Sunday, December 21, 2008

Railroaders and the Rules of the Road

Not only is railway work hazardous, round-the-clock-and unpredictable, it's also subject to the adherence to numbers books of rules such as General Operating Instructions, Engine and Train Handling Instructions and Safety Rules. I've included excerpts of these with photos I've taken of crews doing their thing. Above is some light maintenance being performed on CPR 1201's smokebox at Steam Expo in Vancouver, 1986. "Floors, walkways, steps and handrails must be kept free from oil and grease."

Head-end crew about to board CP 4741's vertical steps, carrying grips and radios at Smiths Falls, May 1987. "Face object, use both hands, have secure handholds and firm footing when climbing on or off locomotive, car or other objects."

CP 5730 entering CP's Port Coquitlam yard, 1986. Two crew members watch from the unit as another throws the switch ahead. "After a switch has been turned, the points must be examined and the target or light observed to know that the switch is properly lined."

Crewman of a CP freight inspecting the north side of VIA No 1 as it clears the station platform at Kenora, May 1986. "There should be men on both sides of the track to visually check the train as it goes by."

CN and CP crews making their lifts on the same afternoon at Portage la Prairie, September 1985. "When coupling cars, speed of four miles per hour at time of coupling must not be exceeded to avoid damage to equipment and lading."

CN trainman protecting Counter Street crossing in Kingston before the local enters Alcan plant, 1985. "Protection must be provided by a member of the crew fom a point on the ground at the crossing, until the crossing is fully occupied."

Joining the conductor aboard the rear platform for the uphill backup move into the plant. "Boarding or alighting from moving locomotives or cars must be done only at a slow rate of speed, making allowance for visibility, weather and ground conditions."

VIA 6651 is added as 6308 and 6614 are refuelled prior to the trip westward into the mountains, Calgary 1986. "Diesel units must not be moved without first notifying all persons who may be working under or about them."

CN's fuel truck is refuelling VIA units as crews catch up on the news, Jasper 1986. "When practicable, send trucks to passenger platform before trains arrive to prevent trucking through passengers."
Rail Change Out unit workers face our passing CN Railiners. They can't clear the south track the RCO is on due to the length of this unit. Kingston Sub, June 1980. "When doing any work on the track, as soon as the headlight of a train is observed, stand well clear of the track, and warn all workers to do the same."

A CP speeder crew clears for VIA No 1 at Gravel siding, northern Ontario, 1986. "Remind the foreman whan a train is due. The foreman should encourage the active participation of all his men in train line-up information."

Running Extra...
Even though Christmas vacation is here, there are lots of people who have to work at this time of year. Railroaders and others. Stay safe, enjoy what you can of this special season, and all the best in 2009. For a last minute stocking stuffer, how about CP 411740, and no, it's not a model. The CP website refers to it as a vintage coach car, not the first car CP has used until it becomes it maximizing the assets:

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