During my time as a mobile agent during the early 80s for the BN, I made daily yard checks throughout my assigned territory. Quite an easy job...just pull up into the yard at a convenient point to view all the tracks, climb into the back of the van, pull out yesterday's list, confirm and/or note any changes, record the new list and be on my way!
Part of the job was to check with the online industries to order new cars, arrange their switching needs or just have a cup of coffee. If there were any needs/changes for the local, I would just leave a note in the "telephone box" for the crew and move on.
Hardest part of the job was to kill the extra time leftover after visiting all the small towns along the line!
Former BN Operator
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