Find Us on Facebook

Operating Rules

1. The Engineer/Owner is the final authority as to who may ride his/her train.

2. Trains should not exceed 5 mph when carrying the general public.

3. Trains shall operate with safe breaking distance when following another moving train. (A rule of thumb: One hundred feet is the minimum distance between trains when operating at 5 mph.)

4. Engineers will operate their trains with extreme caution in congested areas such as the passenger platform area and the station area.

5. Trains should have a conductor aboard. The conductor should ride backwards sitting behind the engineer or have radio contact with the engineer. On the High Line the engineer may perform the duties of a conductor. The conductor, or in lieu of a conductor, the engineer should assure that the passengers are familiar with the NEOLS Riding Rules for safe riding practices.

6. A flagman must be posted to the rear of a train stopped on the main line.

7. On Park Program Days and charter events, only qualified NEOLS voting members may engineer a train hauling the public. Other NEOLS members may carry their family, personal friends, and NEOLS members.

8. At open meets, minors 11 years of age and under may operate equipment when accompanied by a responsible adult who is sitting immediately behind the minor. Minors 12 years of age and older may operate equipment without an adult. Minors may only carry their family, personal friends, and NEOLS members. NEOLS Junior Members who have the NEOLS Model Locomotive Operator's Certificate may operate equipment and carry any passenger. The NEOLS Model Locomotive Operator's Certificate may be earned by NEOLS Junior Members who have reached the age of 14.

9. Accidents, track defects, or any unusual conditions must be reported to the Safety Committee or a Club Officer or the Superintendent of the Day.

10. All members of the NEOLS are ex-officio members of the Safety Committee and in the performance of their duties shall be observant of operating hazards. They must be courteous and judicious in carrying out this function.
11. All trains must have an operating braking system.

12. On the Ground Track, a train may have up to four riding cars without brakes, plus at least one car with effective brakes for each additional car without brakes. A locomotive tender counts as a car, and, each segment of an articulated series of "cars" counts as a car. (Non-riding rolling stock does not count as a car.) On all NEOLS trackage, the load and speed must be commensurate to the braking capability of the train.

13. On the Ground Track, safety chains shall be used with functional couplers between the locomotive and all cars, including non-riding rolling stock. On the High Line, safety chains shall be used between the locomotive and the first riding car. Steel cable(s) may be used in lieu of safety chains. Link-and-pin couplers do not need safety chains. Propane cars must use safety chains or link-and-pin couplers to the locomotive.

14. All trains operating after dark must have a white light to the front and red light(s) to the rear. In addition, steam locomotives must have cab illumination.

15. To operate on the NEOLS track, all steam engines are required to have a valid boiler inspection certificate. The test procedures outlined must be in compliance with NEOLS Boiler Testing Procedures.

16. IBLS wheel standards are required. The trucks should be flexible enough to meet the quarter-inch rule for the Ground Track or the eighth-inch rule for the High Line. The side bearing shall allow the truck to swivel freely, and provide the car body with stability with maximum load shifting. (The quarter-inch rule or the eighth-inch rule means that when material of that thickness is placed under one tread of one wheel of an unloaded car, the other three wheels remain in contact with the rails.)
17. Whistle signals. Appropriate signals are:
Two long sounds: "I will proceed".
Three short sounds: "I will back up".
Two long, one short, one long sound: "I am approaching a crossing".
A series of short blasts is a warning to persons near the track of your approach.

18. Block signals. Normal operation is:
Green - Proceed.
Yellow - Slow or Diverging.
Red - Stop.
If the light remains red for more than one minute, proceed with extreme caution. If no train is encountered, notify the Track Superintendent of possible signal malfunction.

19. Hand signals. The appropriate hand signals are (a hand, a flag or a lamp that gives the same indication):
Stop - Swing at right angles to the track.
Reduce speed - Held horizontally at arm's length.
Proceed - Raised and lowered vertically.
Back - Swing vertically in a circle at right angles to the track.
Page Last Updated On: 7/21/2012