Amtrak Footware Requirement?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by John Bobinyec, Jun 1, 2019.

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  1. Jun 1, 2019 #1

    John Bobinyec

    John Bobinyec

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    I was a host on Piedmonts 75 and 76 today. The crew were talking about a new requirement that Amtrak passengers are not allowed to wear open-toed shoes on board Amtrak trains. Has anyone else heard of this? Judging from the number of people who were wearing open-toed shoes on the trains today, the public didn't get the memo.

    jb
     
  2. Jun 1, 2019 #2

    crescent-zephyr

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    how would they possibly enforce a rule like that?
     
  3. Jun 1, 2019 #3

    Thirdrail7

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    Either you misheard them or they misunderstood. There are new requirements for private car owners and they now have a footwear requirement as described (among other things.)
     
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  4. Jun 1, 2019 #4

    Charles785

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    I have wondered from time to time if there ever were restrictions on open-toed shoes on passenger trains - either before - or during the Amtrak era. I'll have to admit I kind of cringe when I see someone walking between cars with open toed shoes, but maybe that's just me; maybe it isn't considered unsafe.
     
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  5. Jun 1, 2019 #5

    Skyline

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    It's not just you. It is unsafe. Common sense. But is there a rule? If so, is it enforced?
     
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  6. Jun 1, 2019 #6

    Thirdrail7

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    The only passenger restriction is you must have footwear. No bare feet. Previously, private car operators didn't have requirements (they had guidelines) for footwear as long as they weren't in a yard or repair facility.

    Now, they have requirements even as they work over the road.
     
  7. Jun 1, 2019 #7

    Artrina

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    How could they possibly enforce a 'no open toed shoes' requirement? People suggest here and on other sites that you bring flip flops for use at night when you need to go to the bathroom. Wearing open toed shoes is always a risk, but, when traveling many people don't want to have their feet all wrapped up for the entire trip. I wore sandals my entire trip and took them off when I was in my roomette.
     
  8. Jun 1, 2019 #8

    jiml

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    I think it was fairly normal "back in the day" when going between cars with Heritage-style vestibules. Seems fairly common sense with floors shifting through switches, etc.
     
  9. Jun 1, 2019 #9

    Seaboard92

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    No the issue with the new rules to me is they are fairly unenforceable. Here are a few cases.

    1. Open Toed Shoes. The doors to PVs are generally locked and for the most part we never see an Amtrak Employee. So without Amtrak installing cameras in our cars which would probably result in a major uproar. So this is an incredibly hard rule to enforce. Me personally I wear my steel toe boots everywhere so it doesn’t really effect me personally. And personally as long as my passengers stay in the car body and don’t enter the vestibule I probably wouldn’t enforce it. Especially when you see the footwear regular Amtrak passengers wear.

    2. The new vestibule/platform rules. Again I believe this is a fairly hard rule to enforce. Now car owners/passengers are not allowed to avail ourself a to the amenities of Dutch door riding and open platform riding. My theory on this is a bit more enforceable but not really by Amtrak crews but by railfans photos. The engineer should be looking forward and focused on running. The conductors for the most part are busy dealing with passengers or sitting in the cafe car. So they generally aren’t looking back. And I’ve been told by several conductors I know since this rule they aren’t bothering with it because they have more pressing issues with their passengers. Then look at the majority of our country. It’s incredibly rural and remote. For instance I could ride a platform in say the New River Gorge and no one would really know if I did or if I didn’t because it’s remote.

    Of course what about the section of the Maple Leaf north of Niagara Falls? Technically it’s Amtrak equipment and in the timetable. But it’s a VIA train. So who’s rules?
    Next the rule only specifies Dutch doors, and open platforms. So does that mean baggage doors, service doors, and diner doors are free range? Of course it doesn’t but it wasn’t technically specified so one could technically fight any punishment if you did that because it didn’t explicitly call those out. Of course none of us are going to do that because we have too much to lose over proving how poorly written something is.

