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Eastern Railroad Discussion > FRA Violation


Date: 04/09/01 06:44
FRA Violation
Author: aaca-yd

I have not confirmed this with the local chairman but was told that the FRA was busting people at Fulton Yard the past few days. I never put much thought in getting an EOT off the rear of another train in the yard after the 3 step rule came out. The FRA said that getting a EOT off the rear of another train in the yard requires 3 step protection. So if there is no crew on the train that you need to get the EOT off of then your engineer is required to go and get on the engines so you can have 3 step protection. And if there is no engine at the other end then your required to have blue flag protection. So talk to your local chairman before you get busted or e-mail the FRA. Besides the company hates when you use the rules against them......



Date: 04/09/01 07:28
RE: FRA Violation
Author: fmw

I have never heard of a trainman needing blue flag protection to remove a marker from an unattended train. You sure about this?



Date: 04/09/01 08:23
RE: FRA Violation
Author: Runs4TheNS

aaca-yd wrote:
>
> I have not confirmed this with the local chairman but was told
> that the FRA was busting people at Fulton Yard the past few
> days. I never put much thought in getting an EOT off the rear
> of another train in the yard after the 3 step rule came out.
> The FRA said that getting a EOT off the rear of another train
> in the yard requires 3 step protection.

Since when does the FRA enforce rules other than the DOT regulations? Last I heard, 3 step protection was a railroad safety rule, not a federal requirement. Certain items, such as brake tests, are federally mandated and the FRA does have oversight on them.

Blue Flag protection is required for car inspectors to add or remove markers, but I don't believe it covers T&E...



Date: 04/09/01 08:43
Cyclical debate...
Author: diddle_e._squat

...at least around the yard office here. Every once in awhile the topic will come up, I guess the ways the rules are written they can be interpreted to mean that you can't remove a marker without 3-step, so how do you do it without an engine attached and an engineer on it? Basically it ends up being decided that the yardmaster can give you protection on that track(verbal, without resorting to blue flag), and then you are allowed to. And that if the company wants to take a hard-line with us they can use the interpretive loophole to bust us on this. Railroaders paranoid? Naw, never!

DES
aka RunsFromDaNS



Date: 04/09/01 09:45
RE: FRA Violation
Author: mobileunit

three step bull---- is a csx company rule, not he fra's



Date: 04/09/01 11:55
NS JUST STARTED USING IT TOO
Author: cameraman

It is not just a CSX rule, Ns started it also.



Date: 04/09/01 12:20
RE: NS JUST STARTED USING IT TOO
Author: Sirsonic

Three step is just a name for the protection that is required. It is a FRA regulation, falls under the same idea as blue flag protection. When you recieve three step, the engineer is your blue flag, as he is the one who makes sure the equipment does not move. The FRA requires the protection, they dont require calling it three step.



Date: 04/09/01 12:40
RE: NS JUST STARTED USING IT TOO
Author: Runs4TheNS

Sirsonic wrote:
>
> Three step is just a name for the protection that is required.
> It is a FRA regulation, falls under the same idea as blue flag
> protection. When you recieve three step, the engineer is your
> blue flag, as he is the one who makes sure the equipment does
> not move. The FRA requires the protection, they dont require
> calling it three step.

With all due respect, under what CFR does it fall? I'll believe it's an FRA rule when someone can show me that the feds have protection for T&E people specifically outlined. NS and CSX just started using the 3-step rule after CR people began to infiltrate the supervisory ranks (CR is one of the ones who started 3 step, IIRC). BNSF guys frequently refer to "set and centered." Again, we're talking about a rule which the railroads are instituting themselves (much like their own train handling and air brake rules).

To the best of my knowledge, the FRA only mandates blue flag protection for other crafts when fouling equipment...



Date: 04/09/01 14:14
REThe Ruling is In
Author: aaca-yd

I spoke to my rep to see what happened at Fulton Yard, he said that the conductor was placing a EOT on the rear of the train at the time. The FRA informed him that he could not do this because he is not "part of that train crew" or "attached" to that train such as an utility man so he was in violation of some rule (I forget...LOL). The three step is a company rule and not an FRA rule so the FRA man can not inforce that but only FRA mandated rules. But my rep said that the blue flag does come into play some how but didn't go into detail with me. So the solution right now is the engineer goes to one end while the conductor does his thing......



Date: 04/09/01 14:17
RE: NS JUST STARTED USING IT TOO
Author: anvilhead

Who cares whose rule it is. . The main thing is new rules are being created. This is good news for the folks at the Rule Creation Department. Pretty soon we'll need permission to inhale and exhale.



Date: 04/09/01 16:20
RE: NS JUST STARTED USING IT TOO
Author: bmwe

I am just asking a queastion here, is there a rule in place for trains that are unattended have, at least the things done that three step protection provides?



Date: 04/09/01 18:08
RE: NS JUST STARTED USING IT TOO
Author: sirsonic

This is what I was told in my last rules class. I can not vouch for its accuracy. If it isnt a FRA regulation than the FRA has no business screaching about it. I do know that they got uptight about the way we used to handle things. Upon making and stretching a coupling, the conductor would usually just say "good hitch, standby." The FRA said that this was not correct, and that the conductor must not say standby, but rather request protection.



Date: 04/09/01 18:26
RE: FRA Violation
Author: wvc82

I ran into this a couple years back when interchanging between Elk River RR and CSX in West Virginia. The FRA saw us allowing CSX remove the EOT from the unit coal train they had delivered.

The opinion was after we took charge of the train, it was a rule violation to allow a non-crewman (the CSX guys) to perform work on the train they had just delivered. Technically they were not members of our crew and if they removed the EOT and took it back, they needed Blue Flag protection on both ends of our newly acquired train.

So, we just kept the EOT and had it ready for the outbound loaded train to log on and pick up. Silly rules created in blood somewhere in the industry. As a result, the crews got a work around by retaining the EOT and had the added bonus of the air pressure data from the rear.



Date: 04/09/01 18:41
RE: FRA Violation
Author: dmedlinns

whats next , all engineers hole hands out the windows. lol just joking i hope.



Date: 04/09/01 18:52
RE: BMWE
Author: pcn

Bmwe,
Three step protection has always, at leaast on the NS, been required for standing trains altough not worded that way. We as engineers are required to remove the reverser, set the air, drop the gen. field and isolate any unattended engines.



Date: 04/10/01 06:45
An Understanding...
Author: trainmaster3

3-Step protection is not the F.R.A.'s mandate, protection(reverser&brakes), understanding, and acknowledgment that a man will be working in between equipment and on the cars are. The Utility Rules provide for working on other trains (bearing in mind the definition of a "Train"). Blue flag is never required for ground personnel if they are working on their train(assuming they are able to provide head end protection) or on cars that will be a part of their train, unless you are working in a bowl. We have been told(by F.R.A.) that an engineer who is required to perform emergency repairs on his locomotives, and accords himself with protection, is still required to have Blue flag. There is ongoing discussion on this point. It is not a question of a new rule as much as a loophole needing filling in the old. I am guessing that agents are collectively trying to deal with issues that the E.O.T has created. There was only one way to remove a caboose, a crew that could afford itself protection went and got it. With an E.O.T. however, situations like the thread addresses can occur. I would guess that the F.R.A. Agent was actually interpreting that by going to another track and removing the device, the individual was changing their class of service to a "Workmen", and would in that case be required Blue flag under the law.



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