View Full Version : Most stressful season for the RR industry??

12-10-2006, 01:42 PM
I was wondering what time of the year creates the most stress for conductors, engineers and any one involved in the industry like peek (holiday season) does for the package industry? Being involved in the package industry and getting a first hand taste in the dilemmas of late trains carrying trailors of packages, is it now, during the harvest season moving the produce of the "bread basket", during the spring when the companies are all gearing up for the summer business, or another time of year?

Conversely, what is the slowest time for RR companies? I know weather can play into the mix as well as the past storms caused costly delays in deliveries of our trailor trains coming across country. Like to know how the industry ticks internally and if additional part time hiring is done during these high volume periods?

Thanks for any input and Happy Holidays, Rich

Save The Wave
12-11-2006, 12:24 AM
This is pure speculation, but I am guessing any day a crew is on a train it is stressful. Having to move 5-12,000 tons of material safely from point A to point B in your allotted 12 hrs, according to the rules, would be stressful enough. Throw in defect detectors that find a defect, losing air, idiots that don't know what red flashing lights and crossing gates mean, derail possibilities... etc and I am guessing it is no walk in the park.

My guess is more stress is felt further up the line as in dispatchers and managers. As a dispatcher in a service related field myself, I know all too well the rigors of customer committments, handling techs/work crews, keeping everyone moving and billing, exceeding budget... it can all add up to a very stressful environment if you let it.

As for busy time of the year, I am guessing harvest time would throw a lot more grain trains in the system, and Christmas seems to mean more (longer) mail/UPS trains. In the past couple weeks, I have heard many 8,000 - 10,000' intermodals pass through the detectors, this on a subdivision that supposedly has an 8,000' limit. From a railfan perspective, the busier the better!!