130. Flag Protection
a. General Requirements
When flag protection is required, employees
must go out in the proper direction(s) the distance prescribed in the
table below. Temporary speed restrictions for the territory must be
taken into account.
Where Maximum Authorized
Speed for Track to Protect is:
Minimum Distance Required
for Protection is:
MPH or less
Between 21 MPH and 30 MPH
Between 31 MPH and 40 MPH
Between 41 MPH and 90 MPH
MPH or greater
Crew members providing flag protection must not
permit other duties to interfere with the protection of their train.
The Conductor and Engineer are responsible for protection of their
b. Flag Protection against Trains on
Three steps must be followed to provide flag
protection against approaching trains on adjacent tracks as required
by Rule 131, “Protecting Work Locations: Qualified Employee’s Duties,”
Rule 132, “Protection in Unforeseen Conditions,” or Rule 136,
“Emergency Stops: Protection.” Employees equipped with flagging
- Go out at least the distance prescribed by the
table in section (a) of this rule.
- Display a lighted fusee if they see or hear a
- Give a Stop Signal to approaching trains that
may be affected.
The employee providing protection must remain
at that location until recalled.
If the employee sees or hears a train
approaching before he has reached the prescribed distance, he must
immediately display a lighted fusee and continue toward the
approaching train while giving a Stop Signal.
c. Flag Protection against Following Trains
on the Same Track
Flag protection against following trains on the
same track is required in ABS territory where there is only one block
or interlocking signal to the rear of the train, and following trains
are not required to approach that signal at Restricted Speed or
prepared to stop. Where such locations exist, they will be listed in
a Timetable Special Instruction, which will include procedures stating
when and how flag protection against following movements must be
131. Protecting Work Locations: Qualified
Qualified employees assigned to protect
work locations or railroad construction or private contractors who
operations may affect the safe movement of trains must take the five
- Secure Flagging Equipment
Employees must secure
proper flagging equipment according to Rule 12, “Day and Night
- Ensure that Tracks Are not Fouled Without
Upon reporting for work
each day, the employee must determine who is in charge of the
workers. The employee must also ensure that all workers have been
instructed not to foul any railroad track at any time without his
- Get Permission to Foul Track
When workers request
permission to foul any specific track, the employee assigned to
protect the work location must communicate with the employee in charge
of the track to secure necessary permission.
- Report Failure to Comply by Workers
If workers fail to
comply with instructions of the employee, he must make an immediate
report to the employee in charge of the track.
- Take Action if Safe Passage is Endangered
If an event occurs that
would interfere with the safe passage of trains, the employee must
take immediate action to stop trains by radio communication to trains
and the Dispatcher. If protection cannot be immediately ensured, or
if communications fail, flag protection must be immediately provided
as prescribed by Rule 130, paragraph (b), “Flag Protection Against
Trains on Adjacent Tracks.”
132. Protection When Fouling or Working on a
Track; Protection in Unforeseen Conditions
Trains must be fully protected against any
known condition that may interfere with their safe passage.
If work on or adjacent to a track will create a
condition interfering with the safe passage of trains, that work must
not be attempted without permission of the employee in charge of the
On tracks where ABS, DCS, or interlocking rules
are in effect, the Dispatcher (or Operator when authorized by the
Dispatcher) must assure that protection against trains in both
directions has been provided as follows:
- If the work involves on-track equipment or
will disturb the track or catenary structure so that it would be
unsafe for Normal Speed, Ford D line 4 or Form D line 5 must be
- If the work will not disturb the track or
catenary structure, the Dispatcher may verbally authorize Foul Time
in accordance with Rule 140.
Form D line 4, Form D line 5, and Foul Time may
be issued only to employees who are qualified on the operating rules
and the physical characteristics of the territory involved.
If an event occurs or conditions are found that
may interfere with the safe passage of trains and no protection has
been provided, employees must immediately attempt to stop trains by
radio communication to trains and the Dispatcher. They must provide
flag protection in both directions as prescribed by Rule 130,
paragraph (b), “Flag Protection Against Trains on Adjacent Tracks.”
