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Sapt Kranti Express: Ruling the tracks with EMD Power - Keshav Singh

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Jan 13 (18:01)

Entry# 2224     
Forever Railfan^~
Planning of Locomotives ?

General Travel
Jan 13 (18:01)
Blog Post# 4539175-0     
Forever Railfan^~   Added by: Forever Railfan^~  Jan 13 (18:01)
Planning of Locomotives ?
Power Plan:
The power plan indicates the daily average number of locos required and planned for freight services section-wise for each division. This bare requirement of Locos for Traffic use is calculated on the basis of the traffic turn round and an average number of trains run on each section. This represents the average number of locos needed on
the Division.
Loco Outage and Loco Utilization:
Loco Outage means the average number of locos available for traffic use in a day (24 hours). Since the Diesel and Electric Locos have long extended runs and may cover many divisions in a day, the position may be maintained graphically for the entire duration (0 to 24 hours) the loco is online on the Division.
Different color graphic representation on Bar Chart can represent the time spent by each Loco to serve as a good Management Information System.
Time is taken by running train
Time is taken for Crew Changing
Time for Fuelling (Diesel Locos)
Time is taken for Loco inspection
Time for repairs online
Time for Light Engine running
Time is taken for Shunting (h) time spent at terminal/ destination
Enroute detention.
Thus, the total hours for which the various Locos were available for Traffic use divided by 24
(Number of hours in a day) would give the Loco outage.Loco outage = Engine Hours for traffic use /24
Loco outage can be prepared service-wise/shed-wise/railway-wise, traction wise etc. The actual Loco outage should generally be around the target fixed for each Division. However, it should be appreciated that while the target is based on average, the actual requirement of Locos may fluctuate due to bunching of trains, increase in traffic or due to bottlenecks on account of operational reasons, equipment failure or after effect of interruption to traffic.
Control of Operating Department in Loco running:
Electric and Diesel Locos are maintained by the respective Loco Sheds and Locos once turned out of shed are available for utilization for a number of days till prescribed maintenance/inspection schedule is due in the shed or the locos require out of course repairs.
Thus, while the operating staff has the operational control over utilization of Locos as well as the flexibility of using the Locos as per operational requirement, they have to keep in view the maintenance/inspection schedules of the Locos and send the Locos to the Shed well in time.
Overdue running of locos should be avoided by suitably planning the train running. Similarly, all-out efforts should be made to send the dead locos or locos requiring attention in the home shed. The hauling capacity of the Locos and special restrictions as jointly agreed to by the officers of operations and loco departments should also be adhered to.
While operating department has to optimize the work done by each Loco i.e. moving maximum traffic with the minimum number of Locos by adoption of operational strategies and improving the efficiency, the Shed and the Loco organization should provide optimum number of Locos in good fettle, keeping in view the traffic needs as shortage of Locos can lead to transport bottlenecks and inability to move the existing and potential traffic.
Along with the availability, reliability, safety, and predictability have to be aimed. Loco failures, Loco troubles en-route and ineffective locos should be kept to the bare minimum. Balancing of Locos is also required to be done i.e. Locos without loads may be sent to other divisions where they are required.
Reduction in terminal detentions and increasing average speed of goods trains would substantially improve engine utilization
Availability of Engine Crew and Guard:
Running staff for Goods operations are generally booked on the principle of first in and first out,
Balancing of Crews/Guards by sending staff spare is also required to be done in case the running of trains is not even in both directions on a section.
Jan 13 (18:00)

Entry# 2223     
Forever Railfan^~
What Is Engine Utilization ?

