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VCLS Safety Rules



    1. All references to "the Club" and/or VCLS refer to Ventura County Live Steamers, Inc.
    2. All references to "trains" refer to locomotives with or without cars.
    3. "Visitor" refers to persons invited by and under the general supervision of a Club member.
    4. "General public" refers to persons not under the general supervision of a Club member.

  2. GENERAL: purpose and responsibility
    1. The purpose of these rules is to assure enjoyment of the activities of the Club by its members, guests, and visitors through the emphasis on SAFETY FIRST in attitude and action.
    2. In accordance with Article VI of the Club Bylaws, it is the responsibility of each member to abide by and enforce these rules and regulations.
    3. Visitors are expected to observe and abide by these rules. Copies of these rules shall be made available to visitors operating at VCLS facilities and functions.
    4. No one under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or drugs of any kind shall be allowed to ride on any train.
    5. Anyone of the general public consuming any alcoholic beverage, using any illegal narcotics or drugs of any kind shall immediately be escorted from the club facility.
    6. No persons under the age of 18 from the general public shall be allowed on the facility unless accompanied by an adult.

    1. All areas shall be maintained in an orderly manner, with equipment, tools, and other items placed to avoid hazards to people and/or operations.
    2. Locomotives and rolling stock shall be unloaded and loaded only at facilities provided for such unloading and loading. Vehicles shall be removed to parking areas as soon as possible after loading or unloading.
    3. Areas under active construction or maintenance shall be designated, marked, or flagged to alert members and visitors, and to restrict the general public from these areas.
    4. Shoes shall be worn at all times at the facility.
    5. No dogs or other pets of any kind shall be allowed to run free within the club facility or function. All such pets shall be confined on a leash not over six (6) feet in length or within the owner's vehicle. The owner of such pets shall be responsible for immediately cleaning up any mess caused by such pet.

  4. TRAIN OPERATIONS (with and without passengers):
    1. Trains shall be operated by qualified engineers. Engineers (both members and visitors) may be qualified after a checkout run, by a member of the Club board of directors, or by a club safety or examining committee authorized by the board of directors.
    2. For a locomotive pulling more than just the engineer-riding car, the minimum crew shall include a brakeman/conductor riding in such a location as to be able to constantly observe the train and passengers. Brakeman/conductor shall carry a police whistle or similar warning device and a red warning flag (red light at night or in low visibility). - (See Appendix I - Signals).
    3. All trains must be run at a safe speed and under complete control at all times.
    4. Trains must be run at reduced speed in congested areas and in areas with close clearances (yards, stations, bridges, etc.).
    5. Trains shall be stopped immediately when any hazard to equipment or passengers is detected.
    6. Locomotive engine signals shall be used by the engineer to give, acknowledge, or ask for information relative to his train movement.
    7. Signals: See Appendix I.

    1. The engineer (operator of locomotive) is the final authority as to who may or may not ride on his train, including the train crew.
    2. Ventura County Live Steamers, Inc. reserves the right to refuse rides to any disruptive and/or uncooperative person.
    3. Passengers will be loaded and unloaded only at stations or other designated loading/unloading platforms.
    4. Passengers must always be seated on seats provided, facing forward. Arms and legs must be kept inside cars at all times while the train is in motion.
    5. Cargo (passenger) weight should be evenly distributed between the trucks of each car.