Flag protection must be maintained until the unsafe condition has been
corrected, or until employees are assured by the Dispatcher or
Operator that other protection has been provided.
133. Removing a Track from Service
Whenever Form D line 4 is issued to remove a
track from service, the following procedures will apply:
a. Action Required Prior to Issuance
Before Form D is issued, the Dispatcher must
- The affected track is clear of other
- Controlled signals leading to the affected
track are in Stop position, and
- Blocking devices are applied to the controls
of switches and signals leading to the affected track.
These signals must not be displayed for
movement leading to the out-of-service track, except as provided for
in Rule 134, paragraph (a), “Movement in the Direction of the
Form D must be issued to both:
- The employee requesting use of the track,
- The Operators controlling entrance to the
c. Establishing Out-of-Service Limits
Each end of the out-of-service limits must be
defined by one of the following physical features:
- A whole mile post.
- A station or other physical characteristic
- A track barricade or flagman at a designated
d. Operation Within Out-of-Service Limits
ABS, CSS, DCS and Interlocking rules do not
apply within the out-of-service limits. All movements must operate at
Restricted Speed. The employee named in Form D line 4 is in charge of
the out-of-service limits.
e. Admitting Additional Equipment from
Locations Controlled by Dispatcher or Operator
The Dispatcher or Operator may admit
additional track cars or trains to the out-of-service limits after:
- He has obtained permission of the employee
named in Form D line 4, and
- He has delivered a copy of the Form D line 4
to the person in charge of the additional equipment.
EXCEPTION: When the
out-of-service limits are published by Bulletin Order, the delivery of
Form D to additional equipment is not required.
If movement to the out-of-service limits will
involve passing a Stop Signal, the Dispatcher or Operator may then
authorize movement in accordance with Rule 241, “Passing a Stop
f. Admitting Additional Equipment from
Locations Not Controlled by Dispatcher or Operator
The employee named in Form D line 4 may admit
additional track cars or trains to the out-of-service limits by
showing or reading his copy of the Form D to the employee in charge of
the track car or train.
g. Returning the Track to Service
When the track is to be returned to service,
the employee in charge of the out-of-service track must take two
- He must notify the Dispatcher or Operator of
any restrictions necessary for the safe passage of trains, and
- He must ascertain that all track cars and
trains are clear of the track, and notify the Dispatcher or Operator
that they are clear.
EXCEPTION: With the
Dispatcher’s permission, the track may be returned to service while it
is still occupied by equipment. Before the track is returned to
service, the employee in charge of the track must ensure that the
equipment remaining on the track receives proper authority to occupy
the track after it is returned to service. If the track is governed
by Rule 261, permission must include direction of movement.
134. Movement within In-Service Portion of
In ABS territory, when a portion of track
between interlockings, controlled points, or TBS’s is removed from
service, movements within the in-service portion of track must be made
a. Movements in the Direction of the
Movements in the direction of the
out-of-service track must be notified by Bulletin Order or Form D line
4 of the limits of the out-of-service track. Dispatchers (or
Operators) must not display signals nor give authority for movements
in the direction of the out-of-service track until Form D line 4 has
been delivered or they have verified that the Engineer is aware of the
Bulleting Order item.
b. Movements Entering In-Service Track
Movements operating in the out-of-service
potion of the track must not enter the in-service portion without
permission of the Dispatcher.
135. Protection by Stop Signs When an
In-Service Track is Obstructed for Maintenance
Whenever Form D line 5 is to be issued in
accordance with item 1 of Rule 132, “Protection When Fouling or
Working on a Track,” the following procedures will apply, The “Working
Limits” refers to the area designated by Form D line 5 or Bulletin
Order, which must be identified by a whole mile post, station or other
physical characteristic location.
Form D line 5 must be issued to both:
- The employee requesting to obstruct the track,
- Trains approaching the obstructed track.
