EXCESSIVE DOWNSIZING.  Union Pacific's trouble on the extra board reflect strains elsewhere on the railroad.
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen officials said they were not aware of any UP West Line engineers calling in sick Monday.
No job action, no coincidence of spontaneous vacations.

On the other hand, no reserves.
Doug Davidson, assistant director of arbitration for the BLET national division, said employees are stretched thin because UP is taking on extra work due to other railroads experiencing flooding problems elsewhere. UP also brought in engineers over the weekend while a new switching system was being worked on in Lombard.

UP has a list of engineers that can be called in for such emergencies but the number of workers is insufficient and the union has recommended it be beefed up, Davidson noted.

UP’s [Mark] Davis said staffing is one issue the railroad will look at but noted that this is the first time such a shortage has happened.
Foreseeable, but poorly foreseen.  No doubt somebody in headquarters made a case that running the railroad with not quite enough train crews would be profitable.  Metra's management are not amused.

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