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Page Title: Track Out-of-Service Procedures
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c. Notification of Emergency Vehicle Movement. Emergency vehicles include fire
trucks, ambulances, and security vehicles. Installation Commanders shall ensure that their local
railroad operating directive includes a requirement for the notification of the railroad when an
emergency vehicle is in transit to an emergency site. The reason for this requjrement is to
facilitate the safe and rapid movement of emergency equipment without having to deal with trains
blocking roadways.
d. Track Out-of-Service Procedures. Track needs to be taken out of service for a
variety of reasons, ranging from planned maintenance to unsafe conditions to abandonment. Clear
records shall be kept on such actions so that track that is out of service is not used. These records
shall be part of the train crew notices book. See Section 3.3.b.
e. Signals. Any object waved by any person on or near the track is a signal to stop.
When not involved in giving hand signals, personnel shall avoid making motions which may be
construed as a hand signal. See Figure 3-12 for the approved hand signals and their meanings.
Crews shall be equipped with the proper equipment to safely pass signals. These items include
brightly colored gloves, mitts, or boards for daytime use and lanterns or flashlights for nighttime
Radio and other means of voice communication may be used instead of hand signals to convey
information when the use of hand signals is not possible. Crew members shall understand exactly
which moves will be made while radio is being used to control the movement of a train.
(1) Locomotive bell. Except where the momentary stop and start is a continuous
switching movement, the locomotive bell shall be rung when the locomotive is about to be moved,
while passing through tunnels, and while approaching crossings at grade. Ringing shall begin
sufficiently in advance of entering crossing to provide warning. If distance permits, warning shall
be given not less than one-fourth mile before reaching crossing and continue until the crossing is
occupied. Ring bell in all congested areas where vehicular or pedestrian movement is present.
Ring bell elsewhere when necessary as a warning signal.
(2) Locomotive horn (whistle). The horn shall be used in conjunction with the bell
when approaching grade crossings as outlined in Section 3.3.e.(6). The horn shall be used
whenever the train or locomotive is approaching a track maintenance gang, track or car inspector,
or other personnel on the right-of-way. The horn shall also be used to alert any trespasser(s) to
the danger of the approaching train or locomotive. See Figure 3-13.
(3) Whistle Boards. The Installation Commander shall direct a person knowledgeable
in railroad operations to conduct an annual review (in January) of the installation's railroad track
system to determine where whistle boards should be placed. The purpose of this review is to
determine the high risk areas where it is prudent to remind engineers to sound the horn to warn
others of an approaching train.
Typical high risk areas are heavily traveled shopping, office, and industrial areas; schools; day care
centers; blind spots; etc. The review shall also address the cost of installation and maintenance of
whistle boards; however, safety shall not be sacrificed for cost savings. A current letter, signed
and dated, stating that the annual review was conducted shall be on file.
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