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 Post subject: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:30 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:41 pm
Posts: 95
Greetings to all in this holiday season!

I have a general question for the group:

It is to my understanding that several tourist operators in the northeast utilize the steam locomotive fireman as a conductor. Essentially, in addition to attending to locomotive fire and water needs, they are also responsible for managing the consist and all that entails. How would the FRA view this? Isn't this a split duty?

Your input is greatly welcomed!

DC


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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:51 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 175
Location: St. Joseph Illinois
I don't know about the FRA but how does the fireman fire the engine & ride the train with the pasengers? With a diesel I could see that fly but not steam. No dead man pedal on a steam engine. I bet their insurance provider would love this situation.

DBH


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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:55 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:28 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Pennsylvania
This is a question I'd love to know how the FRA would answer. I work part time for a railroad that practices this as one of those magical "steam qualified" conductors. I originally wrote a long post but in order to protect the innocent. I'll just leave it brief that I'm very interested to know how this works. I would think it would be split duty and I'm not sure how it is legal myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:18 pm 

Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 7:42 pm
Posts: 147
Location: Newark, Delaware
But....the traditional conductor is back in the 3rd coach taking tickets where junior has just barfed all over some old lady, and another rug rat is running up and down the isle and Mom wants to have a picture taken with the conductor.

If the "conductor" were replaced with a simple trainman who looks the role but is not responsible for the movement of the train. The fireman could possibly assume those duties as long as no switching or on the ground movement is needed. I'm still not convinced this is the best situation, but might make sense in diesel operation. Just as the conductor rides the left hand seat of modern freight diesels.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:20 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:41 pm
Posts: 95
Let's not get confused here,

A conductor is required to be on a train, not necessarily inside the passenger cars thus, how a diesel passenger operation would be executed. Ticketing in that situation may be managed by "trainmen", an individual that need not be governed by hours of service. The conductor with a diesel operation is responsible for all ground work i.e brake tests and shifting responsibilities.

To reiterate the original question, when operating a steam locomotive where a fireman is to care for the constant needs of the locomotive, is it permissive in the eyes of the FRA to be the train's conductor as well? Would the FRA allow this to be done as a split-duty? The logical answer to the dilemma is to have a conductor who physically rides in the train and manages the consists needs, i.e ground work, brake tests and passenger ticketing perhaps? While the steam locomotive has a fireman dedicated to the needs of the locomotive only.

All input is throughly appreciated!

Merry Christmas!

D


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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:58 pm
Posts: 80
Seems to me that if you have trainmen to handle ticketing and passengers, you can have an engineer and fireman/conductor as a 2 man engine crew, because while the conductor is doing ground work, the engineer can address fire and water needs if necessary. I guess the only time when duties are truly split are typically during runaround moves when the fireman/conductor may not in the cab. As long as the engineer has a working injector within reach, I see no safety problems. How it jives with the legalese I'm not sure.

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Daniel Kelly


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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:58 pm
Posts: 80
Having the conductor or a qualified brakeman/trainman aboard the train would seem ideal, as it would make the runaround process quicker and allow the fireman to devote full attention to his job and reduce delays that may be due to poor fuel quality for example. However, it may not be ideal at some places due to scheduling, training, hours of service, etc. which may contribute to higher operating costs.

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Daniel Kelly


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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:31 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 175
Location: St. Joseph Illinois
The problem I see is that having the fireman / conductor off the locomotive for any time more than a few minutes leaves just the engineer by his self. There is no dead man pedal or alerter switch on a steam engine. So if the engineer has a heart attack or stroke or even falls asleep there might be no one there to stop the engine. besides taking care of the fire & water, the next job a fireman does is learn to be an engineer. He would be able to stop the train in an emergency & take charge of the engine. But if he is doing conductor work on a passanger train he can't very well do his job on the engine.
In this day of sue-sue-sue I would NOT want to take a chance of not having at least 3 qualified licensed personal on the train.


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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:11 am
Posts: 129
Location: Missoula, MT
Why not simply ask your local FRA representative as opposed to a internet message board? This whole scenario sounds fishy to me. Not enough information about the true circumstances surrounding this request, which is better directed to the proper authorities.

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Missoula, MT
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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:44 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:41 pm
Posts: 95
AlderGulch12 wrote:
Why not simply ask your local FRA representative as opposed to a internet message board? This whole scenario sounds fishy to me. Not enough information about the true circumstances surrounding this request, which is better directed to the proper authorities.



I fail to see how the scenario I've presented is "fishy" Mr. Maxwell. I know quite well there are many qualified heads on here who could supply their input (at least I thought there were).

Many steam operations in this country are represented by individuals who use this board and I was hoping to hear from ones who were/are face with this scenario and how they dealt/deal with it.

The input so far has certainly been helpful regardless, and I thank those who've taken time to provide their insight.

DC


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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:43 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5254
Location: southeastern USA
Like most things, it depends........

Trolleys and interurbans are operated commonly by a one-man crew.

Diesel powered locomotive hauled trains are frequently operated by one in the cab, one on the train.

Most old-school steam operations need 2 in the cab, and one on the train at the LEAST, but this isn't a given. I've seen a small, insular operation consisting of one small tank engine pulling one open excursion car operated by one person, who takes tickets, raises steam, runs down the line, provides a spoken interpretation while again raising steam, then runs back and lets the passengers out.

In all the cases in my experience where the crew has been lean and mean, the commonality was ease of communication between the operator and the passengers in the car. Note the term is singular - one car only, and easily visible from the cab.

It should be mentioned that Sulzer, back in the SLM days about 20 years ago, created a line of new steam rack engines for European mountain tourist lines, designed specifically for one-man operation, acting as both engineer and fireman. These have been proven safe in service.

I don't think the letter of the law matters if it isn't clear upon reading it - I'm more concerned about what is necessary for safe operation assuming something like a passenger getting sick or other not uncommon situation occurs. You can staff for these circumstances, but I don't think always carrying staff in numbers to handle derailments or other (hopefully) rare and intensive failures is reasonable or legislated. the regulations are purposely flexible to some extent to allow operators to provide what is necessary and suited to their operations - when more specific the course is obvious.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:27 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Tyrone, PA
@BaldwinFeeder

I believe I know the operation of which you speak. It seems this sort of crew-shuffling works fairly well for them, no?

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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:40 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:15 pm
Posts: 55
I do not know who the previous poster is, but he is NOT me.

The moderators of this forum have been notified.

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Rich Melvin
NKP 765 Operations Manager


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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:27 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Tyrone, PA
Rich,

I hope I didn't offend, though it looks as though we share a name.

I'll change my signature straight away to avoid any confusion.

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 Post subject: Re: Crew Allocation
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 175
Location: St. Joseph Illinois
OOPS! (IT)happens!!


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