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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1883
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Would you believe we are still operating dry hopper toilets on our trains? We have dry sinks too. We put a big copper jug of water in the WC room so you can pour some in the sink to wash your hands.

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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:01 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Jim Baker wrote:
Isn't wheelchair access an issue? We've been told that unless it is fully ADA accessible, we cannot have toilets on board. In the past we have used a regular port a pot in a baggage car, but discontinued that because of the ADA issue. Toilet rooms in DLW coaches are way too small for that.

Everybody's got an opinion, and that particular opinion is a punch-drunk meander through unrelated ADA laws, mostly relating to architecture.

Generally the law breaks down as follows:

- Except for four states, the only thing a person can sue you for is to fix it. They can't get punitive damages, they can't even get legal fees. Unless you offend the judge by being reckless.

- You must do what is easy. Nothing exempts you from that. e.g. if you could have easily gotten an ADA porta-john instead of a regular for the baggage car.

- You are exempt from any need to modify historic passenger coaches older than 30 years old whose manufacturers are defunct.

- If you use the shell of a historic coach, and do something totally new with it, all bets are off.

49 CFR 37.107 wrote:
Sec. 37.107 Acquisition of passenger rail cars by private entities primarily engaged in the business of transporting people.

  • (b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, a private entity which is primarily engaged in transporting people and whose operations affect commerce, which remanufactures a rail passenger car to be used in providing specified public transportation to extend its useful life for ten years or more, or purchases or leases such a remanufactured rail car, shall ensure that the rail car, to the maximum extent feasible, is made readily accessible...
  • (c) Compliance with paragraph (b) of this section is not required to the extent that it would significantly alter the historic or antiquated character of a historic or antiquated rail passenger car, or a rail station served exclusively by such cars, or would result in the violation of any rule, regulation, standard or order issued by the Secretary under the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970. For purposes of this section, a historic or antiquated rail passenger car means a rail passenger car--

    • (1) Which is not less than 30 years old at the time of its use for transporting individuals;
    • (2) The manufacturer of which is no longer in the business of manufacturing rail passenger cars; and
    • (3) Which--

      • (i) Has a consequential association with events or persons significant to the past; or
      • (ii) Embodies, or is being restored to embody, the distinctive characteristics of a type of rail passenger car used in the past, or to represent a time period which has passed.


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:07 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 419
Location: Floyd, AR
robertmacdowell wrote:
- Except for four states, the only thing a person can sue you for is to fix it. They can't get punitive damages, they can't even get legal fees. Unless you offend the judge by being reckless.


Part morbid curiosity and part abundance of caution, which 4 states are those?

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Robert Longhofer,
Board Member, Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Arkansas Railroad Museum, steam engine SSW819.
Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:47 pm
Posts: 5
Location: North Carolina
The Durango & Silverton used RV toilets. During the winter the cars were kept watered with a small space heater in each car, blowing warm air into both bathrooms (on either side of the aisle, the doors were opened out into a V shape so the hot air was split into both restrooms). This kept the fresh water tank and any water in the restroom pipes and toilet from freezing.

The problem was the waste holding tanks. They had to be emptied every afternoon or else they'd freeze. The railroad has a dump station on the balloon loop and the train is dumped one car at a time as it's turned. When it was really cold they'd even freeze during our run to Cascade Canyon and back. I spent my Christmas Eve 2015 helping thaw and dump our train using five gallon buckets of hot water.

In Silverton season the same task is done midday by a contractor on the wye in Silverton, and are not dumped in Durango. He also adds packets of Inca Gold powdered toilet deodorant. No problem with smell even though the cars sit overnight having been used on the way down.

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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:03 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Pennsylvania
New Hope & Ivyland has installed locomotive chemical toilets in 3 coaches, their parlor car, and tool-open-air car. The restrooms use no water and have hand sanitizer dispensers and fold-down baby-changing tables.


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:08 pm
Posts: 254
Location: Western Railroad Museum - Rio Vista
In my opinion the best train toilets use regular home type toilets. Some are available with very low water flow. Children can use them with no problems unlike some of the old railroad dry hopper toilets. Children also have problems flushing foot operated wet hopper toilets.


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:21 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Pegasuspinto wrote:
Part morbid curiosity and part abundance of caution, which 4 states are those?

From distant memory, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and California.

It's the same issue. The Federal ADA is about *access*, and has penalties appropriate to promoting *access*. These states also have anti-discrimination laws with penalties appropriate for intentional acts of discrimination. Those outlaw discrimination against the disabled, and the yardstick they use is compliance with Federal ADA.

It's a rather ham-handed standard for *intent*, certainly installing a toilet paper roll 3/4 inch too high or sloping a ramp at 8.2 percent is not the black-hearted act of a bigoted deplorable. And I suspect if you actually got in front of a judge and made that argument, he'd agree that the state laws are not intended for honest mistake.

You'll never get that set in case law, though, because there'll never be an ADA case that goes to appeal for that particular point. Most unjust ADA suits are from ADA trolls, who are doing much worse than that.


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