EXCEPTION: When the
Working Limits is published by Bulletin Order, issuance of Form D to
approaching trains is not required.
b. Required Use of Signs
The approach to the Working Limits must
be indicated by an Approach Sign. The Approach Sign indication will
not apply when permission is received to proceed past the Stop Sign.
The Working Limits must be indicated by Stop
Sign and a Working Limits Resume Speed Sign. A Working Limits Speed
Limit Sign may be substituted for the Stop Sign when the track is not
c. Action Required Prior to Issuance
The Dispatcher must not issue Form D line 5
authority until he has been notified by the employee in charge that
the signs have been properly placed.
d. Movements within Working Limits
A train must not enter the Working Limits until
permission has been received from the employee in charge, unless a
Working Limits Speed Limit Sign is displayed. The employee in charge
must not authorize a train to enter the Working Limits or display a
Working Limits Speed Limit Sign until he has been assured that the
track through the Working Limits is not obstructed, and all Roadway
Workers have been notified. Trains must not exceed 30 MPH through the
Working Limits, unless directed by the employee in charge to operate
at a higher or lower speed.
EXCEPTION: Trains or
track cars that will be performing maintenance within the Working
Limits is still obstructed. All train and track cars performing
maintenance within the Working Limits must operate at Restricted Speed
and must not leave the Working Limits without proper authority.
e. Interlocking Switches within Working
Dispatchers or Operator controlling
interlocking switches within the Working Limits must line such
switches for movements within the Working Limits and must apply
blocking devices to the controls of those switches. These blocking
devices must not be removed without permission of the employee in
charge of the Working Limits. This requirement does not relieve
employees operating within the Working Limits from complying with
interlocking signal indications.
136. Emergency Stops: Protection
a. Radio Transmission
When a train is moving and emergency
application of the brakes occurs, crew members must immediately
protect adjacent tracks by initiating an emergency radio transmission,
in the manner of the following example:
“Emergency, Emergency, Emergency. Train TV-24
engine 6605 is in emergency moving east on No. 2 track at MP 78.”
Following the emergency
transmission, the Dispatcher must be notified.
b. Flag Protection
After the train has stopped, crew members must
immediately provide flag protection in both directions on all main
tracks and controlled sidings, including those of a foreign railroad.
This protection must follow the guidelines of Rule 130, paragraph (b),
“Flag Protection against Trains on Adjacent Tracks,” and will be
- It is know that the track are not obstructed,
- Full protection has been provided by the
Dispatcher or Operator.
The entire train must be examined before
movement resumes to ensure that no cars have derailed, no load has
shifted, and no other condition exists that may endanger train
movements. Results of this inspection must be reported promptly to
the Dispatcher or Operator.
c. Other Train Movements
All trains receiving information that a train
is in emergency on an adjacent track will be governed as follows:
- A train that is operating in the same
direction as the train reported in emergency must operate at
Restricted Speed from 1 mile before the reported location until
reaching the head end of that train.
- A train that is operating in the opposite
direction of the train reported in emergency must operate at
Restricted Speed from the head end of the train in emergency to a
point 1 mile beyond the rear end of that train.
d. Responsibilities of Dispatcher or
Until the Dispatcher or Operator knows that
there is no obstruction on adjacent tracks, they must not permit
trains to enter the block on adjacent tracks without first notifying
them of the situation. This notification must include the direction,
track, location, and identity of the train in emergency.
e. Passenger Trains and Light Engines with
no Indication of Hazardous Conditions
Light engines and trains consisting entirely of
passenger carrying cars are relieved of the requirements of parts “a”
and “b” of this rule when the crew can immediately determine that
their train is not fouling adjacent tracks. The crew must promptly
notify the Dispatcher or Operator of the reason for their stop, and
the fact that they are not fouling adjacent tracks.
Before proceeding, the crew must examine their
entire train to ensure that no condition exists that may endanger
train movements, and must report the results of this inspection to the
Dispatcher or Operator.
