rules class

      The carrier has changed its process for rules class, the service unit is no longer in control of the scheduling process. The region is handling all scheduling as well as the location of rules class’s. 
    When the region selects to have a rules class, the location for the class will be decided by the home terminal of the majority of the employees in the rules class. 
  For instance, If they are going to have a 10 person rules class and 6 are working in Dexter then that will be the location for the class, yet they will fill out the class to 10 from other locations and those employees will be required to report to Dexter for rules class. 
   If this happens to you, you must be rested to attend rules class.  If you are expected to report to a location other than your current terminal, you are to notify CMS and have them deadhead you to that location early enough that you can check into the hotel and get your rest prior to the class beginning. You can drive your personal vehicle and be reimbursed auto miles. At the conclusion of the rules class if you do not feel safe and rested enough to drive home notify your instructor and stay in the hotel for rest then notify CMS and deadhead home. 


PTC & Davis Jct. Update

I spoke with a couple of people about PTC and Davis Jct. Apparently the system is not activating, showing a gray state beyond Davis onto the main. After waiting 5 minutes, crews are entering the main. Once the train clears Davis Jct. the system activates and puts you into suppression, thinking you shouldn’t be out there yet. The 5 minute timer is not going to start with the system still in the gray state. If within 1,500 feet and after selecting your track, the system is still gray, I recommend calling the dispatcher to have the PTC desk talk to you. Do not take it upon yourself to do soft cutout or place it into Restricted Mode to bypass the issue. I believe there is an issue being caused by the update from June 1. In the meantime I will see what I can find out.

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6-hour No Blanket calling



I am sure everyone is aware of the blanket calling by the AVR for vacancy procedures. We have been working with CMS to modify the process as follows:

When there is a vacancy first out and the extra board is exhausted the AVR will begin to call those in “OK” status when you refuse the call, he/she will be placed on a 6 hour no call for open vacancies.

This means the next time there is a vacancy you will not be called for a 6-hour period, unless your turn stands for the call.

For this process to initiate in you can either not answer the call, select the option to refuse the call or simply listen to the prompt by the AVR “Attempting to fill vacancy” then hang the phone up.  

Under the above 6-hour no call you can be called again if you are being called under another set of vacancy procedures, i.e. being called to protect another board’s vacancy. This will start a new 6-hour timer under that vacancy process and so on.

If under the 6-hour no blanket calling you can still be called for your turn and are expected to take the call.   

I hope this helps ease some of the burden we are all under with the endless calls in the night and while trying to get rest, no process that involves CMS is flawless, I am sure there are going to be instances where this fails. Do your best to let your Local Chairman know of the issue or send me the details as soon as possible.

This is currently in place as of 6/5/2018 for all Engineer Boards in the St. Louis HUB. If there are any questions, please contact your Local Chairman or myself.






The exceptions for The Next Governing Signal Rule and Delayed In The Block with PTC are gone.


So if your next signal is more favorable than the one you are running on, your speed cannot be resumed until you knock it down.


Delayed in the Block depends on CTC or ABS. 


CTC: Prepared to stop at the next signal until that signal is visible and it is some type of proceed indication.


ABS: Restricted Speed until able to see the next signal and the track to that signal and it is some type of proceed indication.


PTC does not relieve you of these requirements.





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A&S Securement

Since the last post concerned securement at a few locations, I thought I’d continue with another securement topic. Many people still have questions about securement at the A&S and the Cotton Bet Yard. The question that always comes up is whether or not a securement test is required. 

First of all we need to look at the A&S bulletins and general orders. The A&S Timetable, General Orders, and Superintendent bulletins can be accessed through MYUP. On the left hand pop-out tab, click on Reference and the Rule Books. Once this opens click on Books, then Miscellaneous Books. The drop down menu on this page is where you can access the A&S documents. The securement requirements are in the Alton and Southern Bulletins.

The question that always arises is whether or not a securement test is required. The short answer is that it depends on whether or not you leave the engines attached. The bulletin says that 2 handbrakes are required in the receiving track, perimeter track, 627, 628, and SSW Yard 7 through 15. This is the secondary procedure which does not require a release test. If the instruction said a minimum of two, at least two, or a sufficient amount, then a securement test would be required. 

The instructions also said to comply 32.1.2 with the locomotives attached to those tracks. In this case you would tie down at least two cars, test, and then secure the power. Remember to leave a completed securement checklist as well.

If leaving a train in the Cotton Belt, tracks 1 through 6, comply with the UP Superintendent Securement Bulletin.

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Image icon A&S Securement Buu206.51 KB
Image icon A&S Securement Bulletin pg.2151.05 KB

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Securement Superintendent Bulletin

I spoke with Kevin Watts regarding the question about securement and engines counting. He said that locomotives count at all of these locations listed. Remember that all locomotives must be secured and if you only have one locomotive, you will have to tie down one car too.



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