Jobs on the GM&O Eastern Division
DISPATCHER - There are two dispatcher positions on the railroad.
The GM&O dispatcher handles the Glenn to Wann segment which is divided into
three subdivisions. Two of the subdivisions are dispatched under CTC and the
Chicago Terminal Subdivision is Rule 251 Territory operating under
timetable/train order authority. The Big Four dispatcher handles the joint
double track from Wann southward to Venice Junction. Authority for movements is
by timetable/train order with movements coordinated between three tower
* GM&O Dispatcher - Bloomington: This
job requires dispatching using both CTC and Time-Table/Train Order methods due
to the complexity of the railroad. Most train orders will authorize work extras,
allow for movements against the current of traffic, create second sections, or
temporary speed restrictions. In addition, the dispatcher will OK clearances
ready to be delivered to trains by block operators. The GM&O Dispatchers
territory extends from Glenn Yard in suburban Chicago to Wann Cabin at
Wood River, Illinois. The railroad operates under timetable/train order
authority from Glenn to Normal and under CTC from Bloomington to Wann.
* NYC "Big Four" Dispatcher -
Indianapolis: This dispatcher supervises movements of trains between East
Alton/Wann and East St. Louis on the joint GM&O/NYC double track. Authority for
movements is by timetable and train orders. Since this district is primarily
terminal trackage movements to/from other railroads are routine and are
authorized by issuance of a clearance.
TRAINMASTER - This position deals primarily with the ProTrak car-forwarding
system. Experience using ProTrak is desirable but not required. The trainmaster
also serves as train order operator copying orders issued by the two dispatchers
and relaying them to the affected trains. The trainmaster also works with the
yardmasters to update and deliver switchlists and yard work lists to affected
TOWER/BLOCK OPERATOR - Acting under the direction of the dispatcher, this
person aligns switches and clears signals for impending train movements within
the territory of the block office or tower where they are assigned. There are
four tower positions on the railroad:
* Brighton Park/Pan Handle Crossing: This block operator
deals with trains operating out of downtown Chicago southward to Glenn. In
addition to handling movements over the manual interlocking at Brighton park,
the operator coordinates non-GM&O transfer trains. The Block Operator at
Brighton Park also manages Chicago staging. This position is housed in the crew
lounge where the operator can copy train orders/clearances and work with trains
arriving/departing Chicago stagins.
* Wann/Wood River: Same duties as Brighton Park Block
Operator but territory is a smaller area (Wann to Wood River). This job is
usually covered by the Wann Yardmaster.
* Lenox/Iles Towers: This block
operator operates levers for both Iles (Springfield) and Lenox towers. The block
operator also operates all C&EI and Alton & Southern train movements while
serving as yardmaster at Mitchell yard.
* WR Tower/Venice Junction: Combined
with the Venice Yardmaster's job, this block operator operates the lever frame
for Granite City's WR Tower. Management of the St. Louis staging tracks is also
one of this job's duties.
* Glenn Yard: This is the GM&O's main
yard in Chicago. All GM&O freight trains except unit coal trains either
originate or terminate here. Transfer movements work in/out of this yard as
well. Most yard work is light classification and turning of trains for outbound
* South Joliet: This yard is
responsible for local trains which work customers between Summit (south of
Glenn) and Dwight. Three local jobs work out of this yard and are the
responsibility of the yardmaster to make up and call crews for in a timely
manner. The locals originating in this yard must be authorized by train order,
therefore the yardmaster will have considerable communications with the GM&O
* Bloomington: This is the primary
classification yard on the division. There are TWO switch jobs which are
supervised/coordinated by the yardmaster. The yardmaster also serves as
block operator for BN Cabin. A local (Bloomington > Normal) work job is based in
* Ridgely (Springfield): This small
yard serves as an interchange yard with B&O and C&IM, does light classification
and re-blocking of trains. This is the primary collection point for traffic
to/from Kansas City.
* Wann Yard: Primarily an interchange
and local customer yard, Wann also functions as an interchange yard for NYC and
for Illinois Terminal. Two local switch jobs work out of this yard! The Wann
Yardmaster may choose to work the Alton and/or Oil Jobs or ask for a crew to be
assigned by the dispatcher.
* Venice Yard: All GM&O freights
terminate in this yard, light classification necessary. A New York Central yard
is located opposite of Venice Yard.
* Interchange Job: This job is gradually
being phased out in favor of giving the train movements to local block
operators, however we will still use the job this weekend! The Interchange crew
moves all non-GM&O/NYC trains on the railroad including transfers in
* Boomer: This person is a roving crew
which is assigned to work as extra help in yards.
ROAD SERVICE, PASSENGER - Handles crew duties on passenger trains. There are
as many as four passenger trains active at any time including commuter runs.
ROAD SERVICE, FREIGHT - Handles crew duties on both through and local
freights. Note that all freights are operated with two-man crews. There are
usually four to six freight trains operating at any given time which include
interchange trains from other railroads connecting to the GM&O as well as St.
Louis terminal transfers from TRRA, A&S, and Manufacturer's Railway. In the
Chicago Terminal subdivision transfers take place twice daily between the GM&O's
Glenn yard and IHB, BRC, B&OCT, Chicago Jct., ATSF, and EJ&E.