General Travel
Jan 13 (17:58)
Blog Post# 4539172-0     
Forever Railfan^~   Added by: Forever Railfan^~  Jan 13 (18:00)
What Is Engine Utilization ?
►►► Engines being costly resources their utilization has to be carefully monitored. Some of the measures for improving Engine Utilizations are as under:
Running of the Goods Trains on the proper path, For this, the Master Charts have to be properly framed and consolidated.Proper co-ordination between Control and Line Staff.Reduction in the Terminal detention of Locos by proper monitoring co-ordination and working with Yard Staff, C&W Staff etc.
judicious ordering of Trains and Right time start of Goods Trains.Proper controlling, judicious crossings and preferences.Loop Lines on critical block sections should not be generally blocked.Stabling and picking up of load should be judicious and properly planned.Loco pilot should run at maximum permissible speed subject to restrictions.
Light Engines can be coupled or attached to trains in order to save path and energy.Light Engines (Single or Couple) should run at maximum permissible speed, for which they are fit, subject to speed restrictionsSignals must be taken off promptly at Stations. Distant/Warner Signals must always be taken off promptly.
Tangible authority to proceed should be handed over at the appointed place instead of getting the train slowed down in front of the Station for handing over the Authority from the
Platform.Trains should be run through Main Line (as far as possible) since looping results in extra time on the run.
Locomotives should be in good working order and staff should be well versed in Loco operations and troubleshooting.Hauling capacity of the Locomotives should be properly utilized.Engineering speed restrictions should be regularly reviewed and reduced by maximizing the output of the Engineering staff and machines. Due care and foresight in offering blocks for track maintenance should be exercised.
Regular foot plating by officers and staff involved in operations motivates train crew and alerts the line staff.Effective control over traffic yards to reduce other engine hours, detention to locos at important loading/unloading points and industrial sidings.
The factors adversely affecting the Locomotive utilization, the speed of goods train, terminal detention etc. should be got analyzed by suitable multi-departmental teams and remedial
measures were taken.Incentive schemes for the motivation of staff connected with Goods Operation, so as to improve Engine utilization Special watch on Loco pilots losing time on the run and not running at maximum permissible speed.
Jan 07 (18:40)

Entry# 2222     
Forever Railfan^~
History of RDSO

General Travel
Jan 07 (18:40)
Blog Post# 4533815-0     
Forever Railfan^~   Added by: Forever Railfan^~  Jan 07 (18:40)
History of RDSO :
In 1903,the Indian Railway Conference Association (IRCA) was set up to provide for standardization and coordination amongst various Railway systems. This was followed by the Central Standards Office (CSO) established in 1930 at Shimla for preparation of designs, standards and specifications. However, till Independence, most of the design and manufacture of railway equipment was entrusted to foreign consultants. With Independence and the resultant phenomenal rise in country’s industrial and economic activities, the demand for rail transportation increased causing a total shift in emphasis. The urge towards national self-sufficiency together with the expansion of activities of the Indian Railways in the field of design and manufacture brought in its wake the demand for more indigenous applied research in
railway technology. Consequently, the Research Section of the Central Standards Office was reorganized as Railway Testing Research Centre (RTRC) and established on 1st September 1952 as a separate Directorate of Railway Board with headquarters at Lucknow and two sub- centres at Lonavla and Chittaranjan. In 1957, the Central Standards Office and RTRC were integrated into a single unit as Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) at Lucknow.
Jan 07 (18:35)

