Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum

Car No. 10 Car No. 10


Training

Trolley Car No.10 is back ... On track!


Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, Inc. provides extensive hands-on and "classroom" training for all of our trolley and pump car crewmembers. Our 2017 Training Day is Saturday May 20 at 10:00am at the museum. Lunch will be provided for all registered participants. This day is geared for requalifying returning crewmembers, but new volunteers should attend as well. We will cover safety issues, go over proper operation and care of No. 10 and the pumpcar, and talk about passenger care and methods for telling our guests about the history of No. 10, the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway and the Bridge of Flowers. Some time will be available in the afternoon for hands-on requalification and training.

We are looking forward to our upcoming interesting and safe season of hauling passengers back to a quieter time, before gas stations, even before the invention of the hamburger. It is important that all our volunteers keep safety foremost in mind, and training and rules make doing that much easier.

During the time (1896-1927) that the SF&C St Ry operated, women were not considered to be suitable trolleycar crewmembers. We know better, we have several women on our crew and welcome any others. Since 'motorperson' seems too awkward, we hope you will forgive us if we use the historically correct 'Motorman' to refer to anyone who operates our trolley car. 'Operator' might seem like a good substitute but it has a different meaning, see the Rulebook. Fortunately, 'Conductor' is gender-neutral.

To requalify, please re-read your Rulebook, Special Orders and Policy Manual (see below), then take the appropriate written Exams available below for download. You will also need to take a 'Road Exam' to demonstrate proper methods of operating the trolley (and/or pump car) and working with passengers. You may take your Road Exam with Sam Bartlett, Alden Dreyer or another crew member who has already been requalified. Be sure that whoever gives you your Road Exam also checks off the tested skills on your written Exams. Please discuss anything you are unclear about with your requalification partner, or Sam Bartlett or Alden Dreyer.

If you wish to qualify as an Operator (see rule 9), please talk with Alden Dreyer or Sam Bartlett. If you have at least one year of experience at SFTM, can demonstrate competence in preparing the car for service, operating the car solo and putting the car away, you will be qualified as an Operator.

You must be at least twelve-years-old to be a pumpcar operator. You must be at least 16 years old to be a Motorman or Conductor.

New Candidates: Please read the Rulebook, Special Orders and Policy Manual (see below). Some of the Rules may not make sense until you have had some hands-on instruction as well, so read, run, read, run, until you are comfortable with all aspects of the trolley operation. New candidates are encouraged to come during regular hours to observe other crew as well. Introduce yourself and explain that you are hoping to qualify as a crewmember. If the Motorman is willing, you can get some hands-on training under his/her direct supervision. Also watch the Conductor to learn that job, and learn the history that the Conductors relate to the passengers. Come early to learn the procedures for preparing the car for service and putting it away at the end of the day (there are checklists for this, once you've been through it it is pretty easy). When you feel ready, take the written Exam, and tell Alden Dreyer or Sam Bartlett when you feel ready for some final hands-on training. Your instructor will let you know when he feels you are qualified. We'll get you keys and a name tag, and you'll be on your way. Most folks can get the hang of the whole job in a few afternoons. Note, however, that the museum officers retain the right to deny qualification to any individual that they feel cannot safely and responsibly carry out the responsibilities of any position.

Please contact us if you are planning to attend Training Day.

The Rules are for your safety, the safety of others and the safety of our equipment. The Rules must be understood and followed. The Policies are to help make the museum operation appealing, educational and attractive. Adherence to Policies is encouraged but is at your discretion. For example, if you are a person who just doesn't wear hats, you don't have to wear a Conductor's hat.

You are not expected to memorize Rules or Policies, but should have a good understanding of both. Keep your Rulebook with you when operating so you can refer to it if needed. Know the line's, car's and museum's history, found in the Transportation Bulletin (available in the store), and elsewhere on this site.

Below is a list of documents (in pdf format unless otherwise indicated) you will need for becoming a qualified crewmember. Please download the Exams for the positions you are interested in, fill them out and bring them back on Training Day or your first operating day:

  • Rulebook You may print this out, we will provide properly printed Rulebooks at Training Day. This is the 2017 version, do not use any older version of the Rulebook.
  • Special Orders These modify the Rulebook. Download them and read them, you don't need to print them. Hardcopies are posted in the Car Barn, be sure to sign each of them, and check for and initial new Special Orders in the carbarn before reporting for duty each day.
  • The Policy Manual describes our Policies for keeping the museum attractive and enjoyable. Please review this regularly. This can just be printed double-sided, folded and stapled.
  • Emergency Volunteer Information sheet This is optional, it is to be used if you personally have an accident or medical emergency. We cannot guarantee any privacy of this material, but we will try to make sure it is only accessed if you need it to be. If you already have one on file, we don't need another unless there is new information.
  • The written Exams (below) are open book. Please use the current Special Orders, your RuleBook and copy the words directly and exactly, don't guess. There is a separate blank for each word. Leave the Exams in Alden Dreyer's "mailbox" in the Crew Room so they can be graded. Discussing the questions with other crew is encouraged, the idea is to gain familiarity with the Rules. But please do not just copy someone else's Exam.

    If you wish to only be qualified as a Conductor, you are still expected to pass the Motorman and Conductor written Exam. Your hands-on training will be simpler if you are only planning to be a Conductor. You can always ask to be trained as a Motorman later, if you change your mind. To be a Track Car operator, you need to pass the Motorman and Conductor Exam and the Track Car Operator Exam.

  • Motorman and Conductor's Exam, everyone must pass this Exam.
  • Track Map Exam, everyone must pass this Exam.
  • Track Car Operator's Exam, for pump car, trackmobile and speeder operators.
  • Trackmobile Operator's Exam, most of you don't need to take this one.
  • Dispatcher's Exam (Optional), we typically use Dispatchers only a few times a year.

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    Trolley Car No.10 is back ... On track!

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    14 Depot Street Shelburne Falls MA 01370        413-625-9443       trolley@sftm.org