137. Assisting An Attended Disabled Train
a. Opposing Movements in Rule 261 Territory
To assist a disabled train, the Dispatcher may
permit an opposing movement in Rule 261 territory. Before giving this
authorization, the Dispatcher must issue Form D line 8 to the disabled
train. A crew member of the disabled train must provide flag
protection against the opposing movement as prescribed in part (e)
below. The Dispatcher must then issue Form D line 9 to the assisting
train. ABS rules will not apply to this movement.
b. Opposing Movement Against the Current of
Traffic in Rule 251 Territory
To assist a disabled train, the Dispatcher may
permit an opposing movement against the current of traffic in Rule 251
territory. Before giving this authorization, the Dispatcher must
issue Form D line 8 to the disabled train. A crew member of the
disabled train must provide flag protection against the opposing
movement as prescribed in part (e) below. The Dispatcher must then
issue Form D line 2 to authorize the assisting train to operate to the
whole mile post or station at least 2 miles prior to the disabled
train, and line 9 to operate from that location to the disabled
train. DCS Rules will not apply to the portion of the movement
governed by Form D line 9.
c. Opposing Movement on Tracks Where DCS
Rules are in Effect in Both Directions
To assist a disabled train, the Dispatcher may
permit an opposing movement in tracks where DCS Rules are in effect in
both directions. Before giving this authorization, the Dispatcher
must take three actions:
- Issue Form D line 8 to the disabled train,
- Cancel the disabled train’s Form D line 2,
- Inform a crew member of the disabled train
that an opposing movement will be authorized.
A crew member of the disabled train must
provide flag protection against the opposing movement as prescribed in
part (e) below. The Dispatcher must then issue Form D line 2 to
authorize the assisting train to operate to the whole mile post or
station at least 2 miles prior to the disabled train, and line 9 to
operate from that location to the disabled train. DCS Rules will not
apply to the portion of the movement governed by Form D line 9.
d. Following Movement Where Non-Signaled
DCS Rules are in Effect
To assist a disabled train, the Dispatcher may
permit a following movement where Non-Signaled DCS Rules are in
effect. Before giving this authorization, the Dispatcher must inform
a crew member of the disabled train that a following movement will be
authorized. A crew member of the disabled train must provide flag
protection against the following movement as prescribed in part (e)
below. When a freight train is operating without an employee at the
rear end, flag protection is not required when the assisting train is
in contact with the disabled train. The Dispatcher must then issue
Form D line 2 to authorize the assisting train to operate to the whole
mile post or station at least 2 miles prior to the disabled train, and
line 9 to operate from that location to the disabled train. DCS Rules
will not apply to the portion of the movement governed by Form D line
e. Flag Protection Against Assisting Train
To provide flag protection against an assisting
train as required by parts (a) through (d) above, an employee equipped
with flagging equipment must proceed in the proper direction ¼ mile,
and display a lighted fusee when the assisting train is seen or heard
approaching. The employee must remain at that location until the
assisting train arrives, or until the employee is recalled.
f. Assisting Train in Close Proximity or
Operated by Engineer of Disabled Train
The provisions of parts (a) through (e) above
will not apply when:
- The disabled train is stopped within ¼ mile of
the interlocking or CP where the assisting train will begin its
opposing or following movement, and communication between the crews
is maintained, or
- The assisting train is operated by the
Engineer of the disabled train.
After receiving proper signal indication or
verbal permission in accordance with Rule 241, the assisting train
must operate at Restricted Speed to the disabled train.
138. Highway Crossing Warning
a. Activating/Reactivating Crossing Warning
The point at which automatic crossing warning
is activated or reactivated may be designated in any of three manners:
- A sign or post lettered “CC.”
- Yellow joint bars.
- Yellow stripes painted on the inside and
outside of the head, web, and base of both rails.
On tracks other than main tracks or controlled
sidings, movement over this point will activate the automatic highway
On a main track or controlled siding, movement
over this point will reactivate the operation of the automatic highway
crossing warning that has been interrupted because of a train’s delay
b. Avoiding Unnecessary Operation
Two steps will avoid unnecessary operation of
automatic highway crossing warning:
- Engines or cars must not be allowed to stand
longer than necessary.
- Switches must not be left open or unlocked
within the operating limits of such protection.
