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 Post subject: Re: 49 CFR Part 230.3 Implimentation
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:58 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
Posts: 374
It is always my goal to take the side of FRA. A few very good FRA inspectors watch this page.....I enjoyed speaking with one of our local MP&E inspectors the other day as a result of this and other threads.

The bigger issue with FRA is not so much retirement, it is more of an issue of moving up the ladder and not being able to keep up on training. The reality of an MP&E is that he spends about 200 days of his work year looking at Class I/II railroads, locomotives and cars and he then spends about 2.5 days per year looking at a steam locomotive(s). If you spent 95% of your time in ONE section of the CFR and then had to remind yourself of the one section that you only use 5% of your time, it would be tough. Then consider that in your carer at FRA , you may only be an MP&E for 5-10 years.

Steve Lee, myself and number of others taught FRA classes a number of years ago in California. From that training class to today, none of those inspectors are any longer either with FRA or, still MP&E. Mr. Ramsey, who spends time on this page was a steam inspector and now, he is working with the Passenger Car group. Last year FRA held training for new MP&E's out on the east coast. A few of those new inspectors work in our region here and even this week, they went to D&SNG to do Hydro's. What a better place for two new inspectors to do an inspection than with Steve Jackson at D&SNG!

Training, turnover and promotion, in my book is a bigger problem that retirement.

Now, one final example;

Last year we were audited as part of our ASME S stamp (a very normal process with holding stamps). Our auditor was this very nice, young Asian gal. When she walked into the shop she said (innocently)....."Oh, you put boilers on these trains....what kind of boilers?"

WOWWWWWWWWWWW...........This person was just sent to MY shop to tell me if I am a good job or not and she has to ask how our boilers work. "This is not like the steam condensers I look at in power plants...."

ASME is holding meetings in August to which I will attend. I am very prepared to beat the drum about the quality and training of our auditors and inspectors. I understand that Steam Locomotives are not the primary focus when we consider steam in the USA. None the less, we need trained, qualified and capable and competent inspectors.

Generally I am very pleased with our FRA inspectors and the efforts that they make to understand and apply the rules correctly.

Chief State Inspectors.......well, that is another story and one for another day.


John E. Rimmasch
Wasatch Railroad Contractors

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