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 Post subject: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:56 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
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Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies
I am not sure what the outcome of this effort is intended to be. It is backed by Disney and Busch Gardens, but they could consider FRA standards on their 3' lines if they wanted to do so. Is it correct to assume this is a first step towards some national regulation?

This question will affect certain historic railroads 24" and others that are insular.
http://www.astmnewsroom.org/default.aspx?pageid=2645


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:23 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
Why would operators of lightweight amusement rides or people movers want to adhere to regulations designed for heavy freight hauling common carriers? FRA rules make no sense for this application.

I'd imagine the industry would be happy with a set of appropriate regulations for their application rather than having something inappropriate foisted on them.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:04 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
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o anderson wrote:
I am not sure what the outcome of this effort is intended to be. It is backed by Disney and Busch Gardens, but they could consider FRA standards on their 3' lines if they wanted to do so. Is it correct to assume this is a first step towards some national regulation?

This question will affect certain historic railroads 24" and others that are insular.
http://www.astmnewsroom.org/default.aspx?pageid=2645


I don't think it's a national regulation issue, but what's wrong with having *one* well thought out set of standards written by professional people that know what they're doing?

If you just consider liability insurance type issues, it can only help.

ASTM provides a mechanism where this can be done without involving the Fed. govt !

Bob H


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:47 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
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Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
Gang, I went to the ASTM website cited to see what this was all about. Their proposal seems innocuous to me, but then our Museum isn't a miniature park line either.

But what I found even more interesting is that searching for about five minutes in most of ASTM's website drop-downs, I couldn't find what the initials "ASTM" stood for. No big deal, but now I'm curious. Can anyone help?

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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
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Jim Vaitkunas wrote:
Gang, I went to the ASTM website cited to see what this was all about.

But what I found even more interesting is that searching for about five minutes in most of ASTM's website drop-downs, I couldn't find what the initials "ASTM" stood for. No big deal, but now I'm curious. Can anyone help?


American Society for Testing and Materials

see ASTM.org

What I never realized until just now (and much of my career involved developing/using their standards) is they were started by chemists and engineers from the PRR, once known as the standard railroad of the world !.

These days many organizations such as AARP or SAE rarely use their full names.

Bob H.


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:24 pm 

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Location: southeastern USA
[quote="Jeff Lisowski - I don't think it's a matter of anyone wanting to adhere to any federal regulations. I believe it's more of a Big Brother Gubmint steeping in to regulate Park Trains because they obviously feel Park Train operators can't do it safely themselves.[/quote]

No, it is the larger operators in the industry acting to get a set of standards of their own - try reading the material before reacting. I think some recent incidents in which some operators, owners and inspectors of park trains had no standards or didn't apply what standards they had correctly, and problems that caused damage, injury and death occurred were the reason. It is possible that their private sector insurers are encouraging it as well....but I'm not on the inside of that business and can't say for sure.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:59 pm
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Heavenrich wrote:
These days many organizations such as AARP or SAE rarely use their full names.


They should - a few years ago I passed the Moscone Center in San Francisco and saw "Welcome ASPRS" on the marquee - I was surprised, didn't know the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing was in town.

It was the American Society for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery...


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Baltimore, MD
Akin to the time recounted by my uncle, when he saw someone wearing a jacket with a prominent logo of The PTL Club, and remarked to the woman wearing it, "Wow, you mean Pittsburgh Technical Laboratories has their own club now?"

He reported that the woman was highly NOT amused, and haughtily corrected him--in a way not befitting the alleged alternate meaning of the acronym, "People That Love".

He never thought much of the "Jim and Tammy Faye" fan club after that.

But I digress.


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
Posts: 374
For many years independent organizations have approached Governmental agencies asking for reviews of rules. In our own industry, the Engineering Standards Committee (ESC) was developed by our industry leaders well over 15 years ago (wow, almost twenty years ago?) as an advisory committee to the Federal Railroad Administration as a means to present what the "industry" felt would be good changes to 49 CFR Part 230 (Steam Locomotive Rules). The ESC evolved over time into a committee that also made recommendations to the National Board (commonly known in our industry as NBIC) and now, most recently has been working on a new code for Steam Locomotive Boiler Design and Construction to be part of the ASME code.

It is important to note that independent organizations like the ESC are part of the process. As you read 49 CFR Part 230, there is a section regarding repairs to boiler barrels. These repairs are to be made using "an accepted national standard." Where-as, other repairs to other ares of a boiler can be made using "accepted railroad practice or accepted national standard."

The real question at hand here is; What is accepted national standard? Well in the steam locomotive world, the NBIC, the API and the ASME would all be considered accepted national standards. Now, how does all of this play with the amusement park ASTM deal? Watch this;

The leading amusement park organization in the world is IAAPA. With-in IAAPA there are basically two recognized "safety" organizations. Neither of the two organizations has any (I repeat.....Neither of them has....) ANY STANDARD for steam locomotive inspection, testing or maintenance. PERIOD. You heard me right. Disney Organization which runs more steam days as a company in the world than ANY other organization has NO STANDARD for inspection and maintenance from a "accepted national standard". Do not miss read me. Disney has a detailed set of inspection standards, there is NO nationally accepted standard against which the Disney rules can be weighed.