Entry# 2221     
Forever Railfan^~
History Of RPF

General Travel
Jan 07 (18:35)
Blog Post# 4533813-0     
Forever Railfan^~   Added by: Forever Railfan^~  Jan 07 (18:35)
History Of RPF
The Railway Protection Force has its origin since 1882 when the Railway Companies then in existence appointed their own security for each Department. This arrangement was found to be fairly satisfactory till 1918. With an increase in traffic; there was a steep rise in the incidence of thefts of goods entrusted to Railways. This led to the Government of India to appoint a committee to enquire into causes thereof and suggest corrective measures.
Acting on the Committee’s recommendations, most of the Class I Railways reorganized their security as a separate unit under a superior officer. But this too proved inadequate, and in the aftermath of the Second World War, losses due to thefts and claims on the Railways assumed huge size and needed serious attention.
The Government of India, therefore in year 1954, instituted a special enquiry through Director, Intelligence Bureau (Ministry of Home Affairs) who in his report, forcefully brought out the necessity of organizing the security in railways on a statutory basis. The Railway Board also appointed a Security Adviser to the Railway Board in July, 1953 to work out the details for the reorganization of the Security department. It was decided in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs that there should be an integrated well organized force on the model of the Police with adequate supervisory staff specially trained to meet the peculiar aspects of crime that were prevalent in Railways and act as a second line to the States Police with whom, under the Constitution, policing on Railways was rested. This led to introduction of the R.P.F. Bill in the Parliament of India for the better protection and security of Railway property and the same was passed as The Railway Protection Force Act, 1957 (No.23 of 1957).
Gradually and steadily the force has evolved in many aspects from then onwards and there after The RPF Act, 1957 was modified by Parliament for the first time in 1985 vide Act No.60 for the constitution and maintenance of the Force as an Armed Force of the Union and for the second time in 2003 with Railway Act vide which the additional responsibilities of Passenger Safety and Security of their belongings were laid on the shoulder of the Force by extending the powers of execution of 29 sections of Railway Act. At present the Force is escorting maximum number of mail/express trains throughout the length and breadth of the nation beside the access control duties at important stations.
Jan 07 (10:32)

Entry# 2220     
Forever Railfan^~

General Travel
Jan 07 (10:32)
Blog Post# 4533483-0     
Forever Railfan^~   Added by: Forever Railfan^~  Jan 07 (10:32)
Responsibilities :
1]Ensuring the train follows applicable safety rules and practices.
2]Carrying out running repairs.
3]Making sure the train stays on schedule.
the equipment’s, doors and controls are working properly.
5]Making sure the train is clean, safe and ready for departure.
6]Using the brake in emergencies.
7]Dealing with any problems on the train.
8]Reporting and dealing with any on-train problems.
9]Providing information to passengers about connecting trains and dealing with queries.
10]To give information about approaching stations and the time of arrival, and updating passengers about any delays.
11]Looking for people who need particular help, such as children, ladies traveling alone, elderly people or differently abled.
12]Looking after the welfare of the passengers in an emergency.
13]At the end of the duty, reporting details of any delay, problems, incidents, difficulties encountered.

Jan 07 (10:33)
Blog Post# 4533483-1     
Forever Railfan^~   Added by: Forever Railfan^~  Jan 07 (10:33)
Qualities :
1]Have a smart appearance and a pleasant manner.
2]To be calm and have the confidence to work with minimal supervision.
3]To be able to give information a way that is easily understood.
be able to deal quickly with unexpected situations.
5]Assertiveness for dealing with difficult and angry passenger problems.
6]To be good at interacting with people from diverse backgrounds.
7]To be able to answer queries on timetables, routes, and regulations.
8]To be able to handle pressure and react in a calm, reassuring manner.
9]To be fit medically with good eyesight, normal color vision, and hearing.

