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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: SteamGene on March 15, 2007, 05:35:55 PM



Title: Old railroad laws
Post by: SteamGene on March 15, 2007, 05:35:55 PM
Found some old Railroad Laws and they are really somthing else, Minnesota code which declares A railroad car is a building. Montana law states that Children can not be employed to run trains. Florida says that trains must stop for a Doctor at any place that he wants to get off. Railroad Trestles in Montana are required by law to have sidewalks for cattle. But Washington State is the best was enforced in the early days and has never been removed from the books, A dog shall be carried on the cowcatcher of all trains. The dog is neccassary to put to flight cattle obstructing the tract. The Walla Walla and Columbia roads were the only ones that really ever complied.

From the Milwaukee Road Yahoo group, submitted by Norman Petroski.

Gene


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Atlantic Central on March 15, 2007, 06:29:19 PM
In the 1940's Arizona had a law which limited train lengths to 70 freight cars or 14 passenger cars. The SP challenged it in Federal Court and lost.

It was for safety reasons. The state felt trains any longer than this could not be stopped safely or managed well by their crews.

I don't know if it still stands today.

Sheldon


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: glennk28 on March 15, 2007, 09:19:06 PM
I recall one--don't know from which state--that at a crossing with another railroad, "Both trains shall stop and neither shall proceed until the other has gone".

I wonder if they're still there?

gj


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Stephen D. Richards on March 16, 2007, 07:57:32 AM
I recall one--don't know from which state--that at a crossing with another railroad, "Both trains shall stop and neither shall proceed until the other has gone".

I wonder if they're still there?

gj


LOL   Makes as much sense as some of the new laws! 


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Woody Elmore on March 16, 2007, 10:15:39 AM
I recall reading about an Oklahoma law that forbade shooting at animals from a moving train. Didn't say anything about if the train was stopped.

An 1837 law in New York required locomotives on Long Island to have bells - hmmm... I wonder if that law had any effect?


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Bill Baker on March 16, 2007, 10:28:08 AM
Glennk28,

That law was in Texas and was still on the books as late as the 1950s. I had a great uncle that worked for the KCS and he showed me the law in an old rule book he had.  If I recall correctly there was another provision that required "if two trains meet on the same track, the first one can't proceed until the other one does"....or words to that effect.


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Conrail Quality on March 16, 2007, 08:29:49 PM
As recently as the 1970's, Indiana required all freight trains of seventy or more cars to have a fireman. It cost Penn Central alone $22 million a year to comply. With their three different time zones, one wonders whether or not the Indiana legislature lost count of the years and thought PC was opperating K4's.


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Seasaltchap on March 18, 2007, 03:20:33 PM

Hasn't this recent time change been taken as an opportunity to now put the whole of Indiana on the same time in future?


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: SteamGene on March 18, 2007, 06:51:12 PM
I believe that part of Indiana is in Eastern and part in Central, so they will never all have the same time.  But yes, supposedly, the Hoosiers are being forced, kicking and screaming, into the 20th Century.  ;D
Gene


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Seasaltchap on March 19, 2007, 01:06:54 PM

It was the coming of the railways in the UK that put the whole country on the same time. Previously every village was a few minutes out on the other because of the inaccuracy of the local village clockmaker's timepiece.

The railways brought what was know as "Railway Time" and that became Official to the whole country, in order to issue schedules; all before everyone recognised GMT.


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Atlantic Central on March 19, 2007, 01:25:41 PM
Stewart,

I don't when that happened in the UK, or exactly when it happened here, but it is the same story. The railroads needed standard time for schedules, so here, the railroads made up their own system with zones to account for the large size of the country. That system, combined with that of the UK eventually became the world wide system we have today.

For many years the government here had nothing to do with it and it was even called "Railroad Time". Then the bureacrats got involved and we got all these useless things like "daylight saving time".

But, that is generally what governments do, screw up stuff that the people where doing on their own just fine.

Sheldon


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Atlantic Central on March 19, 2007, 01:33:46 PM
Stewart,

I looked it up, railroad standard time (London Time) was adopted by most of the rail lines in the UK in 1848.

US and Canadian railroads set up and adopted standard time and the zones in 1883. Many people still used their "local" time. Making the train schedules "railroad time". US Government did not make standard time law until 1918.

Sheldon


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: terry2foot on March 19, 2007, 01:41:42 PM
Previously every village was a few minutes out on the other because of the inaccuracy of the local village clockmaker's timepiece.

Seasaltchap,

the above is not correct. The real reason was that each place determined noon time locally by when the sun was directly overhead.


