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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 520
What some people in this forum apparently don't realize is there is a difference between having a standard, or even standard test procedure and having a govt. regulation that must be met.

For example oils used in automobile engines meet an SAE stand such as SAE 10w30, I don't know of a govt. regulation that requires that an oil meeting that standard be used.

Another one is what's called ASTM rounding for rounding off numbers and there are some govt. regulations that require that this procedure be used.

Also, in the case of amusement park rides, there's a question of which govt. agency would be allowed to issue and enforce a regulation and have the funding to do so.

Bob H


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:37 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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I have a hard time imagining myself being involved in a business activity and wanting a bunch of standards to be imposed on me. Why exactly would I want that?

On the other hand, I can easily imaging myself being involved in the standards creation business and promoting the premise that everybody needs more standards.

But to get this down to a practical level, what exactly are some specific examples of standards that are needed for the amusement park train operations?


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
Ron Travis wrote:
I have a hard time imagining myself being involved in a business activity and wanting a bunch of standards to be imposed on me. Why exactly would I want that?


That's easy. After the accident, when the lawyers are all lined up in court asking, "how were your trains inspected and what nationally recognized standards were followed?" You can reply, "The ASTM standard, and we did everything right."

Ron Travis wrote:
But to get this down to a practical level, what exactly are some specific examples of standards that are needed for the amusement park train operations?


Lets take wheels. I think we'll all agree that sharp flanges can cause derailments, therefore wheels need to be re-profiled when worn, but, how worn? If I run a park train, built by a builder that is now out of business, where do I look for guidance? If I have a derailment that causes injuries or fatalities, how do I defend myself that the wheels, while not in new condition, were not bad enough to have re-worked?

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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
Because, Ron, it allows us as consumers to have some degree of security that the product or service we are contemplating purchasing has been proven to have value and not have certain defects based on verification by experts who know a LOT more than we do about that line of products. I like knowing the FDA has rigorously tested the drug I'm prescribed, and the tires I buy for my car aren't likely to blow out at high speed and throw me into a ditch, etc.

It allows me as a provider of a product or service to demonstrate to the marketplace that my product has been proven safe and reputable for consumption, and therefore concern about that need not be taken into consideration when consumers make a choice about which product they choose. Mine is already proven better than that competitors that is not certified.

It allows me as an insurer to write a policy covering a company against liability at more favorable rates knowing that experts have tested it and it conforms to standards of accepted safe practice. When Billy Bob Lugnutz blows his face off having altered it and used it against the advice and instructions provided, it allows me to mount a defence against the lawsuit filed by his nephews girlfriends attorney.

On a practical level, isn't it nice to know that a quarter inch NC bolt or nut bought anywhere will fit another bought anywhere else because they SHARE A STANDARD?

Understand?

dave

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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:39 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 9:49 am
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The problem right now is that there is nothing out there that applies to park trains. For full size, you have the FRA regulations from 49CFR213, as well as other standards organizations like AREMA. AREMA Manual for Railway Engineering is not enforcable code, yet it can be referenced by design engineers in construction and maintenance specifications, and it is updated to illustrate best practices in the industry. Thus, you have a 2-tiered system, a best practice to strive for, and an ultimate limit for enforcable inspection.

For example, my employer can (and does) tell a client that we thermite weld rail in full compliance with AREMA inspection standards as well as the installation standards of the weld kit manufacturer. I can submit both standards, and illustrate that I am following generally acceptable industry best practices.

Now let's look at park trains, and let's say I want to do a track inspection. What is track gage? If I were a full size railroad, we know gage is 56-1/2". However, 49CFR213.53 allows a track gage of 56" up to 58" for Class 1 track. Now let's do the same thing for a 24" gage park train. From the Chance Rides manual "The correct distance between rails is exactly 24 inches for 24 gauge trains in tangent (straight) sections. Improperly gauged track can cause abnormal or excessive wheel wear and possible derailment" How do you apply that?

How do we get to the FRA standards? You take a look at the wheel. The AAR Field Manual for Interchange Rules gives such things as minimum flange thickness, and minimum wheelset gage in rule 41. So the limiting condition of track gage is a wheel with the thinnest allowable flange, with the tightest allowable wheelset gage. This would cause the outside tread of the wheel to be riding on the gage corner of the rail at the areas of widest track gage. You would not want to let track gage exceed the sum of thinnest possible flange plus tightest possible wheel gage plus wheel thickness. Nowhere is this information articulated to a park train inspector. And a standard would need to address each piece of equipment, as I would wager the wheel tread/flange on a CP Huntington is not the same wheel tread/flange on a Cagney. Thus the gage tolerances may be completely different. With the tight curves required to suit park geometry, curve-worn rail is often a problem, leading to regaging to the "exactly 24" and in the process spike-killing the ties.


