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 Post subject: Certifying Steam Locomotive crews
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:24 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:44 pm
Posts: 118
What sort of policies, requirements and expectations does your organization or the organizations you are involved with have for the certification of volunteers or employees to work with steam locomotives? Is there a defined process for bringing an interested individual without prior experience with steam locomotives or railroading from novice to someone who can be trusted to perform the necessary tasks and responsibilities associated with operating a steam locomotive in the 21st century? What, if anything, do you do for outreach? Or are steam training opportunities and operations something that is limited to certain individuals within the organization? I am in the midst of finalizing an update to our policies and training and was curious how others tackle the same issues.

Nick Turinetti
Operations Manager, Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad
Former Operations Manager, North Shore Scenic Railroad

 Post subject: Re: Certifying Steam Locomotive crews
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:32 pm
Posts: 112
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Here's what we do at our railway:

- No certification or experience required to be a helper in preparing the locomotive for the day (cutting wood, cleaning, lubricating under supervision, etc.)
- Fireman requires certification for Canadian Rail Operating Rules, Train Service Volunteer certification (general safety rules and procedures specific to the railway), and Steam Traction Operator Certification (Provincial certification similar to that required in most states to operate a boiler)
- Engineer same as Fireman but must also be qualified as a diesel Engineer.

Hope this helps.


 Post subject: Re: Certifying Steam Locomotive crews
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:19 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2395
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Here in Denmark, museum crew must pass all the same certifications as operating company employees, plus certifications specific to steam power.

That means:

1) attending and passing a multi week course on signals
2) attending and passing a course on boiler operations
3) practicing and obtaining a minimum number of hours of experience, and being approved by the equivalent of the museum's Road Foreman of Engines.

In the past, our museum members could obtain full certification on the line as engineer, but this is increasingly not possible. No new members have achieved this in recent years. The main line rails do not support it, and the local rail line in theory supports it, but is increasingly unhappy with us. (We had a diesel engine breakdown last fall that blocked the line for hours and required replacement bus service for the scheduled service, all of which we had to pay for, about US$20,000).

In Germany, 10-15 years ago, office staff could receive training for train duty, but this is no longer allowed. The current view is that train drivers need to keep their skills fresh with regular experience, to be sufficiently safe on the network.

We have a few members that have local line certification and a few retired or semi-active state railway employees that can drive unsupervised. Otherwise, all trips have a paid pilot. Since the cab really only has room for 4 persons, this means we can only have an engineer trainee or a fireman trainee on any trip. Not both. Members can start gaining road experience before passing the courses above. Road experience is distributed based on hours accumulated in restoration work.

Steven Harrod
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet

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