This next section comes direct from the IAAPA web page:

For nearly three decades, IAAPA members have also been leaders in the development of exacting amusement ride safety standards through their work with ASTM International. As participants in the activities of the ASTM Committee F-24 on Amusement Rides and Devices, these companies have helped establish various standards on design and manufacture, testing, operation, maintenance, inspection, and quality assurance which further enhance the safety and security of the industry. Where applicable, biodynamic data is incorporated into the development process, thereby producing ride system guidelines which can safely accommodate the broadest segment of the population. The ASTM International standards undergo frequent review and revision to keep up with new technologies, and have been adopted by many governmental jurisdictions.

End of IAAPA quote

The reality of the situation is this; IAAPA, under the recommendation of the two recognized safety organizations is doing what ESC did 15 years ago in the Steam Locomotive Industry. Rather than WAITING for an accepted national standard to dictate the rules, they have organized a mutual committee, under the guidelines of the ASTM and they will, on their own, create a standard by which all amusement park trains are inspected and maintained. Remember, there is NO CURRENT STANDARD for amusement park train inspection that is an "accepted national standard."

All of what I have shared is first hand information as I have been asked by one of the two safety organizations, NARSO, to aid as a professional consultant for the boiler portion of this process. Nothing has yet come of these discussions, but, a process is being established where-by some forward progress can be had.

The creation of an ASTM standard is good news for all of us. It will eliminate individual inspectors who know little about railroad safety dictating their own concerns into what they call "rules" and then having companies like mine, Wasatch Railroad Contractors, having to go in and straighten them out. It is frustrating to inspect rail operations at amusement parks only to have to tell the customer......"Well, according to the 49 CFR, which does not apply to you.....your railroad looks great. Unfortunately, Joe Shmoe from the State thinks your train is a roller coaster and he used the roller coaster safety standards to inspect your train....so now it won't run". Here is the final kicker and I digress;

Most states require a third party inspection (usually from the private sector) agency to determine if a park is safe. Now.....what standard does the third party private sector guy (like WRC) use for an inspection standard? Right.....there is NONE!

This entire process is more about creating a standard than it is creating harmful rules for all of us to follow. I applaud and the action and simply can not wait to stop using the 49 CFR as my only standard for local Zoo train inspections!

Kindly,

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Wasatch Railroad Contractors


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:56 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 9:53 pm
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Having been on a mainline steam crew for 17 years and then running at an amusement park in Mason, Ohio for one season I can tell you first hand amusement parks, at least in Ohio, definitely need a set of standards. It was an accident looking for a place to happen and, due to that fact, I refused to go back a second season.


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:45 am 
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As someone who will have to operate under these standards, I believe a set of accepted standards is needed and will help, not hinder…

Our group operates a 3’ gauge horse drawn railroad in a city owned, county managed park.

The FRA track standards don’t apply to railroads of less than standard gauge… there are no published accepted standards for narrow gauge track. We don’t operate steam except at a single special event, and those locomotives arrive with a California state boiler tag… The Feds are not interested in inspecting our railroad.

In California, CAL-OSHA has a group that inspects amusement park rides. That group is funded by fees collected from those they inspect. They tried to inspect (and charge fees) a few years ago, but as a museum we are exempt.
Being mostly horse drawn, we have had to write our own operating rules…

The city and county have asked what standard we build to. They are not after us… just curious… we have explained that there is no standard for what we do… The closest seems to be an obsolete US Army manual… So far they make funny faces and go away. The park district has suggested that we might need building permits to build track… the City has questioned how they might inspect track.. We recently considered acquiring and installing a cable car turntable… and had a conversation with the City’s plans and permits group about what a building permit might look like… It is not exactly a house with studs every 16” It took them several days to come up with a solution. They determined that we would need engineered drawings for the concrete work, but they would accept the bridge as a “historic structure” and basically accept it as is under the “historic” building code. This brings up the question of how them might treat a newly constructed turntable.

Having a reasonable set of standards would end the questions, and give us something to work within.

Many years ago, a California state track inspector inspected our line informally at our request (his son was a member) At the time he said if we would even out a few rail joints he would give us a “FRA 3” a bit over kill for a 6 mph operation. Our only “official” inspection was by the California Div of Mines… we were going to store an industrial locomotive on our line, which was a back up for a tunnel project, and had to be in a place where it could be regularly operated for test purposes… they needed to know that we had more than 100’ of track.

In a world where insurance is increasingly difficult and expensive, a set of industry developed, government accepted rules will make insurance underwriters a bit easier to live with.

Randy

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http://museums.nevadaculture.org/nsrmbc
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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:28 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 9:49 am
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There is definitely a need for a standard, and it's great to see that the operators are being a bit proactive. I hope that the standard is written to be useful, but not too onerous for the small operators.