Jan 07 (10:36)
Blog Post# 4533483-2     
Forever Railfan^~   Added by: Forever Railfan^~  Jan 07 (10:37)
skills :
The Train Guards have the following skills to use in their day-to-day working of trains either goods or passenger carrying.
1. Good observation skills
2. Organizational and decision-making skills
3. Interpersonal skills
4. Clerical
5. Strong technical skills
6. Strong communication skills
The following skills are explained in detail how the train guards make use of them.
¤ Learning Skills:
1. Updating own knowledge and skills required for performing the duties of a guard.
2. Adapt own competence in response to any changes in the processes and equipment used in performing the duties.
3. Contribute to learning and assessment activities in the workplace.
4. Assist fellowmen to adapt to any changes in working systems, equipment, procedures and the working environments in different types of Guard vans.
¤ Technology:
1. Use proper equipment and materials when required.
2. Follow and apply operational and servicing instructions for equipment when used
¤Communication skills:
1. Listening to and interpret verbal information related to performing the duties of the guard.
2. Reading, interpreting relevant rules, regulations, instructions, signs, and boards applicable.
3. Speaking clearly and directly on matters related to rail operations.
4. Monitoring visual, verbal and oral communication systems and procedures when required.
5. Writing documents as part of duties, completion of relevant books, forms, and reports.
6. Recognizing and interpreting non-verbal science, signals, and behavior.
7. Using relevant communication equipments.
¤ Observation and problem-solving skills:
1. identify and solve or report problems arising in the course of performing the duties of a guard.
2. Monitor and anticipate problems that may occur in the course of performing the duties of a guard and take appropriate action to report or resolve the problems within limits of responsibility.
3. Identify and control hazards and risks in a range of situations related to performing the duties of a guard and take appropriate precautions.
4. Use mathematics to solve various calculations related to performing the duties of a guard.
¤ Initiative and enterprise:
1. Modify activities dependent on differing situations and contingencies
2. Take appropriate initiatives in a range of operational situations
3. Respond appropriately to any changes in equipment, standard operating procedures, and the working environment.
¤ Planning and organizing skills:
1. Follow and apply operational and emergency plans, systems and procedures.
2. Monitor systems and procedures for compliance with regulations and codes of practice.
3. Implement the workplace security and safety management systems.
4. Monitor and evaluate operational performance and compliance.
5. Collect and interpret information needed in the course of performing the duties of the guard.
6. Manage time and priorities in the course of performing the duties of a guard.
¤ Teamwork:
1. Collaborate with others in the course of performing the duties of a guard
2. Provide leadership to other personnel in the workplace.
3. Motivate others in the workplace
4. Assist others in the workplace to achieve and maintain competence.
5. Assist in the resolution of any interpersonal conflicts that may arise during work operations.
6. Avoid and prevent the harassment of others in the workplace
7. Work with persons of different ages, gender, and languages etc.
¤ Self-management:
1. Interpret and apply rules, regulations, and instructions.
2. Evaluate own work performance.

Jan 07 (10:41)
Blog Post# 4533483-3     
Forever Railfan^~   Added by: Forever Railfan^~  Jan 07 (10:41)
Training :
1)Introduction to Computers → This chapter is an introduction to computer fundamentals with emphasis on skills training.
2)Communications for Guards → This chapter is an introduction to the skills and attitudes required to effectively communicate within the railways. The oral and written skills are necessary for effective communications among employees, and between employees and public.
3)Life and work management → The railway
is both a rewarding and demanding work environment where Guards must prepare for a variety of challenges. Developing appropriate personal work and management skills will help them cope with challenging personal and work situations, maintain physical and emotional well-being, and enjoy a successful career on the railways.
4)Professional Skills → This chapter will provide learners with knowledge of basic railway operations and the customer service skills that will enable them to deal effectively, efficiently, and professionally with co-workers and travelling public.
5) Guards’ Duties → Guards are critical to operations of goods and passenger trains. They play a key role in ensuring trains are built and reach their destinations safely. This module provides an introduction to the role and responsibilities of Guards as well as the knowledge, skills, and attributes that are required to be effective.
6)Introduction to Railway Operations → This chapter will give learners a basic knowledge of the history of the railways and main infrastructure aspects (track, wagons, locomotives and their maintenance operating Rules, commercial operations.)
7) Movements and Equipment Inspections → Testing and inspecting the equipments of personal and Brakevan and trains are major responsibilities for Guards. This module covers the basic Guards responsibilities and procedures for performing inspections on trains and equipments. It encompasses pre-departure and en route inspections required in accordance with rules and regulations. Much of a Guards work involves recognition of railway signs and signals as well as direct operation of railways equipments. This module allows Guards to observe track signs, signals.
8)Learning Road → This chapter is the transition between classroom and work. It focuses on the application towards mastery of the skills already learned in the Training Center within a safe environment. The practicum conditions will simulate real working conditions of Guards who work outside in prevailing weather conditions.
9)Shunting and Marshalling → A key responsibility for Guards is to ensure that carriages and wagons are switched, picked up and set off safely and properly, and that these wagons are arranged in the correct sequence within the train (marshalling). This module will introduce learners to the basic concepts and principles used to ensure safe and efficient shunting and marshalling.
10)Rules, Authorities and Record Keeping → This chapter is as introduction to the Operating Rules that governs railway operations and the general procedures for authorities and record keeping. It describes how the G and SR impacts major functions within railway operations and promote safe operations relative to the movement and handling of trains and engines across a rail system. Forms/reports/documents are essential for the operation of a railway, and Guards will be taught how to complete and maintain different forms/reports.
11) Safety Culture → Safety culture is the term used to identify an overall approach to managing safety. Rather than being a set of rules and procedures, safety culture is an attitude or way of life that is practiced by everyone both at home and in the workplace. This module will provide the learner with the foundation for safety.

