General Procedures

Canadian Rail Operating Rules

131. Recording

  • (a) The RTC must maintain indelibly in a book provided for the purpose, or a computer assisted system, a complete record of each GBO, clearance, TOP, authority, instruction and other information that is required to be in writing. The record must be made prior to or during the transmission and never from memory or memoranda, and if required to be sent again, it will be transmitted from the original record. Such records must include original date of issue and acknowledgement(s), when applicable.

  • (b) When issuing by voice communication, if an error is detected in the record of a GBO, clearance, TOP, or other authority, and before it has been completed to any employee, the RTC must direct that all copies be immediately destroyed. The record must be marked void. If re-issued, those which require numbering must be given a new number.

  • (c) In copying and recording, the spelling of each station name must be exactly as shown in the time table. The RTC, when recording addresses, may use standard station identity letters. Underscoring will be recorded except when verified by a computer assisted system.

  • (d) Where a computer assisted system is not in use, all movements authorized by a clearance and all TOP limits must be recorded on a train sheet.

131.1 Electronic Transmission and Cancellation

When a GBO, clearance, TOP, other authority, instruction or information is transmitted or cancelled using an ECM and not by voice communication, it will not be repeated to the RTC. When transmitted in this manner, the word “complete” and the initials of the RTC will be generated by the ECM. When cancelled, the initials of the RTC are not required.

132. Brevity, Clarity, Pronunciation and Retention

  • (a) A GBO, clearance, TOP, authority, instruction and its record shall contain only essential information. It must be brief, but clear in its meaning, in the prescribed form when applicable, and without erasure or any condition which may render it difficult to read or understand.

  • (b) In transmitting and repeating by voice communication, all words and numbers must be clearly pronounced. When the communication is required to be in writing, numbers will be pronounced in full, then repeated stating each digit separately. Numbers represented by a single digit must be pronounced, then spelled.

  • (c) The employee transmitting or repeating communications required to be in writing must regulate the speed of transmission to allow compliance with this rule.

  • (d) When an accident or incident occurs, all authorities, GBO or written instructions must be retained until relieved of this requirement by a supervisor.

  • (e) When a clearance, TOP or other written instruction or authority is fulfilled, cancelled or superseded;

    • (i) where applicable, other employees must be advised; and

    • (ii) except when displayed electronically:

      • an “X” must be immediately drawn across it to avoid further use; or

      • when contained within a book, must be marked with a single diagonal line drawn across the page to indicate that it is no longer active and a second diagonal line forming an “X” will be drawn across the page when there are no preceding active items.

133. Numbering

Except where numbering is controlled by computer, each RTC desk in a multiple desk office and desks controlling adjacent territories will use a separate series from other desks for numbering a GBO, clearance, TOP, authority, instruction or other information which requires numbering. Unless otherwise provided each series must be numbered consecutively using whole numbers. All numbers in a series may be preceded or followed by a letter(s). Duplicate numbers must not be in effect at the same time.

134. Designation of Movements

  • (a) GBO, clearance or other authority, will be addressed to those who are to execute and observe them. Addresses will be clear and concise and leave no doubt as to whom they are addressed.

  • (b) In the body of a GBO or other authority where positive identification is required, the engine number must be included in the designation.

  • (c) When the locomotive number is used in the designation, it must, when practicable be the leading locomotive. The number lights of the designated locomotive only will be illuminated at all times.

135. Employees Addressed

A GBO, clearance or other authority addressed to a movement must be regarded as being addressed to the conductor and locomotive engineer and also to the pilot or snow plow foreman, if any. A crew member copying a GBO or clearance must ensure that those addressed receive a copy.

OPTIONAL A single copy may be made when all crew members are located in the same operating cab and such authority is visible and accessible to all crew members.

136. Copying, Repeating, Completing and Cancelling

  • (a) The employee copying a GBO, clearance, TOP or other authority from the RTC or the cancellation of same, must copy as it is transmitted and repeat from the copy received all applicable written and pre-printed portions. The spelling of each station name must be exactly as shown in the time table.

  • (b) GBO, authorities or instructions must not be copied by the employee operating moving equipment or track units, if it will interfere with the safe operation of such equipment or track unit.

  • (c) The RTC must verify each written word and digit each time it is repeated. If correct, the RTC will respond “complete” and the initials of the RTC, which will be recorded and acknowledged by the employee copying. The employee copying must acknowledge by repeating “complete” and the initials of the RTC to the RTC.