If necessary, the train must be cut or the
automatic crossing warning interrupted manually in accordance with
paragraph (h) of this rule.
If automatic highway crossing warning devices
are not functioning properly employees must immediately notify the
Dispatcher. The Dispatcher must issue Form D line 12 to all trains
that will operate over the affected crossing and these trains must:
- Approach the crossing prepared to stop, and
- Not occupy the crossing until protection is
provided by on ground personnel, and
- Proceed through the crossing not exceeding 15
MPH, until the head end ha cleared it.
protection is not required when all of the following conditions are
The crossing is equipped with gates, and
The train stops within 20 feet of the crossing, and
The crew sees that all gates are in the horizontal position and that
crossing lights are flashing.
Only the following categories of personnel may
be relied upon to provide on-ground protection:
- A crew member of the train.
- A uniformed law enforcement officer (railroad
- An employee who is equipped by day with an
orange vest, shirt or jacket, and red flag; and by night with a
retro-reflective orange, white or yellow vest, shirt or jacket, and
fusee or white light.
d. Obscured View of Highway
When equipment is standing and obscuring
highway traffic’s view, an employee must protect the highway traffic
against movement on adjacent tracks. Equipment stored on tracks close
to a public crossing must be placed so as to permit a clear view for
highway traffic using the crossing. Where space permits, equipment
must be placed at least 300 feet fro the crossing.
e. Cars Not Headed by Engine at a Crossing
without Automatic Highway Crossing Warning
If cars not headed by an engine are to be moved
over a highway crossing at grade not protected by automatic warning
devices or a designated employee, a member of the crew must provide
protection against highway traffic.
f. On-Ground Protection by Employees
When an employee is required to provide
on-ground protection at a highway crossing, he must give Stop Signals
to pedestrian and highway traffic until the leading end of the train
is through the crossing. Stop Signals must be given with a red flag
or fusees by day, and fusees or a white light at night.
g. Six Conditions that Require Special
Under six conditions, a train must not foul a
highway crossing equipped with automatic warning devices until it is
ascertained that the warning devices have been operating at least 20
seconds, or the gates (if equipped) are in the horizontal position.
These six conditions are:
- Making a Reverse Movement
When a train passes
entirely over a highway crossing and then is going to make a reverse
EXCEPTION: If the
entire train has cleared the crossing by at least 1.2 miles, it may
make a reverse move over the crossing without following special
- Approaching at Restricted Speed
When a train is
approaching at Restricted Speed
- Stopping and Starting in an Approach
Circuit with Automatic Interruption
When a train slows or
stops and then accelerates within 0.6 miles of a highway crossing
equipped with an apparatus that will automatically interrupt the
operation of the crossing warning, including motion sensing detectors.
- Passing Warning Device Reactivation Point
on Main Track or Controlled Siding
When a train proceeds
past a warning device reactivation point (See item “a” of this rule)
on a main track or controlled siding, after having been stopped or
delayed within 1.2 miles of the crossing.
- Passing Warning Device Activation Point on
Track Other than Main Track or Controlled Siding
When a train proceeds
past a warning device activation point (See item “a” of this rule) on
other than a main track or controlled siding.
- Performing Switching with 1.2 Miles of
When a train has
performed switching within 1.2 miles of the crossing. If the
automatic highway crossing warning is not operating, the movement must
not be made until protection is provided by on-ground personnel.
h. Manual Interruption of Warning Device
At locations where apparatus is provided to
manually interrupt the operation of automatic highway crossing
warning, instructions are posted or “Raise” and “Lower” buttons are
marked for each track.
When the apparatus is operated manually, no
movement may be made over the crossing until:
- Protection is provided by on-ground personnel,
- The automatic operation of this protection has
been reestablished and operating for at least 20 seconds, or
- If equipped with gates, they are in the
horizontal position and crossing lights are flashing.
Wherever crossing warning is operated
manually or manually interrupted, it must be restored to normal after
movement is completed. Control boxes must be locked.
