NEW NEWS 2010


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DECEMBER 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE SIGNAL DEPARTMENT

 HAPPY NEW YEAR - BE SAFE OUT THERE TONIGHT EVERYONE - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

GENERAL MEETING IS SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 8TH

The Annual General Meeting is scheduled on Saturday, January 8th beginning at 9:00 AM in the CSRM East Theater.  Remember:  The Annual Group Crew Photo will be taken and the Signal Engineer will profligate about the 2010/2011 Signal Department - You don't want to miss either of those!  If you can't make the meeting on the 8th there is another beginning at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, January 19th (No Group Crew Photo).  Mark your calendars!!

DECEMBER 30, 2010

NOVEMBER SIGNAL ENGINEER'S REPORT POSTED

Part One of the Signal Engineer's November Report has been posted to the Mirra Machine.  All Signal Department personnel may review Part One by going to www.mirra.com and logging into their account.

DECEMBER 9, 2010

POLAR EXPRESS IS OVER FOR THIS YEAR!!

Polar Express which started this year the day after Thanksgiving, November 26th, is over.  The last operating day, for this season, was today, December 19th.  The Operation operated on 18 days with four trains each day.  A total of over 19,000 passengers enjoyed the train ride to the North Pole which included Hot Chocolate, Cookies, The Dancers, The Hobo and the reading of the Polar Express Story.  The Signal Engineer believes that most of the Signal Crew volunteered to help out in one way or another.  It certainly seemed like the Polar Express was a success for everyone:  The Passengers, The Volunteers and the CSRM/SSRR.  Way to go everyone!  Now go and enjoy your Christmas!

DECEMBER 7, 2010

MONTHLY INSPECTIONS COMPLETED FOR DECEMBER

A Signal Crew consisting of Al, Bill, Chuck, Joe and Paul completed the Monthly Inspections and Tests at all crossings today.  The Quarterly Inspection was also completed at Sutterville Road.  All systems passed inspection.  The Signal Engineer stopped by late in the day to pick up the paper work and learned that the crew had some great beans at Willies.  Photos provided by Signal Maintainer Paul.  Thanks Paul and thanks crew for working during the Holiday season!

DECEMBER 6, 2010

SEMAPHORE DONATED TO THE SIGNAL DEPARTMENT

With the help of Sandy from MOW a Signal Crew consisting of Joe and Al picked up a Semaphore donated by Steve of the Car Department to the Signal Department.  It appears to be a General Railway and Signal (GRS) Model 2A which could make it about 100 years old perhaps.  The crew picked up the Semaphore from Steve in Sacramento and transported it to the Signal Shop for safe storage.  Accept for the mast and ladder the components were placed within the Signal Office container and the Signal Storage container.  There have been many suggestions on what to do with a Semaphore if we have a restored one including to use as an "All Aboard" signal for use at the excursion train depot in Old Sacramento.  Photos provided by Student Signal Maintainer Joe.  If you would like to volunteer to participate in the restoration of the Semaphore contact the Signal Engineer.   AND:  Thank You Steve!!!!!!!!

DECEMBER 1, 2010

SIGNAL DEPARTMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN NMRA CONVENTION IN 2011

The Signal Department has been asked, by CSRM Management, to provide some type of presentation on Grade Crossing Signal during the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) Convention to be held in Sacramento in July 2011.  The Signal Engineer has made contact with NMRA Convention organizers and has asked Signal Maintainer/Signal Trainer Paul and Signal Maintainer/(Model Railroad Signal Enthusiast Dave to coordinate the Signal Departments activities associated with the Convention.  First request from the NMRA is a formal presentation of some type and a field inspection, including train ride, of our grade crossing warning systems.  More to Come so Stay Tuned In!  Want to join in the Fun?  Contact Dave, Paul or the Signal Engineer.

NOVEMBER 30, 2010

SIGNAL DEPARTMENT VOLUNTEERS TO ASSIST THE P&SVRR

A volunteer group calling themselves the Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad is in the process of resurrecting the old SP tracks from Folsom to Placerville and anticipate starting train operation on November 11th of next year.  They have asked for assistance from the SSRR Signal Department in returning a Grade Crossing Warning System at White Rock Road back into service.  With the approval of the CSRM/SSRR management to share information and provide broad friendly advice we are off and running on a path to meet the PSVRR volunteers and help them get the project organized.  Any SSRR Signal Department Volunteer who would like to be involved should contact the Signal Engineer.  The Signal Engineer and Signal Associate Dan took a "road trip" last week to inspect the grade crossing.  The system at one time was a Wig-Wag Warning System and although the Wig-Wag and associated mast are no longer there the foundation for it is as well as a Double "B" case and even a DX-13 interlocking relay (Remember NCRY Signal Engineer Curt's Training Module last year?).  Plans are being made to meet with the PSVRR volunteers soon to get that friendly advice moving.   To visit the PSVRR web site click here.

NOVEMBER 29, 2010

OCTOBER SIGNAL ENGINEER'S REPORT POSTED

Part One of the Signal Engineer's October Report has been posted to the Mirra Machine.  The twelve Parts of the Report are:  Inspections, Repairs & Revisions, "Out of Service" Report, Operations Budget, Man Hours, Administrative Activities, Engineering, Signal Shop, Radio Section, Training, Personnel Highlights and Other Important Activities.  Part Two of the monthly report is SSRR Confidential and includes a more detailed Personnel Report and an Advisory Committee Report.  All Signal Department personnel may review Part One by going to www.mirra.com and logging into their account.

NOVEMBER 26, 2010

FIRST DAY OF 2010 POLAR EXPRESS!!!

!!!HAVE A GREAT TIME TODAY AND BE SAFE!!!

NOVEMBER 25, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

!!HAVE A GREAT AND SAFE DAY!!

NOVEMBER 19, 2010

ANNUAL DINNER WAS A FUN EVENT

The 6th Annual Signal Department Dinner was held this evening.  It was at the Aviator's Restaurant again which is the same location as last year.  All but two Signal Department crew members attended with their spouses or guests and as Guests of the Signal Department also attending were SSRR Manager of Operations Dick with his spouse Sara and Manager of Track and Signal Programs John.  The dinner is held to celebrate the completion of the Annual Signal Maintainer Recertification Examination and so that those Signal Maintainers passing the Exam may be awarded their Certificate of Recertification (All Signal Maintainers have always passed the exams this one having been the 6th.).  After the super dinner provided by the Aviator's Restaurant we indulged in two types of desert cake provided by Signal Maintainer Al and spouse Kathie - Yum-Yumy!  After dinner the Recertification Certificates were presented to the Signal Maintainers.  Crew members who volunteer for special assignments were presented with special SSRR Signal Lapel Pins and all crew members were provided small gold bars with their position title engraved on them.  SSRR Manager of Track and Signal Programs was presented with a Welcome to the Signal Department Certificate and provided some personal background information about himself so Signal Crew could get to know him better.  Signal Trainer Paul spoke about the SSRR Training Program and presented "I Took It" Certificates to the Student Signal Maintainers that took the exam and also presented Lapel Pins to those crew members that presented Training Modules at the Annual Training.  SSRR Manager of Operations, who managed the Signal Function from 1995 to February of this year was presented with the SSRR Signal Department Golden Leadership Award for his continued and selfless leadership for those 15 years.  Dick then spoke about the 1st SSRR Signal Engineer James S. Boyd who was instrumental in organizing and developing the Signal Department.  A portrait of the 1st Signal Engineer was presented at the dinner and will eventually be displayed in the SSRR offices.  The Signal Engineer then handed out, to the various spouses, photographs of their crew members working on the SSRR, during which much laughter was heard due to some interesting captions applied to the photographs.  Finally and as the grand ending to the evening John let the diners preview a MOW video, which was very well done and funny, that will be shown at the Annual SSRR All Hands Meeting in January.

FOR ADDITIONAL ANNUAL DINNER PHOTOS CLICK THIS LINE

James A. Boyd
1st SSRR Signal Engineer
1994 - 2003

NOVEMBER 18, 2010

R STREET FALSE ACTIVATION REPAIRED

A Signal Crew consisting of Signal Engineer Dale (EIC), Signal Maintainer Al and Student Signal Maintainers Randy and Joe solved (sorta) the high "EZ" problem at R Street and subsequently Q Street today.  After the Job Briefing the crew slowly moved south to the beginning of the south approach looking for a damaged bond wire, damaged track wire or damaged track/rail.  None was found.  Then the crew moved north to the beginning of the north approach looking for the same thing. Still nothing found.  The crew then began setting up to measure voltage across joints and between rails, however, the Signal Engineer suggested recalibration of the Safetran 2000-MS Motion Sensor first; which Signal Maintainer Al did.  Behold!  Normal "EZ" of 100.  Recalibrating the Motion Sensor at Q Street, which also had high "EZ", produced the same result.  The Safetran 2000-MS Instructions list three conditions when recalibration must be made: 1. - When modules replaced (which we have not done), 2. - When program changes are made (which we have not changed) and 3. - When track equipment changes are made (which we have not done).  Because none of the recalibration requirements in the Safetran 2000-MS Instructions was made, that we know of, we do not know why the two systems required recalibration.  Because both the R Street and the Q Street motion sensors had high "EZ" readings logic suggests that the problem was in a component that is common to both systems, which is the track portion of the systems.  We list this type of cause an "Electrical Phenomenon..." 

NOVEMBER 17, 2010

DECEMBER INSPECTIONS SCHEDULED BY THE SCHEDULER

Signal Department Scheduler Dave has posted the crew assignments for the December Monthly Inspections.  He starts off his message this way:  "Greetings... can you smell the hot cocoa and cookies in the air?  Its Polar Express wafting our way.  No, not the police horse stables."  Because of Polar Express being five days a week this year, leaving only Mondays and Tuesdays as non-operation days, inspections are scheduled on Tuesday the 7th (Pearl Harbor Day).  Also, to assure completion in a timely fashion there are three crews being called out.  The three crews and their assignments are:  Paul (EIC) and Randy (Student) - Capitol Mall Monthly and Sutterville Road Monthly and Quarterly; Al (EIC) and Bill (Student) - Q Street Monthly and R Street Monthly; Chuck (EIC) and Joie (EIC) - Broadway Monthly and Front Street Monthly.  Have Fun out on the line crew members and BE SAFE!

NOVEMBER 15, 2010

ANNUAL SIGNAL DEPARTMENT DINNER THIS FRIDAY!

Get ready to eat....  The 6th Annual Signal Department Dinner is this Friday starting at 6:00 PM at the Aviator's Restaurant.  Recreational Director Al and his assistant Bill have a great meal planned for us.  Come join the fun and celebrate the taking of the Recertification Exam, which is why we started having Annual Dinners.  Bring an appetite and your spouse or guest and have a good time!

NOVEMBER 12, 2010

R STREET FALSE ACTIVATES DURING MONTHLY INSPECTIONS

Two Signal Crews consisting of Al (EIC), Jim (EIC), Marc, Bill and Joe implemented the Monthly Inspections at all active crossings today.  All systems passed.  When approaching R Street, however, the crew observed the system false activate.  As the crew performed the inspections the system continued to cycle through more false activations.  Subsequent investigation revealed high "EZ" levels at both R Street and Q Street.  Suspecting a broken bond wire, track wire or track problem the crew inspected the bond wires, the track wires and the track system but found no visible problems.  The Signal Engineer was contacted.  After completing the inspection the crew noticed no additional false activations and moved on to the next crossing.

NOVEMBER 6, 2010

IT'S OVER!!!

