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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 6:00 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 452
Location: Danbury, CT
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”- FDR

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Randy Patterson
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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 8:44 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1892
Location: Strasburg, PA
Mount Royal wrote:
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”- FDR
...and spending fifty days in the hospital.

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"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 9:23 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1950
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
I wish I had access to POTUS as I'd use the following metaphor to help him understand why it's not possible to have a vaccine developed, tested to not only see that it works but also doesn't have side effects as bad as the disease, and distributed nationwide for use in time to help his re-election.

3 women can not make a baby in 3 months !!!

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 10:30 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2687
With the war, they also had plenty of fear.

There’s one big difference thouugh. The war had a very distinct ending. It was over, fighting was done, you were safe. Your village may be in ruins, you may have suffered terribly, but at least if you survived, the point where things switched to rebuilding was clear.

Even if we get a vaccine, that won’t be clear. Ideally they’d find a cure as well, to make it like taking antibiotics. Just take these for a week, you’ll be fine. Then we’d be back to normal. Is that even possible? We don’t know...


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 10:43 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 452
Location: Danbury, CT
I appreciate the efforts put forth to develop and provide organizations with these recommendations. Each organization must sit down and agree upon a course of action that will benefit both the visitor and themselves.

Has anyone thought to ask the public what they think? Give them your list of precautions and ask for their input. Do they want to go for a train ride? What would make them feel comfortable/safe? There’s obviously concern over liability. How about a waiver? Give them a decision to make for themselves.

As a professional firefighter/emergency medical technician, I am well acquainted with precautions and the reasons for them. Arm yourself with knowledge and a healthy respect for what you’re dealing with, but don’t let fear paralyze you.

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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 10:53 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9753
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Bobharbison wrote:
Some states are re-opening. Meanwhile, the entire city of Gallup, NM was placed under lockdown, with the national guard enforcing it and limiting it to residents only. I’m reading conflicting reports on whether that’s been lifted.


There's a certain anomaly at work here.

Gallup is effectively the "gateway" to the Navajo Nation, a massive expanse of northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico that is largely Indian reservation land. Indeed, Gallup is home to a large government hospital erected specifically for tribal members.

The Navajo Nation, for reasons not yet understood or established by the medical community, remains a "hot zone" of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and new infections FAR out of proportion to the rest of the Southwest. It has become one area where "lockdowns" and Draconian restrictions are not only prudent, but seemingly necessary. (I'm not getting into the acrimonious debate over whether "lockdowns" and "staying home" are doing the least bit of good in slowing or halting the disease.)

The Southwest Native American populations, again for whatever reasons, are proving disproportionately highly susceptible to contracting serious symptoms and dying from this disease, as with African-Americans and Latinos elsewhere.

Are any of our operations going to have to factor in ethnicities of workers, volunteers, and visitors to their reopening calculations? I can think of several that may have to, including one specific operation and its neighboring attractions that are the area's biggest draws where a large number of the support staff for all of them comes from nearby reservations.


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 12:51 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1892
Location: Strasburg, PA
An interesting quote from a post on the NGDF regarding the situation in Silverton, CO, "The adjacent trailer camp looked strangely empty -Covid empty- probably as a result of non-residents being threatened with a 5,000 dollar fine if they stepped out of their car ( two friends decided NOT to go into the grocery store for a sandwich after being met by the sherriff on pulling up outside the store)"

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"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 1:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:42 pm
Posts: 16
Mount Royal wrote:
I appreciate the efforts put forth to develop and provide organizations with these recommendations. Each organization must sit down and agree upon a course of action that will benefit both the visitor and themselves.

Has anyone thought to ask the public what they think? Give them your list of precautions and ask for their input. Do they want to go for a train ride? What would make them feel comfortable/safe? There’s obviously concern over liability. How about a waiver? Give them a decision to make for themselves.

As a professional firefighter/emergency medical technician, I am well acquainted with precautions and the reasons for them. Arm yourself with knowledge and a healthy respect for what you’re dealing with, but don’t let fear paralyze you.


Smart folks are surveying both their various visitors and supporters as well as volunteers about the topics you outlined above and more. I have seen several survey monkey surveys as well as some surveys from Aquariums, Zoos, and Churches. I totally agree with you that fear should not paralyze one but unfortunately, there is a percentage of our society that thinks we cannot live without it, pity. This thread was supposed to discuss the HRA guidelines but as usual, it has at times gone from the topic at hand of how to responsibly re-open for survival to the same old detractor/defender postures that have locked other threads by the Mod. It would be nice to just share hard data without opinion. For those actively surveying do you want to share data or is it top secret?


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 1:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9753
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
randyminter wrote:
It would be nice to just share hard data without opinion.

This presumes that "hard data" exists, and is not susceptible to opinion and bias either in the collection or the analysis.

Even the most neutral physicians and scientists are stumbling repeatedly over this problem.


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 2:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:33 am
Posts: 115
Chris Webster wrote:
randyminter wrote:
In Atlanta, on Saturday, Zoo Atlanta re-opens with many of the recommendations that are following the spirit of the HRA and AAM guidelines.
Note that the Atlanta Zoo is only opening outdoor exhibits. Its buildings and rides will be closed, which means no riding the zoo train. Here's a May 14, 2020 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Zoo Atlanta to reopen Saturday with coronavirus safeguards

Personally, I'm watching Disney and the other big theme park operators since (1) I presume they know much more about public health and risk assessment than I do and (2) they are not running in an election. None of the big Orlando parks have asked to open yet.

