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  • CJ2472
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Yeah...it is sad. I love the engines themselves (without all the modified crap...) For example I understand the solar panels on the roof for power instead of a dynamo (cause the dynamo wasn't invented till the early 1900s...) but the TWO block lights in the cab (as if one is not enough...) the buzzers that are replacing communication and handsignals, the conductors booth...things like that take simple fun realistic aspect of railroading, and replace it with boring things the crew does...making it not even interesting for the guests...

    I wonder if the guys in charge of the trains. (not the upper level executives that don't even get their hands dirty let alone walk in the shop)...if those guys follow up on the museum and volunteer world...me, like so many others that I know...check RyPN on a regular basis...cause trainorders is just foamers and their wishful thinking and "weird" comments...although there is some news there...

    Maybe something should happen where museum volunteers and like the steam guys in So-Cal, like the guys at OERM and the '51 guys, go visit and re-work the system. Starting with a better training system. And meetings so the guys doing the dirty work can better communicate with the executive who thinks he/she is making a smart move while only minimizing the value of a nice train ride.






    Originally posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    The training the engine crew receives is definitely more of a "fast track" than what those of us in the museum community receive--I didn't get certified as a fireman until two years after I started volunteering, after I got to do most of the grunge jobs like climbing into the firebox to clean it, smokebox scrubbing, removing axle cellars, etc. So yes, I know lots about the workings of our engine from the inside out.

    At DL, there is a definite division of labor: The guys who work on the engines stay in the roundhouse; the guys that operate them never get to help repair them. Which means the operating engineers may not necessarily have a good solid understanding of the inner workings: They know they need to keep water up and pressure on the peg--just enough knowledge to let them do their job.

    Lots of these guys do this simply as a job; when they explain things to guests, they may not use the correct terminology.

    The simple fact is, the trains are being seen and treated more and more like typical amusement park rides; the old block signal system they used to use has been removed, and cab signals have taken their place. The route can be controlled from the roundhouse electronically, and if not already in place, there will soon be a system for someone back in the roundhouse to press a big red "E-stop" button to shut down the trains remotely. It's a sad state of affairs to see this historic attraction reduced to the same level as a roller coaster, and the engine crew turned into "ride operators."

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve DeGaetano
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Originally posted by CJ2472 View Post
    One other thing that disturbs me was the knowledge of the engineers...the friend that pointed this forum out to me also talked to me about a cab ride he got...and the one at the fuel valve, according to him, described how the blower works incorrectly: steam coming out of the firebox to create the draft...
    The training the engine crew receives is definitely more of a "fast track" than what those of us in the museum community receive--I didn't get certified as a fireman until two years after I started volunteering, after I got to do most of the grunge jobs like climbing into the firebox to clean it, smokebox scrubbing, removing axle cellars, etc. So yes, I know lots about the workings of our engine from the inside out.

    At DL, there is a definite division of labor: The guys who work on the engines stay in the roundhouse; the guys that operate them never get to help repair them. Which means the operating engineers may not necessarily have a good solid understanding of the inner workings: They know they need to keep water up and pressure on the peg--just enough knowledge to let them do their job.

    Lots of these guys do this simply as a job; when they explain things to guests, they may not use the correct terminology.

    The simple fact is, the trains are being seen and treated more and more like typical amusement park rides; the old block signal system they used to use has been removed, and cab signals have taken their place. The route can be controlled from the roundhouse electronically, and if not already in place, there will soon be a system for someone back in the roundhouse to press a big red "E-stop" button to shut down the trains remotely. It's a sad state of affairs to see this historic attraction reduced to the same level as a roller coaster, and the engine crew turned into "ride operators."

    Leave a comment:


  • CJ2472
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Subway systems and things like that I don't even count as trains, they're more like cheapo metal boxes on rail. But from that picture and the subway stuff that I've ridden...it's all automated and the operator has a clear straight view across the platform. In contrast, I'd think it to be very important for anyone on train crew there to have a good field of view...there are many children and teens too that can get out of hand...and safety is big there...

    Steve...I totally get that Disney, not just the railroad but the whole park...they "decorate" and present their "props" in the idealistic, "perfect" way. Obviously there never was a main street that looked that perfect, clean and well painted. Disney likes their stuff looking good. And at the happiest place on earth it is very appropriate and definitely a requirement...I do hope they use the right stuff to wipe it down...does anyone know what they use?