The 2010 Annual Recertification Examination is OVER!   Crew Members Al and Paul took it during the first session on November 4th and Bill, Chuck, Dave, Jim and Marc took it during the second session today.  Thanks to Signal Trainer Paul for developing the Regulations Exam and Training Hand Out and Thanks to All Crew Members who studied hard and took the exams.  Hope you enjoyed every minute of it................
 

ANNUAL DINNER REMINDER!

Don't forget the Annual Signal Department Dinner is Friday evening November 19th at the Aviator's Restaurant.

NOVEMBER MONTHLY INSPECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY THE 12TH

Signal Department Scheduler Dave scheduled Signal Maintainers Al and Jim for EIC duties this Friday for implementation of the November Monthly Inspections.  Students called up are Marc, Joe and Bill.  Call time is 8:30 AM at the Signal Shop.  Have Fun and Be Safe!!!!

OCTOBER 30, 2010

MOW PICNIC SUCCESSFUL DESPITE THE RAIN...................

The 2010 Annual MOW Picnic took place in the Stanford Lounge due to the wet weather and was a successful gathering!  Take a look:

A Tri-Tip Feast (By Chef Leonard) was presented which ended with some chocolaty deserts! The crew watched a great silent Chapman movie while devouring the great munchies and then listen to grand oratory by Manager of Track Programs John.  The first two photos to the left show Student Signal Maintainer Joe (On the MOW Weed Team) with his wife and student Signal Maintainer Marc (On the MOW Track Crew).  Third photo is CSRM Director Paul who also is very adapt at elocution thanking the crew for all the hard work.  Fourth and fifth are part of the crew paying attention.  Sixth is Manager of Track Programs John while the seventh photo is MOW Co-Manager Chris on the left and Director of Railroad Operations Alan with his wife on the right.  In the eight photo is expert small engine repair specialist "Chainsaw Harry" and the ninth is Leader of the Weed Crew Lord of Weeds and Economic Poisons Mike explaining the poster which reads:  "Your Maintenance of Way Team Making Our Railroad Green* for Everyone!  * = Which will be sprayed later by the Weed Crew...

Thanks For The Great Picnic MOW Managers!!!!

LAST HALLOWEEN TRAIN TOMORROW - TODAY'S WAS A LITTLE WET

The second to the last 2010 Halloween train day was today and it was a little wet.  Signal Maintainer Al was the Trainmaster and Signal Associate Eric was one of the Brakemen.  The Signal Engineer went to the loading platform to see Eric and deliver him the failed LED lamp from last Saturday (See October 23rd below) when I ran into Signal Maintainer Chuck who was one of the Conductors today.  As you can see from the photo he is either ready for the rain or getting ready to take a shower.  Our volunteers are Great and Resourceful!!!

OCTOBER 29, 2010

MOW PICNIC REMINDER!

Don't forget the Maintenance Of Way 2010 Annual Picnic tomorrow. It starts at 11:30 AM at Miller Park.  If you go there and no one is there it will be because the picnic has been relocated due to rainy weather.  In that case try the Stanford Lounge at the Museum.  Support MOW!  MOW supports the total organization:  No Track = No Trains = No Signals = No Fun......  Come to the picnic and support MOW!

MIRRA MACHINE BACK ON LINE WITH UPS BACKUP

New batteries were found in Citrus Heights and the UPS that supports the Mirra Machine is back on line about 5:00 PM this evening.  Please report any Mirra Machine problems to the Signal Engineer.

OCTOBER 28, 2010

MIRRA MACHINE OFF LINE!

A momentary power outage at the Signal Engineer's office this afternoon lead to a surprise discovery:  The Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) that supports the Mirra Machine was found to have dead batteries.  After the momentary power outage, which the office server, computers, modem, router and switches survived as they were supposed to the Mirra Machine was found to have gone down hard.  Further investigation found the dead batteries.  The Mirra Machine was rebooted without a UPS and successfully went on line.  The Signal Engineer anticipates new batteries and the UPS back on line again by Monday, November 1st.

OCTOBER 28, 2010

THE SEPTEMBER MONTHLY REPORT HAS BEEN POSTED

The September Monthly Signal Engineer's Report - Part One - has been posted to the Mirra Machine today by the Signal Engineer.  You can get some perspective of what has been going on in the Signal Department if you review it.  The information is somewhat out dated, since it is for the month of September, but it does provide a good overview.  Go to your www.mirra.com account and check it out....

OCTOBER 27, 2010

SIGNAL ASSOCIATE ERIC PROMOTED TO CONDUCTOR IN OPERATIONS

Signal Associate Eric, like many of the Signal Department crew members, wears many different hats on the SSRR.  Today, Manager of Railroad Operations, Dick, sent word from Louisville, Kentucky of Eric's promotion to SSRR Conductor.  Eric joined the Signal Department in May 2006, immediately become a member of the now defunct leaf removal crew receiving an eye awaking "What did I get myself into now?" baptism.  (That was the last year we blew leaves off the approaches.)  Eric is also a Car Attendant, a Brakeman, works in the Car Department and numerous other activities.   Oh!  He is also the movie star (Notice the sun glasses) in the MOW Polar Express video production!!  Congratulations Eric and Way to Go!!!   (ps.  When I get a photo of Eric in his Conductor uniform we'll post here!)

OCTOBER 23, 2010

SIGNAL CREW CALLED OUT TO CAPITOL MALL

The Signal Engineer received a call, about 2:00 PM, from Signal Maintainer Jim, who was working on a train crew, that he observed the tip light on the west bound gate at Capitol Mall dark when the gate was in the horizontal position.  The Signal Engineer made calls and with support of Student Signal Maintainer Bill and eventually Signal Maintainer Paul, who had been in transit to Sacramento when called, had a briefing at the Crew Center (Scheduled Trains in Operation) with the Trainmaster and then moved to Capitol Mall.  Turns out a two year old LED lamp was faulted (circuit boards appeared darken) and not working.  Fortunately we happened to have an identical lamp in a light fixture kit we had in inventory and replace the faulted unit with it.  It was not difficult but.... It began to rain and the crew got pretty wet.  Another day another donut hole.

OCTOBER 19, 2010

RECERTIFICATION EXAM REGULATIONS TRAINING MATERIALS POSTED

The last of the three Training Hand Outs for the Recertification Examination has been posted to the Mirra Machine in the Folder titled "SSRR Recertification Training Material".  The last section is on Regulations.  This year the Regulations Exam and the Training Hand Out were developed by the Signal Department Trainer, Paul.  There are the usual fifty questions.  Paul has added his own twist to many of the questions; so is it easier or harder than one developed by the Signal Engineer?  In a few days we'll all know the answer to that.  Paul's Position Description for Signal Trainer, which is also on the Mirra Machine, lists under the title "Position Responsibilities" a section which indicates that the Signal Trainer will assist the Signal Engineer in developing the Annual Recertification Training and Examination.  Please forward any questions about the Training Hand Out to the Signal Engineer.  Have fun!!

OCTOBER 15, 2010

REVISION "A" OF THE DC CIRCUITS TRAINING MATERIAL POSTED

Due to the diligence of the Niles Canyon Railway Signal Engineer, Curt, an incorrect formula was found on Page 3 of the DC Circuits Training Handout.  The SSRR Signal Engineer immediately revised Page 3 as well as fixed some known typos and posted Revision "A" on the Mirra Machine.  Sorry for any inconvenience Crew!  Thank You Curt! 

OCTOBER 14, 2010

RECERTIFICATION EXAM WARNING SYSTEMS TRAINING MATERIAL POSTED

The Signal Engineer has posted the Warning Systems training material for the 2010 Annual Recertification Examination on the Mirra Machine today.  The material is located in a Folder titled: "SSRR Recertification Training Material".  As in the past this section of the examination will account for 30% of the total points available.  This material is based exclusively on the Q Street Grade Crossing Warning Signal Systems, the Safetran 2000 MS Motion Sensor and the training module titled "Safetran Wire Markers" from the 2010 Annual Training session held in September.  Contact the Signal Engineer with any questions. 

OCTOBER 13, 2010

SIGNAL CREW DECORATES THE SPOOKOMOTIVE

A talented Signal Crew consisting of Paul and Dale helped out the Operations Department this morning by decorating the 2008 as the Spookomotive for Halloween.  This is the first year the 2008 has been selected as the point power for the Halloween themed Spookomotive train.  In the past the Operations Department has selected the 1240 locomotive to do the honors, but since it is out of service with a bad engine cylinder the substitution had to be made.  The 2008 doesn't look too bad but would look much better with a snappy SSRR paint job.  Thanks Paul and Dale.  Nice Job!!

OCTOBER 9, 2010

RECERTIFICATION EXAM DC CIRCUITS TRAINING MATERIAL POSTED

The Signal Engineer has posted the DC Circuits training material for the 2010 Annual Recertification Examination on the Mirra Machine this evening.  The document is 32 pages and has eight Example Problems and nine Practice Problems.  The Practice Problems are based on the Front Street Grade Crossing Warning Signal System with somewhat hypothetical situations.  Posting the material four weeks prior to the examination provides a great opportunity to all the crew to diligently study and prepare for the exam.  Contact the Signal Engineer with any questions.  Good Luck Everyone!

OCTOBER 9, 2010

SIGNAL MAINTAINER AL OPERATES F7 WP 913 ON CROCKER ART GALLERY SHUTTLE

 

 

The Sacramento Southern Railroad operated a shuttle train from Old Town to "O" Street and back on 15 minute alternating departures.  Reason:  To help celebrate the Grand Opening of the new section of the Crocker Art Gallery.  The consist consisted of our normal Excursion Train consist, two chair cars and two gondolas, the Granite Rock 10 on the north point and the WP F7 913 on the south point.  This is being called a "Pull-Pull" operation.  The 913 moves the train to "O" Street and the GR10 moves it back to Old Town.  Operating the WP F7 913 today was our own Signal Maintainer Al as engineer, on loan from the Signal Department.  The fireman was Operations Crew member Darryl (Photo #6 from the left).  Since I was the person taking the above photos I can vouch for the fact that Al and Darryl we're having a GREAT TIME!  The cost to passengers was free, no fare required.  The shuttle trains will also operate tomorrow, Sunday the 10th.

OCTOBER 8, 2010

RECENTLY PROMOTED SIGNAL MAINTAINER JIM RECEIVES HIS NANO-NANO!


JIM RECEIVING NANO FROM PAUL

Signal Maintainer Jim (Second from left in left most photo) received his NaNo-NaNo from Signal Trainer Paul today.  He didn't know what to expect as Paul started explaining some mumbo jumbo about Signal Department traditions.  Check out Jim's demeanor in first two photos on the left compared to the two on the right.  It appears he was fearing the worst and then when he saw what was coming his way became a Little Happier!
Way To Go Jim!
And
Way To Go Paul!
Observe Student Signal Maintainer Bill trying to get a hold on that beauty in the last photo...
Note -  A NaNo is a plastic tool used to manually pick an old style plug-in railroad relay.

AND THEN HE SHOWS OFF HIS NEW SIGNAL MAINTAINER TRACK SHUNT


JIM SHOWS HIS SHUNT TO EVERYBODY

When Jim was promoted to Signal Maintainer (See New News August 31st) he was issued a personal Track Shunt.  Lucky for him it is brand new!
Today it was christened but required adjustment.