Jan 07 (10:42)
Blog Post# 4533483-4     
Forever Railfan^~   Added by: Forever Railfan^~  Jan 07 (10:43)
Impressions :
1.)Brakeman’s Life
In the early days of railroading, the brakeman’s lot was fertile ground for legends and poems. The railroading journals were full of odes entitled “Only a Brakeman”. One example is a poem of that title which appeared in Locomotive Engineers Journal in 1885. The job of the freight train brakeman was a solitary one and was especially dangerous. Before the widespread use of air brakes in the late 19th century, trains were stopped through the manual application of brakes on each of the train’s cars.
after the airbrake came into universal use, the brakeman still had to be ready to climb atop the train to manually set the brakes when the airbrakes failed to work or when a section of cars had to be cut from the train. In the interest of train safety, the middle brakeman, if there was one, would ride out in the open in order to be ready to manually apply the brakes if the need arose.
Middle brakemen were most frequently used on long freight trains as well as on local freight lines where freight cars had to be cut loose or added on regularly. To apply the brakes, the brakeman would turn a large brake control wheel located atop each freight car of the train. Every brakeman carried a thick brake “club” to help give them leverage in turning the wheel.
This meant that they would have to run along the top of the railway cars and leap from one to another in order to apply or release the brakes on each car. Generally, the rear brakeman, or flagman as he was also known, would advance from the end of the train whilst the head brakeman or the head brakeman or the conductor would advance from the engine to apply the brakes on each car, one by one.
On a moving train, especially in bad weather, the application of brakes was a risky proposition, at best. Worse still, a stuck brake wheel might suddenly free up and throw the brakeman off balance. All too often this would result in the brakeman falling between the cars to his death. Riding in the open, frequently exposed to the bitter cold of winter, the brakeman’s job was fraught with danger.
Running across freight car roofs to engage the brakes on each car as quickly as possible was the hazardous affair. In winter the planks atop the freight cars would be slippery with ice and snow. Furthermore, tracks were not always aligned horizontally resulting from a rolling motion as the cars passed over uneven areas of the track.
At a height of 12 or 14 feet above the track grade, the rolling was much magnified and posed a grave danger to the unlucky brakeman riding atop the freight car. In the worst case, the brakeman would be thrown to his death underneath the wheels of the train. The O&W railroad tunnel at High View was the first of three tunnels to pierce the Shawangunk Mountains.
It was unlined and unvented. The Shawangunk Grit that the tunnel was bored through was prone to fissures, cracks and rock falls. This required almost daily inspections of the tunnel. In the days before diesel, the thick black coal smoke and steam from the engine would linger in the tunnel since there were no shafts to vent this noxious mix.
Despite the frequent track inspections, there were still delays inside the tunnel caused by rock falls. At times the brakemen and other train workers would have had to endure a prolonged stay inside the tunnel until the obstruction was cleared. Moreover, after laboring up the Shawangunk Ridge from Summitville, sometimes with the help of a second pusher engine, a freight train would have had to pass through the tunnel at low speed.
The reason for this is because the train might have to take on orders as it slowly passed the High View station less than 200 yards from the tunnel’s south portal. The train might even have to stop if such a signal to halt was displayed at the station’s signal tower.
For one reason or another, brakemen and other trainmen and other trainmen would have had to spend considerable time inside the tunnel amidst the engine’s toxic fumes. Before the advent of the enclosed cabin for the brakeman, they would ride on metal ladders on the sides or ends of the rail cars.
Even after the brakemen’s cabin arrived on the scene in the 1880’s, the cabins were open to the elements so that the brakemen could hear the braking signals from the engineer sent forth from the train’s whistle. This made the arduous work of the brakemen even more daunting. (The situation was even worse for the front end trainmen like engineers and firemen who rode on an open platform at the rear of the smoke and steam spewing engine.) In the days before OSHA, there was nothing to protect the health of these invaluable rail workers.
Besides the responsibilities of applying and releasing the train’s brake, the brakeman also was responsible for coupling and uncoupling the train’s cars. In the days of link and pin coupling, switching cars was an inherently dangerous operation where the brakeman had to stand between two cars and attach or detach them. They risked being crushed during his operation or having arms or fingers maimed whilst lining up the basic link and pin mechanism then is used.
The O&W Summitville depot and rail yard where the Port Jervis to Kingston line crossed the O&W Main Line was one place where the brakeman would have been called upon to switch cars. At local businesses, the brakeman would also have had to work to pick up or deliver local freight cars.
Even after the advent of automatic signals, when a train had to stop on the tracks the rear brakeman would be called upon to display a flag during the day or red safety lantern at night some distance from the end of the train. Frequently they would stay with the signal until the train was ready to proceed.