    Anyways, I was coming at this more from the perspective as one who does restoration work on historic equipment, particularly steam engines. Steam engines are built and designed to rip themselves apart, and crap all over themselves, and depending on where you are when it's alive or in bed, on you too. Then again, you have more surface area to get stuff on you if you work on standard guage, versus narrow guage.

    One other thing that disturbs me was the knowledge of the engineers...the friend that pointed this forum out to me also talked to me about a cab ride he got...and the one at the fuel valve, according to him, described how the blower works incorrectly: steam coming out of the firebox to create the draft...

    I started out in the engine shop, and you work UP to operations, instead of the other way around. You learn every part of the engine, every pipe, fitting, EVERYTHING. So that you know why you do what you do and it's so much easier to learn...yes firing is an art and it takes time for that and train handling just takes a bit of experience in the hot seat...but if you know your train tonnage, grade, and have a little time to experiment with your sets its not a massive undertaking...At least that's my opinion. I've also heard from him that they use buzzers now...what happened to hand-signals...?? highball is 2 waves of the right hand! not that hard to remember.

    Thoughts?


    Originally posted by Malina View Post
    This reminds me of the conductor booths in the NYC subway system, so other trains work successfully this way, for what it's worth. A subway's not the same as a stream train, etc. etc. etc., so that's just an observation.

    I honestly don't know enough to make an informed decision one way or the other, but if it makes the conductors' work safer and easier, yay. If it doesn't help in those respects, it's a shame. [ATTACH=CONFIG]25322[/ATTACH]I'd think the ability to jump off in a split second if a guest needed aid would indeed be helpful.

    Leave a comment:


  • Malina
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    This reminds me of the conductor booths in the NYC subway system, so other trains work successfully this way, for what it's worth. A subway's not the same as a stream train, etc. etc. etc., so that's just an observation.

    I honestly don't know enough to make an informed decision one way or the other, but if it makes the conductors' work safer and easier, yay. If it doesn't help in those respects, it's a shame. Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	40.6 KB
ID:	7346992I'd think the ability to jump off in a split second if a guest needed aid would indeed be helpful.

    Leave a comment:


  • OliviaVonDrake
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    I think it's bizarre.

    Leave a comment:


  • CASurfer65
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    I haven't been on the trains in a while. I'll have to take a look at 'em next time I'm up there.
    I know that as a CM when you were the forward conductor, you had to be ready and able to hop off at a moment's notice if there was a guest standing on the platform outside of the fence. As the train was coming around the bend or through the tunnel, be it NOS, Fantasyland, or Tomorrowland, if you heard a sharp whistle you knew the engineer was saying there was something amiss, and it was usually a guest on the platform, not inside the queue. You had to be off in a split second and quickly escort the guest back off the platform so the train could come in to the station.
    Not having seen these booths though, I'm not sure how much they would impact that potential response.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve DeGaetano
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Originally posted by Acpisme View Post
    So the CM we spoke with validated your point!
    Exactly!

    Leave a comment:


  • Acpisme
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    So the CM we spoke with validated your point!

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve DeGaetano
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    Conductors don't get to choose the engineers operating the locomotives.
    Never said they did--which is why they need to be prepared for any contingency or operational situation.

    ---------- Post added 11-26-2012 at 08:09 PM ----------

    Originally posted by Acpisme View Post
    The cm's we spoke with (sitting next to the cage) told us that they felt it was unnecessary with one gal actually telling us she felt it hindered her ability to track the guests within the train since her field of vision was narrowed to the car she rode in and the one next door.
    As I noted earlier in this thread, the position may be safer for the conductors, but less safe for the guests.

    Leave a comment:


  • Acpisme
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    We saw this over our thanksgiving 4 day trip many times. The space allotted could fit three people easily. The cm's we spoke with (sitting next to the cage) told us that they felt it was unnecessary with one gal actually telling us she felt it hindered her ability to track the guests within the train since her field of vision was narrowed to the car she rode in and the one next door. I don't find it distracting from my experience, but I could easily see what she meant.

    Leave a comment:


  • PragmaticIdealist
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Conductors don't get to choose the engineers operating the locomotives.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve DeGaetano
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    This configuration seems sure to create more injuries, though, since there seems to be no place for the conductor to sit and no way for him or her to lean.
    The conductor shouldn't be sitting OR leaning. There are plenty of hand rails for him/her to grab onto.

    Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    The train movements will create injuries if the conductors have no support and especially if the tracks are not maintained very well.
    They don't need support--they need to hang on and be prepared for the sometimes-erratic movements of the train. The track is in excellent condition; the biggest factor in the train's movement will be the skill of the engineer.

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  • PragmaticIdealist
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Part of the reason the image looks bad is because this particular Disneyland Railroad conductor is so disheveled. And, the other conductors pictured at the link are wearing short sleeves, which should have never been allowed as part of the costume. This configuration seems sure to create more injuries, though, since there seems to be no place for the conductor to sit and no way for him or her to lean.

    The train movements will create injuries if the conductors have no support and especially if the tracks are not maintained very well.

    ---------- Post added 11-26-2012 at 09:38 AM ----------

    In fact, a better configuration would be to keep the safety position on the outside of the train and to add railings and a retractable seat. The capacity of the trains would remain the same, and more protection would be given to the conductors.

    The one advantage of this current configuration that I can see is weather protection since many conductors seem to like using umbrellas during inclement weather.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 11-26-2012, 08:54 AM.

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  • Steve DeGaetano
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Originally posted by CJ2472 View Post
    And their trains are way too clean on the outside. (Clearly no hardcore railroaders there).
    Trains were as clean--or cleaner--back in the era Disney is portraying--the 1890s.

    Leave a comment:


  • CJ2472
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Originally posted by fifthrider View Post
    This has all the feel of insurance inspectors and liability attorneys looking something over and deciding that they have an idea that will make things "better." It rarely does.

    Catching up on this thread, seems like they have their own step. So they can still ride on that step. Don't see grab-irons but thats what I'd do. On the equipment I work on crew on, when we start getting into yard limits to our station, or just a quarter mile away, I just open my assigned trap, and ride the step to the station...that's what everybody does if you're assigned to a trap. You just face the direction of travel, and put (say your traveling ahead, stations on the right, and you open a trap on the engineer's side of the train...take your right foot, on the lower step, left foot on the step above, lean back and just hold onto a grab-iron in case theres some weird slack action coming in...). That's the way people did it back then.

    Find it funny cause my conductor over the weekend was a former espee freight conductor/brakie, he was telling me all about jumping ship going 30 miles an hour to go line a switch or something...I'm not that crazy but I've gotten on and off going 10-15...and disney only runs their trains at like 5 mph.

    But then again looking at this thread it's not all that important. At a tourist RR/operating museum you preserve history, do restoration and dress the part and do all these authentic (but safe and legal) practices that railroaders used to do in the golden age...but the RR at disneyland isn't even history so the park insurance guys can screw it up however they want. As long as they don't touch the baldwin i don't care.

    I just think that the dlrr's become wayy to cheesy. And their trains are way too clean on the outside. (Clearly no hardcore railroaders there).

    Just some ranting guys. LOL.

    Leave a comment:


  • fifthrider
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    This has all the feel of insurance inspectors and liability attorneys looking something over and deciding that they have an idea that will make things "better." It rarely does.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bruce Bergman
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    If it's built the way it looks, it's still easy access - I haven't seen a wide shot, it looks there's a separate step and wide open entrance gap to that position, just ahead of where the Conductor stands? Then it's only a second more to go around the post and out of there if they need to go get a Guest.

    And he has the railing there he can lean out a little to see up or down the train. Without falling off it.

    I'll be getting there sometime in the next week to check it out myself.

    --<< Bruce >>--

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve DeGaetano
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Excellent post, CJ2472. You make excellent points (oOh, and the old conductor safety position used to have TWO grabirons!). As I frequently have said, if Disney wanted to make sure their conductors were absolutely, 100% safe--then they shouldn't be on the trains at all.

    I have been told there have been incidents in the old position with conductors falling off the safety position. That's not an accident--it's a failure to properly train people. And it seems that what is really being saved here isn't conductor safety, but the costs to properly train the people to act and behave around these machines.

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  • Disneymike
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Originally posted by CJ2472 View Post
    I don't see the point of this. It worked fine before. I work at a tourist railway and we are trained to be in compliance federal standards for the safe operation of equipment and other road workers, to hop on and off moving equipment, ride sides of cars in yards [at ours its not more than 10mph...] which is faster i think than that at disneyland...

