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Old September 18th, 2012, 06:34 AM
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chazrobitaille chazrobitaille is offline
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Default Cab Rides? Station Attendents?

I was wondering the other day if cab rides were ever allowed on the SF&TRR. There are probably all sorts of crazy insurance regulations now that would prevent it, but maybe back in the old days they were given to guests that expressed interest.

Disney seems to allow it on the CK Holiday, but not the other Disneyland locomotives, and doesn't allow it at all at WDW, but they have that awesome behind the magic tour there.

Kids still seem to get a kick out of blowing the whistle (lord knows they blow it loud enough) but we aren't even allowed to give them a cab tour while sitting in the station. Granted, if a new fireman were to dynamite at the wrong moment, there could be some serious injuries and mental scarring...

Also, I'm going to attempt starting a campaign to get some extras on our crew as station attendants on busy days coming up. I was curious if there were any points in time when the crew was reduced (no station attendants) and then brought back because of complaints from the crew, or if they were eliminated and have never come back since then (sigh).

Oh and I mentioned the Boomtown gate problems to one of our high up supes and she seemed like she would try to help out in some way. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for electromagnetic gates haha.

- Chaz
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Old September 18th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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cleusk cleusk is offline
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Default Re: Cab Rides? Station Attendents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chazrobitaille View Post
I was wondering the other day if cab rides were ever allowed on the SF&TRR.


I don't think they ever were. Wynne Jr was very safety conscious from what I've read.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 10:40 AM
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thecloak thecloak is offline
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Default Re: Cab Rides? Station Attendents?

I seem to remember cab rides back in 81, maybe 82.
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81-82 Colonel's Cafe, 2008 HR - Temp, 2009 Rapids & Superman, 2014 Texas Giant, Boot Scootin' & Steam Train PIC, 2015 Steam Train. 2016-2017 Side 4 Supervisor, Steam Train. Head Trainer. Co-creator of the soon to be Johnson Creek Station Museum. 2018 back at the Railroad for my 9th season!
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Old September 18th, 2012, 04:17 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Default Re: Cab Rides? Station Attendents?

We never gave cab rides, but never turned down a cab tour in the station.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 07:20 PM
VanceCope VanceCope is offline
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Default Re: Cab Rides? Station Attendents?

yep, no cab rides for anybody...employees or guests...the only time we let non engine crew ride in the cab was if they were training, if they were travelling with our area manger, or if they were a full time...I would normally let area mangers ride if I liked them and they asked if they could ride, but on more than one occasion I made an area manger ride in the back with the conductor when they assumed they could just step on without even asking if it was OK...usually newbies...I even had one try to report me as being insubordinate to my manager who asked them "Are you engine trained?" no "Did you ask?" no "Then you have no right to be on the engine."

Cab tours we did all the time... especially to those who didn't understand that there was an actual fire to create the steam

As far as the station attendants, I really think you're out of luck on that issue unless there is a lot of extra budget laying around...as I've said previously we raised heck about it when it was proposed and implemented in 2000 (I think...may have been 99)..and continued to do so for the next 3 years to no avail...it's a money saving measure and unless you can prove some sort of safety issue that hasn't been addressed before I don't think it's going to happen...however it would be interesting to see what happens...I can't imagine that there are area mangers that were around when it was implemented...full times yeah but their the ones responsible for the budget and prob aren't going to approve it
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Old September 20th, 2012, 08:59 AM
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thecloak thecloak is offline
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Default Re: Cab Rides? Station Attendents?

AHHH!! Cab tours.. that's what I remember now!
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:15 PM
CGWallace CGWallace is offline
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Default Re: Cab Rides? Station Attendents?

K Vollrath got to run “the big engine” when he visited in ’63. He also photographed several spots that were inaccessible to regular guests.

Station personnel started with something like 2-3 men on the platform. There was a station master in charge of the train when it was in the station. He would have an assistant. The brakeman would also step off the train and help. Both trains ran every day. Station crews were taken away in 2000.

I would recommend a station master on the platform. I liked the tubular steel gates and fence because they are light weight and look better with the station building. Two exits help also.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 12:06 AM
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chazrobitaille chazrobitaille is offline
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Default Re: Cab Rides? Station Attendents?

Thanks for all the info everyone. So far, my campaign for extra crew hasn't been very effective. I think for now, I'm going to see if we can start using all of the gates to get passengers on and off quicker (right now we only have 1 entrance and 1 exit from the platform at each station.)

On our busiest days, I've noticed it can take as long as 4 or 5 minutes for everyone to get situated and sort out the strollers. I try to make 4 round trips an hour to keep things moving, and waiting that long for the passengers makes that impossible. I figure if we had better signage explaining the boarding process (strollers, gates ect.) it would help streamline the process.

If anyone has any other tips on keeping things moving efficiently (short of having 3 crew members extra) it would be appreciated.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 04:56 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Default Re: Cab Rides? Station Attendents?

In both my years as a conductor, and in my years as an engineer, it was the conductors' (plural) job to corral the guests and get the train boarded in a timely fashion. In the station, it was the engineer's job to keep the boiler full, and the fireman's job to keep the pressure at a ready level.

Corralling guests off the train, then new guests on the train really required two people for it to work in an orderly fashion. It helped if the on-board conductor would tell the people in the front two coaches to exit toward the front and the last two coaches to exit toward the rear, and the dock conductor would stand in the middle and point folks in the correct direction... but there were always people who left strollers by the wagon cart who sat in the back, or something else like that. Ideally, the dock conductor would have been talking to the guests in the depot, telling them that if they wanted to sit in the front, to stand at this gate, in the back, that gate, so there would be no crossing of traffic, also preparing everyone for the train's arrival, throwing away all their trash, finishing all eats, drinks, and smokes... folding up strollers that would fold... I guess now, there is no station conductor?

Really, the secret to throughput is personnel. You can only manipulate your efficiency so much until you reach a point that no more is possible. If you want to run 4 trips an hour when it's busy, having a conductor in each depot all the time is the best way to make that happen.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 11:09 PM
VanceCope VanceCope is offline
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Default Re: Cab Rides? Station Attendents?

trying to get guests to exit correctly was one of the biggest hassles when we went no conductors/station attendants...the exit gates in Texas had push bars installed on them "for safety" (remember they used to be top latches that the person in the depot was responsible for unlocking/opening as the train came into the station) so that they couldn't be opened from the outside (unless you had half a brain and just leaned over it and pushed it while you pulled) but for some reason guests getting off the train were perplexed by the concept of pushing the big gate with a sign that said EXIT even after telling them over the PA....they would either stand there looking dumbfounded until someone figured it out or just climb over it

BT was worse since there was only one exit gate at the rear of the train that would cause a huge bottle neck preventing the person on the back from being able to get to the load gates, which were usually opened by an exiting passenger who didn't bother/care to read the signs pointing to the exit, listen to the instructions, or just follow the flow of people who were getting off as opposed to going against the people trying to get on the train...on the good days the engineer was able to park the train and get off and manage the entrance gate/watch for people hopping over the fence that didn't feel like waiting but most of the time it didn't matter and the guests felt it was their duty to load themselves on the train (for some reason they understood THAT latch, but the push bar was way too confusing)
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