CREW COMPLETES ANNUAL INSPECTION - BROADWAY AND FRONT STREET

A Signal Crew of six, four on the ground and two in the 2008, completed the 2010 Annual Inspections of Broadway and Front Street today  by completing the timing tests.  Both systems passed.  On the ground were Signal Maintainers Chuck and Jim, Student Signal Maintainer Bill and Signal Engineer Dale.  In the locomotive were Signal Maintainer (Engineer) Al and Signal Maintainer/Signal Trainer Paul (Brakeman).  Thank you for the great support of Railroad Operations Manager Dick for the loan of the locomotive and for setting the necessary Clearance and Train Order.  Big Thanks to Everyone!  Job Well Done!

SUTTERVILLE ROAD MONTHLY AND QUARTERLY COMPLETED TODAY

A Signal Crew consisting of Student Signal Maintainer Bill, Signal Maintainers Chuck and Jim and Signal Engineer Dale completed the October Monthly and Quarterly Inspections at Sutterville Road today.  A small repair was made replacing an insulated terminal disconnect.  All light fixtures were washed.  Both inspections passed.  Far left photo is Bill, I believe, telling Signal Engineer what to do with his Rcertification Exam.  The next is Chuck washing mast mounted lights and the third is Dale, Bill and Jim taking care of the Jury lights.  Note - It is our practice to wash all light fixtures quarterly with the brush on the pole and to wash them during the annual inspection by hand.  One mast mounted light fixture was realigned.

OCTOBER 7, 2010

SIGNAL DEPARTMENT ANNUAL DINNER SCHEDULED - SAME LOCATION!

Signal Department Recreation Director Al, Student Signal Maintainer Bill and Signal Engineer Dale met with the owner of the Aviator's Restaurant today and arranged the date and menu with him for the Signal Department Annual Dinner to be held on November 19th.  This is the same restaurant where we held the Annual Dinner last year.  The committee selected a menu similar to last year:  Tri Tip, Chicken Supreme, Herb Roasted Potatoes, Rice Pilaf, Stir Fry Vegetables, salad, coffee and ice tea.  Starting time for the event is 6:00 PM with the buffet dinner served around 6:30 PM to 6:45 PM.  You will receive an email soon asking you to RSVP.  The Aviator's Restaurant is located in the terminal building at the Sacramento Executive Airport.  Mark your calendars!!!

OCTOBER 6, 2010

2011 PROPOSED SIGNAL DEPARTMENT CALENDAR SUBMITTED

The Manager of Railroad Operations has requested proposed Department 2011 activity calendars and the Signal Engineer has responded.  The proposed 2011 Signal Department Calendar submitted to the Manager of Railroad Operations is as follows:

April 16th  -  Work Day in Shop and Group Photo
May 7th  -  Part 214 Roadway Worker Safety Employee In Charge Training and Examination  [Group Photo Backup]
June 4th  -  Annual BBQ at Miller Park
September 17th  -  Annual Signal Department Training
November 5th  -  Annual Recertification Training and Examination
November 18th  -  Annual Signal Department Dinner

Please Mark your 2011 Calendars NOW!!

OCTOBER 5, 2010

SIGNAL CREW (MASQUERADING AS MOW CREW) TRIMS AND MOWS

 

 

Five Signal Department crew members volunteered to be part of a MOW Crew with Mikey, Cunningham-Lord High Sheriff of Vegetation and Economic Poisons, trimming trees and mowing weeds today.  The Signal Crew members were: Al, Bill, Dale, Joe and Randy.  The first task was to get the motor car out of the storage containers behind the museum (Yes.  They are not longer at Clunie.) and load up the equipment and supplies.  Next, since it was a School Train day, it was necessary to obtain a Clearance Card and Train Orders.  Then we were on our way; about 11:00 AM, finally.  We went to Front Street and at the request of the Signal Department trees blocking visibility of flashing lights by motorists were trimmed.  Thanks for that MOW!!  Then we went to the Setzer Spurs within the Setzer Forest Products plant site and mowed and pulled weeds.  This was because some SSRR consist is going to be in storage there for awhile.  The next stop was around MP 03.40 where trees were trimmed.  The first photo above is the entrance via the railroad tunnel into the Setzer plant.  The second photo is the Cunningham-Lord High Sheriff of Vegetation and Economic Poisons.  Third is Al mowing.  Fourth, Fifth and sixth the crew trimming at Front Street.  The last photo shows how we were able to hook up our generator so that we actually supplied power to SMUD!  Great work crew!!

OCTOBER 4, 2010

Q STREET DRAWINGS AVAILABLE

Updated As-Built (Almost) drawings of the Q Street Grade Crossing Warning Signal System are now available on the Mirra Machine in a folder titled "SSRR Drawings of Q Street" and in "The Office" Tab on this web site.  If you do not have access to either location and need access contact the Signal Engineer at signalengineer@ssrrsignal.com

OCTOBER 2, 2010

ANNUAL RECERTIFICATION EXAM ONLY 5 WEEKS AWAY!

With only five weeks to go until the infamous (Just Kidding) Annual Recertification Examination the Signal Engineer has been staying up nights developing it.  This years examination will be the sixth.  The first examination was held in 2005 at the request of the Signal Maintainers in the Signal Department at that time.  The instigator was Signal Maintainer Al who always loves a challenge.  He came up with the idea a couple of years before, perhaps 2003.  In mid 2005 it came to a vote.  At that time there were eight members in the Department: Signal Maintainers Al, Paul and Steve; Student Signal Maintainers Randy, Dave, Chuck and Dan; and Signal Engineer Dale.  The vote to have the Recertification Examination was unanimous.  The first couple of exams, developed by the Signal Engineer, were difficult and very challenging because the Signal Engineer was learning how to put the exams together.  This years exam, Exam 6, will be all new.  While somewhat challenging, which it should be since that was Al's vision, it, hopefully, will not be overwhelming or difficult.  It is so satisfying to make Al's dreams come true!  If you would like to see a page from the DC Circuits training material click Right Here and Page 7 should pop up.  This years exam is on Saturday, November 6th.  Signal Maintainers are required to take the examination.  Student Signal Maintainers and other positions are encouraged to take the exam for training and just for the Fun Of It!!!!  I'll see you there!

OCTOBER 1, 2010

CAPITOL MALL, BROADWAY AND FRONT STREET ANNUAL INSPECTIONS

A Signal Crew consisting of Al. Bill, Chuck, Dale, Dave, Joe and Misha from Railway Signal Construction  [Railway Signal Construction supports our Capitol Mall Annual because volunteers are not allowed to climb out on the cantilevers.] implemented two Quarterly Inspections and three Annual Inspections today:  It was a Loooong Day!  Quarterly Inspections were completed at Q Street and R Street (Including Monthlies).  The Capitol Mall Annual was completed (Train timing not required) (Including Monthly and Quarterly Inspections).  Broadway and Front Street Annual Inspections were implemented but not completed (Also included Monthlies and Quarterlies).  The train timing was not done and is scheduled for next Friday, October 8th.  Because we wanted to do so many inspections in the day Signal Maintainer and Scheduler Dave suggested breaking up into three crews with two crews implementing inspections and one crew implementing the cleaning of the light fixtures.  All in all it went pretty well.  We did find out where our inefficiencies are.  We probably should have started the cleaning crew prior to the inspection crews starting and each crew needs a set of supplies like grease and a semaphore oil dispenser.  We should have a good set of instructions too and the Signal Engineer has proposed the development of an SOP (It was actually planned and referenced in our proposed and currently being worked on Regulations Version F in Rule 7.1-C.1 as SOP 14.220.31 - Annual Inspections).  We all had a good time.  Beans was at Fords on Sutterville Road.  Everyone was pretty darn tired by the end of the day.  Great Job Crew!!!!!  More photos of this day are on the Mirra Machine.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2010

CAPITOL MALL, BROADWAY AND FRONT STREET ANNUAL INSPECTIONS SCHEDULED

Signal Department Scheduler Dave has put the final touches on this month's (October) inspections.  Annual Inspections are due at Capitol Mall, Broadway and Front Street.  Quarterly and Monthly Inspections are also due at Q Street, R Street and Sutterville Road.  The Inspections are scheduled for Friday, October 1st.  Crew members scheduled are:  Al, Bill, Chuck, Dale, Dave, and Joe.  The timing tests, required to complete the Annual Inspections, are scheduled for Friday, October 8th.  All crew participating in the inspections Friday are requested to meet at the Signal Shop at 8:30 AM.  See you there! 

SEPTEMBER 25, 2010

SSRR CREW VISITS NCRy CREW REWIRING NCRy BOND STREET

FOR MORE PHOTOS CLICK HERE

A small SSRR Signal Crew consisting of Signal Associate Dan, Student Signal Maintainer Marc and Signal Engineer Dale traveled to Signalero Land today and watched the NCRy Signal Crew rewiring their Bond Street Instrument Case.  They had previously gutted the case, rebuilt and repainted it.  While that was going on they reconditioned as much of the previous equipment as possible (It even looks new!).  Their crew, consisting of Maintainers Arne, Dave, James, Jim and Tom, was busy wiring when we arrived a little after 11:00 AM.  NCRy Signal Engineer Curt arrived shortly after that having gone to the NCRy Brightside Yard for additional wire and supplies.  We had a great time inspecting, watching and learning about the project.  An interesting connection within the case is an interface with a County flashing light system pedestal.  When a train is in the Island (This crossing has no Approaches.  Trains enter the Island and stop.  The track circuit senses the train and after the gates have dropped the train proceeds.) an Advance Warning Device relay is actuated and signals the County's Flasher System to start.  The Flashing System illuminates two sets of two amber lights installed on Foothill Road, which runs parallel to and very close to the right of way on the north side.  One set of flashers warns vehicle drivers approaching from the west and the other drivers approaching from the east.  Another point of interest is that this crossing has two tracks.  Only one is active at this time.  In the future, however, NCRy plans to activate the second track which is a passing siding.  The Signaleros have anticipated this and have added a second  track relay and associated wiring for the future when the second track is activated.

We had planned to stay about an hour and then head back toward Sacramento and stop somewhere for "Beans" along the way.  Instead we were invited to the Brightside Yard White House where "Beans" is served to all the volunteers working on Saturdays!  Yes!  Lunch is provided to the volunteers.  You can munch down for free or make a donation in the donation can if you desire (we did).  The food was excellent.  Served this Saturday was Minestrone Stew with ham chunks (Not soup..  This was a hearty stew!  Man Stuff!).  Also served was slabs of ham and two different types of bread for making sandwiches.  (Yes this was a Carnivore Al meal and was Great!)  After "Beans" we were given a tour of the articulated SP dining car (three cars all connected together as one) that is being resurrected and some day refurbished.  NCRy calls this car the "Triple set".  We also took a peak at the "All Day Lunch" that is used regularly on their trains.  We then went back to Bond Street to say goodbye to the crew and headed toward Sacramento.  We followed the NCRy main line as far as we could east to Pleasanton, drove in and out of town and then left for home.  We had a SUPER Road Trip.  Thanks Signaleros!!!!

SEPTEMBER 19, 2010

Q STREET, R STREET AND BROADWAY MONTHLY INSPECTIONS COMPLETE

A Signal Crew consisting of Dave [EIC] and Dale completed the Monthly Inspections for September today at Q Street, R Street and Broadway.  All systems passed.   They removed the first, of probably many, graffiti junk on the right front door of the case at R Street.   The mess must have been sprayed on by a girl because it was puke pink!  They also removed some large weeds at Broadway after first receiving approval to do so from MOW Grand Head Weed Wacker Mikey.  Good Job Men!!!