On single track lines, the front brakeman or other trainman would display the warning signal at some distance from the front of the train. In harsh weather, especially during winter, the health of the brakemen was at risk. In the dark of winter, frostbite and hypothermia were all too frequently in evidence.
Throwing manual switches along the rail line was also a responsibility that the brakemen frequently had. Running ahead of a moving train the head brakeman would have to open the switch before the engine arrived. At the rear of the train, the rear brakeman would have to leap from the train, close the switch and then race to catch up to the train and get on board again.
Running alongside the tracks and crossing over the ballast to reach the train was not an easy job since the ballast had an uneven surface that made running over it difficult. Brakemen climbing aboard a moving train frequently sustained injuries when they slipped and fell from the train. In the worst cases, a brakeman could fall beneath the train’s wheels and be severely injured or even killed.
Perhaps the most remarkable and risky maneuver performed by the brakemen was a procedure called the “flying switch”. In this operation, the rear part of the train which was behind the cars to be shunted to a siding was decoupled. Then, whilst the remainder of the train proceeded forward, when the train approached the switch, the brakeman on the train decoupled the “orphan” cars just as the engineer eased the engineer sped up leaving a gap between the front section of the train and the cars to be shunted.
After the engine and the cars attached behind it went over the siding switch, the brakeman on the ground threw it thereby sending the “orphaned” cars into the siding. All this required split-second timing. In order to accomplish this feat, the brakemen had to be agile and skilled.
When the maneuver was finished the train would back up and pick up the cars that had been behind the shunted cars. The results would be part of the train left behind on a siding without involving a second engine, moving the cars excessively or doing any complicated maneuvering.
The “flying switch” was very dangerous for the brakemen involved. Railroading liability case law is filled with lawsuits filed by widows of brakemen killed executing this operation. Whilst doing a “flying switch” many brakemen lost their balance and fell beneath the car wheels.
The performance of this switch at grade-crossings also appears to have been especially hazardous to pedestrians attempting to cross the tracks after the head of the train had passed. In many cases, pedestrians were unaware that the “orphan” cars were following a short distance behind and were struck as these cars went through the grade-crossing. For this reason, a number of states outlawed the use of the” flying switch” at grade-crossings.
Brakemen found it hard to get insurance policies given the injury-prone nature of their work. The benevolent mutual insurance brotherhoods they set up to self-insure themselves were to become, in later years, the trainmen’s unions. In fact, in 1883 the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen was born in a D&H Canal Company caboose in Oneonta, NY. In the years before OSHA, lax safety rule enforcement by the railroads left the burden of protection on the trainmen, especially the brakemen.
All too frequently rules were made to shield the railroad companies against lawsuits rather than to protect the health of their trainmen. The 19th century saw the creation of great new industries across America. The railroad industry is just one example of this phenomenon. These new fields produced new jobs where there were none before.
The benefits of this vast new job creation were tempered by the lack of sufficiently powerful health and safety standards. Our modern regulatory regime owes its existence to the rise of governmental oversight in the late 19th century. Whilst the price paid by brakemen and other rail workers may have been high, it finally resulted in governmental protections being put in place to secure safe working conditions. Programs like OSHA may have flaws, but their benefit to the health of industrial workers has been demonstrated over time and is undeniable.
The story of the railroad companies and their workers is really- the tale of the development and evolution of American industry in general. The pattern of American industry is one of a headlong rush of innovation culminating in an environment of excesses which was then tempered by a period of moderation. The rise of the rail empires in the later 19th century shows this unbridled progress and the impact of its excesses.
The interlocking directorates of the railroads as well as the greed of the “Robber Barons” created an anti-competitive industry with little regard, in general, for its workers’ health and well-being. This was followed by government regulation of the industry with the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887 and such acts as the Federal Railway Safety Appliance Act of 1893 which went into effect in 1898.
Later implementation of government work rules to protect railroad workers was also important in making their work life safer. In 1907 the Hours of Work Act was made Federal law and limited to the 16th number of hours a train crew could work continuously.
After this period the railroad was required to grant the crew 10 hours off. Nevertheless, some legislation, such as the “full crew” laws in force in 20 states in 1913, did not seem to have made the railroads safer for passengers or trainmen. Overall, however, rail workers benefited significantly from federal laws and regulations designed to improve their safety whilst on the job.

