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Kerosene Lantern Use
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Author:  Jason Whiteley [ Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Kerosene Lantern Use

Can someone provide me with a reference to the specific rule or FRA regulation that bans the use of traditional kerosene lanterns (and I assume switch / marker lamps as well) and when it may have come into effect? I've tried several internet searches but can't find any outright bans, just a reference to their not being used around tank cars or other places where cargoes may leak and be highly flammable.

Thanks.

Jason

Author:  TrainDetainer [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

I have no idea about Canada, but I know of no government rules in FRA-land that ban kerosene lamps. RRs quit using them just like they quit using steam engines. No more stores of replacement wicks/globes/chimneys, barrels/tanks of kerosene, kero pots, etc., far less cleaning and maintenance time than electric lanterns, no crews of lantern keepers to pay, no more fire hazards - and battery/electric lamps are far brighter/safer/effective/reliable.

Author:  dinwitty [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

maybe more the laws of economics, when you can have a highly reflective marking on a switchstand instead of burning kerosene and spending the money on that, guess what you do. Why you have some solar powered signals etc.

Author:  Russ Fischer [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

If used for an end of train marker there are some specific light output and visibility requirements that apply to a "highly visible marker" when one is required that the old kerosene lamps would probably not comply with.

Author:  Rick Rowlands [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

Usually regulations deal more with what something does than what something is. For example, you need an audible warning device that has so many decibels at so many feet. Whatever meets that requirement is good. And for a light, you need something that gives off so many candlepower/lumens whatever.

It pays to look up the regulations and read through them. They are all online. Or buy copies from the Railway Educational Bureau.

Author:  Kelly Anderson [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

We use lamp oil rather than kerosene in our markers, but they are not electric never-the-less. No one has ever complained to us about using them.

Author:  HudsonL [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

Amtrak has specific requirements for Marker lights, which as I recall are based on US Coast Guard Bridge Lamp specifications.

-Hudson

Author:  Alan Walker [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

When I was at TVRM, we used kerosene for the marker lamps and lanterns with no remarks from any authority.

Author:  HudsonL [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

Found a 2003 NORAC rule book:

MARKER: A reflector, flag, or highly visible marking device, in the red-orange-amber color range, affixed to the rear of a train to indicate the train is complete.

-Hudson

Author:  TrainDetainer [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

Jason -

Ina addition to what I posted earlier - while they don't specifically ban kerosene, New York State RR Laws Article 3 section 78 requires use of electric marker lamps visible to 3000 feet on cabooses (with some exceptions). That part of section 78 was in effect 7/19/1924, although the electric marker part could have been added in later. The caboose law was revised to require electric lights on cabooses not later than 1/1/65. Penn Central was still buying Adlake kero lanterns in the 60s, but section 78 would have put a dent in their use after '65. I don't know when 78a (electric markers for passenger, mail, work and wreck trains) was put in effect/last revised, but it looks like the same language used for the marker section of the caboose law. You'd have to look up the law's history for specific dates/changes. Of note here - Pyle National/Oliver electric class and marker lamps have patent dates of 1924. Off topic, the caboose law also banned bobbers in NYS after 1924.

Author:  Gord M [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

TrainDetainer wrote:
I have no idea about Canada, but I know of no government rules in FRA-land that ban kerosene lamps. RRs quit using them just like they quit using steam engines. No more stores of replacement wicks/globes/chimneys, barrels/tanks of kerosene, kero pots, etc., far less cleaning and maintenance time than electric lanterns, no crews of lantern keepers to pay, no more fire hazards - and battery/electric lamps are far brighter/safer/effective/reliable.


Via Rail stopped using kero markers on passenger cars not having electric markers (blue fleet, etc.) in the mid-80's if I remember, correctly. I don't believe there are any prohibitions, private cars often display them.

CN and CP started replacing optical lenses in switch lamps with plastic reflectors about 1966 or so but many larger and generally supervised yard areas (CN Mimico / Oshawa Food Terminal, west of Toronto for example) had kero switch lamps into the 80's.

Along with having to maintain and fill the kero lamps, vandalism was a big issue. With, ballast as ammunition for trespassers, glass and plastic lenses were often smashed, mesh screens were tried but steel reflectors solved the problem. Interesting to note that several roads are now bringing back LED switch position signals to busy yards.

Kero brakeman's lanterns seemed to go out of favour on CN and CP around the time radio was introduced, again, mid-60's. As an example, Toronto-Hamilton commuter trains had kero birdcages until the trains were replaced by modern GO equipment in May, '67. The one big advantage of these is that you could warm your gloved hands on the top of these in cold weather, something I still do during winter ops on the Halton County.

Author:  MD Ramsey [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

No regulations regarding the use of Kerosene/oil lanterns that I am aware of. FRA has certain rules regarding rear marking devices as outlined in 49 CFR Part 221. Read the applicability section regarding compliance with scenic, historic and excursion operations and general system requirements. https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?S ... 9.4.221_13

Mike Ramsey

Author:  locopilot750 [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

Here's a letter about the use of kerosene signals on the Santa Fe. 1956

Attachments:
Red lantern letter.jpg
Red lantern letter.jpg [ 39.52 KiB | Viewed 787 times ]

Author:  Alan Walker [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

Placing markers could be a real chore on blind ends. Marker lamps are quite heavy and difficult to slide into the slot when you've got one hand for the lamp and one hand on the grab iron. I still have a scar on one wrist where I got burned while hanging a marker on the blind end of a dining car probably twenty years ago. Got me in the one spot that my gloves didn't cover.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kerosene Lantern Use

Kelly Anderson wrote:
We use lamp oil rather than kerosene in our markers, but they are not electric never-the-less. No one has ever complained to us about using them.

So you're saying I filled my lanterns from the wrong can the last time I was at a night photo session?

Gee, and all this time I was bragging about having "authentic railroad kerosene" in my lanterns........ <:-/

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