liability Insurance

Discuss park gauge trains and large scale miniature railways having track gauges from 8" to 24" gauge and designed at scales of 2" to the foot or greater - whether modeled for personal use, or purpose built for amusement park operation or private railroading.

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Topics may include: antique park gauge train restoration, preservation, and history; building new grand scale equipment from scratch; large scale miniature railway construction, maintenance, and safe operation; fallen flags; track, gauge, and equipment standards; grand scale vendor offerings; and, compiling an on-line motive power roster.
John Hasler
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by John Hasler » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:47 pm

rkcarguy writes:
> Check out RCW 4.24.210

Don't rely on that without consulting a lawyer.

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Re: liability Insurance

Post by rkcarguy » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:00 pm

Agreed. It's a start for how things are legislated in our state, which would probably award money to a burglar injured while doing your place.

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Re: liability Insurance

Post by Greg_Lewis » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:15 pm

It's nice to see that Washington law. I wish there were more of those. Now I'm not a lawyer or even close to it, but I think I see some possible loopholes there. Quentin Breen gave a very interesting seminar on liability at one of the Triennials. The scary thing he mentioned is what happens if there is a claim for negligence. The Washington law provides protection to a property owner for permitting access, but if I was the counsel for the plaintiff, I'd claim that a ride on an owner-owned train goes beyond mere access and that the owner has a duty to see that the equipment is safe. I'd be examining the equipment to see if it was properly designed and manufactured, reviewed by a licensed mechanical engineer, and properly inspected and maintained by qualified personnel. By way of example, if you are on my property with your own ATV and are injured, that law might protect me. But if you are on my property, riding in my pickup, and I crash into a tree due to bald tires, I don't see how that law would protect me from liability.

But the real rub is this: Laws notwithstanding, if a lawsuit is filed and the insurance company can dodge the claim, the defendant will have to pay for his or her defense.

An aside: Breen said that there is a business records law that permits any records kept to be used as evidence. So a log book of regular maintenance and an inspection before every run day could be helpful in one's defense. I have thought that clubs (or anyone giving rides to the public) would be wise to mount a cheap video camera on every public ride train positioned so it would record the passengers while riding, and record every run, keeping those videos for a period of time. Also, Breen said that recording the number of passengers and the departure and return times of every run can show that the train was not overloaded and was not speeding (although video would do the same).
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:34 am

I agree it's good news among the bad. Those dash cams run about $60 IIRC, and record a certain amount of footage then start over-writing the older once full.
You could crash into a tree with bald tires, or what if I'm riding with you and decide to stick my arm out the window as we pass a tree?
Due to the "working" nature of my RR, I don't expect to extend any riding beyond my immediate family, so as long as I'm signed properly I don't see an issue myself. Even my track plan is laid out so a downhill runaway would find itself going through the large radius reversing loop and back uphill.
I think anyone visiting someone's RR with their own equipment, should sign a "hold harmless, at your own risk", as well as have a log book. "Passed inspection for proper gage, safety chains, and brake inspection/test.....John Doe, Train Mountain, 9/12/2017" for example.

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Re: liability Insurance

Post by cbrew » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:43 am

this is a good read. I also understand there is a key difference having invited guests and the general public when it comes to insurance coverage.
I have a half acre lot and i have toyed with the idea of installing a test loop around the lot. but do have concerns if the "attraction" to the locals. I seen to get enough of that just by pulling the stands out of the garage so i have room to work. thoughts?
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

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Re: liability Insurance

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:09 am

Personally, I wouldn't do it if I didn't have the lot that I do. 5 acre's, medium-heavily treed, and pretty lumpy. The route will basically run in a valley about 8' down from the driveway and road elevations, and the road is private as well.
For your 1/2 acre lot, is it fenced? I could see running a test loop along the fence without too much trouble.

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Re: liability Insurance

Post by cbrew » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:51 am

the only section that is currently not fenced is the front yard. at most, I can run a U shaped back and forth track with out exposing it to the front. which really is likely the best opinion. that way i do not have to figure out how to get around the drive way and my trailer parking. just not sure the Juice is worth the squeeze at this time.
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

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Re: liability Insurance

Post by Harlock » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:34 pm

Just about any liability insurance that doesn't specifically cover it tends to exclude moving conveyances. Is there a particular reason you want insurance for your private home railroad? Will you be having lots of visitors?
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Glenn Brooks
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:04 pm

Hi Harlock,

Can't speak about the other posters, but we would like to have a neighborhood open house/BBQ a couple of times a year, plus maybe a Xmas train, and a steam up for the local Live Steamers each year. Also of course the neighborhood kids always want to ride. So, having owned and operated an amusement park business in the past, I absolutely know I don't want uninsured liability exposure - which we have anyway, merely by building the backyard Railway. So, starting to look for a decent solution for liability coverage...

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Re: liability Insurance

Post by neanderman » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:44 am

I don't know if it would cover a backyard railway, but I have what is referred to as an "Umbrella Liability" policy.

As all of my insurance is with one carrier, the umbrella policy piggiebacks on my homeowners and auto policies. When I initially purchased it, they adjusted the liability limits on the auto and homeowners policies; the "umbrella" policy is then additive to both of those, up to a defined maximum.

I find it quite reasonable, overall.

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Benjamin Maggi
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Re: liability Insurance

Post by Benjamin Maggi » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:48 am

jcbrock wrote:

It won't be inexpensive but they do know the hobby.
That is what the Adirondack Live Steamers have.
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