Jan 07 (10:43)
Blog Post# 4533483-5     
Forever Railfan^~   Added by: Forever Railfan^~  Jan 07 (10:44)
Impressions :
2.)Layman’s Impressions Of a Railway Guard
That is he- the man who nimbly steps off the rear end of the train as it glides to a halt at the station; neat efficient, patient, punctual to the split minute-that is the “man behind”. Such words are not mere metaphorical bouquets, but constitute a worthy description, earned in daily service and justified by the traditions of railway-running since the days of “Puffing Billy”. hence the title, “guard”- the guardian of all those who entrust themselves and their belongings to the care of the
Like the “man in front”, the “man behind” does his job unobtrusively but thoroughly, promptly but unhurriedly, but what he does is done with a dispatch-with surety of action and systematic exactitude. He is human, of course, no mere automaton could meet the demands hourly made upon his initiative.
He is always ready with information and assistance, and the passenger has learned to regard him, not as a mere official—brass – bound by uncompromising officialdom—but as one who, man to man, will explain a point and discuss a difficulty; for this is the man behind the “man behind”.
His Home from Home:
His “home away from home” is a cubby-hole at one end 0f the van, combining the functions of the office, lunchroom, workshop and “look-out”. A seat, which can extended to a short settee for those rare intervals which I presume even guards find for rest, faces a desk where, between punching tickets and doing all the things guards do, he sorts up his way-bills, fills in his running schedule, and does other jobs of work which are double Dutch to the unversed.
There is a spice of romance in every job, but it seldom is apparent to the person whom it concerns most. I put it to the guard—foolishly, no doubt, “Does it ever strike you that, while this train is running, you are the keeper of hundreds of lives and goodness knows what value in property? Don’t you ever feel the weight of your responsibility?
He smiled, a trifle pityingly I imagined, and answered: “Oh, I don’t know – a fellow gets used to his job. “To him, it is a “job”, and if you and I had it, it would be our “job”, but, observing him through the unblemished eye of the outsider, it looked something a little more than a “job”.
I thought of slips on the line, of wild winter nights, of bridges over flooded rivers—of all the possible hazards of any track—hazards which fortunately seldom become actualities on New Zealand’s railways in consequence of meticulous examination and supervision of the permanent way. But, nevertheless, in any such emergency, he must be prepared to face the music.
In mute testimony of the fact there are two cupboards in his cubby-hole; through the glass front of the one you see a crowbar, a shovel, and other useful tools, whilst, strapped to the outside is an axe; the other cupboard houses the first-aid outfit, and both provide an unostentatious indication of the responsibilities of the “man behind”.
In a corner lie a bunch of accessories, overhead is a fire extinguisher, nearby is an emergency hand brake; a locked mail bag is in the rack, and, through the open door, one glimpses the interior of the van with its stacks of freight neatly arranged in order of destination to facilitate speedy unloading.
The “man behind” has an entry of every article in his way-bills, and the responsibility for their delivery is his, deck-chairs, bicycles, boxes, perambulators, portmanteaus, suitcases, a wheelbarrow, a crate if ducks, a bundle of shovels, a mysterious article shrouded in scrim, and a box containing a noise, the noise is a compromise between a yelp and a thin howl and is as persistent as a toothache.
