Denny D's Did You Know


Did You Know that there are two types of interlockings mentioned in the GCOR. Did you know that there is a third type listed in the timetable and SSI? Encountering interlockings is a part of nearly every pool and local on the St. Louis Service Unit. 

Interlocking Types

Interlockings are listed in the station column of each subdivision page. The symbols associated with interlockings, as well as other symbols used in the timetable, can be found on the inside front cover of a timetable or the last section of the SSI.

(M) - Manual: manual interlockings are controlled manually by either a control operator or a dispatcher. 

(A) - Automatic: automatic interlockings are controlled automatically by the approach of trains.

(Z) - Manual Interlocking With A Release Box: think of a Z interlocking as a hybrid. They typically involve a portion that is automatically controlled where two railroads cross, combined with switches controlled by the dispatcher.

Stop Signals at Interlockings 9.12

Properly understanding what to do with a stop indication at an interlocking is critical.

Manual: If no conflicting move is present, contact the control operator. The only way through is by the control operator giving you a signal or by verbally authorizing to pass the stop signal.

Automatic: Be governed by the instructions inside the release box. If there is a conflicting movement, you must wait until the movement has passed or stopped. Both crews must agree upon the next movement. Do not operate the release box before talking to the other train.

Z: Permission must be received to open and operate the release box. If after following the instructions in the release box, and a stop signal is still present, you must also receive verbal authority to pass the stop signal by the dispatcher. Remember that both is required.

In signaled territory, an interlocking signal is also a block signal. For each type, if operating in signaled territory, you must remain at restricted until the trains leading wheels pass the next signal. If in non-signaled territory, until the leading wheels pass the opposing signal of the interlocking.

Approaching an Automatic Interlocking 9.9.1

A train must proceed prepared to stop at the interlocking signal when:

Moving below 25 MPH and passing a signal that governs the approach to an automatic interlocking.


Speed is reduced to below 25 MPH after passing a signal that governs the approach to an automatic interlocking.

The train must continue to move prepared to stop at the interlocking signal until the train reaches a point approximately 1,000 feet from that signal. If the interlocking signal then indicates proceed, the train may resume speed.

Did You Know that this rule also applies at each Z interlocking in the St. Louis Area timetable?

Did You Know that there are a few exceptions to this in the timetable?                                                                                                 

Villa Grove Sub: Thornton Jct. (CP-I20) 10 MPH instead of 25 MPH and 800’ instead of 1,000’.

Pence (CP-I050) & St. Anne (60.1) Prepared to stop until occupied if operating against the current of traffic.

Mt. Vernon Sub: CSX Crossing (254.1) 300’ instead of 1,000'                                               

Pana Sub: Tuscola (CP-I153) Northward applies passing or after passing the signal at 157.6;                                          Southward applies passing or after passing the signal at148.9.

It is critical to keep this in mind when stopped or slowing down for a train meet at Tuscola on the Pana Sub and Rockview on the Chester Sub. When you get signal to proceed, you must be prepared to stop until within 1,000 feet of the interlocking. It is important to remember this at any automatic interlocking or Z interlocking. 

Changing Directions

Manual Interlockings

If movement stops while the trailing end is between the outer opposing absolute signals of a manual interlocking, the movement must not change direction without permission from the control operator.

Automatic Interlockings

At an automatic interlocking, the train movement may change direction within the limits of the interlocking if it continuously occupies at least one car length of the limits.

Interlockings Within Track and Time

Remember that verbal authority is required to pass a stop signal at either end of track and time limits. If the the stop signal is within the limits, after stopping, verbal authority is not required. This does not apply at interlockings. You must still comply with the rules regarding stop signals at interlockings within your track and time limits.

Understanding the rules regarding interlockings is critical to working safely and getting through our work day incident free. If you have any questions about interlockings or any other rule, feel free to contact me anytime. (314) 609-2164 /

Business lawyer said to be Trump candidate to replace NLRB chair

The Trump administration is considering John Ring, a D.C.-based management-side labor law attorney, to replace Philip Miscimarra when the latter steps down as the chairman of the National Labor Relations Board this December. Ring could potentially ensure the board has a GOP lead majority through at least 2020.That is according to sources at different D.C.-based trade associations paying close watch to the board's vacancies. The NLRB is the nation's main labor law enforcement agency.The sources, who spoke to the Washington Examiner on background, cautioned that they didn't know how seriously Ring was being considered though no other possible contenders for Miscimarra's seat have leaked out.
The White House is in the process of remaking the board, which had gained a reputation for pro-labor activism during the Obama administration. The Senate approved one of President Trump's picks to serve on it, former GOP House staffer Marvin Kaplan, earlier this summer and is expected to take up his pick for the board's remaining open seat, attorney William Emanuel, later this fall.
That would give the five-member board a 3-2 Republican majority, the first time GOP appointees will have led it since the middle of President George W. Bush's administration. However, Miscimarra's term expires Dec. 17 and he has reportedly indicated that he wishes to return to the private sector.
Though the board's members are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, it otherwise operates independently.
"We have no personnel announcements at this time," said White House press aide Ninio Fetalvo.
A spokesman for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, the law firm Ring works for, had no comment.
Unlike Trump's other nominees to fill open seats on the Board, Ring appears to have represented unions as well as business in at least one cases before the NLRB. He is listed in board's case files as one of the attorneys representing the Pacific Maritime Association, a west coast longshoreman's union, in a 2012 dispute with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Ring co-chairs his firm's labor/management relations practice. His official bio says he specializes providing "clients with strategic business planning, particularly in negotiating and administering labor contracts, multiemployer benefit funds, and corporate restructurings." A 2015 post on the firm's website touts Ring as being able to help clients with an "activist" NLRB.
One of the other labor law experts at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is Harry Johnson, a former NLRB board member who stepped down in 2015.
Bloomberg reported last month that Ring was in contention for a spot on the labor board.

