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 Post subject: Age requirements
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 1998 5:49 am 

Suppose your organization has a volunteer member who is thoroughly knowledgable on safety rules, is proficientin basic train handling skills, and is in good health. However, he's only 14 years old. At what age would you allow him to hold the positions of<br>(A) Flagman or brakeman, (B) Conductor, (C) Fireman (diesel) or Fireman (steam), or (D) Engineer? I'm curious to know what policies for these positions other museums follow.<br>Thanks.<br>



JHerron244@aol.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Age requirements
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 1998 7:33 am 

At our museum, which is also an operating short line railroad, volunteers must be at least 18 to work around the equipment, and 21 or older to be in train service. There are a number of factors at play here, such as insurance, parental responsibility, and maturity levels. Nothing, of course, precludes younger teens from helping out in the gift shop or around the station.<br>



jftrolley@aol.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Age requirements
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 1998 12:25 pm 

check with your insurance carrier - <p>my best guess - legal age of 18.<br>



bigjiml@home.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Age requirements
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 1998 8:45 pm 

Thanks to you all. Very good comments and basically along the lines I was thinking.<br>As it turns out, we have had very few under age or "junior" members over the years. One of them has gone on to responsible positions with some well know museums while another is learning mechanical skills and will probably work in the railroad industry. The third one is hard to predict at his current age but he and his dad spent several days on our "rent-a-locomotive" program before becoming members. I'm hoping his interest and skills will grow over the coming years.<br>Thanks again, Jim Herron<br>



JHerron244@aol.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Age requirements
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 1998 11:45 pm 

<br>Let me tell you about my expiriance. I am 20 and and have been a railfan for 5 or 6 years. I got into railfanning when I lived in Ely,NV. My interest in railroads was fueled by many factors among them being several railroaders in my family, interest in forms of transportaion and my close proximity to the Nevada Northern Railway Mueseum. I hung out there and started doing office work in spring of my sophmore year of high school. I started hanging around the shops until the volunteers realized I was intrested and put me to work. This led to two consecutive summers of paid work for the NNRY. I started out on menial tasks such as sweeping the floors, cleaning up and helping with repairs. But by the end of my tenure I was hostling steam locomotives before runs and being trained as a Brakeman.I had to be 18 to enter train service and went off to college before that. So I think you should accept volunteer openly but generaly start them off slow while giving them more jobs of responsiblity as they prove themselves and thier dedication. I met alot of nice fellows who didn't even hesitate to give me knowledge and advice based on thier hundreds of years of combined expiriance. I don't know if I'll pick railroading as a career, but I will always be active in railway preservation and a "weekend railroader" no matter what I do. <br>



terry_dempsey@hotmal.com


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Age requirements; Teenage workers
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 1998 7:51 am 

I've had a couple of eye-opening experiences with teenage steam workers over the last few years. The first was when I had a chance to sit in on one of Frank Vopasek's voc-tech classes in boiler operation for high schoolers at Bergen County Technical School in New Jersey. The spectacle of long-haired kids in Urban Chaos T-shirts and earrings talking about caustic embrittlement and feedwater treatment reinforced my belief that high-schoolers are capable of much more than schools usually ask of them, and made me aware of a huge potential that is going untapped. From this experience came the intent to involve Project 1225 with local vocational, science, and history classes.<p>The second event was when a father showed up at Project 1225 wanting to work with his twelve-year-old son. After some soul-searching, we agreed to let them go ahead, so long as the boy worked always under his father's supervision. They started with uncritical tasks such as organizing the shop and tools (not really so uncritical or simple), and now that the son is 15 are working on fairly sophisticated tasks on the machinery, including the steam locomotive. (Dad is a mechanic, which makes a difference.)<p>One other such team is now at work, and we would not hesitate to take all we can get. Age means nothing; organization and discipline are what count. We've had plenty of disorganized, inefficient adult volunteers, and not for nothing did one of our general managers complain of running a day-care center for adults. The kids may very well be more focused than the general run of volunteers or employees.<p>We have no train-service employees, and FRA rules govern making engine-service employees, but for the equally-important job of restoration workers we do not intend to change our supervised 12-year-old rule.<p>Aarne Frobom<br>Michigan State Trust for Railway Preservation, Inc.<br>P. O. Box 665<br>Owosso, MI 48867-0665<br>



froboma@mdot.state.mi.us


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Age requirements; Teenage workers
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 1998 2:43 am 

I feel that it would be appropriate for me to tell my story. I am currently 18 years old. My interest for railroads in general has been with me for as long as I can remember. The ones that are responsible for getting me hooked would have to be my dad and some of his friends. Also I live next to a BNSF line. As time went on, my interest began to grow. I read, traveled, and basically did everything else that deals with serious railfanning. I feel my interest has surpassed my dad's. I am a collector, a bit of a historian, employee, definately a reader, and for about a year-a preservationist.<p>I felt that there wasn't a group around my area that was interested in the projects that I would have liked to see preserved. My solution was to form a nonprofit. Since its inception, "my" organization is on the verge of acquiring its first structure and is looking to acquire several more.<p>The point that I am trying to get to is that when given the opportunity, kids will probably get motivated. Despite me wanting to go into railroad industry for a career, we shouldn't expect everybody to do that. What matters is that they continue to contribute to the preservation community positively. <p>One thing that concerns me is that there may not be enough individuals my age interested in the railroad industry in general and railroad preservation in particular to supplant our elders. I sometimes wonder how many people my age are interested. As far as I know, I am the only person my age that is interested in railroads. <p>My solution would be to support younger individuals in their preservation edeavors. I am not saying that we should let them jump into the engineer's seat or that all should start their own nonprofit. Youngsters should be allowed some freedom within reason (you be the judge). People should be judged by their maturity and not by their age. <p>I understand that I am possibly an extreme case, but any amount of interest should be nurtured. I hope that you folks keep this in mind. Keep up the good posts. Have a safe day.<p>Gerald Kopiasz<br>



HRRHS@aol.com


  
 
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