I have also been the "ouside consultant" as the go-between for the state ride inspectors and the ride operators. Fortunately, the state inspectors I have dealt with have generally been reasonable. They are willing to listen to logic, and accept good railroad engineering justifications to cover workable fixes.

Many of the ride operators here, especially those operating the Chance or Allan Herschell 24" stuff tend to default to the ride construction manual, and I've found that the ride manual is where the state gets the "build like a swiss watch" sentiment. These manuals really are not 100% comprehensive, and are more of a construction document than a maintenance document.

One of my pet annoyances is the lack of information on turnouts, especially for flangeway width and check gage. Some of the operators I've worked with have used mine turnouts, and have had issues (understandably so) when each wheel drops hard into the too-wide flangeway.

49CFR213 often just doesn't scale down either, as the wheel treads, flange profiles, and equipment size is so dramatically different from full size eqiupment. Most of the smaller operators don't have the resources to develop a standard, so it will be useful to have something that differentiates from the ideal new construction and a condemnable maintenance limit.


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:33 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
Jeff Lisowski wrote:
Dave wrote:

No, it is the larger operators in the industry acting to get a set of standards of their own - try reading the material before reacting.


I read the material, but if you don't think that the Feds will eventually step in with some form of regulation, you're foolish. It's bound to happen.

I agree with you, that the FRA rules shouldn't be imposed, but as I said above, something is bound to happen.



Yeah, but if this group writes its own standards, the Feds will likely just adopt them in their entirety. Forward thinking people who work for some of the larger operators are being proactive, so when standards are mandated, they get the standards they wrote themselves, not something a bunch of small town building inspectors dreamed up.

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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:15 pm 

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Location: southeastern USA
OK, what evidence is there that the Feds - whoever that may be - are eagerly pursuing the opportunity to get involved? Truly, if we don't want outsiders to impose regulations on us, it is our responsibility to actively prevent the kind of situations that could suggest to others that some regulation from outside is required. So, seeing the possibility that the actions of some operators might be drawing the attention of insurers, the major operators are proactively pursuing rational regulations, and may even police themselves rather than have outsiders do that as well.

Don't we all wish the banking and financial industries had done the same about 20 years ago?

"Feds" have NOTHING to do with this. Paranoia about "Feds" has even less. We create our own necessity for outside oversight or choose not to create it as we see fit, and the ball is now in our court, much as it was after the Gettysburg big bang incident. Our response then was for the Engineering Standards Committee to form itself and proactively intervene and create regulations that are reasonable, although they did leave the policing to the FRA, which probably makes sense given they already had statutory authority in oversight of the industry in any case. Showing them how to exercise it in other than a freight hauling common carrier environment - that is what we can thank those guys for doing. It has worked in our benefit.

So, aim your paranoia at the cheesy irresponsible subset of operators willing to pinch pennies and put people at risk rather than either pay what it costs do it right or shut down. That's the real cause of potential oversight by disinterested people who don't know what they are doing.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
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There are, in effect, two seperate discussions going on here. My best effort to define them is this;

A.) There is a discussion going on here about "operators". This discussion includes owners, operators, careless handlers, penny pinching boards.....you name it, we can define all of that in section A.) of the discussion.

B.) We have the side of the story that is focusing on the general lack of a nationally accepted standard by which we can weigh the industry as a whole. This portion of the discussion comes from the indurstry as a whole as we see the need for some commonly understood inspection and maintenance practices.

Dave, the fact of the matter is, a number of federal agencies have been called in to look at the most recent amusement park accidents. In the public minutes, it is noted that there is not a single agency that admitted to having a standard by which amusement rail going trains are judged. Even the FRA threw their hands in the air and said......not us!

I am sorry that I do not have it at my finger tips, but, NTSB put out a formal notice basically stating that SOMEBODY needs to create a nationally accepted and industry recognized inspection, training, safety and maintenance standard for amusement rail going trains (noting also that ALL other amusement rides have such a standard.....why not the trains?). The lack of such a standard places everybody at odds when trying to litigate a case involving trains. Was the accident caused by the section A.) of this discussion or was the accident caused because section B.) of this discussion has failed to produce a standard?

See we can not solve section A.) of the problem until we have something from section B.) of the discussion. It is best when section A.) creates the solution for section B.) and the we have one united cause.

I maintain; this is the way our system is designed. It is a great system; Allow those who know the most about how the industry works to solve industry related problems. As a member of a working ASME committee, I am glad that I am on the committee that I know the most about, Steam Locomotive Boilers. In a socialistic system, the fact that I know something about boilers may have landed me on a nuclear boiler steering group. I know nothing about nuclear boilers and would have nothing to contribute. Thus, we should be glad that we have a system that for the most part is self regulating. If section B of this discussion succeeds, section A is self resolving.

So.....as we continue the debate, we can now define which section of the discussion we are arguing for or against. It is valid and worthwhile debate in my opinion.

Kindly,

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Wasatch Railroad Contractors


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