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:44 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1213
Dennis,

I can see the court trial example to a point. But even if you proved you were bound by the standards, you would still have to prove that you followed them. And if you proved you followed them, you would in effect be proving status of the equipment or practice in question. And if you proved that, would you not be making your case as well as it could be made?

In your sharp flange example, there was the recent Spartanburg, SC miniature train accident in which there was the possibility of sharp flanges contributing to the derailment. There was no standard of how much wear was acceptable for continued use, and yet the flanges were investigated and found to not have contributed. Engineering expertise on the flange condition was applied directly to the trial. What is wrong with doing it that way?

And just to comment on what Dave has added: I would assume that operators of amusement park rides have their own interest in not causing accidents and lawsuits, and would be capable of meeting the proper engineering requirements without any externally imposed standards.


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:45 pm
Posts: 70
The park train industry has and is well self regulated. Things usually go wrong when maintenance is deferred or repairs are not executed well. Much park train equipment in service today, especially steam, was built by companies no longer in business (think Cagney, Ottaway, MTC, Custom Fabricators) so in order to find all the manufacturer documentation and support one may have received as the original owner, may now be quite difficult. Manufacturers of any amusement device provide installation, operation and maintenance requirements. These requirements are enforced by the threat of voiding a warranty and other contractual conditions.

I think in the end the ASTM standards will likely require manufacturers to design safe vehicles and build the vehicles using some sort of quality control system. Installers will be required to follow the manufacturer's requirements and users will be required to have a form of maintenance and training program and a method of record keeping. I doubt this will become a battle of what an appropriate wheel profile is on a 15" gauge piece of rolling stock.

The "Feds" are only interested in interstate issues. I can't speak for all 50 states, but I am reasonably sure that amusement parks are regulated by state, county or municipal governments. Here in California the Department of Occupational Safety and Health has an Amusement Park and Attraction Division.

Committees are good things. You get people from all aspects of an industry together to share ideas. If people are concerned about how a committee might handle an issue they should go to the meetings and voice their opinion. Don't want to travel? Ok, contact the organization the committee functions for and ask how to communicate with its members.


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:56 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 9:49 am
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In my experience there is no uniform "culture" among ride operators. Organizations vary widely from roadside attractions to county and state facilities, to large entertainment corporations. I would argue that the vast majority want to do things safely, but the fact is that not every zoo has a staff railroad engineer, or the desire/budget/awareness that they might need one. In the absence of the engineering support, you have two things: The ride manual, which has been discussed as lacking for maintenance and inspection, and the experience of past years of operation. For the latter, how do you differentiate from being "safe" and being "lucky"? While you can argue matters after the fact of an accident, it would seem easier to do the engineering beforehand and prevent incidents, rather than investigate them. I'm not saying we need hard regulations for increased outside enforcement, but rather we need standards that can be pointed to for reference that "what we've been doing all along" is verifiable, acceptable, sound practice. I don't think we're after design standards, as much as a better handle on managing a maintenance program.


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
Posts: 374
Having been involved in rail related law suites, I share this as a first person exercise related to the conversation at hand.

Lawyers do not know how trains work. Lawyers do not care how trains work. Lawyers do not want to learn why or how a train works. Lawyers, like the rest of us in the free market system want one thing; They want to win a case and make money. So having cut to the chase we come to realize a few facts.

In a law suite we are not looking for mechanical defects, we are looking for who was most negligent in finding the defect. In a train crash caused by an operator, we are not looking for the speed of the train or where it jumped the track, we are looking for who was the most negligent, the operator or the trainer.

Notice again that I commented above on the fact that most states require that a third party (normally private sector) inspect the rides and sign off on them. The state comes to ensure that the owner has secured a third party and that inspections are completed.

So....here is a real world example: The Hoekum Zoo hires WRC to come in inspect their 15 inch train. The state in which the zoo resides has no Amusement Ride Safety Office, yet, they do require inspections and they do follow-up annually to insure inspections were done. One day, the zoo train jumps the tracks, two are injured, five cars derailed. The State, being the big brother calls everybody to the table.....lawyers from all sides are at the table. The finger pointing ensues. Lawyers trying to find the gross negligence, the state making sure that it had done its job and WRC making sure that it had completed inspections. We all end up in court and the judge says......"by what standard do you people inspect so we can determine who is most negligent in this case!" To which all parties say....."ummmmmm.....there is none."