Mileage Report

File attachments: 

UPRR accused of penalizing employee for time off to care for disabled wife


ST. LOUIS — A thru freight engineer is suing a railway company and its managers, citing alleged discrimination and retaliation.

David Lawson filed a complaint in the St. Louis 22nd Judicial Circuit Court against Union Pacific Railroad Co., Gary E. Rolfes and Kelli K. Dunn, alleging that the defendants violated the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA).



According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that between April 19, 2004, and Aug. 3, 2015, he was subjected to improper discipline due to his association with his disabled wife. He claims requests for intermittent leave to care for his wife took place months before the approval, he was charged with longer periods of absences than appropriate when he missed work and was charged with multiple absences for a single incident. He claims he was also suspended when he complained of unfair treatment and was later terminated from employment. 

The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible because they allegedly discriminated against the plaintiff due to his association with his disabled wife, retaliated in the form of suspension and termination when he complained about unfair treatment and had reckless disregard of the plaintiff's right as an employee and individual.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment in an amount to exceed $25,000 for lost wages, benefits of employment, pre-judgment interest, punitive damages, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just and proper. He is represented by Jonathan C. Berns of Dobson, Goldberg, Berns & Rich LLP in St. Louis.

St. Louis 22nd Judicial Circuit Court case number 1722-CC10881

Mileage Report 8.26

File attachments: 

Denny Dunn's Did You Know 8/28/17


Throughout the year and more often during summer months, track work is a typical part of our work day. When operating within the limits of a Form B, there are a few key elements that will keep everyone safe and the railroad operating efficiently.

 Avoiding Delay

Avoiding delay and maximizing work time is equally important. This depends upon a few factors; train speed, signal indication, and radio reception. For example, it waste valuable work time calling too far away if you are operating at a slow speed, or if signals indicate that you possibly will be stopping short of the limits. As a last resort, if the foreman cannot be contacted, contact the dispatcher.


When contacting the foreman listed on the Form B for permission through the limits, notify of the following.

  • Train location.
  • Direction and track that you are on or will be operating on.
  • Excessive dimensional loads in the train. The rule is specific about excessive dimensional loads, but it would be wise to notify of dimensional loads as well. There is a difference, see Item 5-A in the SSI. Excessive dimensional loads will be indicated on the first page of your train list, dimensional loads will be indicated in the body of the list with the specific car.

Receiving Clearance

Make sure that the you obtain track, direction, permission to pass the red flag, and a speed through the limits. Also, do not act upon the instructions until verified that the repeat was correct.

Changing Route

A change of route must not take place without the foreman’s permission. Keep in mind the locations of crossovers and turnouts. Also, do not change directions without permission.

Display of Flags

Remember that foreman has an hour window before or after the time listed on the Form B to display the flags. If flags are displayed, contact the foreman and receive permission through the limits as usual. If the flags are displayed and the foreman cannot be contacted, treat it as an unannounced Yellow-Red flag. Comply with 5.4.3. Be prepared to stop short of red flag. This only applies outside of the time limits. 

Stopping Within the Limits

If the Form B goes into affect and you have stopped within the limits prior to the effective time, do not move until getting permission. A practice that I often use when stopped to remind myself is to place my bulletins in front of my computer screen or gauges. Do not lose your situational awareness at crew change locations either. Always look at your bulletins prior to initiating movement. Your train may be sitting within the limits when you board the train. Also, remind the relieving crew when swapping out if your train is within or just prior to Form B limits.  I also leave a note on my control stand to remind the outbound engineer. 

Form B Within PTC Territory 

Upon logging in to the system, verify that Form B’s listed on your bulletins are displayed. If not, the dispatcher must be notified.

The PTC computer will alert you 3 miles from an active Form B. The limits will be indicated on the display by a blue hash box, with a red track line and red hash box protecting the limits. Once permission is granted through the limits, the engineer will confirm this with the system using the soft key. At this time the red track line and red hash box overlay will disappear. If movement stops prior to clearing the limits, the protection will reappear and permission must be granted again and confirmed prior to moving.

It is imperative that the engineer does not press the confirm key before being granted permission through the limits by the employee in charge.


If you have any questions regarding Form B’s or any other rule, feel free to contact me or a local manager.  Dennis Dunn (314) 609-2164