There is only one time when it is ever acceptable to walk along a railroad bridge and when that happens, several safety precautions must take place first.
Kanawha River Railroad Roadmaster Sean Crowe recently took his newest Track Team member Adam Blethen out to inspect a bridge on the Mullens subdivision of the KNWA line and he shared what steps need to be taken prior to beginning the inspection.
First, call Dispatch to have a track warrant issued. This puts a hold on the track so that it can’t be used for any purpose other than what it has been issued for.
Second, perform a job briefing. Crowe said job briefings are necessary so that everyone on the job knows what to expect and how to perform the task safely. When inspecting a steel trestle bridge, Team members need to know to stay within the gages, watch their footing, and to be aware of weather conditions that may be more intense at higher elevations.
Once the inspection or any other work is completed, the Team contacts Dispatch again to let them know that they can release the warrant and allow traffic back on the track.