Re: Street Running Rules-More a PUC thing....
Date: 11-11-2017 - 17:33
There are very few differences in operating rules, that I know of or knew of, or much in federal regulation regarding street running, per se. There are often things in the special instructions with regard to street running, in internal policies, or agreements, "gentlemen's", or sometimes consent decrees from pas litigation or attempted litigations regarding street running.
Obviously things like clearance and such are covered by Federal and applicable PUC Regulations, but actual operational regulation, from PUC more than Feds, is often limiting speeds, because of traffic conflicts, requiring stops before entering from sidings off of a street, and the like, and were like grade crossing regulations very "case sensitive" to the circumstances (potential conflicts, limited visibility, etc.....).
On Alameda Street we were restricted from operating after 7 a.m. until after 7:00 pm, covered in yard notices, or special instructions, because of traffic congestion. You were in yard limits and subject to restricted speed, and on Alameda that was 10 mph (IIR?) on the street segments. When Alameda was still "two tracks" I seem to recall that you were supposed to be on the side with the flow of traffic, but when they "rebuilt" and "single tracked" the portion of Alameda from River Station to Olympic you were in the "middle" of the street, so it didn't matter.
After the eastside line of the UP/SP LA River line was connected up between J yard and Taylor, Union Station opened, and the Grand Central Station closed, relocating port traffic, passenger trains, passenger maintenance, many related switchers, haulers and locals off of Alameda Street, it left only the industrial jobs, the "city job", the famous "rathole' and these were restricted to nights and LA's first great rail grade crossing?auto traffic jam "nightmare" of its time was finally solved in 1939. The remaining Alameda Street running jobs operated as 3:00 pm and 11:00 pm on duty jobs, and prowled the "City" by night.....and ate pork noodles at the Atomic Café.
Alameda was dangerous territory, we lost several switchmen to drunk drivers, and I've seen one climb a ladder like grease lightening, as we had a drunk couple himself to the boxcar the switchman was riding. We used fusee's by the case, with every move, into and out of the spurs along Alameda, and to throw at the drunks who were near misses..........but the Christmas trees, the frozen carloads of turkeys to Young's market, potatoes to the potatoe dock, the carloads of printing paper for the LA Times, and the insulated box cars full of Coors beer never missed a delivery.
Nothing left of any of that today on Alameda. Ironically, I actually did a consulting job a few years ago, just after I retired, to go and photograph as much of he out of service trackage on and off of Alameda from J yard north to the Gold Line, and document all current uses, including off of the old "back way", and there were only two customers left both south of the I-10 by then.
All of the old places Coors, the Rat hole, the banana dock, the old Coach yard and the potato dock, the auto dock (where until the 1940's they still unloaded automobiles from boxcars), the Times dock, the 8th street team where the XMAS trees would wholesale, are all gone.... The report that work went into got a big A+, and they used an number of the photos I took, and LA got some stimulus and other funding to remove a lot of that old track..... Which was my job, but still makes me kind of sad at seeing the evidence of those memories disappear.
I actually worked a night job then operating out of J yard, down on lower Alameda, off of my regular job, just before I took the buyout, and took my wife along, for that one... She'd never met switchmen before, which was her first shock.... And then, after we almost hit a truck at Olympic, I told her she might have had to go hang with the hookers at the Hofbrau for a while, while we waited for some assistant terminal superintendent to give us a pee test... She was not amused.
Old LA at night on the Street......on the Old SP.......