Here's a May 15, 20202 article in The Orlando Sentinel: Disney, Universal and SeaWorld need Mayor Jerry Demings’ approval to reopen. They haven’t asked yet.


A few things of note, the only operating Disney theme park right now is Shanghai Disneyland which barely re-opened last week. Since China was a hot bed of early infections, I guess the assumption is that there is enough herd immunity now to start reopening. There is still no official date for the Anaheim and Orlando parks to reopen, although some rumors suggest it will be in June or July now. I haven't followed Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo well enough to know if there are any reopening rumors there yet. Its something that hits close to home to me, I was supposed to be in Anaheim two weeks ago for a long planned family vacation at Disneyland that got canned due to all this...

The thing is, masks, sanitation and social distancing seems to be working. Its what we implemented at the hospital I work at and I know people who have directly been in contact with COVID patients who have not got it themselves because they have been diligent in wearing masks. I feel safer in the hospital with direct contact with known patients than I do at Wal-Mart now, because 100% of the population in the hospital is masked and wearing other PPE while only about 15%-30% of the guests at a local store seem to be masked at a time. While I am sure a guest complaints might ensue from the hard line "I won't wear a mask!" crowd, implementing a "no-mask no entry" policy at historic railroads might be the ticket to reopening the railroads and museums.


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 3:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:42 pm
Posts: 16
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
randyminter wrote:
It would be nice to just share hard data without opinion.

This presumes that "hard data" exists, and is not susceptible to opinion and bias either in the collection or the analysis.

Even the most neutral physicians and scientists are stumbling repeatedly over this problem.


Okay, I'll bite. The hard data in the surveys that I eluded to IS opinion. But if anyone in the HRA is thinking of re-opening, they need to be collecting the thoughts of their base and their opinions and use that as a guide to understand how they need to plan re-opening/operating to even be able to consider whether or not there is an appetite for it right now. We are all blessed/cursed with plenty of data/opinion but at the end of the day if your customers aren't ready for your services and you don't have a clue about that then failure is a distinct possibility and that's true if you are a tourist railroad, museum or the neighborhood pizza joint. Rule 1 of business should be "Know Thy Customer."


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 8:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2570
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Alan Walker wrote:
Those operations that do open might not have to worry about overcrowding as I fear that many people in our target demographic simply won’t have money to spare.


What's your operation? The Rocky Mountaineer?

A lot of operations have a simple $15 train ride and are an easy day-trip from the city... and those do quite well in recessions, because they're a cheap date!

Some other operations have an upscale model: a "$400 for the family by the time it's all said and done" event... like an all-day ride, dinner train, Thomas extravaganza, whatever. But many of *those* operations have the option of running a $15 train ride if they really want to. They might want to think about that.

Further, a recession doesn't mean everybody's unemployed. Even if your logic is that you lost that customer base, if employment is 12%, you lost 12%.

Alan Walker wrote:
So we’re looking at about fifteen passengers for many coaches, given that most seating layouts have anywhere from ten to twenty feet of space that is unusable for seating. The length that counts is the length of the passenger seating compartment, not the overall length of the car.


Here's the thing though: Family groups (who already live together) CAN sit together. So you sell the seat space by the group.

The guidance for transit vehicle passengers doesn't really apply, since almost all transit vehicle riders are solitaires.


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 11:25 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 736
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
The Navajo Nation, for reasons not yet understood or established by the medical community, remains a "hot zone" of COVID-19 cases,
The infection rate on the Navajo Nation is among the highest in the world.

The northeast boundary of the Nation is right right outside of Farmington, NM; Farmington is only 50 miles from Durango, Colorado.
Kelly Anderson wrote:
An interesting quote from a post on the NGDF regarding the situation in Silverton, CO
Silverton is the county seat of (and only municipality in) San Juan County. The county has closed the only road into town and is issuing tickets to outsiders. A May 12, 2020 article in the Durango Herald:
San Juan County issues three tickets, back-to-back, to recreationists - Sheriff says people not obeying state’s 10-mile travel ban


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 9:11 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1950
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
I suspect that as we hasten to reopen including areas( states) that have clearly not met the CDC guidelines covering minimum progress needed before beginning to phase reopen there will pop up a rash of areas issuing stay out notices.

If state A generates a steep spike in cases neighboring states B & C who have operated much more conservatively and do not have spikes may well say we don't want folks coming into our state from state A until they show 14 consecutive days of declines.

If I'm proven right this will be another job creator as in addition to tens of thousands of contact tracers we'll now need thousands of state border monitors to keep out unwanted visitors.

Interesting times.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: HeritageRail Alliance recommends reopening practices
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 1:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:58 pm
Posts: 23
This week's "Tourist Railroad Connections... More Important than Ever!" webinar will focus on the HRA Recommended Practices for Re-Opening Tourist Railroads and Railway Museums. Please join Mike Kuehl, owner of DTS and Josh Miller, Station Manager of North Shore Scenic Railroad as they welcome Cheryl Marcell from the California State Railroad Museum, and Stathi Pappas from the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. They will discuss the recommended practices they developed for The Heritage Rail Alliance.
Register for this webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/regist…/8720158957054302224


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