    Am I going to enforce this rule of course. I have way too much to lose by not enforcing it. Do I agree with it not at all. Is Dutch door riding and open platform riding safe. For the most part of you use common sense yes. There has been one incident I know of in the last five years.

    That incident was a passenger on the aaprco special in New York who was hit in the head with a rock from a kid throwing at the train. The passenger was warned to come in before hand but chose not to like I said common sense. They should punish that kid not the car owners.

    I would like to post verbatim my favorite rule of these. But I’m in Canada now with limited WiFi so I’ll do that at another time.

    Moral of the story the rules that some insurance person who probably isn’t familiar with operations has come up with are fairly unenforceable. The only way you can actually enforce them is to install cameras in every vestibule and platform we have to see we aren’t doing it. Or pay someone to watch railfan YouTube videos all day long looking for rule violations.

    Will I enforce the vestibule yes. But as long as my passengers stay in the car and not the vestibule or between cars I will not enforce the footwear rule. Like I said I have too much to lose. With these rules in place I will not be doing a PC1/2 inspection on the Columbia Heights it just isn’t worth the investment.

    And of course I didn’t learn about the new regulations from Amtrak. I learned about it from Facebook so it was a really professional roll out.

    Personally I will be lobbying with congress to get some of these rules removed.
     
  10. Jun 1, 2019 #10

    crescent-zephyr

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    Once when I rode a private the engineer of a passing CN freight complained about passengers leaning out of the vestibule. The private car attendant was told to close up the vestibule which he did until the next crew came on-board.
     
  11. Jun 1, 2019 #11

    Michigan Mom

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    For as long as I can remember, Amtrak conductors have been making announcements that shoes are required to walk in the train. To me the designation of "shoes" means that the foot is covered for safety, hence Amtrak is not liable if someone chooses to disregard, and is injured as a result. As such, "shoe" would rule out sandals, flip flops and the like. Some open toe shoes cover more of the foot than others. And there lies the problem as it's not a clear cut designation so all you can do is rule out all of them.
     
  12. Jun 1, 2019 #12

    Rasputin

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    I don't see why Amtrak should care what people are wearing when riding in a private car (or even if they choose to be on the open platform) unless Amtrak is using this to further harass private car owners and discourage patronage (Wait, maybe I have answered my own question!)

    I don't believe that airlines have much in the way of footwear requirements for passengers except that they wear some type of footwear. I have watched enough TV shows to know that a person travelling on a airplane should wear leather shoes and not sandals or shoes made of a synthetic material. I assume the same recommendation would go for trains but people wear what they want at their own risk. Any footwear rule for regular Amtrak passengers, except for a requirement to wear some footwear, would be difficult to enforce unless Amtrak wishes to drive away customers (Wait again, maybe I have answered my own question.)
     
  13. Jun 1, 2019 #13

    crescent-zephyr

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    Anywhere you go in life it will be safer to wear closed toe shoes and safer still to wear steel closed shoes. That doesn’t mean we should be regulated to wear certain types of clothing. (I don’t own any open shoes because I’m clumsy and have bad luck, but I feel like I should have the right to wear open toe shoes if I want to!).
     
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  14. Jun 1, 2019 #14

    Bob Dylan

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    I've worn Sandals and Bedroom Slippers on Amtrak for over 40 years, especially @ Night but do take Sneakers that I wear if it's raining or extremely Cold.

    Never had any problems!
     
  15. Jun 2, 2019 #15

    Thirdrail7

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    Why is this even a thread? Who said anything about passengers being required to wear certain footwear?


    That's quite easy to enforce particularly as owners traverse the yards, shops and even at station stops. And again, it is for the owners, who were known to say that Amtrak's instructions don't apply to them as they wander through the yards. Well, now it is addressed.

    Since you're probably not qualified on various operating rules, a great deal of operating rule books provide for crews to position themselves to check their trains when practical, especially on curves...and although the old diesel fleet has limited vision side view mirrors, the Siemens' fleet has cameras that allow for just that. There are also station cameras that see the trains go by.

