Yardmaster orders the crew to pick up 1 Car of 10H and 1 car off 4 H this is NOT acceptable because in short a SBRR yard crew could have placed those 2 cars on one track and in essence the CSX crew infringed upon the SBRR crews rights to do so.
Scenario 2: The BSOR places interchange on one of the designated tracks off the BSW Main controlled by the NS Yardmaster at Bison. These cars get buried by other cars before the cars are picked up by CSX. The CSX crew is forced to “dig out” the interchange cars and the crew is required to “switch” on a foreign carrier property.
This is not acceptable and is a claim you the CSX crew (Road or Yard)
Scenario 3: The CN brings their train in on North 2. The train fits on the entire track. The CSX Yardmaster orders the CN crew to set 24 autos over to North 1. While the CN crew CAN do this per their agreements, it is in violation of the rights of CSX crews to preform switching on their own property and a crew should inform the 1st out yard engineer of the incident so he can enter in a claim. (Since an on duty yard crew was not involved directly, it falls to the extra list to protect the rights)
As always good claim writing involves getting all the information into the initial claim submitted by YOU the claimant. Additionally if there are a lot of incidents such as this, then the Local Chairman and General Chairman should know about the issues because they can’t fix what they don’t know about. In this, if you think there’s an issue speak up and ask. The only dumb question is the one you DON’T ask.