Terry2foot


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: SteamGene on March 19, 2007, 01:54:26 PM
I believe Terry is correct.  By siderial (sp) or sun time, Williamsburg, 20 miles west of me, is about a minute earlier in the day, while Virginia is about a minute later.
Gene


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Hamish K on March 19, 2007, 07:46:21 PM
In relation to time I believe that both Seasaltchap and Terry are correct. Before railways time was set locally, nominally each place set the time at noon when the sun was directly overhead, so time would vary. As well clocks were not necessarily accurate (or the timesetters relaible) so further variations would occur. Just one example of how the railroad age really changed the world.

Hamish


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: SteamGene on March 20, 2007, 09:14:22 AM
Actually, there were extremely accurate clocks as early as the end of the 18th century.  Of course they were quite expensive and a bit fragile. 
Gene


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: SteamGene on March 20, 2007, 09:24:14 AM
I just checked.  Every degree of longitude equals four minutes difference in time.  Remelmber, longitude is not parallel. 
Gene


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: rogertra on March 20, 2007, 01:13:07 PM
"Standard Time" was the creation of Sir Sandford Fleming the Chief Engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway as he found the existing times chaotic for organizing trains, their arrival and departure times. Passengers would carry several pocket watches, each one labeled for a different city. Station-masters also found it inconvenient.

Fleming felt the solution to his railway woes was the adoption of a universal method of time that would work in Canada and around the world. he first publicly presented this idea while lecturing in Toronto at the Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Scientific Knowledge. He recommended 24 time zones, world wide.

As with most new and unique ideas, it was rejected by governments and scientists. Some people even felt he was interfering with nature and God, they called him a Communist! Through Fleming's explanations and tenacious attitude, official approval came and standard time went into effect on January 1st, 1885.




Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Seasaltchap on March 20, 2007, 01:57:39 PM

Sheldon : There you are - another First, 60 years before American railroads.

Terry2foot : I've "Shot the Sun" - and it is a crapshoot with a sextant!

You must live in a very sunny clime: we go for days in the UK without seeing the Sun!

Can we have a VOTE on it!


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Atlantic Central on March 20, 2007, 02:33:50 PM
Stewart,

It is just amazing that we Yanks even survived this long, being so backward and missguided and what not. What was it Cornwallis called us just before we sent him home, a "rabble"?

I'll give you this one but, it was really only 35 years, remember we did this on our own in 1883 (Rogers Canadian version not withstanding), not waiting for "government" to "save" us.

The real point being that until the 1870's there was no need for this at all. Most US railroads before the War of Northern Aggression where independent short lines with little or no interchange with other lines, built in a number of different guages. So it was easy for them to each keep their own time and own schedules.

After the War Between the States, Standard guage-enacted-1862 universial-1886, consolidation of smaller lines into larger systems, the telegraph-1851, the transcontential connection-1869, the air brake-1872, electric block signals -1872 and automatic coupler-1868, all advanced our railroads at an alarming pace. Standard time (Railroad time in this country, no matter what Canada did) was an obvious out growth of this advancement. When it was needed, it happened, in spite of big brother actually. Several educated people had been advocating standard time for quite a while, no one in Washington was interested.

1898 - Railroad Safety Appliance Act required all cars for interchange to have air brakes and automatic couplers. They still hook them together with chains 100 years later in other places all around the world. Maybe we're not so backward after all.

When did they put air brakes on freight trains in the UK?

I think we have them on that one, by a similar amount of time. But in their defense, they didn't need the same degree of braking for their smaller lighter trains. For that the vacuum brake worked just fine.

Sheldon


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: SteamGene on March 20, 2007, 04:47:33 PM
Sheldon, actually the damnyankees had pretty much agreed to standard gauge before the War For Southern Independence.  I read once the number of times Longstreet's Corps had to disembark and reemark because of the differences in gauge as they went from the Army of Northern Virginia to stiffen the Army of the Tennesse which, with their aid, finally won a battle.   "Twas Dixie with the hodge podge of gauges. 
And, of course, until the 1870s or so, most everybody lived east of the Mississippi and the eastern time zone goes almost 2/3rds of the way to the Mississippi.
Gene


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: Atlantic Central on March 20, 2007, 04:50:50 PM
Gene,

Yes, I just looked up and added the dates to a lot of that stuff. Standard guage adopted 1862. But conversion in the south after the war was as slow as reconstruction itself.

Sheldon


Title: Re: Old railroad laws
Post by: SteamGene on March 20, 2007, 05:47:42 PM
Sheldon, I was thinking it was 1862 or 3, but not sure.  The reason for the adoption was most of the Damnyankee railroads already were, even without Roman war chariots signing up to oppose Bobby Lee.  ;D
Gene