SEPTEMBER 18, 2010

2010 ANNUAL TRAINING WAS A SUCCESS!!!

THE SSRR AND THE NCRy SIGNAL DEPARTMENTS MET FOR ANNUAL TRAINING AGAIN

Left to Right:  Dale (ssrr), Paul (ssrr), Curt (ncry), Dave (ncry), Tom (ncry), Elbert (ncry), Chuck (ssrr), Paul (ncry) and James (ncry)
Missing:  Al (ssrr), Dave (ssrr), Eric (ssrr), Daren (cpuc)

2010 Annual Signal Department Training was held today with thirteen folks in attendance:  Six from the Niles Canyon Railway Signal Department, six from the Sacramento Southern Railroad Signal Department and a speaker from the California Public Utilities Commission.  Eight training modules were presented as described in the article below (September 15th).  Again this year the Signaleros from the NCRy Signal Department participated in the training both as students and as instructor as NCRy Signal Engineer Curt provided a great module on Coded Track Circuits.  After the training the group had lunch in the Stanford Lounge and then boarded a scheduled Excursion Train (A Lot of Thanks to the SSRR Operations Crew for making our trips a success!!) for Q Street.  At Q Street and R Street, Signal Trainer Paul described the new Grade Crossing Warning Signal Systems which had been installed and placed in service earlier this year and the equipment was inspected by the crews.  We then boarded the next Excursion Train south bound (Thanks to the Operations crew for stopping to pick us up!) and took a round trip to Baths.  All the presentations were great, the inspection was great, the train ride was great and the fellowship with the NCRy Signaleros was great.  It was a Great and Safe day!!! Thanks to the presenters; Paul, Al, Eric, Chuck, Curt, and Dale, to CPUC Supervisor Daren for his great presentation, to SSRR Railroad Operations Manager for all the support, to Signal Trainer Paul for making it all happen and to the SSRR Operations Crew!  Way to Go Everybody!!!  For more photos Click Right Here.

SEPTEMBER 15, 2010

ANNUAL TRAINING AGENDA RELEASED BY SIGNAL TRAINER

Signal Trainer Paul has released the final agenda for the Signal Department Annual Training.  This year the Niles Canyon Signal Department crew (The "Signaleros") will again be participating both as trainees and trainers.  The Training Module agenda beginning at 9:00 AM in the Stanford Lounge is as follows:

09:00    Greetings, Introductions and Fellowship!
09:20    How to use the One Point Signal Procedures presented by Signal Trainer Paul
09:35    Correct Radio use during protection by Train Order presented by Signal Maintainer Al
09:50    The modern LED - All you need to know and then some presented by Signal Associate Eric
10:05    The "Electric Measurements" Wheel presented by Signal Maintainer Chuck
10:20    Break and more Fellowship!
10:40    Coded Track Circuits and Demo presented by NCRy Signal Engineer Curt
11:00    History, purpose, intent and overlap of CPUC and FRA presented by Signal Associate Dan and Daren from CPUC
11:30    Safetran wire number system or: Now where does that wire go? presented by SSRR Signal Engineer Dale
11:55    Wire Insulation through the Ages presented by Signal Trainer Paul

After the Training Modules all crew members will join in having "Beans" (Bring your sandwich!  Chips, fruit, drinks and desert provided by SSRR Signal Department!).

After "Beans" everyone will "suit up" with hard hats and vests and proceed to the SSRR train station.  We'll depart Old Sacramento at 1:00 PM on Train #5 with Railroad Operations Manager Dick as our host.  Train #5 will make a special stop at R Street where the Signal crew will get off.  A Safety Briefing will be provided by Railroad Operations Manager Dick with Approach Warning being used as the On-Track Safety.  With the Safety Briefing completed the crew will inspect the new Grade Crossing Signal Systems installed at Q Street and R Street.  After the inspections some group photos will be attempted.  The crew will return to Old Town via Baths.  Train #7 will pick the crew up at R Street and proceed to Baths where Train #8 will be made up and return the crew to Old Town.

Should be a Full and Fun Day!  See you on Saturday!

SEPTEMBER 12, 2010

CAPITOL MALL, FRONT STREET AND SUTTERVILLE MONTHLY INSPECTIONS COMPLETE

Signal Maintainer Al gave Student Signal Maintainer Bill some reasons to do some thinking today as the two man crew did the Monthly Inspections of capitol Mall, Front Street and Sutterville Road.  Al usually asks some darn good questions when teamed up with a student and most of us that have had Al for an instructor really appreciate his thought provoking technique.  They had a good day.  All systems passed inspection.
 

AUGUST 31, 2010

JIM - OUR NEW CERTIFIED SIGNAL MAINTAINER

Student Signal Maintainer Jim is now a Certified SSRR Signal Maintainer.  Jim took the grueling five hour Certification Examination administered by the Signal Engineer today.  The first part of the examination is written and oral.  The second part is an in the field demonstration.  Afterward the examination Jim met with Railroad Operations Manage Dick to receive his keys and test shunt. Later this week he'll receive his Certification ID Card from the Manager of Track Programs John.  Congratulations Jim!!!!

AUGUST 29, 2010

ANNUAL TRAINING - TENTATIVE AGENDA ANNOUNCED BY SIGNAL TRAINER

Signal Trainer Paul has released a tentative agenda for Annual Training Day scheduled on September 18th.  Here are the titles of the proposed training modules:

Eric        -  "The Modern LED  -  All you need to know and then some"
Paul       -  "Wire Insulation through the ages"
Paul       -  "How to use the One Point Signal Procedure"
Al          -  "Correct Radio use during protection by Train Order"
Dale       -  "Safetran wire number system" or "Now where does that wire go?"
Dan        -  "History, purpose, intent and overlap of CPUC and FRA"
Chuck     -  "Electric Measurements Wheel"
Curt       -  "Coded track circuits"

There is also a proposal that we all take a trip to Q Street and R Street to discuss what was done right and what we done wrong.

See you there!

AUGUST 28, 2010

SIGNAL MAINTAINER/STEAM LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER AL'S - FIRST STEAM TRAIN

 

 

   !!!!!!!!!!!!WAY TO GO AL!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Signal Maintainer Al, who is also a locomotive engineer on the Sacramento Southern Railroad and had been a Diesel Locomotive Engineer for quite awhile and who had recently been promoted to Steam Locomotive Engineer (See June 24th New News) operated the Granit Rock 10 for the first time today as Excursion Train Engineer.  It was a smooth ride all the way..................  Al's family was on hand to cheer him on as well as the Road Foreman of Engines and his assistant (See the second photo from the left top row).  Good Job Al and Many More Rides!!!

AUGUST 25, 2010

JULY MONTHLY REPORT POSTED TO THE MIRRA MACHINE

The Signal Engineer has posted the July Monthly Report on the Mirra Machine.  Take a look at your leisure if you want to keep up to date.  You might find something you didn't know like as a group the Signal Department Crew volunteered a total of 268.25 hours in July!  That might be reaching the record number.  Thanks to everyone for all their hard work and fun work volunteering!!!!!!

AUGUST 21, 2010

AUGUST INSPECTIONS COMPLETED AT R STREET AND BROADWAY

The Signal Crew this day consisted of Paul as EIC and Student Signal Maintainer Marc.  Excursion Trains were in operation so Exclusive Track Occupancy On-Track Safety method was selected by Paul.  Both Grade Crossing Signal Systems passed inspection.  Job Well Done Paul and Marc!

AUGUST 17, 2010

Q STREET AND FRONT STREET MONTHLY INSPECTIONS COMPLETED

Signal Maintainer and EIC Al and Student Signal Maintainer Randy implemented the Monthly Inspection of the Q Street and Front Street Grade Crossing Signal Systems today.  Exclusive Track Occupancy was the On-Track Safety for the day and no trains were in operation.  Both Signal Systems passed inspections.  Way to go Al and Randy!

AUGUST 14, 2010

AUGUST MONTHLY INSPECTIONS COMPLETED AT CAPITOL MALL AND SUTTERVILLE ROAD

A Signal Crew consisting of Chuck as EIC and Student Signal Maintainers Bill and Joe competed the Monthly Inspections of Capitol Mall and Sutterville Road today.  First Chuck, to try to miss some of that mid Saturday vehicle traffic Sutterville Road is getting known for, elected to do Sutterville Road.  Good choice as the traffic these days, on Saturdays, often backs up across the grade crossing.  Then they moved to Capitol Mall.  Instead of using Exclusive Track Occupancy as their On-Track Safety Chuck elected to use Approach Warning.  This selection was selected after Signal Maintainer and Locomotive Engineer Al explained how busy a steam locomotive crew is upon leaving Old Town and how difficult it becomes to communicate with the Signal Crew EIC upon approaching Capitol Mall.  Approach Warning worked well as there were three crew members.  Both Grade Crossing Signal Systems passed inspections.  Good Job Crew!

JULY 28, 2010

JUNE MONTHLY REPORT POSTED TO THE MIRRA MACHINE

The Signal Engineer has posted the June Monthly Report on the Mirra Machine.  There is now a half year of 2010 Monthly Reports there.  We must be having a bunch of Fun because those months flew past and those reports all look the same.  Take a look.  You just might find something of interest.

JULY 20, 2010

NO CALLOUT CALLOUT! - CAPITOL MALL

Signal Maintainer Paul received a call from the Museum Director's office at 10:15 AM today with the report that the gates were going up and down at Capitol Mall but no trains were to be seen.  Paul called the Signal Engineer, per Regulations, for a Job/Safety Briefing and then attempted to contact the Tower Bridge Bridge Tender.  Bridge Tender did not answer phone.  Paul arrived at Capitol Mall at 10:48 AM with the Signal Engineer arriving shortly after.  After setting up Working Limits On-Track Safety Paul attempted to determine who called in the problem.  He was successful and after contacting them determined that the reported operations were simply Bridge Tender operations.  After contacting the Bridge Tender Paul validated that the person reporting the problem simply saw the Bridge Tender operating our system per normal and standard operating practices.  The crew then conducted a Warning System Test and left the crossing. 

JULY 16, 2010

SCHEDULER SCHEDULING AUGUST ASSIGNMENTS

Signal Department Scheduler Dave is out of town for a few days and has asked the Signal Engineer to request availabilities for August.  Please send your availability to the Signal Engineer - signalengineer@ssrrsignal.com.  Inspections are planned for weekends in August.  Tune up your Part 214 Exclusive Track Occupancy skills so you can once again harass the Operations Department Crew Dispatchers, Trainmasters, Conductors and Engine Crew!

JULY 15, 2010

JULY INSPECTIONS COMPLETED

A Signal Crew manned by Chuck, Paul, Joe, Randy and Dale did the Monthly and Quarterly Inspections today at Capitol Mall, Q Street, R Street, Broadway and Front Street.  It was a Hot day reaching 100 in the afternoon.  All inspections were completed and passed.  Light fixture alignments were required at Broadway.  A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter circuit breaker was replaced at Front Street (It would no longer trip).  I wonder what those guys are doing in the far left photo?  Great Job Crew!!!

JULY 12, 2010

STANDARD SPECIFICATION TYPE 8 REVISED

Standard Specification Type 8 has been revised again by Signal Maintainer/Project Manager Paul and Signal Engineer Dale.  The latest version is Version 002-001, Rev F.  A version specifically for use between Mile Posts 00.80 and 01.20 was also developed.  It is Version 002-001, Rev F, MP 00.80 to MP 01.20.  The mile post version contains special instructions for the next phases of the proposed Promenade Docks Projects being developed by the City of Sacramento.  Several questions arose during the construction of Phase I of the Docks Project in 2009 and 2010.  This revision accounts for and answers those questions.  Both versions have been posted to the Mirra Machine.  Take a look.  The miles post version has been submitted to SSRR/CSRM management for transmittal to the City of Sacramento Staff.

