Author Topic: Handcar Usage  (Read 2189 times)

Dana Deering

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Handcar Usage
« on: June 02, 2009, 12:49:30 PM »
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In reference to a (well-intentioned) volunteer taking a handcar out on the line without authorization to join a track crew.

No, don't grab a handcar.  You haven't been qualified as a brakeman so you aren't qualified to run equipment on the WW&F yet, even a handcar (please see the Rule Book).  I'm sure others will arrive later and you can find a way to the Cock Eye Curve section.  There may even be a train available to bring crew up to the work site since I plan to take the Brookville with the compressor car and a work car.  If all else fails, it is not a long walk.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 04:33:48 PM by Ed Lecuyer »

James Patten

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Handcar Usage
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2009, 12:57:40 PM »
It's only about a half mile from Sheepscot to the head of Cock-eye curve.  Probably about 3/4 mile to where Dana will be working.  Good exercise for everyone.

Gordon Cook

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Handcar Usage
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2009, 02:17:45 PM »
Seconding Dana's response, I believe that there is a highly developed sensitivity at the WW&F to the need to keep safety in mind at all times. We have an excellent safety record, and also excellent volunteers, and would like to keep both intact!!
I have learned the hard way that a moment's inattention can hurt, for a long time, when you're moving heavy stuff around.
Unfortunately on a forum such as this it can be difficult to discern a quick quip from a serious thought, and comments about jumping on handcars can be nerve wracking for those who have responsibilities for directing work and also adhering to the rule book, since it's those member's experience and the rules that keep us safe.

So, please understand that the requirements have been developed to ensure everyone who wants to can enjoy the museum and are not meant to restrict anyone's fun or participation, or keep anyone out. Taking directions seriously when 'on the job' also makes us all safer and saner, even if their logic isn't entirely clear at the moment.

And, hopefully, at the end of the day we'll only be happy and tired.

James is absolutely spot-on; walking the ROW is a great way to start the day. Just watch out for the porcupines. :D
Gawdon

Dana Deering

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Handcar Usage
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2009, 04:22:16 PM »
Nice post, Gordon, spot on.  Much better spoken than my post.

     We all have to go through the same process to get qualified on the various pieces of motive power at the WW&F.  Myself, I am not a qualified diesel engineer so I don't operate 52 even though I know how to run it.  Sometimes when I get to Sheepscot on the days I run steam and I'm the only one there to get 10 out, I wait. 

     I also believe there is a qualification process for the handcars that I haven't been through yet. 

     So I am equally as subject to the rules as anyone and don't operate the equipment that I am not qualified to operate under the WW&F rules.  It's about safety, experience, safety, and safety.  Narrow gauge equipment can maim or kill as effectively as any of its wide gauge cousins (just ask that porcupine's heirs) and we have to keep that in mind.  The WW&F may be more of a weekend railroad, currently, but it is a railroad nonetheless.