At crossing where the apparatus interrupts
automatic protection on adjacent tracks, the employee interrupting the
protection must remain at the crossing to reestablish automatic
protection to normal operation when a train is approaching on an
139. Train or Car(s) Left Standing Without
Crew on Main Track or Controlled Siding
a. Authorization; Protection
Train or car(s) must not be left standing on
main tracks or controlled sidings without an assigned crew unless
specifically authorized by the Dispatcher. When authorization is
received, the departing crew must ensure that the equipment to be left
unattended is properly secured. The departing crew must inform the
Dispatcher of any Form D’s still in effect, and will be governed by
the instructions of the Dispatcher regarding the Form D’s.
The Dispatcher must advise the employee(s) in
charge of protecting the track of the location where such equipment
has been left unattended. This information must be recorded on the
Dispatcher’s Record of Train Movements and, where applicable, on the
Operator’s Station Record of Train Movements.
At the interlocking or controlled point
governing entrance to the affected track, the employee in charge of
protecting the track must place signals governing entrance to the
affected track in Stop position and apply blocking devices.
b. Opposing Movement in Rule 261 Territory
The Dispatcher may permit an opposing movement
in Rule 261 territory to couple to equipment left standing without a
crew. The Dispatcher must issue Form D line 13 to the opposing train
to proceed at Restricted Speed to the location where the equipment is
left standing without flag protection. The Dispatcher must issue a
copy of the Form D to all Operators involved. ABS rules will not
apply within the line 13 limits. Movement from an interlocking or CP
must be made in accordance with Rule 241.
c. Movement in DCS Territory or Against the
Current of Traffic in Rule 251 Territory
The Dispatcher may permit an opposing movement
against the established direction or current of traffic, or a
following movement in Non-signaled DCS territory, to couple to
equipment left standing without a crew. The Dispatcher must issue
Form D line 2 to the train to operate to the whole mile post or
station at least 2 miles prior to the unattended equipment, and line
13 to proceed at Restricted Speed from that location to the location
of the unattended equipment. DCS rules will not apply within the line
d. Re-assignment of Crew
Crew members, upon taking charge of equipment
that has been left unattended, must immediately communicate with the
Dispatcher and are governed by his instructions. The Dispatcher must
ensure that crew members have in their possession all applicable Form
D’s affecting the movement of the equipment. Movement is governed by
the applicable block system rules in effect for the direction of
140. Foul Time
Foul Time may be issued only by the Dispatcher,
or Operator when authorized by the Dispatcher.
a. Action Required Prior to Issuance
Before issuing or authorizing Foul Time, the
Dispatcher must determine that no trains have been authorized to
occupy the track segment to be fouled. In signaled territory, the
Dispatcher must ensure that Stop Signals have been displayed and
blocking devices applied to controls of switches and signals leading
to the affected track. When trains are to be held at a TBS where
blocking devices cannot be applied, the Dispatcher must issue Form D
line 13 instructing the Operator to hold trains clear of the affected
b. Permission to Foul
Permission to foul the track must include the
- Track designation
- Track limits (between/at)
- Time limits
The receiving employee must repeat this
permission and the Dispatcher or Operator must then confirm it before
the Foul Time become effective.
c. Reporting Clear
Once protection has been provided, it must be
maintained until the employee who has granted the Foul Time has
reported clear of the track.
141. Inaccessible Track
Roadway Workers may establish working limits on
a track not controlled by the Dispatcher or Operator, by making the
track inaccessible at each possible point of entry through one of the
- A switch or derail aligned to prevent access
to the working limits and secured with an effective securing device,
and properly tagged. The effective securing device and tag may be
removed only by direction of the employee in charge of the working
- A remotely controlled switch aligned to
prevent access to the working limits and secured with a blocking
device by the employee who controls the switch. Blocking device
protection must not be considered in effect until it has been
confirmed by the employee controlling the switch. Protection must
be maintained until the employee who requested the protection has
- A disconnected rail
- A flagman assigned to hold trains and
equipment clear of the working limits.
Movements within working limits may be made only with permission of
the employee in charge.