SUBJECT: Short Line Tower

                                   KANSAS CITY - November 12, 1968
                                   File: Des Moines, Iowa


Mr. O. R. Thurston:

     Attached is a photocopy of Mr. Parker's report on train order work at
Short Line Tower.  I think Mr. Parker's explanation of the situation is
direct and to the point and as I discussed with you, the various people
who must work with and through the tower operators should remember that one
servant cannot serve three masters stimultaneously in a tower operation.  With
a little cooperation and a lot less "bulling" on the part of the operators,
there should be no lost switch engine time.

                                   (signed)
                                   W.C. DeVries

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CC: Messrs.    B. B. Brenton
               J. B. Fister
               C. W. Guenther



SUBJECT: Short Line Tower

                                   KANSAS CITY - November 7, 1968
                                   File: Des Moines, Iowa


Mr. W. C. DeVries:

     Re tower operators, Short Line, complaining too much train order work and
Trainmaster Fister's complaint of lost switch engine time while operator taking slow
orders:

     See exhibit attached showing train orders, clearances and plant moves made each
shift for the period October 1 through 31.  Definitely the operators are not overloaded
with work; however, it must be taken into consideration that orders, clearances and
plant moves are often being handled at tha same time.  With a little cooperation
between operators, dispatchers and yardmasters, there should be no engine or train
delay.  Thre are times at Short Line Tower when train and engine moves are delayed
because of opposing moves, but these should be handled as they develop.

     From reports received from the local people at Des Moines, it appears the rela-
tionship between the operators, dispatchers and yardmasters has improved in the last
few days.  Until that time the three groups involved were "bucking" each other.  I
recommend if this situation arises again that the local operating people immediately
handle for correction as train and engine delays complained of by local people certain-
ly cannot be afforded, but I am sure the local Division people cna handle this situation
if and when it arises in the future.

     It is a fact that the three operators at Short Line Tower have a negative
attitude and feel that the local officers and dispatchers are using them as a
bumping post, but the Division people should handle this situation.

     As clearly indicated by the survey and my personal observation, the operators can
and should handle the work without friction.  An operator can kick the intercom key
open when on orders to inform the yardmaster he is busy.  If orders do not pertain to
train movement that is shortly due to take place - for example, slow orders or other
movements - I am sure the dispatchers can hold up on repeating orders for the few
seconds involved while the operator make a plant line up to keep traffic moving.

     The above was discussed with Messrs. Brenton, Fister and Guenther.

     It should be remembered that not all trains receive clearances and orders at
Short Line Tower.  Trains 1, 2, 7, 10, 17, and 18 receive their orders at the depot
from the relay office.

     Trusting this handling meets with the approval of all concerned.


                                        R. W. Parker
                                        Supervisor Yard & Terminal Service

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