70. Inspection Before Departure
Conductors and Engineers must know that cars
and engines in their train have been inspected. At points where cars
that are to be picked up have not been previously inspected by a Car
Inspector, train crews must determine that they are safe for movement.
Train crew members must inspect cars and engines
for the following problems in particular:
- Car body
(a) Leaning or
listing to side
(b) Sagging downward.
(c) Positioned improperly on track.
(d) Object dragging below.
(e) Object extending from side.
(f) Door insecurely attached.
(g) Broken or missing safety appliance.
(h) Lading leaking from a placarded hazardous material car.
- Insecure coupling
- Overheated wheel or journal
- Broken or extensively cracked wheel.
- Brake that fails to release.
- Any other safety hazard likely to cause an
accident or casualty before the train arrives at its destination.
Crew members must also ensure that required
brake tests are performed on all cars and engines.
No attachment or part of a car may be hanging
so low as to foul a road crossing or track structure.
Open top loads, including trailers and
containers on flat cars, must not have lading shifted or securements
loose or missing. Where train consist permits, open-top shiftable
loads must not be placed next to an occupied engine unit or other
Where the width or height of a car or lading
appears close to clearance lines, the car may be moved only:
1. With authority of the Dispatcher, or
2. In accordance with Rule 119, "Hazardous Material; Equipment of Excessive Weight or Dimensions."
Freight cars picked up en route that are safe for movement and placarded with bad order cards may be forwarded to the point where repairs will be made. The Conductor must have a copy of the bad order card or written information contained on the bad order card before the car is picked up.
All crew members must be informed of the presence of the defective car in the train and of any movement restrictions shown on the bad order card.
71. Flat Spots
If a flat spot on a wheel of a car or engine develops en route, a member of the crew must inspect it. Upon completion of inspection, the train will be governed as follows:
a. Proceed at Normal Speed: The train may continue at Normal Speed if no other defects affecting movement are observed, AND if:
- The flat spot is less than 2 ½ inches in
- If there are 2 adjoining spots, each is less
than 2 inches in length.
b. Proceed at 10 MPH: If a flat
spot is found in excess of either of the above dimensions, but less
than 4 inches, and no other defect is observed, two actions must be
- Speed must not exceed 10 MPH.
- A report must be made promptly to the
Dispatcher or Operator.
c. Remain Stopped: If a flat spot
of 4 inches or greater is found, the train must remain stopped until a
report is made to the Dispatcher or Operator. When determined safe
for movement, the Dispatcher (or Operator when authorized by the
Dispatcher) will order the car or engine to be set out at the first
available siding or terminal.
72. Inspection of Moving Trains
Employees must observe passing trains for
defects, and the display of headlights, markers and auxiliary lights.
The improper display of headlights, markers and auxiliary lights must
be reported to the train and the Dispatcher. Trains must be notified
and stopped if any of the following defects are observed:
Swinging door on freight car or trailer
Open plug door
Lading shifted over side or end of car
If attention is called to a dangerous
condition, the train must be promptly stopped, consistent with good
train handling techniques. An inspection must be made and the
Dispatcher notified. If defects cannot be corrected, cars unsafe for
movement must be set out and a report made to the Dispatcher. This
report must include the location where the billing is to be left.
Conductors must report car defects on the prescribed form.
Crew members must frequently observe both sides
of their train while moving, looking for hand signals and other
indications of defects in train and track, especially at curves. When
practical, crew members on moving trains must be in a position to
inspect passing trains.
73. Train Inspection: Bridges Without
When a portion of a train is stopped on a
bridge or trestle without a walkway, and a walking inspection of the
train is required, crew members must take the following actions before
moving the train:
- Inspect the train and the track up to the
bridge or trestle to confirm that there are no defects or conditions
endangering train movement, and
- Confirm that air brakes on the rear of the
train have released, and
- Position a crew member at the bridge or
trestle to monitor the movement.
Once these actions have been taken, the train may move over the bridge
or trestle at a maximum speed of 10 MPH. If the Engineer experiences
difficulty or excessive amperage when attempting to start the
movement, he must stop the movement and determine the cause.