chief dispatcher and trainmaster : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

My grandfather worked 50 years with the predecessor of the Southern Railway system sometime between 1888-1938. He lived in Columbia S.C., Charleston S.C., and Georgia. He was at one time chief dispatcher, and later promoted to Trainmaster. I am curious about what the duties (job description) were of each of those positions, and what the yearly salary might have been at the time. Hope you can help. Thanks in advance. Nick Beard

-- John N. Beard (, August 12, 1999


I can describe these for you in my 28 years but hot before that .A chief dispatcher is the head of all dispatchers in his office. In my case in Greenville,SC we have a nort end, south end, columbia,asheville,greensbora and others.The Chief as we call him is over all this dispatchers and in a case of a derailment or something like that he takes over and handles these problems. A trainmaster handles the crews and special trains in his territory and is also required to go to derailments. He rides the engine and watches the crew for different things such as rule violations and advice.I hope this helps and my speling is bad....Wayne

-- frecrick wayne eason (, February 01, 2001.

Thanks Mr. Eason that gives me an understanding of the duties of the two positions. My other grandfather started out in 1900 as a boiler maker assistant as a 20 year old. By 1918 he was an engineer but died in the flu epidemic. I have a railroad watch and don't know which grandfather might have had it. Did engineers and trainmasters carry the same watch?

-- Nick Beard (, February 02, 2001.

It was a standard when I started to have a Hamilton 21 a or b and I also have one 21 jewel and they make a 23 jewel which I am trying to buy as we email each other. It was listed in the timetable and you have to have them cleaned and inspected once a year. But now they dont give a the Seiko was on the list also I am pretty sure and also have one of those.I was in the last M&W magazine which was called Ties Magizine and was given a gold watch by Mr. Hall the President then and have pics.. If you ever see one I am standing with four other guys..My name is Wayne Eason.Since then I have been given three more watchs by Safety award and quality award kind of stuff.

-- frecrick wayne eason (, February 10, 2001.

Correction on the was a Hamilton 992b don't know where I got the 21 deal..sorry..wayne

-- frecrick wayne eason (, February 13, 2001.

One more tidbit I found out today for you and I both.This came from one who works on watches and his dad did for 64 yrs. before he died. It seems that there were 100s of different railroad watchs and many many different brands.Hamilton and elgin being the most famous.Just thought you might like to know.Wayne

-- frecrick wayne eason (, February 14, 2001.

Why is it? I ask my mom in nevada for a automic watch. And then she can't find me one. but I look in the internet plenty of great watchs. Is it the new world order/ I guess it is. I see the game/ play a bat/and get no soul/bob

-- Robert A. Swanson (, September 01, 2001.

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