• Safety requirements for maintenance of way equipment?

  • General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment
General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

  by SouthernRailway
 
If railroad locomotives have to meet various safety requirements (such as having horns, bells, ditch lights, etc., which I presume are all required by Federal law), does railroad maintenance of way equipment have to meet the same requirements? For example, would a hi-rail truck have to have a loud enough horn? Would anything that moves along the rails for maintenance of way purposes have to have ditch lights?

Is there a quick guide to these things?

Thanks!
  by DutchRailnut
 
No, because technically any MofW equipment has to stop at crossing unless its protected.
  by Watchman318
 
I've only seen a few road/rail-capable vehicles that would shunt crossing circuits, so as mentioned above, they do stop-and-protect. I've seen even the very few trucks (not ballast regulators, etc.) that would trigger crossing signals stop at least until the operator knew the active warnings were working reliably and that highway users were stopping. On lightly-used lines, they might not get good continuity through any rust, etc.

I think anything that's not a locomotive is exempted from the requirements of 49 CFR 222, Use of Locomotive Horns at Public Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, by this language in §222.9: "Locomotive means a piece of on-track equipment other than hi-rail, specialized maintenance, or other similar equipment" [Emphasis added.] But if you don't have reliable activation of signals and/or the horn and bell, or "on-ground warning" as in NORAC Rule 138, then traffic on the rail should yield to road traffic.

The first truck I ever saw that would trip crossing signals was this one: Image
Anything big enough to have a coupler on both ends should probably have a substantial horn on it, and there's one under the front bumper as well as the one on the cab roof.
  by DutchRailnut
 
and by rules its still track car and must stop and protect, same with any track equipment, even sperry car.
  by scharnhorst
 
DutchRailnut wrote:and by rules its still track car and must stop and protect, same with any track equipment, even sperry car.

Sperry car dose not have to stop and protect railroad crossings if it's a truck it's a different story. As a former employee we were not allowed to wave people on or protect a railroad crossing because it was against the FRA Rules for us to do so. Only a Rep from the Railroad in which we were contracted by could flag traffic on and around crossing gates and other grade crossing signals. In general when I worked for Sperry we had to make sure the lights, horn and bell all worked before moving. We even did a brake test. We had all the norms in the cab red flag, flares, torpedo's, portable de-rail and chock blocks. Some cars also had a blue occupied camp car sign other did not most of them wound up getting stolen by kids or shot up by some * target shooting so we never bothered to use the signs half the time just the de-rail and the chock blocks. Because we moved at such a slow speed most of the dispatchers gave us the authority to run signals no matter what they displayed unless other wise told different.
  by DutchRailnut
 
the Sperry car by federal definition is a track car and not a train or locomotive .
  by scharnhorst
 
DutchRailnut wrote:the Sperry car by federal definition is a track car and not a train or locomotive .

Yeah I know that just correcting you on the fact that we were not required to stop at railroad crossings when working on CSX, NS, or Amtrak or on any of the roads that I had been on in Canada.
  by DutchRailnut
 
NORAC =
811. Highway Crossings
Track cars must approach highway crossings at grade prepared to stop. They
must give highway traffic the right-of-way.

so in laymans terms you blow it and hit someone you go to jail
  by scharnhorst
 
DutchRailnut wrote:NORAC =
811. Highway Crossings
Track cars must approach highway crossings at grade prepared to stop. They
must give highway traffic the right-of-way.

so in laymans terms you blow it and hit someone you go to jail

Your either out of the loop or making * up! I'm telling you what we were told to do when I worked on them big Yellow 85 foot Sperry cars and that was to approach the crossing blow the horn and keep going it was different for the hi-rail trucks which did stop at each crossing before advance The BIG Cars were a different story! We only had 1 MW road Forman on the car from the host railroad and he / she never ever got off the car to flag crossings they were always in contact with the dispatchers getting track warrants for every mile marker we approached and not a single railroad official in a pilot truck ever flagged crossings or any type for us even if they were there they never got out of the truck or blocked the crossing with the truck unless the crossing signals were not working. I know what I was told to do. You don't so it makes your argument invalid over the practice over how some roads operate and CSX was one that did things different.
  by litz
 
When you get down to the nuts and bolts of things, there really isn't much difference between an 85 foot sperry car, and a locomotive ... similar sizes, weights, no. of axles, etc. It's also not much different than a self-propelled RDC.

It IS a very grey area, though, in between MoW vehcile, "track car", "self propelled railcar", and "train" (defined as a locomotive, locomotives, or locomotive(s) + cars).

I've always been taught that a "track car" (anything from a speeder up to large MoW equipment) approaches a crossing prepared to stop, and only proceeds when clear. That's whether or not warning devices are or aren't activated.

If you have to stop, you cannot proceed unless clear, or positive control of the crossing has been achieved (presumably by flaggers).
  by DutchRailnut
 
most railroads have severe restrictions on single locomotives and RDC type equipment at crossings too, as they do not always shunt , specially if sanders are operated.