Locomotive Footplate Trips

Discussion related to the past and present operations of Kansas City Southern Lines, including affiliates Texas Mexican Railway, Grupo Transportation Ferroviaria Mexicana (TFM), and Panama Canal Railway Co. Official web site can be found here: KCSOUTHERN.COM.

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Locomotive Footplate Trips

Postby UKrailwayman » Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:45 pm

Hi folks,

There is a possibility that I may be coming to the US next month to look at some track maintenance equipment in the KCS area.

I wondered what the policy is of that railway in respect of arranging an official locomotive foorplate ride?

Any advice, or the correct person to whom such a request should be directed, would be very much appreciated.

Thank you.
UKrailwayman
 

Re: Locomotive Footplate Trips

Postby meh » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:05 pm

UKrailwayman wrote:I wondered what the policy is of that railway in respect of arranging an official locomotive foorplate ride?

I have never heard of either a locomotive footplate or f[l?]oorplate, so I can only give the most approximate of answers.

My guess is that this may refer to one of the exterior platforms of the locomotive, either in front of or behind the cab--a catwalk or running board or stairway, for example, or whatever the proper railroad term is for these areas.

Given that liability concerns are so strong in the US, I think it generally is very difficult for non-employees to gain permission even to ride inside the relative safety of a locomotive cab. Thus I expect it to be many times more difficult for a non-employee to receive permission to ride on an external platform of a moving locomotive.

In any event, to find specific contact information, try http://www.kcsi.com/ then the "For Employees & Friends" link, then the "Department Directory" link. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are listed there.
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Postby 3rdrail » Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:07 pm

"Footplate" is a British thing. Their steam locomotives have a "footplate" running down the length of the locomotive, which, when it reaches the cab, serves as the cabs floor. (American locomotive's cabs rest on the frame and have their own floor. I have heard the term used in the U.S. to denote the metal floor plate between the locomotive and its tender, an entirely different thing.)

In other words, he's asking what his chances are for a cab ride.

My answer would be that it sounds like it would not be too much of a problem, as it seems as if you are either a representative from another railway or railway track maintenance company. In any event, go on-line, get a name and address, write a real mail letter explaining who you are to the head of the Operations Division, what your interests are, and when you'll be there. My guess is that they will extend you that courtesy. Good luck and enjoy yourself in the U.S.A.
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