  6. EQUIPMENT (locomotives and rolling stock):
    1. The VCLS Event Safety Officer shall ensure that all equipment complies with VCLS Standards prior to operation of that equipment.
    2. VCLS reserves the right to refuse operation of any locomotive and/or equipment deemed unsafe or not in compliance with VCLS safety rules and standards.
    3. VCLS Standards: see Appendix II.
    4. Couplers or drawbars between locomotive and/or engineer's riding car and/or fuel car shall be configured in such a way that they cannot become accidentally uncoupled. E.G. drawbar with locking pin; safety chains with closable D-rings.
    5. Fuel lines between locomotive and fuel car shall be configured in such a way that they cannot become accidentally disconnected in the event of a derailment.
    6. Locomotives shall be equipped with whistle, horn, or other sounding device for communication and warning. (See Appendix I - Signals).
    7. Locomotives operating at night or in low visibility shall be equipped with a working headlight that can be clearly seen at a distance of 150 feet and sufficient cab lighting to monitor gauges.
    8. Trains operating at night or in low visibility shall be equipped with a working red marker light on the rear of the last car that can be clearly seen at a distance of 50 feet.
    9. Steam Boilers: see Appendix III.
    10. Brakes:
      1. All locomotives and/or engineer's riding cars shall have a braking system capable of stopping the locomotive and train with in a reasonable distance.
      2. Hydralic drive locomotives that can be braked by putting the hydraulic system in reverse shall be construed as meeting the above braking requirement.
      3. Electric drive locomotives that can be braked by using dynamic braking shall be construed as meeting the above braking requirement.
      4. All trains exceeding 5,000 lbs. gross weight shall have brakes on cars. 5,000 lbs. is approximately: one locomotive and five (5) or more cars available to carry passengers.

APPENDIX I - SIGNALS The following are required whistle signals
( Signals are illustrated by "o" for short sound, and "=" for longer sound. )
Sound Indication
Succession of shorts Used when an emergency exists, or persons are on the track. When other train crews hear this signal, they must stop and ascertain that it is safe to proceed.
== Train is stopped. Brakes are applied.
= = Train releases brakes and proceeds.
o o Acknowledgement of any signal not otherwise provided for.
o o o When train is stopped, means backing up.
o o o o Call for signals.
= o o o Brakeman/conductor to protect (flag) rear of train.
= = = = Brakeman/conductor to return to train.
== == o == Train is approaching public crossing at grade and to warn personnel when their view is restricted.
00000000000 Warning to people or animals on track; general alarm.

Communicating signals to be used by the brakeman/conductor.
Sound Indication
o o When the train is stopped: proceed.
o o When running: Stop.
o o o When the train is stopped: Back up.
o o o When running: Stop at next station.

Flag or Colored Light Signals:
Red Stop.
Yellow Proceed with caution, prepared to stop at next signal.
Green Proceed.

APPENDIX II - STANDARDS (7-1/2" gauge, 1.5" and 1.6" scale)
Track gauge-Straight 7.500"
Track gauge-Curved 7.625"
Track Spacing-Mainlines 48"
Track Spacing-Yards 36"
Portable Track-Minimum Radius 45'
Tire Width (including flange) 0.750"
Flange Width 0.156"
Flange Depth 0.187"
Contour Radius (flange to tread) 0.094" +/- 0.015"
Tread Pitch 2 +/-
Back to back (flange to flange) 7.120" +0.020" / -0
Wheel Gauge 7.440 +0 / -0.020"
Wheel Check (flange back to flange face) 7.281"
Coupler Height (top of rail to center line of coupler) 4.38" +/- 0.06"

  1. Steam boiler operating pressure is not to exceed 150 pounds per square inch. (psi).
  2. All steam boilers shall have at least two safety valves set to operate within five (5) psi of each other.
  3. Steam boilers shall have an annual hydrostatic test. Test shall prove the ability of the boiler to withstand fifty percent (50%) above normal working pressure of the boiler. Test shall prove the ability of each safety valve to work satisfactorily at its own set pressure.
  4. Steam boiler certificates issued by other recognized live steam organizations within the past twelve (12) months shall be honored by VCLS.
  5. Steam boilers shall have a facility to shut off heat immediately in case of emergency. Liquid fuel and gas fuel fired boilers shall have a clearly marked valve to stop the flow of fuel to the fire box. Solid fuel fired boilers shall have a means of dumping the fire out of the fire box or smothering the fire with steam, water, CO2, etc.
  6. Steam boilers shall have a water level gauge located such that the bottom of the gauge is high enough to show ample water covering the crown sheet. During operation at night or in poor visibility, illumination shall be provided to monitor gauge.
  7. All steam boilers shall have at least two methods of putting water into the boiler while in operation. At least one method shall be operative while the locomotive is under steam but not in motion.
  8. Steam boilers burning solid fuel shall have an ash pan constructed and installed so as to prevent dropping burning ashes or fuel along the track while locomotive is in operation.