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What Gov. regulating agency state or federal inspects steam engines on excursion railroads?

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  • Member since
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What Gov. regulating agency state or federal inspects steam engines on excursion railroads?
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, April 13, 2017 1:36 PM

Would it be state boiler inspectors? Federal Railway Adminstration? OSHA? Western Maryland 734 is under inspection but I cant find out who is doing the work and why it would take 10 years to complete.

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, April 13, 2017 3:31 PM

The FRA.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, April 13, 2017 7:14 PM

Under some circumstances, don't ask me what, a steam locomotive is exempt from FRA standards and only subject to state standards. Someone who's heavily involved with a steam restoration project could explain it far better than I can.

For example, that little 0-4-0 saddletanker down in Texas that's the subject of today's "Trains News" is FRA exempt.

And it shouldn't take ten years to get the WM 2-8-0 back in service.  You may be confusing the FRA inspection/rebuild requirement timetable of 1,400 days of operation or 15 years, whichever comes first with the actual rebuild time.

If it takes ten years it may be due to parts availability or manufacture and that old bugaboo, money.

RME
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Posted by RME on Friday, April 14, 2017 10:45 AM

CandOforprogress2
Would it be state boiler inspectors? Federal Railway [sic] Administration? OSHA?

Let's just shut this off with an actual reference:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/part-230

There are some other references in CFR 49 affecting steam-locomotive practice, but you can easily find them in eCFR with a little reading.

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Posted by mudchicken on Friday, April 14, 2017 10:50 AM

...and then there's this little thing called $$$ that the restoration group probably has precious little of and then discovered there is a lot more involved than their optimistic initial appraisal. The regulating agency probably isn't the problem here.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
RME
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Posted by RME on Friday, April 14, 2017 11:12 AM

mudchicken
...and then there's this little thing called $$$ that the restoration group probably has precious little of and then discovered there is a lot more involved than their optimistic initial appraisal.

I think part of this situation is more likely 'priorities' for what would otherwise be adequate $$$ - as with, in a different context, the pace of rebuilding for UP 3985.

The priority now is on finishing the Mallet, and when she's done there may be comparatively little need to have the 2-8-0 also running.  If I remember correctly there are some critical problems with their ROW integrity, at least one of which may require a considerable volume in cubic dollars to repair.  I can easily see a good organization adjusting a reasonably competent PERT or PMP to take longer, perhaps much longer, than a full-priority 1472-day would otherwise involve.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 16, 2017 1:47 PM

mudchicken

...and then there's this little thing called $$$ that the restoration group probably has precious little of and then discovered there is a lot more involved than their optimistic initial appraisal. The regulating agency probably isn't the problem here.

 

Quite true.  The master at this, Lynn Moedinger of the Strasburg Railroad has said

"....it's always going to cost more than you think it will if you do it right.  I've never been right on an estimate yet."

And if he says that, then well...

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Monday, April 17, 2017 4:09 PM

RME

 

 
CandOforprogress2
Would it be state boiler inspectors? Federal Railway [sic] Administration? OSHA?

 

Let's just shut this off with an actual reference:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/part-230

There are some other references in CFR 49 affecting steam-locomotive practice, but you can easily find them in eCFR with a little reading.

 

Read that and its a lot of work. I get tired just reading this

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Posted by Falcon48 on Friday, April 21, 2017 1:03 PM

Actually, the answer to this question isn't that complicated.  Let me try:

1.  Subject to the exception described in #2 below, all railroad steam locomotives (24" gauge or greater) are regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration, not by state boiler inspectors.  This includes excursion locomotives used on freight railroads, regardless of ownership.  It also includes locomotives used on most tourist railroads, even if those roads aren't part of the general railroad system.

2.  Now for the exception.  The major exception is that a locomotive used solely on an "insular" railroad isn't regulated by FRA.  An "insular" railroad is a passenger railroad that's not part of the general railroad system, and operates in an "enclave" with no public grade crossings or bridges over a public roads or navigable waterways, and certain other features specified in the FRA rule (49 CFR 230.2(b)(4)).  Essentially, this exception covers amusement park railroads (think Disneyworld) and railroads like them.  The steam locomotives on railroads covered by this exception are regulated by the states.  

Clear as mud?

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