Thursday, August 13, 2020

Train Dispatcher's Graph

Courtesy of Dave Sprau.

June 1987

Dave says:

"Train dispatchers "graph" of movements in CTC installed mostly on Great Northern days, between Edmonds and Harrington. Way too much to document here except to say this graph rolled along slowly, sort of like a window shade, from one roller to another, and the time of day is shown at the left. The time of day on the graph is 5.40 PM. Amtrak 1008 went by Edmonds and cleared the double track at east end at 528 pm; then Pacific Zip No 3 went thru the single track at Edmonds one minute afterward. The Kirkland Turn ran from Snohomish to Lowell 20 minutes ago and then No 600 occupied the switch at Lowell to make his pick up and is still there. Advance 12 just went by Gold Bar. 103 left Skykomish 7 minutes ago so obviously they are going to meet at Baring. The identity of trains is inked in by hand, as you see. Some identities cant be seen, because they are written on a portion of the graph not photographed here. Part of dispatchers duties when we had this old equipment was to take a pen and "connect the dots" - the "dots" being those little jogs of an automatic pen on this graph paper each time a train goes past a control point, -usually the siding switches at a station. Then when you connect all the dots you get a nice little "picture" of the operation. Technology and procedure consigned to the garbage can about 30 years ago."

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