JULY MONTHLY AND QUARTERLY INSPECTIONS SCHEDULED

The July Monthly and Quarterly Inspections of Capitol Mall, Q Street, R, Street, Broadway and Front Street continues to be scheduled for Thursday, July 15th.  The Weather Bureau is currently predicting a high temperature in Sacramento that day of 99.  If you are scheduled to be on the crew that day be sure to drink plenty or fluids and keep yourself hydrated.  Check Calendar Tab for assignments.

JULY 4, 2010

FROM THE SSRR SIGNAL DEPARTMENT VOLUNTEERS:

GO RIDE A TRAIN TODAY!!

JULY 1, 2010

SUTTERVILLE ROAD REPAIRS MADE AND JULY MONTHLY COMPLETED

A Signal Crew consisting of Signal Maintainers Al (EIC) and Chuck, Student Signal Maintainers Bill, Joe and Randy and the Signal Engineer lurking around taking photos and watching the action managed to find the problem with the west bound gate mechanism (Crew on June 19th during Monthly Inspection found the WB Gate not wanting to clear), fix it and then while there implement the July Monthly Inspection today. EIC Al used the opportunity to conduct some wiring diagram and elementary trouble shooting training with the students.  They found the problem:  A loose terminal nut on terminal number 4 which was causing a high impedance in the power supply circuit to the motor.  The photo to the far left shows Al conducting in the field class.  The photo to the near left shows the Railroad Operations Manager Dick looking all dapper when he came by to provide the Job/Safety Briefing.  You usually don't see Dick out of uniform but he was headed off to some peepers appointment today.  Also in the photo, left to right, are Student Signal Maintainers Bill and Joe.  Monthly Inspection was implemented and passed.

JULY MONTHLY AND QUARTERLY INSPECTIONS SCHEDULED

Signal Department Scheduler Dave has set July15th as the date for inspections and July 25th as a possible back up date.  Signal Maintainers Chuck and Paul will be Employees In Charge and will setting up meeting times and crew assignments this month.  If you don't know your status contact Chuck or Paul.

JUNE 29, 2010

SUTTERVILLE ROAD REPAIRS SCHEDULED

Sutterville Road Signal Maintainer Al has scheduled the repairs of the west bound gate mechanism at Sutterville Road for Thursday morning July 1st.  During the Monthly Inspection on June 19th the crew found that the west bound mechanism would drop the gate but would not clear the gate when called to do so.  If you would like to participate and perhaps learn something about these Safetran mechanisms contact Al.

COPPER AND ALUMINUM SCRAP SCRAPPED

Many years ago Signal Maintainer Steve took several pounds of insulated wire home and in his spare time removed the insulation.  He then brought the copper back to the Signal Shop ready to scrap and it just waited until today.  The Signal Engineer and Signal Maintain Paul collected all the scrap copper and scrap aluminum in theh Signal Shop and transported it to the scrap metal company in the Richardsons area.  These days, by law, the scrap metal companies cannot make immediate payment.  Customers must wait three days for their payment.  This requirement is driven by the large number of copper thefts occurring through out the State.  The funds, almost $150, will be placed in the Signal Department fund.

JUNE 28, 2010

REVISED SIGNAL MAINTAINER'S LOG AVAILABLE

Thanks to Signal Maintainer and Forms Maker Dave our Signal Maintainer's Log form has been revised to include DOT and PUC numbers for Q Street and R Street.  The Signal Engineer has posted the revised form, Revision 007, to the Mirra Machine (in the SSRR Forms and Lists folder) and in The Office section of this Web Site.  Down load your copy now for use in the future.  Thank You Dave!!!

JUNE 24, 2010

SIGNAL MAINTAINER AL IN "NEW NEWS" AGAIN

SIGNAL MAINTAINER AL PROMOTED TO SSRR ENGINEER (STEAM)

During the Railroad Operations Manager's Bimonthly Management Advisory Committee Meeting this evening Road Foreman of Engines Red announced the promotion of Signal Department member Al to Steam Locomotive Engineer.  Al, who is a Signal Maintainer is also a Brakeman, a Fireman, a Trainmaster and Diesel Locomotive Engineer.  Congratulations Al!!

POLAR EXPRESS SCHEDULE FOR 2010 RELEASED - ARE YOU READY!?!

During Railroad Operation Manager Dick's Bimonthly Management Advisory Committee Meeting this evening Ms. Delta from the CSRM Foundation provided a status update on Polar Express planning and organizing.  There are two major changes planned this year.  The first is the schedule.  There will be eighteen operation days instead of twelve.  The first day of operation will be the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 26th.  Yes.  That is correct.  No Santa Trains this year.  Operations will continue that weekend with operations on the 27th and the 28th.  December operations will commence on December 1st, a Wednesday.  Instead of only operating four days a week we will operate five days a week.  So operations will be on November 26, 27 & 28 and December 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 - 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.  The departure times will begin 30 minutes later than last year.  Departures will now be 3:30 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:30 PM and 8:00 PM.  The second major change is in the way tickets are sold.  Ticket sales will be handled by a contractor.  Tickets will also be sold by car so that passengers will already know which car they will be riding within.  This means "No More Boarding Passes!!"  Yahoo!  How the tickets will be collected and how passengers will be "Qued" for boarding is yet to be determined.  The increase in the number of trains and days of operation is an effort to try to accommodate the demand from the public.  The departure time change is being made so that three, not two, trains will be after night fall.   Selling tickets by car is being done in an effort to streamline the boarding process and reduce the waiting in line experience.  Other changes are being contemplated including the improvement of the "North Pole".  If you have any ideas regarding Polar Express contact Ms. Delta in the Foundation office.  Not addressed was: How are we going to find sufficient personnel to volunteer to fill all the necessary job assignments for 16 days?  Keep in mind that Polar Express operations are during the busy holiday season; The departure time is 1/2 hour later which will get volunteers home later, way after 9:00 PM for most; Operations are five days a week out of seven instead of four.  The Signal Engineer is interested in your thoughts on how to motivate volunteers to sign up for Polar Express.  Contact him at signalengineer@ssrrsignal.com

OUT AGAIN - IN AGAIN - STEVE IS BACK ALREADY!

The Signal Engineer met with Ex-Signal Maintainer Steve today, at La Bou by South Land Park Drive Grade Crossing, so that his two-way radio and signal keys could be handed back in.  Steve is currently attending Railroad College and will complete his course work in December.  At that time, depending on where his railroad career might take him, he may or may not be able to continue to reside in the Sacramento area.  Much of his course work is in the railroad rules arena.  Having to memorize and know most of the new GCOR.  Because of this knowledge, Steve has or will have, the Signal Engineer, being the sly dog that he is and after weakening him with a giant blueberry muffin, suggested to Steve that he may continue with the Signal Department as a Signal Associate.  The Signal Engineer is please to announce that Steve has accepted a position as a Signal Associate.  As a Signal Associate Steve will review and edit, as his limited time allows, some of the rewritten Signal Department Regulations and associated SOPs.  Welcome back Steve!  

Note - The Signal Department Position Description for Signal Associate has been posted on the Mirra Machine in the Folder titled SSRR Position Descriptions.

JUNE 20, 2010

SIGNAL MAINTAINER STEVE RESIGNS FROM THE SIGNAL DEPARTMENT


Signal Maintainer Steve on the Job March 18, 2010

Signal Maintainer Steve, who joined the Signal Department in 2003 and Certified as Signal Maintainer in March 2004, has reluctantly requested resignation from the Signal Department.  Steve is currently attending school and plans to change career paths and become a railroad industry employee.  All this studying and associated activities caused his decision.  Could volunteering on the SSRR have anything to do with Steve's new career choice?  Although we will miss Steve working with us on Signal Department activities we'll still get to work with Steve because he plans to continue his volunteering in the Operations Department!  May The Force Be With You Steve!!!

JUNE 19, 2010

JUNE MONTHLY INSPECTIONS COMPLETED

Two Signal Department Crews completed Monthly Inspection of six crossing systems today despite delays.  Two Crews, one with Dave as EIC and Marc and Al doing the grunt work and the other with Chuck as EIC and Bill doing the dirty stuff got off to a good start at the Signal Shop.  Upon arriving at the Crew Center for Train Orders and Briefing, however, the signal activities became delayed.  Apparently when the Trainmaster and Crew Dispatcher arrived at the Crew Center that morning the Dispatcher's computer was missing.  All documents normally developed with the computer had to then be developed by hand.  So even though the crews reported at 9:00 AM inspections did not begin until after 11:00 PM.   All systems passed inspections except Sutterville Road.  The A-Gate at Sutterville Road failed to clear during testing.  Lacking time for repairs the failed gate was reported to the Signal Engineer and the system was taken out of service (which is the normal status for Sutterville Road).  Repairs will be scheduled.  Thanks to all the Crew Members working today!!!

AL IS BACK!!!!!!

Signal Maintainer Al was back on the job today after having broken his arm on June 9th.  It was great to see Al as he was helping out on one of the Monthly Inspection Crews today.  Wow!  That's fast healing Al....  Way to go!!!

 

JUNE 15, 2010

JUNE MONTHLY INSPECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY THE 19TH - VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

The June inspections scheduled for Saturday the 19th is still a go even though one scheduled crew with Signal Maintainer Al as EIC will not be available.  We will still have two crews scheduled as Signal Maintainer Dave has volunteered to EIC the second crew.  So far, however, he'll be working Lone Worker unless we can find additional volunteers.  If you are not scheduled and are available please contact Dave.

CHP CALLOUT LIST ADDED TO WEBSITE

The Signal Department CHP Callout List, which indicates to CHP Dispatchers which Signal Maintainer to call in the event of an Emergency Callout, has been posted to this website by the Signal Engineer.  Click on The Office button and then on Signal Department Forms and Lists.  Note:  The CHP Callout List will soon be revised with the addition of Q Street and R Street crossings.

UPDATE ON REORGANIZATION

The Director of Railroad Operations Alan reports that efforts to fill the positions of Chief Mechanical Officer and Assistant Railroad Operations Manager are "Pending".

JUNE 10, 2010

SIGNAL MAINTAINER AL INJURED (NOT ON THE JOB)

Those of us that know Al knew it had something to do with a piece of machinery...., and yes it did!  While helping a friend remove tree stumps Al, operating an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle), had an accident.  Something let loose and the ATV rolled over backwards and fell upon him breaking both bones in his right forearm (According to Signal Maintainer Steve the ulna and the radius [Steve taught anatomy lab in a previous life]).  Al was taken to the Sutter Roseville Hospital for repairs and that evening during surgery had one bone repaired with one screw and the other with a metal splice plate and several more screws!  He came home today and feels pretty good and still plans to go to San Jose, by train, tomorrow to visit his daughters family.  Boy Al!  No more of this stuff!  Okay??

JUNE 5, 2010

FIRST SCHEDULED TRAIN THROUGH Q STREET AND R STREET SYSTEMS

On June 5th at about 11:08 AM the first scheduled SSRR train moved through the new Q Street and R Street crossings.  No problems.  Everything works correctly.  In the fifth photo from the left is Signal Maintainer Paul as Brakeman on the Operations Crew!  Paul was the SSRR Signal Department Project Manager providing the interface between the Signal Department and the City's General Contractor for the River Promenade Project.  Great Job Paul!!!!

