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Railroad Crossings Essay - 518 Words
... An early Central Pacific sheet of "Instructions to employees" (undated, but while Charles Crocker was still superintendent – so ca.1864) gives but four whistles: "one short sound of the whistle as a signal to apply brakes; two short sounds of the whistle as a signal to loose them; three a signal to back; several short sounds of the whistle is an alarm signal and brakemen will use every effort to stop the train." And elsewhere states the engineman must sound the whistle when within one-half mile of a station." All that is said regarding grade crossings is that "the bell must be run eighty rods before crossing a highway and until it is passed." An 1865 book of "Rules and regulations to be observed by officers and men in the employ of rail road companies in California" by A.N. Rood (superintendent of the California Central Railroad) is likewise remarkably sketchy when it comes to whistles: one whistle for brakes; two to take them off; a repetition of short sharp whistles is danger; three to back; four to open a switch; one long whistle to call passengers fifteen minutes before starting a train; and ring the bell five minutes before departing. Elsewhere in the book enginemen are instructed to give a whistle signal six hundred yards before arriving at a station; in foggy weather to sound the whistle at least every mile; and to give three long sharp whistles for withdrawing signalmen. It says nothing about grade crossings at all! —Wendell Huffman*
Yes, it is against the law to walk on railroad tracks, and you could be arrested for trespassing. Railroad tracks and right-of-way are private property with access strictly limited to railroad personnel and persons who have been granted permission from the railroad. Anyone else on the track or grounds of the railroad is trespassing. Even though you might think that you are safe, more than 1000 people are either killed or injured each year in the United States while trespassing on railroad tracks, yards and other railroad property. For the first time, in calendar year 2004, the number of people killed while trespassing on railroad property exceeded those killed at rail/highway crossings.
Railroad Safety Essay - 498 Words - StudyMode
The successful design of bridges, , and tunnels along the was critical for the railroad to function. Construction crews built these structures as they worked ahead of the track-layers. They crossed rivers, canyons, through mountains, and over dry gullies that would wash with water during rain and spring snowmelt. Engineers for both railroads faced dangers and endured environmental extremes on a scale that no railroad builder had yet faced.
A delay to one train, however, could adversely affect the operation of the entire railroad as opposing trains either had to wait for the late train to pass the scheduled meeting place or proceed slowly while a flagman walked ahead prepared to stop the late train.1 With the adaptation of the telegraph in the 1850�s it became possible to alter the operation of the railroad to accommodate late trains, extra trains and other unusual occurrences with a much greater degree of safety.
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Can a city require a railroad to operate at a specific speed or not sound the horn of a locomotive?
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) governs many of the operational aspects of railroads. Federal regulation preempts any local speed restrictions and most operating practice procedures on trains. (Section 20106 of Title 49, United States Code.)
Federal law requires the sounding of the locomotive’s horn at least 20 seconds before the train approaches a rail/ highway crossing of any public road. Trains or engines must sound the horn as they proceed through the entire crossing.
The FRA has an administrative rule, which allows certain communities to apply for “quiet zones” if the rule’s requirements are met. Once the rule’s requirements are met, the locomotive would not sound its horn when passing through the crossing in most instances. See 49 Code of Federal Regulations part 222 for those requirements. Cities may also wish to investigate the use of "wayside horns", which are horns mounted at the signal post of a public rail/highway crossing so that the locomotive does not have to blow its horn. Wayside horns are generally believed to be less disruptive than locomotive horns because they are directed at the traffic in the street.
The tunnels along the Central Pacific line conquered the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range while the bridges and trestles built by the Union Pacific crossed chasms. After surveyed the high mountain chain for a route for the railroad, he traveled from the West Coast to the East by taking a steamer to the Isthmus of Panama and then overland to take another steamer to New York. In the early 1860s, this convoluted route was the most efficient means of travel between the coasts of what has become the contiguous United States. The tunnels of the Central Pacific, along with the Union Pacific's trestles and bridges, opened a faster, safer route for moving and people over land.
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Railroad Safety | Federal Railroad Administration
Passenger and freight trains are required to comply with the safety standards established by the Federal Railroad Administration. For speed guidelines based on track classification. Go to: , page 5.18 for speed information.
Railroads Crossing Dangers Essay -- vegetation, …
Howdid the surveyors and engineers back then know what elevation to set the railbed at especially when the rails followed parallel to a river? It seems like they knew how high to set it to minimize the tracks being coveredby flood waters when a river would flood. Without historical data of river floods(like we have today) how did they know the elevation they chose was high enoughto avoid say a 100-year flood if they did not know what a 100-year flood was?
> They didn't know – all they could do is guess, with so little historyto base it on, and they had little thought to how agriculture and timberingwould affect the streams. Correspondence of the Casement Brothers of the UnionPacificisfull of dismay as the Missouri, the Platte, the Green, the Weber, and feederstreams took them by surprise and washed away their work. Even at the endthere was a furious debate over how closely they could approach Great SaltLake to avoid just the sort of rare catastrophe you mention. The Central Pacific,too,had its own problems in the Sierra with unanticipated washouts just as itdid with record-breaking snows, spring mudslides, etc. Drier Nevada and Utahposed a few problems as one could look at a dry, dead creekbed not realizingthat one weekend out of every five years it would suddenly overflow andwreck a culvert or erase a stretch of grade. ... —David Bain
> The bad news, they didn't know. This can be validated by the loss of railand roadbed in 1865 on the North side of Smart Ridge, when a snowslide tookout three hundred feet of bed and rail. To keep this from happening again,a stone wall was constructed along the rail bed (yes, they just filled it inand reused it); this stone wall is still in place – it measures about 100feet long, 15 feet high, and four feet thick. —G J Chris Graves, NewCastle,AltaCal'a
> Trial and error. Or, if they were lucky, trial and success.I'm sure it was more art than science, but I would think that the more successfulengineer took time to study the landscape. Signs of stream erosion were no doubttelling. However, the less frequent the flooding, the more subtle the signs.I think in many cases, the engineers had no idea. They did the best they could,and they went back and rebuilt the line as needed. Or, as in the case of theoriginal California Pacific line from Knights Landing on the Sacramento Riverto Marysville, they just decided they really didn't need the railroad acrossthe swamp all that much.—Wendell Huffman
> I'm not certain they really did know. There were usually contingency plansfor re-routing over another carrier, if they didn't happen to be in the sameplace. And not just for floods but for blizzards as well. Trains were oftendelayed in the wintertime when there were heavy snows. There are many recordedinstances. Had the term "100 year flood" even been invented in 1865??? David can speak the transcontinental construction, but I remember readingabout the tracks being washed out in the Platte Valley several times causing,to them, serious delays. The throughMeadow Valley got washed away twice, seriously, before theygot the tracks relocated high enough. So even by the turn of the 20th Centurythere wasn't much in the way of flood data from which to draw. Kansas City got flooded a lot, depending on your definition of a lot. I thinkyou put up with the annoyance of occasional flooding because the flat routewas year in and year out the best route. The 1951 and 1952 Kansas and Missouri River floods rerouted traffic for a longtime and not just around Kansas City. —DonSnoddy
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