CSX Shenandoah Division train crews swap out on the visible layout at crew change points located near the north and south end staging yards. A separate operator handles the movements into and out of staging.
When first added to the operating assignments, this role was known as the Trainmaster, partially because I had used a similar title on the previous version of the Shenandoah Division. I also wanted the crew member holding this assignment to assist in actively managing the session. After a discussion with friend who hosts op sessions on a large layout, I later changed the name to Traffic Manager to reinforce the management portion of the role.
On a recent Clinchfield railfanning trip, another friend reminded me about the position of Supervisor of Train Operations (STO). In his article Men Against Mountains (October 2001 Trains magazine) Ron Flanary discussed this job, which was used on CSX’s former Clinchfield line to maximize throughput by assisting dispatchers located remotely from the railroad.
While some elements of the job on the Shenandoah Division are not related to the prototype position, I’ve decided to once again change the name for this role to Supervisor of Train Operations. While the basic duties of the STO role remain the same as that of the Traffic Manager, the new title more accurately reflects the importance of the position to smooth operations on the Shenandoah Division.