  • (d) When transmitted by voice communication direct to the crew of a movement, it must not be completed until each crew member copying has correctly repeated it.

137. Foreman’s Instructions

Instructions from a foreman must be in writing except when the instructions permit unrestricted operation through the entire limits.

138. Foreman’s Instructions (Optional)

Instructions from a foreman must be in writing.

139. Becoming Effective

A GBO, clearance, TOP or other authority becomes effective at the moment the word “complete” and initials of the RTC are given by the RTC. However, the RTC must not take further action if there is a restriction contained therein until acknowledged by the employee copying.

140. Changes After Becoming Effective

Changes must not be made to a GBO, clearance, TOP or other authority after becoming effective, except when;

  • (i) an address is added to a GBO, the number and the applicable portion of the GBO address must be repeated to and verified by the RTC;

  • (ii) a time or location to call the RTC is indicated on a clearance, TOP or other authority, such time or location may be changed as required. When so changed, the employee copying must draw a line through the previous time or location;

  • (iii) a computer assisted system is used to issue GBO, the effective time and/or date may be removed from the GBO in the system after the effective time, and in the application of Rule 43 instructions in the GBO stating “signals may not be in place” may be removed after the foreman confirms that signals have been placed;

  • (iv) speed is changed, the employee copying must draw a line through the current and replace with the revised. The GBO number and revised speed must be repeated to and acknowledged by the RTC; and

  • (v) a computer-assisted system is used, the limit(s) of a TOP may be changed as required, the employee copying must draw a line through the current location(s) and replace with the revised. The TOP number and revised limits must be repeated to and acknowledged by the RTC.

141. Making Additional Copies

  • (a) When additional copies of a GBO, clearance, TOP or other authority are required, they may be received from the RTC or made from one previously completed. Such copies must be repeated to the RTC from the new copy except when received from an ECM or reproduced by a duplicating device.

  • (b) An employee producing or reproducing a copy for delivery to another employee must check each copy to ensure legibility.

142. Understanding Between Crew Members

  • (a) Every conductor, locomotive engineer, pilot and snow plow foreman must read and have a proper understanding of all GBO and clearances as soon as possible after they have been received. Each must be made available to other crew members, as soon as practicable, ensuring that each crew member has read and understands them and, when required, the arrangements for protection between crews and between foremen and crews.

  • (b) Crew members within physical hearing range are required to remind one another of the restrictions contained in GBO and clearances in sufficient time to ensure compliance.

143. GBO Numbers on Clearance

When specified in special instructions, the number of each GBO in effect at the time the clearance is issued, which will affect the movement on each subdivision or on the entire trip, will be shown on the first clearance sent to that crew. When there are no GBO for that movement, the word “nil” will be shown.

147. Transfer between Crews

  • (a) When a conductor, locomotive engineer or both are changed off, or relieved, all GBO, DOB, clearances, authorities, TGBO and other written instructions and all necessary information still in effect must be transferred personally to the relieving crew. The transfer of information must be known to be understood by the relieving employee(s).

  • (b) When it is not practicable to carry out a personal transfer, crews relieved of duty on line must contact the RTC as to the disposition of all documentation and authorities held for their movement. If documentation is to be left at any point for the relieving crew, a list of the items transferred must be prepared and signed by the crew member(s) going off duty. The relieving crew must compare all pertinent information with the RTC before proceeding.

  • (c) The relieving crew of a movement that has been tied up on line must contact the RTC to ensure that there are no restrictions against moving any portion of their movement. In addition when taking control of a movement occupying a CTC controlled track, if unable to ascertain the last signal indication for their movement, RESTRICTED speed applies to the next signal.

  • (d) Verbal instructions received from a foreman must not be transferred between crews. The relieving crew must contact the foreman and obtain the necessary authority and/or instructions.

148. Personal Transfer Between RTC

  • (a) Where an ECM is used or where a computer assisted system generates a list as defined in paragraph (b), the relieving RTC must sign into the system in the presence of the on-duty RTC, and receive verbal and/or written transfer of other necessary instructions and information.

  • (b) Except as prescribed in paragraph (a), before being relieved, an RTC must make an indelible list in a book provided for the purpose, of GBO, TOP, clearances, and other authorities in effect:

    • (i) Each such record must have been read, understood and initialled by the relieving RTC.

    • (ii) Other necessary instructions and information must also be transferred.

    • (iii) Both RTC must sign the transfer and the relieving RTC will record the time the transfer is completed.

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