General Rules

Canadian Rail Operating Rules

  • A Every employee in any service connected with movements, handling of main track switches and protection of track work and track units shall;

    • (i) be subject to and conversant with applicable CROR rules, special instructions and general operating instructions;

    • (ii) have a copy of this rule book, the general operating instructions, current time table and any supplements, and other documents specified by the company accessible while on duty;

    • (iii) provide every possible assistance to ensure every rule, special instruction and general operating instruction is complied with and shall report promptly to the proper authority any violations thereof;

    • (iv) communicate by the quickest available means to the proper authority any condition which may affect the safe operation of a movement and be alert to the company’s interest and join forces to protect it;

    • (v) obtain assistance promptly when it is required to control a harmful or dangerous condition;

    • (vi) be conversant with and governed by every safety rule and instruction of the company pertaining to their occupation;

    • (vii) pass the required examination at prescribed intervals, not to exceed three years, and carry while on duty, a valid certificate of rules qualification;

    • (viii) seek clarification from the proper authority if in doubt as to the meaning of any rule or instruction;

    • (ix) conduct themselves in a courteous and orderly manner;

    • (x) when reporting for duty, be fit, rested and familiar with their duties and the territory over which they operate;

    • (xi) while on duty, not engage in non-railway activities which may in any way distract their attention from the full performance of their duties. Except as provided for in company policies, sleeping or assuming the position of sleeping is prohibited. The use of personal entertainment devices is prohibited. Printed material not connected with the operation of movements or required in the performance of duty, must not be openly displayed or left in the operating cab of a locomotive or track unit or at any work place location utilized in train, transfer or engine control; and

    • (xii) restrict the use of communication devices to matters pertaining to railway operations. Cellular telephones must not be used when normal railway radio communications are available. When cellular telephones are used in lieu of radio all applicable radio rules must be complied with.

  • B Special Instructions will be found in time tables, general operating instructions, operating bulletins or GBO. They may be appended to or included within copies of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules but do not diminish the intent of the rule unless official exemption has been granted.

  • C Employees must:

    • (i) be vigilant to avoid the risk of injury to themselves or others;

    • (ii) expect a movement, track unit or equipment to move at any time, on any track, in either direction;

    • (iii) not stand in front of approaching equipment for the purpose of entraining;

    • (iv) not ride the side or above the roof of moving equipment when passing side and/or overhead restrictions;

    • (v) not be on the roof of moving equipment, or on the lading of a moving open top car;

    • (vi) not be on the end of a car while in motion except for the purpose of operating a hand brake; and

    • (vii) not ride on any car known or suspected to contain a shifted load or damaged such that its structure or components may not be secure, or any car trailing such car.

  • D Each employee must be acquainted with, and be on the lookout for, restricted side and overhead clearances. Where standard restricted clearance signs are used, no other advice of restricted clearance will elsewhere or otherwise be given. If such signs are not provided in a yard or terminal, the location of the restricted clearance will be shown in special instructions.

  • E Overhead and side clearance may be restricted on a track at a main shop, diesel shop or car shop. Where restricted clearance exists on such track, it will not be marked by a standard restricted clearance sign nor will its location be elsewhere or otherwise given.

  • F Employees must not ride on top or side of equipment when on any main shop, diesel shop or car shop track, whether or not the overhead and side clearance is restricted.

  • G

    • (i) The use of intoxicants or narcotics by employees subject to duty, or their possession or use while on duty, is prohibited.

    • (ii) The use of mood altering agents by employees subject to duty, or their possession or use while on duty, is prohibited except as prescribed by a doctor.

    • (iii) The use of drugs, medication or mood altering agents, including those prescribed by a doctor, which, in any way, will adversely affect their ability to work safely, by employees subject to duty, or on duty, is prohibited.

    • (iv) Employees must know and understand the possible effects of drugs, medication or mood altering agents, including those prescribed by a doctor, which, in any way, will adversely affect their ability to work safely.

  • H Unless otherwise specified, these rules are applicable without respect to the number of main tracks.

  • I Rules pertaining to the main track also apply to tracks specified as signalled sidings and other signalled tracks.

  • J When an Electronic Communications Method (ECM) is used, each transmission received must be examined to ensure legibility. If the transmission is not legible this must immediately be reported to, and retransmitted by, the RTC. Illegible transmissions must not be used and in the case of paper based authorities, must be destroyed.

  • K When the term “in writing” is used in these rules, special instructions and general operating instructions, if the written permission, authority or instruction referred to is not received personally by the receiving employee, it must be copied by the receiving employee and repeated back to the sender to ensure it was correctly received.

  • L Wherever the following occupational names or titles appear in these rules, special instructions, or general operating instructions, they apply to the employee, who is qualified and is responsible for performing the duties of:

    conductor,
    assistant conductor,
    flagman,
    foreman,
    locomotive engineer,
    pilot,
    rail traffic controller,
    signalman,
    snow plow foreman,
    sub-foreman,
    switchtender.

  • M Wherever the following: engine, train, transfer or movement appear in these rules, special instructions or general operating instructions, the necessary action will be carried out by a crew member or crew members of the movement. In addition:

    • (i) Where only one crew member is employed, operating rules and instructions requiring joint compliance may be carried out by either the locomotive engineer or conductor, and

    • (ii) in the absence of a locomotive engineer on a crew consisting of at least two members, the conductor will designate another qualified employee to perform the rules required duties of the locomotive engineer.

    • (iii) The minimum operating crew requirement for a freight train or transfer carrying one or more loaded tank cars of dangerous goods is two (2) crew members.

  • N The following abbreviations and acronyms as well as those authorized by special instructions may be used:

    ABS - Automatic Block Signal System

    ack - Acknowledgement

    ANS - Auto Normal Switch

    AWD - Automatic Warning Devices

    B/E CTC Sign - Begin/End CTC Sign

    B/E MT Sign - Begin/End Main Track Sign

    CL Sign - Cautionary Limit Sign

    cndr - Conductor

    com - Complete

    CTC - Centralized Traffic Control System

    DOB - Daily Operating Bulletin

    E - East

    ECM - Electronic Communications Method

    eng - Engine

    engr - Locomotive engineer

    exp - Express

    FIT - Field Information Terminal

    frmn - Foreman

    frt - Freight

    GBO - General Bulletin Order(s)

    HBD - Hot Box and Dragging Equipment Detector

    jct - Junction

    LCS - Local Control Switch

    MPH - Miles per hour

    MP - Mile Post

    N - North

    NA - Not Applicable

    NMT - Non-main Track

    no - Number

    OCS - Occupancy Control System

    psgr - Passenger

    rpt - Repeat

    RTC - Rail Traffic Controller

    SCS - Special Control System

    SCT - Siding Control Territory

    SNS - Station Name Sign

    S - South

    sdg - Siding

    SI - Special Instruction

    STK - Subdivision Track

    sub - Subdivision

    swt - Switch

    TGBO - Tabular General Bulletin Order

    TIBS - Train Information Braking System

    TOP - Track Occupancy Permit

    trk - Track

    trnm - Trainman

    TU - Track Unit

    W - West

    wk - Work

    xover - Crossover

    xing - Crossing

    RTC may use approved office abbreviations for station and subdivision names and for controlled points when entering addresses on computer generated forms. The normal abbreviations for days of the week and calendar months may be used.

  • O In these rules when the distance prescribed for the placement of signals, signs or flags is not possible due to track configuration, the maximum distance available applies. If the maximum distance available will place an advance flag at the same location as the flag it governs the approach to, such advance flag need not be placed but such must be indicated in the GBO.

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