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PVLS Rules and Regulations (Revised Sept 2016)


The following Rules and Regulations have been adopted by The Pioneer Valley Live Streamers, Inc. (PVLS) to ensure the safety and enjoyment of members, guests and visitors. Those in violation may be asked to cease operation and remove their equipment, and any individual whose conduct might endanger the safety of personnel or equipment may be asked to leave the PVLS property. The decisions of designated officials are final.


Flagrant violation of these Rules and Regulations may void your coverage under our event insurance and subject you to personal liability.


PVLS expects that all members and visitors will conduct themselves in a safe, courteous and temperate manner under all circumstances. Be careful, be prudent and use good judgment.


Observe the Rules and Regulations, and have fun.


If in doubt, ask!




Part 1. Equipment Regulations

A.    Boiler Inspection

  1. A PVLS Safety Officer may request a boiler inspection at any time if deemed appropriate.


B.  Undercarriage Inspection.

  1. Member’s and club equipment may be inspected for conformance to PVLS’s wheel standards. Brake rigging (if any) and wheel contour are prime concerns. Either 6-3/4” or 6-7/8” back-to-back wheel dimension is acceptable.

  • Visitor’s equipment will be inspected prior to its first operation at PVLS. The PVLS wheel standards are posted in the clubhouse for reference and attached in Appendix A.


C.  Couplers

Couplers for interchange operation must be well-matched in contour with center heights of 4 3/8” above the rail head or close enough to be secure in the opinion of the Inspector.


D.  Safety Chains

Adequate safety chains are to be used between all cars on trains carrying passengers. Chain sizes and attachments must be approved by the Inspector.


E.  Lights for Night Running.

Any locomotive operated at night must have an adequate headlight. A rear light visible for at least 75’ feet must be displayed. Steam locomotives should have adequate waterglass gauge lighting for safe operation.

Part 2. Operating Rules and Regulations – Effective At All Times


A.  Speed Limits

  1. Engineers must control their equipment at all times and operate at safe speeds within reasonable limits based on the following.

  • Track conditions

    • Stability and ability to stop

    • Prevailing traffic congestion

  • Speed limits in yards and other sections of the track must be observed by all operators at all times.

  • The Maximum speed limit is 7 mph. Slow speed is 2 mph (slow walk) within the yard limits, on the Station siding. Slow speed is to be maintained in any area where track work is being performed.


B.  Signal Lights and Signs

  1. Trackside signs and lighted signals govern the movement of trains. Engineers must know their meanings and obey them.

  • Whenever possible during public events, and occasionally at other times of congested traffic, signal lights will be in operation and must be observed by all engineers.


C.  Hand Signals

Engineers must comply with these basic hand signals.

  • PROCEED:    Hand or light raised and lowered vertically.

  • STOP:            Hand or light swung horizontally across the track.

  • BACK:           Hand or light swung vertically in a circle across the track.


D.  Whistle Signals

Engineers must use the basic whistle signals. (“o: is a short sound, “-“ is a long sound)

O Apply breaks, stop
– – Release brakes, proceed
O O O When standing, back up
– – Approaching station or yard
– – O – Grade crossing
OOOOO Five short sounds to signify danger or alarm


E.  Ash Pans

All steam engines must have pans. They must be emptied over ash puts or in steaming bays only. Do not stoke fires over trestle or bridges.


F.  Train Spacing

Maintain at least 50’ between moving trains, except when closing up at stations or yards at slow speed.


G.  Safety Stop

Trains approaching a stopped train must make a safety stop 25’ behind the stopped train, then proceed with caution at slow speed. When entering the station, slow to 2 mph when entering the Station track and proceed slowly into the station.


H.  Switches

  1. Engineers must reduce speed and proceed slowly when operating remotely actuated switches.

  • All switches must be returned to their normal positions immediately after switching movements.


I.  Running Direction

  1. Operation is counterclockwise on the outer main track, clockwise on the inner main track.

  • Reverse movements on the main track or access tracks must be protected by a rear flagman.

  • **** Valley Division Rules, to be added. ****


J.  Parking/Standing

Engines and cars may be parked and left standing on designated sidings and yard tracks only, not on the mainline, passing sidings or access tracks. Rolling stock must be left in the yard when not in use.


K.  Steaming Bay Operations

All movements in the steaming bay area including operation of the turntable must be performed under the supervision or assistance of qualified PVLS members.


L.  Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed on PVLS property before or during the hours of operation on the days of scheduled events.


M.   First Time at PVLS

New members and visiting engineers operating at PVLS for the first time will be asked to read these Rules and Regulations before their first trip. A qualified PVLS member will accompany the new engineer on his/her first trip to verify awareness of the rules and proper operation.

Part 3. Public Operations – Effective During Public Meets



Scheduled events open to the general public for the purpose of promoting Live Steam operation and providing rides to the public involve additional rules and requirements. The primary purpose of these Public Operations Rules and Regulations is to ensure the safety of the public, protect PVLS members and equipment, and maintain a smooth flow of traffic.

Any serious violation of these rules while carrying passengers is cause for immediate suspension of running privileges.