    Additionally, Crescent Zephyr hit the nail on the head. There are plenty of other trains out there that will report open doors, people on the observation platforms..because they already do. Now that there are enforceable guidelines, which were lacking before, you can have consistency.

    From the requirements:

    Seems to be if you're governed by the Amtrak timetable (which does include the portion in Canada) and you are attached to an Amtrak train, you're governed by this provision.

    As for spelling out dutch doors, that was because the private cars would say things like "the door IS closed,...just the top is open." Since there are already provisions for doors being closed on regular trains, this should help to eliminate the confusion over dutch doors.


    I can't wait to read it . Is it the three point contact portion? :) Yes....that's totally enforceable or the portion that tells you how to evacuate your own car..that they're not qualified on???! :)

    I'm disappointed in you. You've been around long enough to know this wasn't written by an insurance agent. It was written in legalese!!! Now, if anything goes wrong, "they violated rule........"


    Good idea. They'll say you weren't using three points of contact as you slide down the embankment. Then, they'll charge you.

    Well, it IS clearly on the site under private car safety. It was up as soon as it became valid.

    Who said Amtrak cares what the passengers wear? No one except the OP. If they choose to be on the open platform, it can become an issue particularly since a few owners decided it was a good idea to have them out there at 110mph and in on particular instance, attempted to look up the side of the train...with a 135mph train operating against it in the opposite direction. I suppose if a person has a death wish, we shouldn't say much but since the owner stated their is no rule against it and we do this all time, there are now guidelines to provide consistency.....which is just what the Inspector General stated should happen.

    Aaaand again, no one mentioned there is a requirement for passengers..except the OP and he merely inquired. This is for the owners who are now being held up to the operating standards of the crews as they traverse the territory and the yards.
     
  16. Jun 2, 2019 #16

    AutoTrDvr

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    I don't think I ever left my bedroom without the proper footwear, anyway. Then again, I had my own private bath so I didn't really have to leave it unless I was getting ice or going to the dining car. So, if there ever is a requirement for pax. to wear "proper footwear," It would not phase me.
     
  17. Jun 2, 2019 #17

    me_little_me

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    On your feet? Hope not. I like going barefoot between cars - especially in winter when there's a little ice on the floor. But I do carry my shoes on my hands because they get cold. :)
     
  18. Jun 2, 2019 #18

    pennyk

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    I routinely wear Vibrams five finger shoes, which provide very little support. Usually crew members comment about how cool or cute my shoes are, however, once, a crew member on the Silver Meteor told me I should not be wearing "those shoes" on the train. I continue to wear my Vibrams.
     
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  19. Jun 2, 2019 #19

    spinnaker

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    Not very mart at all. For one there is the obvious problem you you getting you foot caught in a door or subbing your foot. But people and animals track in all sorts of things. One of these days you are going to get yourself a nice infection.
     
  20. Jun 3, 2019 #20

    Barb Stout

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    MeLittleMe was being sarcastic.
     
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  21. Jun 4, 2019 #21

    Michigan Mom

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    Having made the announcement, Amtrak personnel are not going to examine everyone's feet... I interpret this as a reminder to let common sense be our guide, if you choose to disregard common sense, it's not on Amtrak.
     
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  22. Jun 4, 2019 #22

    AutoTrDvr

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    Perhaps it would be like seatbelt laws... a "secondary violation." They may not go around inspecting everyone, but they might call someone out for a blatant violation (i.e. they witness you walking around barefoot).
     
  23. Jun 5, 2019 #23

    Ryan

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    The chances of an Amtrak employ randomly seeing someone in a private car walking around barefoot is vanishingly small.
     
  24. Jun 5, 2019 #24

    chakk

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    I don't think the issue is whether the new rule is enforcable, but whether it relieves amtrak of liability should someone be injured while not wearing appropriate footwear after being informed of the requirement for same

    and if someone IS injured for lack of wearing appropriate footwear, after being informed of the requirement, i would be the first person on any jury to absolve amtrak of any responsibility, should a lawsuit go to a jury trial on which i was serving
     
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