Dec 14, 2010

Track Safety

This morning at work, my department had it's annual Track Safety Training. Here at Kawasaki Rail Car (KRC) we have a 1/4 mile test track where we test run the cars to check various systems prior to delivery to the Customer (NYCT, & PATH). Emphasis was placed on the 600 volts supplied to the cars through either the catenary wires overhead or the shoes on the car. Working around the cars it's easy to become complacent and brush up against the current collectors or the bugs, I've never come close myself, but there have been some dangerous instances at KRC in the past. The training is interesting though, not as fun as walking through subway tunnels like I did when I was trained by NYCT in Brooklyn. There are a lot of dangers involved with walking through rail yards. Switches can be thrown, power supplied, cars are moving and you have to pay attention to your surroundings. I just wish we could have had our training on a warmer day; it was 22 degrees F and snowing while we walked around the test track.


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Question: Are the tracks for subway cars standard gauge like the common freight lines that run everywhere? I can't really tell by the pictures.

Michael O'Hara said...

Yeah, they are. The tracks are of standard gauge (4'-8.5"). Freight, Amtrak and NYC Subway cars all use this gauge in the US. I had always wondered myself, until I started working for a carbuilder.

Whitney Erin said...

Looks a little bit like here! Except it's only 15 degrees today...

Wayward Son said...

Track safety training is a good thing. There's no such thing as too cautious...stuff can sneak up on you way too quickly if you get complacent.
At least us freight guys don't have to worry about the third rail or catenary most of the time like you do with commuters...just Amtrak blasting by and pulling everything out the window.
-Keep warm!

Michael O'Hara said...

Wayward Son:
I hear you on the dangers of working for the RR. It seems that if you do get hurt; it's pretty bad. Trains don't leave small bumps & bruises.

Trying to stay warm! It's been arctic lately.


Michael O'Hara said...


Yeah I'm glad we have snow finally. All this cold weather with no snow to show for it is a big let down. I'm ready to get dumped on!