Whenever he can find a moment to spare, the guard taps on the box and speaks soothingly to the noise, whereupon it subsides to a thin whimpering.“It’s a pup”, explains the guard, “all the way from Invercargill. I’ve fed him and given him a drink, but he’s tired of it – poor little brute”.So, the guard is, among many things, a protector of pups.
The Man All Over:
He tilts his hat back from his brow, produces a pencil and becomes absorbed in something which looks to me like a large-scale cross-word puzzle. He endeavors to explain it, but its columns and sub-columns, its headings and tailings, leave me dizzy.
“Must hop long again”, he says, “to tell them that there’s time for refreshment at the next station”, and out he goes with a knowing smile on his face.The average traveler knows little of the activities of the “man behind”. He sees him pass through the carriage with an intent expression on his face which advertises that he is going somewhere and knows where he is going-but just what he is up to at the moment is a secret, except when he divulges his intentions by inviting “all tickets, please”.
But sometimes he stands inside the door dumbly examining each passenger, in turn, I used to think that he was on the lookout for erring passengers who place their feet on the opposite seat, and many’s the time I have removed my pedals with stealth.
But now I know that he is merely taking a tally of “heads”, for periodically he must count the passengers for the purpose of ascertaining the average accommodation needed—so many people, so many tons; so much freight, so much weight. He knows the weight of carriages, wagons, and van, and, armed with this information, he arrives at the aggregate tonnage of the train, for certain sections of the track includes inclines or” banks”, as railwaymen call them, which will allow an engine to haul only a specified weight.
Consequently, it falls to the” man behind” to keep a tally of the tonnage behind the locomotive. Correctly speaking, the” man behind” is the “man all over”, because he spends more time all over the train than he does at the end of it.
In loco parentis:
With the end of his small green flag (furled “pro tem”) peeping out of his breast pocket, with his silver banded hat, his whistle and his air of alertness, the” man behind” epitomizes the spirit of “service”.if you take the trouble to look, you will see him here, there and back again- at the door of the van tallying out luggage and goods, on the track at a siding, writing a ticket while he balances with spread feet to the sway of the train, semaphoring the brake test signal, poking his little green flag out of the centre of the train, shrilling his whistle at a wayside station, flitting, hovering- elusive, yet omnipresent.
He is the rear-guard, the safeguard and the vanguard of the traveling household known as a train. He is “maitre d’hotel”, tourist agent, family adviser and protector of the weak, director of the strong, and announcer of glad tidings concerning the inner man, keeper of the baggage, and guardian, “in loco parentis”, of his temporary family.
He keeps his third eye open (for he must have a third eye to see all sees) to ensure that you don’t endanger life and limb by leaning over platform gates; that you don’t try to catch trains on the wing, as it were, and that you do not do any of those things which he knows you ought not to do for your own comfort and safety.
The “man behind”, equally with the “man in front”, is the man who sees that you are going and that you enjoy getting there. Like many of the good things of existence, he is taken more or less for granted but, since riding with him in his cubby-hole, I have found him out. He is no hero—and doesn’t pretend to be one – and is essentially human, but he is an efficient and sympathetic human.
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