c. Emergency Response. Upon notification of a hazardous material accident, the
railroad dispatcher shall notify all appropriate installation personnel and give instructions to the
crew as to how they are to respond.
d. Use of Placards. Placards shall be used to identify the nature of the commodity in the
railcar. Crew members shall be conversant with the meaning of the various placard designations.
See Figure 3-17 for graphics of the various placards described below.
In a moving or standing train, a car placarded "Radioactive" shall not be placed next to any other
loaded placarded car (other than one placarded "Combustible"), a locomotive, occupied caboose,
or carload of undeveloped film. Cars placarded "Radioactive" may be placed next to each other.
In a moving or standing train a loaded placarded tank car, other than one placarded
"Combustible," shall not be placed next to:
(1) Any car placarded "Explosives Class 1," Radioactive," or Poison Gas."
(2) A locomotive or occupied caboose.
Explosives Class 1.1 - Items with this placard are capable of violent explosion when subjected to
fire, strong impact, or shock. If the material itself is on fire, attempting to extinguish the fire is
not recommended; if fire is not present, every effort must be made to prevent fire and to keep the
explosives from coming in contact with other chemicals. Recommended evacuation distance for
Explosives Class 1 involved in a fire is 1 mile.
Explosives Class 1.3 - Items with this placard are capable of burning rapidly and causing sudden,
violent rupture of cars or containers when involved in fires. It is virtually impossible to extinguish
the material when a fire has started. In the event of fire, recommended evacuation distance is 1/2
mile. When not on fire, Class 1.3 explosives shall be protected from being struck, crushed,
exposed to fire or contacting corrosive materials.
Dangerous - Items with this placard contain irritating materials or mixed loads of certain
hazardous materials. Irritating materials are moderately dangerous materials that give off
intensely irritating fumes on exposure to air or contact with fire. Although noxious and irritating,
the effects are usually temporary.
Blasting Agents - Items with this placard are subject to explosion when involved in fire, although
impact or friction may not cause an explosion. If the material itself is on fire, attempting to put
out the fire is not recommended. Every effort shall be made to prevent the material from
becoming involved in fire. Recommended evacuation distance when the material is on fire is 1/2
Poison Gas (Zone A) - Items with this placard are gases or liquids which can give off highly toxic
vapors if released from their containers. Vapors from Poison "A" materials can be fatal if inhaled
or absorbed through the skin. As vapors are often colorless and odorless, any suspected leak shall
be investigated only by protected specialists. In the event of fire or leak, evacuation for a 1/2 mile
radius is recommended with consideration given to weather conditions, location, and amount of
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