JUNE 2, 2010

THE CITY OF SACRAMENTO CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF THE NEWEST SECTION OF PROMENADE

(All photos by Signal Maintainer Paul)

The City of Sacramento formally opened the new Phase II section of the River Promenade today.  SSRR WP 913 was used as a backdrop to provide some color to the gathering of City and State Parks staff as well as well wishers and the curious.  SSRR 2030 was commandeered to shove a short train from Old Town to Q Street with passengers picked up about "L" Street.  While picking up passengers at "L" Street the train was in the Capitol Mall north approach.  Since this would hold the Capitol Mall gates down Signal Maintainer Paul used the Cut-Out Switch to temporarily take the system out of service.  After arriving at Q Street the passengers disembarked and toured the new Promenade area and several City and State Parks employees provided entertainment in the form of talking and ribbon cutting.  In the first photo on the left is Operations Department member Leonard and Shops Department member Al standing next to the Q Street Instrument Case.  The R Street Instrument Case with SSRR WP 913 in the background is shown in the photo on the right.  In the sixth photo from the left is the Promenade Construction General Contractor's (Flintco) Project Supervisor John who cooperated so well with Signal Department and Operations Departments personnel during the construction of the project.  Thanks John!  First scheduled trains through the new crossings will be June 5th.

JUNE 1, 2010

Q AND R STREETS SYSTEMS IN SERVICE

Both the Q Street and the R Street Warning Systems were placed in operation this day by Railway Signal Construction.  The City's contractor has completed the construction and has also removed the temporary construction fence that had been protecting the project property.  Pedestrians may now move through the Promenade area from Capitol Mall to Broadway.  The new section of Promenade ends at R Street and from there south the original path remains.

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NO NEW NEWS UPDATES 03-15-2010 TO 05-31-2010 DUE TO SIGNAL ENGINEER HIATUS

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MARCH 13, 2010

!!!!2030 MOVES ACROSS SUTTERVILLE ROAD!!!

 

Behold!!  It has been a long time since the SSRR has moved a full size locomotive across Sutterville Road and that move was made today!!!

At the request of the Signal Department, the Maintenance of Way Department has been planning to remove the pampas grass plants growing in the right of way south of the South Land Park Drive Grade Crossing so that the signal crew can inspect bond wires and complete the required Quarterly Inspections.  The plan has been to pull out the pampas grass plants with a large tractor, load them on to a gondola and move them to the shops yard where they can be disposed of.  Until today the plan has not been approved by CSRM management.  Approval, however, was made last week and today the plan was all action.  Moving the train through the Sutterville Road North Approach provided the Signal Department an actual live test of the Grade Crossing Predictor system which up until today was only tested with a shunt.  The GCP went as many tests go (As Signal Maintainer Paul has described) from Euphoria to Despair, back to Euphoria and again to Despair.  The train was sensed by the system when it moved into the approach.  Then it didn't.  Then it did.  Then it didn't again.  This is how a system such as this behaves when the rails are too rusty to provide good electrical contact.  The 2030 was moved back and forth through the approach and across the grade crossing several times in an effort of break down the rust barrier.  Although the system became less erratic it still would not and does not operate reliably.   The gondola was left between Sutterville Road and South Land Park Drive and the 2030 moved home.  On Wednesday the Operations crew will bring a locomotive to the gondola and take it to the shop area for dumping.  The Signal crew will assist that day with manual gate operation.  The crew, comprised of Signal Maintainers Chuck, Dave and Steve (returning as student from leave of absence), Student Signal Maintainers Marc, Jim and Bill, Signal Maintainer and EIC Al (Who kept the Signal work interesting) and Signal Engineer Dale, also did the Monthly Inspection today and the system passed (with a shunt).

Here are some addition photos taken today.  More on the Mirra Machine.

 

 

 

MARCH 12, 2010

Q AND R STREET STATUS REPORT

Although it was raining quite vigorously today the Signal Crew from Railway Signal Construction (RSC) was at Q Street an R Street putting some of the final wiring in place.  Owner of RSC, Don, indicated that they plan to have both systems in operation by next Friday March 19th.  The rest of the project seems to be coming to a completion point too as the landscaping is about done and the misting art structure is in place.  Project completion date is scheduled for March 31st.  An opening celebration is scheduled by the City for April 22nd.  Mark your calendars and be sure to be there.

MARCH 11, 2010

SIGNAL CREW ASSISTS MOW VEGETATION ABATEMENT

The MOW Vegetation Abatement Program and it's Chief Weeder, Mike, was again assisted by an all Signal Department Member Crew today.  Signal crew members Al, Joe and Dale assisted.  Mike was EIC and provided directions and....... met with the Sacramento County inspector who was observing the operation today.  We passed the County inspection.  Last time in the area spraying weeds the crew sprayed from MP 10.1 to MP 14.0.  At 14.0 there is a fence across the right of way to keep a sheep farms sheep from straying away.  The far end of the sheep area is at MP 14.8 where there is another fence across the right of way.  Negotiations were made and the crew was allowed to cut the fence to allow the on rail equipment to pass through and then the fence was mended.  At MP 14.0 the fence was cut and mended and at MP 14.8 the fence was laid down and moved across and then placed back in its original vertical position.  The sheep farmer is raising "organic" sheep and asked that Roundup, which is used to remove the weeds, not be used between MP 14.0 to MP 14.8.  SSRR MOW agreed and did not spray in that area.  In return the sheep farmer will move the sheep to the right of way area in an effort to encourage the sheep to eat the weeds there.  Weed spraying, then, was only done between MP 14.8 and 15.4.  End of line is MP 15.56.  Between MP 15.4 and MP 15.56 there are several beds of California Poppys and they are not sprayed.  Although only 0.6 mile of right of way was sprayed it took all day.  Both the demonstrations for the County inspector and all the fence mending and the fact we had to motor all the way to the end of the line used up a lot of the productive time available.  Chief Weeder was very happy, however, and that is what counts!!  Good Going Crew!!

MARCH 8, 2010

SUTTERVILLE ROAD CLEAN UP ---- IF ALL GOES AS PLANNED???

Hold on to your hard hats MOW thinks they are going to receive approval to take a locomotive across Sutterville Road!  That's right.  We are hoping we get approval to move a locomotive and a car to haul debris across Sutterville Road this next Saturday, March 13th.  A Signal Crew will be involved to manually operate the Sutterville Road Warning System.  We can also be involved in helping MOW clean up the area and be a part of their team.  Their work will certainly help the Signal Department because if all goes as planned the pampas grass plants will be gone and we can do a Quarterly Inspection of the system and perhaps certify it.  We don't know the timing and particulars yet but if you want to be involved let the Signal Engineer and Signal Maintainer Al know.  We, hopefully, will get to observe the GCP operation, if it does, and see if it really works with a train in the approach.  Check out MOW Updates by clicking Mow Updates for March 8th on the left of the page.  Come on out and be a part of the MOW Team!

CAPITOL MALL PROJECT - COMPLETE ALMOST?

The Signal Engineer has received word from the Railroad Operations Manager that the parts (first ordered February 2009) to complete the Capitol Mall Project to install the new Instrument Cabinet have arrived.  There are still a few things on the punch list to complete.  Any Signal Department Volunteer is welcome to volunteer to help get this done.  Contact Signal Maintainer Paul

MARCH 7, 2010

STEAMFEST II COMING TO NILES CANYON RAILWAY

Steamfest II at Niles Canyon Railway is scheduled for Saturday March 20th and Sunday 21st.  The SSRR GR10 will be there along with Chris Baldo's Mason County Logging #7, NCRy Quincy Railroad #2 and NCRy Robert Dollar #3.  On the 20th two Photography Special Trains will operate - Click HERE for details.  On the 21st Public Trains will be operated - Click HERE for details.  Also check out the Niles Canyon Railway and the Niles Canyon Railway Signal Department web sites for more information.  You can there by clicking Web Links on the left of this page. 

CAL POLY PRESENTS - AL SMITH DAY AT THE SWANTON PACIFIC RANCH & RAILROAD

On April 11th California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and the Swanton Pacific Ranch & Railroad will provide their annual train rides and BBQ to honor Al Smith the man who created and then donated the ranch and railroad to Cal Poly.  Al Smith was an ex Southern Pacific employee who was injured on the job and could not continue to work for the railroad.  After leaving the SP in 1944 he went to Cal Poly and earned a degree in Crop Science and a teaching credential eventually receiving his masters degree from Cal Poly in 1956.  He was involved in his families business, Orchard Supply Hardware in San Jose and eventually worked there full time leading the company.  In 1979 the company was sold and Al retired to the ranch and the railroad.  He built the Swanton Pacific Ranch and Railroad and in 1993, upon his death, left both to Cal Poly.  The locomotives used at the ranch are the brothers (or sisters as you see fit) of the locomotive sitting in the lobby of the CSRM which was donated to the museum by Al Smith.  For more information about the rolling stock history click HERE.  For information on the upcoming Al Smith Day click HERE.  See you there??????????

MARCH 6, 2010

RADIO SECTION - GETS IT DONE!

A Radio Section Crew consisting of Signal Maintainer's Al and Dave installed a DC to DC Converter in the 2030 to provide DC power to the mobile radio in the cab.  The Operations Department has been having problems starting the 2030 because with the mobile radio on when the battery bus was energized the 2030's ground fault relay would trip.  The Radio Section Crew traced this to antenna which is grounded to the locomotive frame.  Since the antenna must be grounded another fix needed to be developed and they selected to isolate the radio with a DC to DC Converter.  The input to the converter is connected to the 72 Volt battery bus.  The output of 12 Volts DC is cabled directly to the radio.  The converter is a Mean Well SD-150C-12.  It is rated 150 watts which is 12.5 amperes output at the 12 Volt output voltage (Actual adjustable voltage output range is 11 to 16VDC).  You can see from the photos at the left the crew did a real nice job of install.  Dave made a file that labels the parts.  Click here to see it.  You can also see the other vintage 2030 electrical system parts.............  Way to Go Al and Dave!!!
 

MARCH 5 1/2, 2010

JUST FOR SIGNAL NERDS FROM THE BIG BANG THEORY!

If you are a SSRR Volunteer Signal Department member you are either a Nerdy Type person or one close to it (I wear the title as a badge of honor).  Since you are Nerdy you probably watch "The Big Bang Theory" if you watch Sitcoms.  The next time you do record it.  Then at the end of the program go to super slow mode and you will see for a very brief moment a written statement covering the whole screen.  I have noticed them at the end of several other programs too over the last few years.  Tonight I was watching "The Big Bang Theory" which I had recorded Monday.  At the end, of course, was the written statement.  I have tried to read them previously and thought they were very well written but could not see the complete screen because the DVR places a green line to indicate time and usage across part of the screen.  What I did notice was at the top there is a title.  I simply had not paid any attention before.  The title was Chuck Lorre Productions #279.  I went to Google and as I started to type in the complete title all the different #s of Chuck Lorre Productions started to be shown.  I clicked on Chuck Lorre Productions #279 and there it was.  I could read the whole thing.  And.....  beside it on the screen is a list of all the #s.  If you check this out, that is if you are Nerdy enough and proud of it, click on #001.  #001 explains what I suppose this person Chuck Lorre is doing...........  Nerds Rule!!!!!