The last poster above this post commented that operators should know what to do or how to design their own rules. I wish I could tell you this is true, but it is utterly false. Amusement park operators (for the most part) are people who know how to make money, not fix things. The amusement park industry is not about fixing things, it is about buying something cheap, limiting exposure and making money. There is but one park in the world who created a park around quality, longevity and a desire to service their equipment.....Walt Disney. Now, if you were in his shoes today, watching these mom and pop dumps kill people on trains for lack of regulation and if you knew that you had done the job (meaning you had spent good money to protect yourself).....would you not want to ensure that SOME standard was enforced for everybody?

If you want to get to the heart of this matter.....why is it fair for Disney, Dollywood, Knots Berry or the rest to spend millions upon millions of dollars maintaining their items while the Hoekum Zoo spends nothing, makes a ton of money yet in the end, has rules enforced on an industry by a governmental body when in reality, had proper action been taken by the industry, we would have averted the pending action. This is where we say, enough is enough. Honestly guys, we have had too many accidents in too short a period with no nationally accepted standard......who is most negligent? The industry!

Can you imagine what NASCAR or the NFL would look like today with-out a set of firmly imposed rules? Note, the rules are created by the industry. The Gov just required that they have them! Why not our trains?

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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 7:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:45 pm
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eriemp24 wrote:
I'm not saying we need hard regulations for increased outside enforcement, but rather we need standards that can be pointed to for reference that "what we've been doing all along" is verifiable, acceptable, sound practice. I don't think we're after design standards, as much as a better handle on managing a maintenance program.


Precisely.


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:45 pm
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John E. Rimmasch wrote:
The last poster above this post commented that operators should know what to do or how to design their own rules. I wish I could tell you this is true, but it is utterly false. Amusement park operators (for the most part) are people who know how to make money, not fix things. The amusement park industry is not about fixing things, it is about buying something cheap, limiting exposure and making money.


Couldn't disagree more.

In the late 1970's DuPont, in response to high incidents of employee injuries and high insurance premiums, developed and implemented its STOP safety training program. DuPont realized an almost immediate reduction in worker injuries. DuPont also began to notice an increase in productivity and a decrease in costs. This translates into higher profitability for creating the same amount of product. Safety is so highly regarded in industry because it is more cost effective than being unsafe.


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:41 pm 

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Well, if it shields the owner or operator from all liability, and if the operations make enough money to pay for all of the regulation and compliance enforcement, I can’t see why there would be any objection to it, unless it comes from operators who are willing to take the risk on the basis of their own competence.


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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 1:02 am
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Location: Northern California
I am afraid that DuPont may have a better understanding of the relationship between safety and long-term productivity and profitability than some segments of the admusement park industry may have.

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 Post subject: Re: ASTM to Study Park Trains Standards
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:35 pm
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Paul,

I see where you are coming from. In my quote I said "(for the most part)" . To dig deeper into what I said and to weigh on the positive side of what you have said; We have some great organizations out there who have learned from their own mistakes, made a better situation and made more money in doing it. At the same time, in my own neck of the woods I could name you a dozen operations who hire cheap labor, run April-October and pray on a daily basis that the train will start. It is these guys to whom I was referring.

I do agree with your view on what DuPont did.....we could make lists of other examples showing the same. We could make lists of my examples showing my point as well. I think we both have a valid point.

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 11:15 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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John E. Rimmasch wrote:



The last poster above this post commented that operators should know what to do or how to design their own rules. I wish I could tell you this is true, but it is utterly false. Amusement park operators (for the most part) are people who know how to make money, not fix things. The amusement park industry is not about fixing things, it is about buying something cheap, limiting exposure and making money. There is but one park in the world who created a park around quality, longevity and a desire to service their equipment.....Walt Disney. Now, if you were in his shoes today, watching these mom and pop dumps kill people on trains for lack of regulation and if you knew that you had done the job (meaning you had spent good money to protect yourself).....would you not want to ensure that SOME standard was enforced for everybody?

Honestly guys, we have had too many accidents in too short a period with no nationally accepted standard......who is most negligent? The industry!



I have heard of a few park train accidents in the last ten years or so. I know there was one fatality in SC this year. Can you cite a dozen or so of these type of serious accidents recently, so we can get an idea of the problem?


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