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 Post subject: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:11 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:39 pm
Posts: 45
This was posted on a different forum. Any comment on this new direction on regulations ?

I think the real issue here is what sort of 18 inch Railroad is it? Is it running a five ton mine locomotive, or hand carts? But, further to that, Indiana has decided to regulate all the railroads at our local museum, which include: 3 foot, 2 foot, 14 inch, and 7.5 inch gauge as “amusements” and shut them all down because they expect them to comply to roller coaster safety rules. The results are pending, but as a result, the grounds were only open this year to members.

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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:04 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:24 pm
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Sounds like typical government overreacting


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:45 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5987
Location: southeastern USA
Sounds like typical small operators failing to provide regulators with a standard to use that's truly appropriate and being surprised when they gravitate to something they already know.

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Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:17 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:49 pm
Posts: 16
In the Michigan in the late 90's the government tried to regulate the miniature locomotive hobby and have them under the amusement ride act, just like the miniature trains pulling people in parks, but that did not go through. Instead the boiler inspections were taken over by the state and a separate code was made for miniature hobby boilers.

When I laid my miniature railroad around my house in PA, I contacted the state about where it would fall in the state regulations and I was told that a miniature railroad on private property for private use (family and friends) is private and does not fall under state regulations. However if the miniature railroad crosses a public road, charges people for rides or is open to the general public, then it does fall under the state's regulations for amusement rides and boiler laws for steam locomotives.


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:09 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
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My comment is... I love visiting that place but my thoughts after visiting each time was “wow, I don’t think any lawyers have ever been here.”


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
My comment is... I love visiting that place but my thoughts after visiting each time was “wow, I don’t think any lawyers have ever been here.”


Be careful. There are individuals in this group that will be adamant that you just committed "slander."


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
Posts: 902
Location: MA
If memory serves me right diden't some toddler loose his life on one of these toy trains when it went around a curve too fast?


Last edited by RCD on Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1547
Location: Youngstown, OH
The issue here is that this operation does not fit under either of the regulating schemes for railroads. It is not an FRA regulated railroad, nor is it an amusement park. It is in a third category in which many narrow gauge historical rail operations fall under. The J&L Narrow Gauge also falls into this third category.

There are many regulating agencies out there that govern various industries. Sometimes those agencies overlap jurisdictions and sometimes there is a gap. Just because a railroad does not fall under the requirements to be FRA regulated does not automatically mean that it becomes an amusement park. For example. The original J&L Steel 23" gauge railroad that existed in the Pittsburgh Works was not FRA regulated, but nobody in their right mind would then assume that it must be an amusement park railroad instead. So why are historical/museum narrow gauge railroads thusly assumed to be amusement parks just because they do not cross a highway at grade or operate within 30 feet of an FRA railroad?

That is the main thrust of the opposition to regulation of these historical and museum railroads by the agencies that regulate amusement parks. We are not amusement parks, do not operate as amusement parks, do not have the same end goal as amusement parks and should not just be lumped in with them. We are in a separate category that happens to fit into the regulation gap.

How many of you who operate museums would like to be labeled by the govt. as an amusement park? Is the Smithsonian an amusement park? Would they take kindly to being labeled as such? I think not.

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J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:28 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 983
Rick, who should govern a non FRA train ride then? There certainly needs to be some oversight.

I seem to remember that the Cagney Train, Cranky Cars, and Pump Car at Strasburg have an “Amusement” certificate or inspection sign on them.


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1547
Location: Youngstown, OH
The Strasburg Railroad is not a museum, but a for profit operation. The Cagney and cranky cars are indeed amusements according to the definition.

Why must it be assumed that there has to be government regulation? I am regulated by our own internal standards, by our customers and by our insurance carrier. That is more than sufficient incentive to assure safe operation.

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J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
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Rick Rowlands wrote:
I am regulated by our own internal standards, by our customers and by our insurance carrier. That is more than sufficient incentive to assure safe operation.


I disagree.


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1547
Location: Youngstown, OH
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
Rick Rowlands wrote:
I am regulated by our own internal standards, by our customers and by our insurance carrier. That is more than sufficient incentive to assure safe operation.


I disagree.


So you think that someone whose main job is to inspect Ferris Wheels and Tilt a Whirls has enough knowledge about railroad operations to know what is safe and unsafe? They are completely different technologies without much crossover. Do you think said amusement inspector receives any training in how a railroad operates so that he can go inspect that one little narrow gauge railroad in his state?

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Rick Rowlands
J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:17 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
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I don’t know if it should fall under amusements or not, although it probably should. If it’s not under FRA, and it’s a “ride” amusements is a good place for it to be categorized.

If a narrow gauge train ride at Kings Island is categorized as an amusement ride why shouldn’t yours?


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:49 pm
Posts: 16
With steam train rides there can be a couple different layers for inspection; one is the amusement ride and the other the state boiler code. The state programs I am most familiar with want an inspector to look over the equipment once a month to once every few months and they also look for daily inspection sheets and list of repairs done for things listed on the daily inspection sheets.

As far as what constitutes it being an "amusement" ride can vary but what I have heard consistently is it is being used as a ride for the general and/or paying public (regardless if the land is public or private or for profit or nonprofit) and does not fall under other jurisdictions such as FRA.


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 Post subject: Re: Regulations
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 94
This is going to continue to surface as a considerable problem as the government continues to expand and poke its tentacles into more and more of our daily lives. The best way to combat issues like this is to maintain strong, quality standards amongst all operators of this type of equipment. Published standards from the manufacturer go a long way as far as shutting the G-man up. Documentation of things is the key.

In Florida, what makes the difference between an amusement and a historical artifact is, the item's use by the operator. An amusement device is not used for any other purpose than providing a ride to entertain people. If the train is used to move people between points in the park (Disney World,) it is not an amusement. If the train is used at a museum with a stated purpose of educating the public about trains, then it is not an amusement. If the train is used to take passengers on a whimsical journey through Unicorn Land where they sit on the train and look at the pretty colors, then it is an amusement. Each state may vary, obviously, but it seems like good place to start from to find common ground.

Hopefully someone will take the helm on this ordeal and somehow demonstrate to the imbecile(s) in question that whomever designed and built the equipment (probably 75+ years ago with most of that stuff) did not intend for it to be used as a roller coaster, and therefor said standards have no governance. If the shutdown continues, it might well cascade over time to affect a number of other non-FRA rail equipment operators. We don't need ride inspectors looking at railroad equipment, period.


Last edited by hotbox on Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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