Signals - General

Canadian Rail Operating Rules

11. Fusees

  • (a) A movement approaching a red fusee burning on or near its track, or beyond the nearest rail of an adjacent track, must proceed at REDUCED speed to a point two miles beyond the location of the fusee. If moving at other than REDUCED speed, the movement must immediately reduce to that speed.

  • (b) A fusee should not be placed on a public crossing at grade or where it may cause fire.

  • (c) OPTIONAL
    When the fusee is located on the track occupied by an approaching movement operating at REDUCED or RESTRICTED speed as required by other than Rule 11, a stop must be made before passing the location of the fusee.

12. Hand Signals

  • (a) Employees whose duties may require them to give hand signals must have the proper appliances, keep them in good order and ready for immediate use. Night signals must be used from sunset to sunrise and when day signals cannot be plainly seen.

    Note: The hand or a flag displayed in the same manner as the lantern, which is illustrated in the following diagrams, gives the same indication.

    Method of Display and Indication

    • (i) Swung from side to side at right angle to the track.

      STOP

      Employee is depicted swinging a hand lantern from side to side at right angle to the track. Note: The employees hand or a flag displayed in the same manner as the lantern, gives the same indication.

    • (ii) Swung in a circle at right angle to the track at a speed in proportion to the speed required.

      MOVE BACKWARD

      Employee is depicted swinging a hand lantern in a circle at right angle to the track at a speed in proportion to the speed required. Note: The employees hand or a flag displayed in the same manner as the lantern, gives the same indication.

    • (iii) Raised and lowered at a speed in proportion to the speed required.

      MOVE FORWARD

      Employee is depicted raising and lowering a hand lantern at a speed in proportion to the speed required. Note: The employees hand or a flag displayed in the same manner as the lantern, gives the same indication.

    • (iv) Raised and swung horizontally above the head, at right angle to the track when standing.

      Apply Air Brakes: Raised and swung horizontally above the head, at right angle to the track when standing.

      APPLY AIR BRAKES

      Employee is depicted with the hand lantern raised and swung horizontally above the head, at right angle to the track when standing. Note: The employees hand or a flag displayed in the same manner as the lantern, gives the same indication.

    • (v) Raised and held at arm's length above the head when standing.

      RELEASE AIR BRAKES

      Employee is depicted with the hand lantern raised and held at arm's length above the head when standing. Note: The employees hand or a flag displayed in the same manner as the lantern, gives the same indication.

    • (vi) Held horizontally at arm's length.

      REDUCE SPEED

      Employee is depicted with the hand lantern held horizontally at arm's length. Note: The employees hand or flag displayed in the same manner as the lantern, gives the same indication.

    • (vii) Any object waved violently by anyone on or near the track is a signal to stop.
  • (b) A signal given to move forward or move backward must be given in relation to the front of the controlling locomotive.

  • (c) A signal must be given in sufficient time before the required action to permit compliance. It must be given from a point where it can be plainly seen, and in such a manner that it cannot be misunderstood. If there is doubt as to the meaning of a signal, or for whom it is intended, it must be regarded as a stop signal.

  • (d) Whenever practicable, when switching is being performed, required signals shall be given directly to the locomotive engineer.

  • (e) When moving under the control of hand signals, the disappearance from view of either the crew member or lights by which signals controlling the movement are being given, must be regarded as a stop signal.

  • (f) A crew member, whose movement is clear of the main track, must not give an approaching movement a hand signal to move forward.

  • (g) Where radio is used in lieu of hand signals, employees will be governed by Rule 123.1.

13. Engine Bell

  • (a) The engine bell must be rung when:

    • (i) an engine is about to move, except when switching requires frequent stopping and starting after the initial move;

    • (ii) passing any movement standing on an adjacent track;

    • (iii) approaching, passing or moving about station facilities or shop track areas; and

    • (iv) one-quarter of a mile from every public crossing at grade (except within limits as may be prescribed in special instructions) until the crossing is fully occupied by the engine or cars. At crossings where engine whistle signal 14(l) is applicable the engine bell need not be rung.

  • (b) Should the engine bell fail on the lead locomotive in the consist, repairs must be made as quickly as possible. If repairs cannot be made the movement may proceed to the first point where repairs can be made. The engine bell if available on another locomotive in the consist will be rung continuously or operated by another member of the crew, when available, under the direction of the locomotive engineer.

14. Engine Whistle Signals

Note:

  • (i) Wherever the words “engine whistle” appear in these rules they also refer to “engine horn”. Signals prescribed by this rule are illustrated by “o” for short sounds; “___” for longer sounds.