MARCH 5, 2010

MARCH INSPECTIONS SCHEDULED

Scheduler Dave has made the inspection assignments for March:
March 18th:  Capitol Mall and Sutterville Road - Signal Maintainer Chuck (EIC) and Signal Maintainer Steve (As Student/Returning from Leave)
March 18th:  Broadway and Front Street - Signal Maintainer Paul (EIC) and Student Signal Maintainer Jim
In case of poor weather Dave has pre-scheduled a back-up date as follows:
March 21st:  Capitol Mall and Sutterville Road - Signal Maintainer Al (EIC) and Signal Maintainer Steve (As Student/Returning from Leave)
March 21st:  Broadway and Front Street - Signal Maintainer Paul (EIC) and Student Signal Maintainer Jim

Thanks Dave!

ANNUAL SIGNAL SHOP DAY REMINDER

Make sure your calendar is marked for Saturday, April 17th as Signal Shop Day and Annual Group Photo Day.  There are plenty of things to do around the Signal Shop and it really needs a scrubbing.  We also need a new Group Photo.  We didn't get one in 2009 and it would not be good for the Railroad History Foamers 100 years from now if we missed two years in a row.  Please try to make sure you can attend and for those of you on the Operations Crew be sure to lay off.

MARCH 4, 2010

REORGANIZATION - NO NEW NEWS OF CONSEQUENCE

This evening Railroad Operations Manager Dick held a special meeting of the SSRR Management "Advisory" Committee in an effort to provide additional details to the committee about the recent reorganization.  Besides almost a full compliment of committee members in attendance was newly appointed Director of Railroad Operations, Alan.  The Museum Director, Paul, could not attend as originally advertized.  The anticipated announcement of the yet to be named people to fill three open spots on the new organization chart did not happen.  These positions are:  "Training", "Chief Mechanical Officer" and "Assistant Railroad Operations Manager".  Some additional information of interest was provided, however, that may be of interest to Signal Department Volunteers.  The committee was reminded that the committee is only an "advisory" committee.  It is not a decision making body.  The committee was founded by the then General Manager (Changed to Railroad Operations Manager) as a committee to provide information and make recommendations to the General Manger.  This information as well as the recommendations is used by the Railroad Operations Manager to make decisions regarding the operation of the railroad.  Another informative disclosure was that the position of Trainer was not properly described on the organization chart.  The title is actually "Training and Regulatory Compliance".  It was not indicated if the title of the position name ends in "Clerk", Technician", "Associate" or "Trainer".  (Perhaps it should be "Regulatory Compliance Trainer".)  Just exactly what the persons assignment will be was not articulated except that they will help assure that the SSRR is in compliance with FRA Regulations.  More information to come in the future...........

MARCH 2, 2010

THE REST OF THE REORGANIZATION STORY WILL BE ANNOUNCED

Railroad Operations Manager Dick has invited all SSRR Management Committee members to a special meeting scheduled for this coming Thursday evening.  The purposed of the meeting is so that the Museum Director, Paul, and Director of Railroad Operations, Alan, can "address the group again and answer questions that went unanswered" at the meeting on February 18th.  There are three positions on the new organization chart that need to have volunteer or paid staff names associated with them, hopefully, Thursday evening.  Those positions are:  "Training", "Chief Mechanical Officer" and "Assistant Railroad Operations Manager".  A lot can happen in two weeks and many of the technical and logistic type questions that had not originally been addressed will probably be explained and laid out as well.   Stay tuned..........

MARCH 1, 2010

THIS WEB SITE HAS BEEN REVISED A LITTLE.............

The New News section of this web site now only has articles about 2010.  The 2008 and 2009 New News articles that were in this section are now in the Archives.  You can get to the Archives by clicking on the Achive Button to the left of the page or by scrolling to the bottom of this section and clicking on the appropriate "Click Here" area.

FEBRUARY 27, 2010

INTERESTED IN A SCHEDULED SHOP DAY?

The Signal Engineer sent, by email, a request to all Department Members asking for volunteers to work in the shop on a weekly, bi-weekly, or some other on-going basis.  The Signal Shop needs to by tidied up a bit before being moved (due the renovation of the shops that we think we start this year) and there are a few shop projects that can be implemented.  If you are interested and are not a member of the Signal Department but would like to volunteer please contact the Signal Engineer:  signalengineer@ssrrsignal.com.

FEBRUARY 26, 2010

STUDENTS RECEIVE 4-YEAR RELAY TEST TRAINING AS BROADWAY XR RELAY REPLACED

The Signal Engineer, having been called out to Broadway with gates down only to find the test switch on the XR Relay sticking open more than once issued a repair order to have the relay replaced.  This presented a perfect opportunity for Signal Maintainer Dave to provide some 4-Year Relay Test training to two of our student crew members.  The crew today consisted of Signal Maintainer Dave and Student Signal Maintainers Jim and Joe.  The training was conducted in the Signal Shop/Office as shown in the photos above.  A relay with the correct characteristics was located in our stash and tested several times.  The crew then went to Broadway and replaced the existing XR Relay with the new one.   A Job/Safety Briefing was provided by the Railroad Operations Manager Dick and a Warning System Test was conducted.  The relay worked fine and the system was placed in operation.  Thanks Dave, Jim and Joe!!!  The Signal Engineer is very appreciative......

FEBRUARY 25, 2010

CAPITOL MALL & SUTTERVILLE ROAD MONTHLY INSPECTIONS COMPLETED

A Signal Crew consisting of Signal Maintainer Paul acting as EIC along with Signal Maintainer Chuck and Student Signal Maintainer Randy conducted the Monthly Inspections for February at Capitol Mall and Sutterville Road today.  Both systems passed.  Good Job Men!

SIGNAL DEPARTMENT TAKES OVER WEED ABATEMENT?

The MOW Weed Abatement Team sprayed the Main Line from MP 10.00 to MP 14.00 today.  The crew comprised of MOW Weed Killer Mike, and three Signal Department members; Al, Joe and Dale.  As can be seen in the photos on the left the weeds have been growing well and aggressively.  The crew started out on a slow track as the spray pump engine, although agreeing to start, didn't want to continue running.  Student Signal Maintainer Joe, a man of tools, dismantled some the engine parts and found a deteriorated fiber mass within the fuel tank which had begun to disintegrate.  He removed the mass and cleaned the area as much as possible.  The engine finally kept running and did so except for one episode during the afternoon.  Mike, our EIC, had to leave for SHMBO reasons at 1400 hours and so instead of annulling the operation Student Signal Maintainer Joe volunteered to become a Herbicide Applicator.  During a long lunch Mike gave Joe the necessary training.  After lunch and before Mike had to leave he taught Joe how to handle the application equipment.  Upon Mike's leaving, Signal Maintainer Al (Who has been an applicator for many years) was appointed EIC and took over direction of the operation.  A briefing was held and the crew consisting of all Signal Department members completed the weed abatement.  Thus, you see, the Signal Department took over weed abatement for awhile. 

FEBRUARY 23, 2010

Q STREET AND R STREET HAVE BEEN MOVED!

Signal Associate Dan has moved Q Street and R Street!  In a recent meeting the Signal Engineer expressed to Dan that the Mile Post numbers being used to generate the CPUC numbers for those crossings were not correct.  The City of Sacramento had erroneously given the incorrect Mile Post number to the CPUC a few years ago when the City constructed a bicycle and pedestrian crossing which is being replaced by the Q Street Grade Crossing.  The number used was MP 00.75.  Well.  Dan says; "I can fix that!  What are the actual numbers?"  (He also explained that normally numbers to the tenth of a mile are used if there are no other Grade Crossings near, however, if other Grade Crossings are near then the numbers used are to the hundredths.)  So the Signal Engineer, using the MOW Track Chart, determined that Q Street is actually very close to MP 00.69 and R Street is very close to MP 00.74.  Dan, who has been in contact with the CPUC employees developing the approval documents, will contact them and give them MP 00.69 for Q Street and MP 00.74 for R Street (Which up to now have been MP 00.75 and MP 00.80 respectively).  Big Thank You to Dan for moving Q Street and R Street and putting them where they belong!!

Q STREET AND R STREET PROJECT STATUS REPORT

The Signal Contractor, Railway Signal Construction (RSC), is back in full force at the Q Street and R Street Project.  On Saturday, February 20th a crew of four was found pulling in all the underground conductors.  They were working on Saturday because the area is small and currently a large crew of landscapers are working in the area on weekdays.  To avoid conflicts RSC chose to work on Saturday.  The Signal Instrument Cases are in place, however, RSC continues to wait for delivery of some equipment that is to be installed within them.  The official completion date is March 31, 2010.  Let's hope those materials arrive on time.  RSC owner, Don, told the Signal Engineer that if the equipment does not arrive in time that he is preparing a backup plan to temporarily complete the Case wiring and place the systems in operation.  Looking Good!!!!!!!!!!!  (Anyone see anyone they know in the photos??)

MOTORIST CAN AGAIN SEE THE EB FLASHING LIGHTS AT CAPITOL MALL

Thanks to Signal Associate Dan motorist can again observe the mast mounted East Bound Flashing Light Fixtures at Capitol Mall.  It all really started in early 2008 when the City of Sacramento installed the sign seen in the two photos shown here on the far left.  The sign blocks the view of the Flashing Light Fixtures by vehicle drivers approaching the Grade Crossing from the west as they come across the bridge.  This was done during the project to widen the sidewalks on the bridge.  The new Signal System was placed in operation in October 2008 and when certified the sign location was not noticed.  One year later, during the Annual Inspection, the Signal Engineer noticed the conflict and notified the City, requesting the City to lower the sign or remove it.  Nothing was done.  Finally, in early January, the Signal Engineer asked Signal Associate Dan if he would contact the City and see if he could find someone to get it relocated.  As you can see, in the two photos in the near left, he was successful!  The City did not remove or lower the sign; they raise it.  It is a little bent and leaning but probably does the job.  As we all know motorist always stop there on Red.........  Thanks Dan.  Good Work!!!

GRADE CROSSING STANDARD TYPE 8 SPECIFICATION REVISED

Signal Maintainer Paul and the Signal Engineer have revised the Grade crossing Standard Specification for Standard Type 8 and it has been posted to the Mirra Machine.  The folder is titled SSRR Signal Standards.  Three files are in the folder:  1 - The original Standard Type 8 Version 001-002, Revision F, 2 - New Standard Type 8 Version 002-001, Revision E, and 3 - New Standard 8 Version 002-001, Revision E - RED which shows the revisions from the first release to the second release in red so you can find the revisions easily.  Check it out and get up to speed on these specifications.  The new revision has been forwarded to the State Parks Architect for forwarding to the City of Sacramento.  The City, in turn, will use them in their development of the plans and specifications for the S Street and T Street Grade Crossing Warning Systems.  These two new Grade Crossing will be constructed during Phase II of the Promenade Docks Project currently in preliminary design.  The project is projected to begin construction sometime in 2012.  [For reference see January 2, 2009 New News below.]

FEBRUARY 22, 2010

OUR CHUCK CHECKS OUT FREIGHT MOVES NOW

Signal Maintainer Chuck who had been promoted to Passenger Train Conductor last October (See October 22, 2009 below) has now been promoted to SSRR Freight Conductor.  Chuck joined the Signal Department Crew in January 2005.  Besides being a conductor and a Brakeman and a Signal Maintainer he is currently working on the Signal Department Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).  Congratulations Chuck!!!!! 

 

27TH ANNUAL DOCENT BANQUET DATE RESCHEDULED

It appears that the Annual Docent Banquet day has been moved to a new date.  New News reported on January 20th that it was scheduled for Saturday, May 8th this year.  Today's issue of the Inside Track advertizes it will be held on Friday, May 7th.  Mark your calendars with a pencil..................

