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 Post subject: On-board medical oxygen tanks & securement?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2024 4:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 994
Location: Warren, PA
I have a client railroad that's asking if anyone has established a policy for handling on-board oxygen tanks and/or concentrators - and more specifically, good ways to secure them.

Amtrak actually has a pretty good written policy, and so do several transit agencies, but what I'm seeing is that they can use the sliding seat rails in the floors to hold a specialized tank holder with straps. So there's a standard on reserving, notifying, maximum size, etc. but it starts going blank on where to put even the littler one to keep them from getting kicked, dislodged, etc.

And if you're using a concentrator, power may be an issue - are you own your own? Very few if any excursion operations I've been on have seat power...


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 Post subject: Re: On-board medical oxygen tanks & securement?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2024 6:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:36 pm
Posts: 17
Our youngest uses a concentrator. The portable unit can run on battery for a bit under two hours. Otherwise, it is plugged in when on the road in her van or at school. We hang it from her wheelchair. Before getting the portable concentrator, we used small oxygen tanks when travelling. Bulkier and heavier, but we were able to secure a tank to her chair.

Not an answer regarding policy, but I hope it helps.


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 Post subject: Re: On-board medical oxygen tanks & securement?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2024 10:06 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2286
My personal opinion, as an armchair preservationist not affiliated formally with any operating entity, is that it would be inadvisable to consider paying for any medical device that would be freely accessible to riders, corrosion, vandals, and unanticipated accidents. What if the tank is empty when someone 'needs' it? If the regulator malfunctions or is 'altered' for a funny TikTok prank? If it is damaged and breached?

A set of concerns for concentrators too, including if they are powered partially from on-train recharging. If it stops working in any of a number of ways you could get into trouble fast, perhaps in ways your staff may not be trained to, or be able to, address in time.

Then the whole range of what happens if it's stolen. Including if it's resold as medical equipment, someone has a perceived problem with it, and the ownership 'trace' goes back to you.

Some of these problems might even apply if you provided handy 'racks' for oxygen. Latch breaks, or bottle is loaded 'incorrectly', and falls out breaking someone's toe? Little kid whacks it and the regulator snaps off the end?

We may yet see the day under legislation like the ADA where you must provide full compliance and amenities for those using medical assistance. I do not think businesses are required to provide those emergency defibrillation stations yet, but I'm already beginning to hear about all sorts of imputed liability for their incorrect or untimely use.

Now I would be all in favor of virtue-signaling by providing these amenities for prospective passengers who need or use them. But we no longer live in a world where such gestures are gratefully accepted as given.

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R.M.Ellsworth


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 Post subject: Re: On-board medical oxygen tanks & securement?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2024 8:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 11540
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
One railroad where you might want to contact, because the issue certainly arises, is the Cumbres & Toltec RR, which goes over a 10,000-foot pass. During my ride aboard, some passenger in First Class suffered some kind of altitude-induced issue, and while the train was rushing to a crossing where the passenger and family members could be evacuated more speedily to an ambulance and then a hospital, the crew was obviously grabbing bottle after bottle of emergency oxygen stashed aboard every car in the train, small personal-sized bottles complete with built-in face mask, probably carried to deal with more minor altitude sickness than this seemingly dire issue.

Similarly, you might want to consult with the Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the Leadville, Colorado & Southern, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: On-board medical oxygen tanks & securement?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2024 10:23 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1510
Yes, I’ve seen these used on the C&T for minor issues as well.

Longer excursions especially need some sort of on-board first aid plan. I’ve seen EMT’s on board some trips - standing by just in case. Not sure if they had oxygen tanks or not.


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 Post subject: Re: On-board medical oxygen tanks & securement?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2024 2:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 994
Location: Warren, PA
Railroad is not providing, but customers wanting to bring oxygen tanks on board.

Amtrak allows it and has written policy, so do transit agencies, and apparently there's hardware beyond bungee cords and ropes to keep them from becoming a hazard. I found the transit tank securement already, but those lock into the floor seat channels.

Railroad is not supplying oxygen, just dealing with customers wanting to drag stuff onboard.


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