  • (ii) Engine whistle signals must be sounded as prescribed by this rule, and should be distinct, with intensity and duration proportionate to the distance the signal is to be conveyed. Unnecessary use of the whistle is prohibited.

  • (iii) Radio must not be used in lieu of engine whistle signals for indications prefixed by the symbol (#).

(a) o
When standing - braking system is equalized; angle cock may be closed.

(b) o o
Note: Not applicable when switching.

  • (i) Answer to a “stop” signal (except a fixed signal).

  • (ii) Answer to any signal not otherwise provided for.

(e) o o o  o o o
To notify track forces of fire on or near the right of way (to be repeated as often as required).

(f) Succession of short sounds
(#) Alarm for persons or animals on or near the track.

(l) ___ ___ o ___

  • (i) (#) At public crossings at grade:
    A whistle post will be located 1/4 mile before each public crossing where required. Whistle signal must be sounded by movements:

    • exceeding 44 MPH, at the whistle post

    • operating at 44 MPH or less, in order to provide 20 seconds warning prior to entering the crossing.

      Whistle signal must be prolonged or repeated until the crossing is fully occupied.

      EXCEPTION: Not applicable when manual protection is to be provided or when shoving equipment other than a snow plow over a crossing protected by automatic warning devices.

  • (ii) (#) At other whistle posts indicated in special instructions.

  • (iii) (#) At frequent intervals when view is restricted by weather, curvature or other conditions.

  • (iv) Special instructions will govern when such signal is prohibited in whole or in part.

(r) In case of engine whistle failure the engine bell must be rung continuously;

  • (i) approaching and moving through curves; and

  • (ii) approaching and passing station facilities, yards and public crossings at grade. In addition, the movement must not exceed 25 MPH entering each public crossing at grade which is not protected by automatic warning devices, until such crossing is fully occupied.

(t) When a snow plow is operated ahead of an engine, the employee in charge of the snow plow must sound engine whistle signals 14(f) and 14(l). All other engine whistle signals must be sounded by the locomotive engineer as prescribed by the rule.

17. Headlight

Movements headed by equipment equipped with a headlight must display the headlight:

  • (a) at full power in the direction of travel approaching all public crossings at grade until such crossings are fully occupied;

  • (b) at full power in the direction of travel while moving on the main track;

  • (c) on both ends of the engine while moving on non-main track but may be extinguished on the end coupled to cars.

EXCEPTIONS: When not approaching a public crossing at grade the headlight may be extinguished or dimmed:

  • (i) approaching or being approached by an opposing movement;

  • (ii) on a passenger carrying train, approaching a location where passengers will entrain or detrain;

  • (iii) facing oncoming vehicles at night which may be affected on adjacent roadways; or

  • (iv) when weather conditions cause the vision of the operating crew to be impaired.

18. Headlight Failure

  • (a) If the headlight on a movement fails and repairs cannot be made, ditch lights will be used in lieu of the headlight and the movement may proceed.

  • (b) If all headlights and ditch lights have failed, such lights as are available must be used proceeding to the first point where repairs can be made. At public and private crossings at grade not protected by automatic warning devices, movements must not exceed 10 MPH entering the crossing unless it is known to be clear of traffic and will remain clear until occupied.

19. Ditch Lights

A train must have ditch lights displayed continuously in the direction of travel when the headlight is required to be displayed full power.

If ditch light(s) fail en route, the movement may proceed to the next point where repairs can be made.

26. Blue Signal Protection

  • (a) A blue flag by day, and in addition a blue light by night or when day signals cannot be plainly seen, displayed at one or both ends of equipment indicates that workmen are in the vicinity of such equipment. On a track which permits entry of a movement from one end only, a blue signal displayed between the equipment and the switch permitting entry indicates that workmen are in the vicinity of such equipment. When such signals are displayed the equipment must not be coupled to or moved. The removal of the signal from one or both ends of equipment indicates that no workmen are in the vicinity of the equipment and such equipment may be coupled to or moved.

    EXCEPTION: When repairs must be undertaken on a manned movement, the locomotive engineer must be notified before repair work is commenced. When so notified, the movement must not be moved nor the brakes applied or released until the workmen have advised that they are in the clear.

  • (b) Other equipment must not be placed on the same track which will block a clear view of the blue signal(s) without first notifying the workmen. When equipment is placed on the same track, the movement placing such equipment must remain on that track until the workmen have relocated the blue signal(s) to include the additional equipment.

  • (c) Each class of workmen will display the blue signal(s) and the same class of workmen only are authorized to remove them.

  • (d) Special instructions will govern the use of other approved methods of protecting workmen performing equipment repairs or inspections.