    For standard guage equipment, federal law mandates that all grab irons, footboards, etc must be bolted [not welded] to the side of the car, and must be double nutted. Disneyland does not have to follow federal regulations [i don't think...? cause itson private property...?] but hey its worked for years.

    As with many other careers, railroading isn't innately safe. You can't make something foolproof. But if you train your workers well and make sure those workers have common sense, what more do you need?

    In terms of watching the train...we have a conductor and 2-3 brakeman on board our train, the consist being usually 7 cars. We constantly walk through each car, and monitor passengers, making sure they do not do something stupid. We are required to check, when necessary, [which includes leaning out the sides of cars,] and make visual checks to ensure the equipment is in good working order. We are also trained to pay attention to certain smells [a set handbrake for example, leaving a smoke trail and a burning smell,] and also by the feel and sound of the train rolling...My point is that when I am on train crew, I need to be comfortable with EVERY aspect of the operation. From what it sounds like, these disneyland "conductors" are not comfy with monitoring their train. That is a problem. If I were in this situation, and felt like I could not do my job properly [keep the equipment and passengers safe] I would talk to the management, and if the situation is not corrected, I would leave.

    This is one of those mucky situations where the guy sitting in the comfy chair with the huge desk and has not a clue whatsoever about railroading makes a decision that is NOT AN INFORMED DECISION. I'm surprised whoever did the modifications to the cars allowed it to be done...[imagineers im guessing..?] Again...people that don't know about train operation.

    I hope they change it back to what it was...and what I remember when I last went there like 5 years ago...if people think that riding some side step [with what looks to be at least one very large grab iron] is not safe, they have no idea what railroading is about. I'm being kind when I'm saying this is borderline paranoia...people sitting behind desks twittling their thumbs in boredom, trying to see what they can pull off next...

    comments and feedback welcome, I'm very glad a friend pointed this out to me.
    Nice post, the Disneyland "improvements" to the railroad were un-necessary.

    Leave a comment:


  • CJ2472
    replied
    Re: Disneyland Railroad Conductor Booth

    Originally posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I have heard that some conductors are forced to lean out to gain better visibility of guests. FWIW.

    As someone who has a bit of experience with real trains, I see this as less safe, mostly for passengers. There have been many instances when conductors have needed to get off the train while it's moving to aissist with guest safety issues.

    I don't see the point of this. It worked fine before. I work at a tourist railway and we are trained to be in compliance federal standards for the safe operation of equipment and other road workers, to hop on and off moving equipment, ride sides of cars in yards [at ours its not more than 10mph...] which is faster i think than that at disneyland...

    For standard guage equipment, federal law mandates that all grab irons, footboards, etc must be bolted [not welded] to the side of the car, and must be double nutted. Disneyland does not have to follow federal regulations [i don't think...? cause itson private property...?] but hey its worked for years.

    As with many other careers, railroading isn't innately safe. You can't make something foolproof. But if you train your workers well and make sure those workers have common sense, what more do you need?

    In terms of watching the train...we have a conductor and 2-3 brakeman on board our train, the consist being usually 7 cars. We constantly walk through each car, and monitor passengers, making sure they do not do something stupid. We are required to check, when necessary, [which includes leaning out the sides of cars,] and make visual checks to ensure the equipment is in good working order. We are also trained to pay attention to certain smells [a set handbrake for example, leaving a smoke trail and a burning smell,] and also by the feel and sound of the train rolling...My point is that when I am on train crew, I need to be comfortable with EVERY aspect of the operation. From what it sounds like, these disneyland "conductors" are not comfy with monitoring their train. That is a problem. If I were in this situation, and felt like I could not do my job properly [keep the equipment and passengers safe] I would talk to the management, and if the situation is not corrected, I would leave.

    This is one of those mucky situations where the guy sitting in the comfy chair with the huge desk and has not a clue whatsoever about railroading makes a decision that is NOT AN INFORMED DECISION. I'm surprised whoever did the modifications to the cars allowed it to be done...[imagineers im guessing..?] Again...people that don't know about train operation.

    I hope they change it back to what it was...and what I remember when I last went there like 5 years ago...if people think that riding some side step [with what looks to be at least one very large grab iron] is not safe, they have no idea what railroading is about. I'm being kind when I'm saying this is borderline paranoia...people sitting behind desks twittling their thumbs in boredom, trying to see what they can pull off next...

    comments and feedback welcome, I'm very glad a friend pointed this out to me.

    Leave a comment:

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