Members have the responsibility to be aware of the Rules and Regulations and to take action when violations are observed. Violators should be advised of infractions, and repeat violations reported immediately to a Track Safety Officer. Any member, guest or visitor who fails to abide by the Rules and Regulations may be escorted out of the PVLS Operating Area, and possibly off PVLS property by a Track Safety Officer.


A.  Steaming Bays

To maintain operating safety during public events only operators, their assistants and regular members will be allowed in the steaming bay areas. Unsupervised children are not allowed in the steaming bay areas during public events. Individuals shall be required to identify themselves to Safety Officers upon request.


B.  Site Security

For public events the perimeter of the Operating Area will be defined by fences and chains with signs advising the public to remain outside the area. All persons within the Operating Area during an event must display Participant’s identification. Guests and children within the Operating Area must be supervised and escorted by Participants at all times.


C.  Track Safety Officers

Track Safety Officers will be assigned for each day of a public event, and will wear badges or arm bands for identification. Track Safety Officers are responsible for track safety and ensuring compliance with the Rules and Regulations. They have full authority to escort any individuals out of the Operating Area, and to terminate any unsafe operation.


D.  Engineers

1.) Only engineers who are full members of PVLS or have reciprocal status will be allowed to haul public passengers.

2) No one under the age of 16 will be allowed to haul public passengers at any time. An engine may be operated by a person under the age of 16 under the direct supervision of a qualified engineer on the inner main track only.


E.    Reciprocal

Any person who is a member in good standing of a comparable club and who is an approved operator on our club’s track (per Part 2. Section M. First Time at PVLS) will be permitted to pull the public during public occasions.


F.    Equipment Inspection and Requirements

  1. Any equipment being run at PVLS for the first time will be inspected for proper wheel contour. In addition, any cars used for passengers will be checked for suitability and stability to the satisfaction of the inspecting official.

  • Trains with two or more cars carrying passengers must be equipped with suitable train brakes. The inspecting official may waive this requirement for train brakes when a heavy engine can demonstrate adequate train braking capability.

  • Trains carryings passengers must have safety chains installed.


G.  Passengers.

  1. No engineer is obliged to give rides to the public. Engineers operating trains with passengers must comply with all Rules and Regulations, and are responsible for the safety of the train and its passengers.

  • Trains carrying the public will operate on the outer main in a counterclockwise direction, and on the Valley Division if open, at the Operator’s option.

  • Qualified Conductors are required to ride at the rear of trains consisting of two or more cars carrying passengers.

  • Engineers and Conductors are encouraged to remove or restrict from boarding anyone deemed to be acting in an unsafe manner, or who, for any other reason, might threaten the safety of the train or its passengers.

5 ) **** Add Valley Division rules here. ****

  • Passengers will be required to sign Release of Responsibility forms prior to boarding trains.

  • Passengers will load and unload at the station under supervision of the Station Master, who will provide directions for proper conduct during the ride.

  • Passengers must face forward, stay seated, keep hands and feet inside the cars, not lean to either side, and not operate still or video cameras while underway.

  • Children must be accompanied by adults who will be responsible for their actions.

  1. Carrying babies or small children by adults is dangerous and not permitted. Rides are not suitable for everyone, especially small children who will not sit still or follow directions. The Station Master has final discretion as to who may and may not ride, and guide riders during loading for proper weight and balance.

  1. Engineers and Conductors are authorized to stop the train and re-seat any individual who fails to follow directions to a position immediately in front of the conductor until the individual can be ejected at the station.


H.  Passenger Train Operating Rules

All engineers operating at PVLS must be familiar with and abide by the Operating Rules and Regulations in Part 2 of this document. Listed below are the most significant rules, summarized from Part 2, which directly relate to the safe operation of passenger trains.

  1. Maximum speed limit is 7 mph on the main and 2 mph on the station siding.

  • Hand signals and signal lights, when in operation, must be obeyed.

  • Train spacing is 50’ minimum, and 25’ safety stops are mandatory.


Part 4. Engine House and Car Barn

Rules and Regulations pertaining to the Engine House and Car Barn

  1. This building is for storage of active engines and cars. PVLS expects that renters will run their equipment in at least two meets annually.

  • Any electrical wiring to be done should be brought to the attention of the Superintendent of Buildings or the club President to ensure a safe and appropriate job

  • Non-automatic battery chargers left “on” should be on timers and placed so as to minimize the risk of overheating or causing a fire, and should be “off: when owners are not on the property. Automatic chargers may be left “on” in automatic mode.

  • Propane and gasoline containers must not be left in the Engine House or Car Barn. A designated location is provided for proper storage.

  • All stall renters are expected to be considerate of the other renters in the same bay.

  • Anything done on a wall or divider that will affect the renter on the other side should be discussed with the other renter first.

  • Current renters shall retain first rights to renew the lease each year as long as they abide by the rules.

  • Any member interested in stall space should notify the club secretary. The secretary will bring the list before the Board of Directors who will decide who may rent available space.

Any changes to these rules will be decided by the Board of Directors and notices sent to all current renters 30 days before the next general membership meeting.

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