RRHX - Michigan Railroad History
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Re: Two questions from yesteryear.
As you stated UpNorthBob, tower jobs could vary greatly; even the shift or days you were on duty made a difference. The towers I worked were Washington Ave in Saginaw, Mershon, Kearsley & Carleton. Wash Ave was busiest. Besides train movements, copying train orders, and operating the gates at Wash Ave, we also communicated with the yard to get car counts and tonnage to give to the dispatcher on outbound trains. We also got all of the McGrew and Gd. Blanc pick ups to give to the dispr., and faxed train orders to trains orginating at McGrew. Mershon was much less busy, with lots of down time. There was no busy work. I'll not comment on how time was spent--suffice to say there were lots of ways to pass the time. Reading was always one option. Kearsley was only moderately busy. Carleton could be busy at times. Sometimes we had to type up the switch list for the interchange from the DT&I, which could be up to 100 cars. Compared to many railroad jobs today, yes---tower jobs were in many ways "dream jobs!"