Tiny Town Train Accident Revisited: Fines Exceed $30,000
We recently talked about a miniature train accident that occurred at Colorado theme park Tiny Town. The miniature train was going uphill too fast when it tipped off the tracks sending 15 adults and children to the hospital with personal injuries. We’re revisiting this story as fines have been levied for infractions that led to the crash. CBS 4 Denver reports:
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment says the volunteer engineer at Tiny Town was driving as much as five times the normal speed limit when the train went off the track. Witnesses say the locomotive entered a curve going between 12 and 17 mph while the normal speed limit is 3 to 4 mph.
The volunteer engineer had received very little training on how to operate the train safely. Howard Pankratz, a reporter at The Denver Post, explains:
‘Tiny Town allowed an untrained person to operate the No. 10 steam locomotive on thirty ride cycles,’ Susan DeMeules, program manager for the Oil and Safety Division, wrote. ‘OPS is assessing a fine of $30,000 ($1,000 per occasion).’
Furthermore, Tiny Town did not have adequate training material:
DeMeules also said Tiny Town’s training manual did not include instructions for emergency and general safety procedures as required. OPS assessed an additional fine of $500 for not having documented training of emergency and safety procedures, said DeMeules.
The state has imposed a number of conditions that will need to be met in order for the iconic Colorado theme park to reopen to the public.
First, Tiny Town must submit its plans for implementing uniform training, including emergency and safety procedures, to its ride operators. Full details on these new procedures must be presented to the Division of Oil and Public Safety along with a certified check for the total of their fines, $30,500.
Second, none of the trains will return to service until a third-party inspector has certified the safety of both the locomotives and the cars.
Finally, Tiny Town must make sure that the controls and levers in the locomotives are clearly labeled. Investigators noted that the locomotives were manufactured at a time when controls were not required to be labeled. OPS is now requiring that Tiny Town meet the current standards and provide clear labeling of all controls and levers.