27. Signal Imperfectly Displayed

  • (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a fixed signal which is imperfectly displayed, or the absence of a fixed signal where one is usually displayed, must be regarded as the most restrictive indication that such signal is capable of displaying. An imperfectly displayed signal must be communicated to the proper authority as soon as possible.

  • (b) Where a block or interlocking signal is observed with one or more lights extinguished, and at least one light remains displaying either green or yellow, movements may proceed reducing to SLOW speed through turnouts, when practicable, preparing to stop at the next signal.

    EXCEPTION: Where a signal displays a solid yellow on the bottom position and one or all of the remaining positions are extinguished, a movement approaching such signal operating:

    • at restricted speed;

    • prepared to stop; or

    • prepared to comply with restricted or reduced speed;

    must consider the signal as displaying RESTRICTING.

  • (c) When a signal is known or suspected of being damaged, it must be regarded as displaying the most restrictive indication that can be given by that signal.

  • (d) When a block or interlocking signal displays an indication that is in other than the normal progression in relationship to the indication of the advance signal to that signal, the movement must stop immediately consistent with safe train handling practices and contact the RTC or signalman for further instructions.

  • (e) Repairs to damaged signals must not be made by other than qualified employees. Signals that have been knocked over must not be re-erected by other than an authorized employee. If it is known or suspected that a signal bungalow has been damaged, such fact must be reported to the RTC immediately.

33. Speed Compliance

If speed requirements for their movement are exceeded, crew members must remind one another of such requirements. If no action is then taken, or if the locomotive engineer is observed to be non-responsive or incapacitated, other crew members must take immediate action to ensure the safety of the movement, including stopping it in emergency if required.

34. Fixed Signal Recognition and Compliance

  • (a) The crew on the controlling engine of any movement and snow plow foremen must know the indication of each fixed signal (including switches where practicable) before passing it.

  • (b) Crew members within physical hearing range must communicate to each other, in a clear and audible manner, the indication by name, of each fixed signal they are required to identify. Each signal affecting their movement must be called out as soon as it is positively identified, but crew members must watch for and promptly communicate and act on any change of indication which may occur.

    The following signals/operating signs must be communicated:

    • (i) Block and interlocking signals;

    • (ii) Rule 42 and 43 signals;

    • (iii) One mile sign to interlocking;

    • (iv) One mile sign to hot box detector;

    • (v) Stop sign;

    • (vi) OCS begins sign;

    • (vii) Red signal between the rails;

    • (viii) Stop signal displayed by a flagman;

    • (ix) A switch not properly lined for the movement affected;

    • (x) One mile to Cautionary Limit Sign;

    • (xi) Cautionary Limit Sign;

    • (xii) Advance Permanent Slow Order (PSO) Signs; and

    • (xiii) Zone speed Signs where there is a reduction in speed from the previous zone.

  • (c) If prompt action is not taken to comply with the requirements of each signal indication affecting their movement, crew members must remind one another of such requirements. If no action is then taken, or if the locomotive engineer is observed to be incapacitated, other crew members must take immediate action to ensure the safety of the movement, including stopping it in emergency if required.

35. Emergency Protection

This rule does not authorize main track occupancy or track work.

  • (a) Any employee discovering a hazardous condition, which may affect the safe passage of a movement, must by the use of flags, lights, fusees, radio, telephone, or other means, make every possible effort to stop and/or provide necessary instructions to any movement that may be affected. Flag protection must be provided on main track unless or until otherwise relieved of the requirement.

  • (b) A flagman must go the required distance from the condition, and in each direction when possible, to ensure that an approaching movement will have sufficient time and distance to be able to stop before the condition. Unless otherwise provided, a flagman must go at least two miles from the condition to a location where there will be an unobstructed view of the flagman from an approaching movement.

    When a movement is observed approaching, the flagman must display a stop signal using a red flag by day or a lighted red fusee by night or when day signals cannot be plainly seen. The flagman must continue to display a stop signal until the movement being flagged has:

    • (i) acknowledged the stop signal with engine whistle signal 14 (b) (two short);

    • (ii) come to a stop; or

    • (iii) reached the location of the flagman.

  • (c) A movement stopped by a flagman must not proceed until so instructed by the flagman.

  • (d) A flagman must be equipped with a red flag and eight red fusees. The presence of an unbroken seal verifies that a flagging kit is properly supplied.

36. Decreased Flagging Distance

On a subdivision specified in special instructions where maximum speed for movements is not greater than 30 MPH, in the application of Rules 35, 42/842 or 43/843 the distance of at least two miles is decreased to at least one mile.

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