SIGNAL MAINTAINER PAUL BECOMES A TOUR GUIDE AT THE CSRM

Also announced in today's Inside Track:  Our Guy Paul has completed the extensive training to become a Tour Guide within the Museum and has earned his Tour Guide Card or Badge or Bar (Not sure what).  Paul joined the Signal Department in January 2003 and became a Signal Maintainer in 2004.  Paul is a Signal Department Project Manager working on three Capitol Mall projects and the Q/R Street Project.  He is also a Car Attendant and a Brakeman in the Operations Department.  Way to Go Paul!!!  Congratulations!!!!

RULES CLASS ON MARCH 6TH ANNULLED

The Operating and Safety Rules Training class and examination scheduled for Saturday, March 6th at 1:00 PM has been annulled.  An additional class has been added on Saturday, March 27th starting at 9:00 AM.  There are three sessions offered:  Saturday, March 20th at 1:00 PM, Saturday, March 27th at 9:00 AM and Wednesday, March 31st at 6:00 PM.  All classes will be held in the Stanford Gallery.  All Signal Maintainers and various Signal Department personnel must take the class and pass the associated examination to stay certified in their positions.  If you cannot attend any of the offered classes and need to to stay current contact the SSRR Railroad Operations Manager.

FEBRUARY 21, 2010

REORGANIZATION UPDATE

The Maintenance Of Way (MOW) Management Team which consisted of Chris, John and Sandy, all with the title (As shown on Timetable 15) "managers, Track Programs", have been split up and reassigned.  Chris is now the Manager of Maintenance Of Way, John is the Manager of Track Programs and Sandy will be on Special Assignment.  The Manager of Maintenance, Chris and the Signal Engineer will report to John the Manager of Track Programs.  No other unfilled assignments on the new organization chart have been announced.

Signal Department Personnel:  Go to "The Office" on this web site (requires your user ID and password) for further details.

FEBRUARY 18, 2010

THE SSRR HAS REORGANIZED

During the bimonthly Management Committee Meeting that was held this evening the Museum Director announced a reorganization of the reporting structure of the various departments of the SSRR.  The Director explained that because of the wide span of areas that his responsibilities have begun to encompass he is not able to put quality time into his management role in the SSRR.  Because of that a new management position and level of management within the organization has been developed.  The new position is titled "Director of Railroad Operations" and reports directly to the Museum Director.  The Director of Railroad Operations will have five directly reporting personnel.  The title of these positions are:  Technical Support, Training, Chief Mechanical Officer, Manager of Track Programs and Railroad Operations Manager (formally Manager of Railroad Operations [formally General Manager]).  The Signal Engineer now reports to the Manager of Track Programs instead of the Manager of Railroad Operations. 

Signal Department Personnel:  Go to "The Office" on this web site (requires your user ID and password) for further details.

SIGNAL CREW COMPLETES MONTHLY INSPECTIONS AT BROADWAY AND FRONT STREET

A crew consisting of Signal Engineer Dale and Student Signal Maintainer Marc completed the Monthly Inspections at Broadway and Front Street today.  No problems were found and the systems passed the inspections.

JANUARY 22, 2010

FINAL PART 214 TRAINING TOMORROW!!

The Final Annual Part 214 Roadway Worker Safety Training session is tomorrow beginning at 9:00 AM in the East Theater at CSRM.  If you didn't make it to the first session on January 13th then you must take this one.  If you want to work on the line you must take Part 214 Training!

JANUARY 21, 2010

SIGNAL DEPARTMENT MEETS WITH SSRR SOP ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Signal Engineer Dale, and Signal Maintainers Al and Chuck met with SSRR Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Advisory Committee members Chuck, Glenn and Ken to make the official start of the development of SOPs for the Signal Department.  The SSRR plans to create a large document made of SOPs from all the SSRR Departments.  There will be several sections to that document with Section 14 being the Signal Department section.  The first effort for us will be to develop a road map for ourselves.  That road map will be, essentially, a list of sub-sections within Section 14 of the SSRR SOP.  From that list of sub-sections we hope to be able to make a list of all the Signal SOPs that must be developed.  Sounds like fun doesn't it?  Chuck volunteered to draft the first road map and we'll go from there.  Any Signal Department crew member or any other friend of the Signal Department that would like to participate in this glorious exercise please contact the Signal Engineer. 

JANUARY 20, 2010

27 TH ANNUAL DOCENT BANQUET DATE ANNOUNCED

Check your calendars!  The CSRM Annual Docent Recognition Banquet is not on the last Friday in April as originally anticipated.  Instead it is scheduled for Saturday, May 8th this year.  Be sure to leave the date open so you can attend.  Remember last year the McKeen Award was awarded to Fred and Al?  That means we'll all get to watch and hear Signal Department crew member Al introduce this years awardee.  If you are interested in helping on the banquet committee contact the All Aboard Desk.

JANUARY 18, 2010

SIGNAL STUDY COMPLETED FOR EXTENSION OF CLUNIE TO MILLER

CSRM management requested an expedited study be conducted by Signal Department personnel to determine the scope of work and budget estimate for signal work required at Broadway and Front Street if the Clunie Siding is extended to the Miller Siding.  This idea, of course, would double track both of those grade crossings.  The study was started on January 14th and completed on January 18th by Signal crew members Dale and Paul.  The study determined that the case, masts and electrical power service at Broadway could remain and will not be required to be relocated.  At Front Street, however, a new electrical service will be required as well as new masts and case.  Extensive civil work will be necessary at Front Street to provide a foundation for the west bound mast.  For additional information contact either Dale or Paul.

JANUARY 16, 2010

SIGNAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETS

The Signal Department Advisory Committee (Al, Chuck, Dale, Dave & Paul) met this morning.  There were 23 items on the agenda and very few received discussion and only one got a definite decision.  The one item of decision:  We want to go back to the Aviator's Restaurant for the Annual Dinner this year.  Because of the lack of progress the committee, which was on a three month meeting cycle, decided to meet bi-monthly.  The next meeting will be in March.  Several of the committee members have a lot of home work to do between now and then.

JANUARY 14, 2010

ANNUAL MOW PART 214 TRAINING WELL ATTENDED

A large group of SSRR crew members, including ten members of the Signal Department, attended the first session of MOW's Annual Part 214 Roadway Worker Safety Training last night.  There were three training modules on the agenda: Harassment Training, Weed Patrol Training and Part 214 Training.  The Weed Patrol module was a great PowerPoint presentation provided by Vegetation Control EIC Mike (See August 25th below).  The Part 214 module was also a PowerPoint presentation develop by MOW crew member Darlene and presented by John one of the three members of the MOW Management Team.  The presentation was very thorough and concluded with a challenging examination.  The second, and final, session of this years Part 214 training is scheduled for Saturday, January 23rd beginning at 9:00 AM in the East Theater.  Those crew members that did not attend last nights session must attend the session on the 23rd in order to continue working on the line in 2010.  Signal Department crew members also be sure to mark your calendars for the Signal Department Part 214 EIC training scheduled for May, 1st.

JANUARY 11, 2010

WHAT'S NEXT?

Still coming in January are the Signal Department Advisory Committee meeting, the second section of the All Hands Meeting and two sections of MOW provided Annual Roadway Worker Safety Training.  The Advisory Committee is meeting this next Saturday the 16th.  The second section of the All Hands Meeting is January 20th starting at 6:00 PM in the East Theater of the Museum.  The Part 214 training will also be in the East Theater.  The days are times for the Part 214 training are Wednesday, January 13th starting at 6:00 PM and Saturday, January 23rd starting at 9:00 AM. 

JANUARY 10, 2010

ANNUAL ALL HANDS MEETING WAS WELL ATTENDED

The Annual All Hands Meeting went well and was well attended.  There were estimated to be about 180 or more SSRR crew members there.  The annual crew photo was taken in the Sierra Scene in the Museum and hopefully the camera had a wide enough lens to get us all in the photo.  Paul Hammond, the Museum Director, spoke to the crew about the Railyards Project and how our connection to the Union Pacific track system will be made.  He had some diagrams to project, however, the connection between the computer he was using and the theaters digital projector could not be made and the diagrams were not projected.  Perhaps he'll have that figured out by the second All Hands Meeting and those of us that go will see the diagrams.  Other crew members involved in various SSRR operations gave updates on there activities including the Signal Engineer.  The First Train of the year was loaded.  Various SSRR Crew Members and CSRM Foundation Staff served the refreshments.  They deserve a Big Thank You!  If you missed the meeting Saturday you have another chance to go to it as it will be repeated on Wednesday evening January 20th beginning at 6:00 PM in the Museum East Theater.

JANUARY 5, 2010

ANNUAL ALL HANDS MEETING AND SSRR GROUP PHOTO THIS SATURDAY!

Our Annual All Hands Meeting is scheduled for this Saturday, January 9th beginning at 9:00 AM in the CSRM East Theater.  As usual, for future historians to ponder over, a SSRR All Hands Group Photo will be taken.  All Signal personnel please try to stand together while the photo is taken.  We usually try to be in the center area of the photo (Also better to stand than to sit).  If you can't make the meeting and photo there is a backup meeting (no photo) on January 20th at 6:00 PM.  In the afternoon of January 9th is the Annual First Train of the year.  If you plan to ride the train you should have already informed the General Manager.  If you have not so - do it now!  The crew operating the train needs a head count for supplies procurement.  See you on Saturday!!

JANUARY 4, 2010

ANNUAL ROADWAY WORKER SAFETY TRAINING SCHEDULED

The Maintenance Of Way Management Team has scheduled the Annual Part 214 Training sessions for 2010.  Two sessions are being provided.  They are on January 13th at 6:00 PM and January 23rd at 9:00 AM.  The location has not been announced yet.  All Signal Department personnel that work on the right of way must take the Annual Roadway Worker Safety Training offered by the SSRR/MOW.  Please make your plans to attend one of the training sessions.  Signal Maintainers who will be acting as Employee In Charge (EIC) are also required to take the Annual Signal Department Part 214 Training scheduled for May 1, 2010.

JANUARY 2, 2010

JANUARY INSPECTIONS COMPLETE

Two Signal Department Crews spread out this morning and accomplished two goals:  Training and the January Monthly and Quarterly Inspections of Capitol Mall, Broadway, Front Street and Sutterville Road.  Signal Maintainers on the job today were Al, Dave & Paul and the Student Maintainers were Joe, Jim & Bill.  All went well.  Everyone received some brain food (Special deep fat fried pastries shaped like wheels) from the Signal Engineer and we all had the pleasure of observing Bill use his gold plated bond wire checking tool.  Some minor problems were found:  graffiti and loose wind bracket at Sutterville Road and gate arm fixtures with moisture at Front Street.  All Flashing Light Fixtures were externally washed with our 18 foot brush.  It was a fun day for all until Al locked his keys in his scooter trunk.  We gave him a ride home to pick up a fresh set of keys and then back to the Signal Shop.... Not enough brain food...  Way to Go Everyone!!  Thanks for the Super Work!

JANUARY 1, 2010

!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

JANUARY INSPECTIONS SCHEDULED

Signal Department Scheduler Dave has scheduled all Monthly and Quarterly Inspections for January on Saturday, January 2nd.  Signal personnel assigned are: Al, Bill, Dave, Jim, Joe and Paul.   EICs are:  Paul at Capitol Mall and Sutterville Road,  Al at Broadway and Front Street.  Meet at the Jibboom Street Gate at 9:00 AM.  Dave suggests that all personnel bring a lunch.  Have a Great Day!!!

FOR 2009 NEW NEWS ARCHIVE CLICK HERE

FOR 2008 NEW NEWS ARCHIVE CLICK HERE