Occupancy Control System (OCS) Rules

Canadian Rail Operating Rules

301. Application and Supervision

  • (a) On subdivisions, portions of subdivisions or other tracks specified in special instructions, movements will be governed by Occupancy Control System (OCS) Rules.

  • (b) The RTC will supervise OCS territory by means of clearances, TOP, GBO and other instructions as may be required.

302. Clearance Required

  • (a) Except within cautionary limits, a train or transfer must be authorized by a clearance to foul or enter a track where OCS rules are applicable.

  • (b) A clearance will be sent direct to the crew of the train or transfer addressed. Before the clearance is acted upon the conductor and locomotive engineer must, as soon as possible, ensure that each is in possession of the clearance and their train or transfer is correctly designated. Engine number must be verified visually to ensure correctness.

302.1 Clearance in Effect

A clearance remains in effect until fulfilled, superseded or cancelled.

Clearances that authorize a train or transfer to proceed, unless cancelled, must be fulfilled in the order in which they are issued on that subdivision.

302.2 Superseding a Clearance

  • (a) A clearance may be issued superseding a clearance already in possession of the crew of the train or transfer addressed.

  • (b) When superseding a clearance that includes limits the train or transfer is occupying, the superseding clearance must include that section of track and must not include a requirement to wait until the arrival of an opposing train or transfer.

  • (c) If a superseding clearance restricts the authority already in possession of the train or transfer addressed, the RTC must not take further action until it has been acknowledged by the conductor and locomotive engineer.

302.3 Cancelling Clearance

  • (a) Before a clearance is cancelled, the train or transfer addressed must be;

    • (i) clear of the limits;

    • (ii) protected by Form T GBO; or

    • (iii) within cautionary limits.

  • (b) When a clearance is cancelled, the cancellation does not take effect until it has been acknowledged by the conductor and locomotive engineer. These employees must acknowledge by repeating the clearance number, “cancelled” and initials of the RTC to the RTC.

303. Protection against Following Trains or Transfers

  • (a) A combination of trains or transfers to a limit of two may each be authorized to proceed in the same direction, within the same limits, provided that each is instructed on its clearance to protect against the other. Before either moves within the limits stated, the conductor and locomotive engineer of each train or transfer must have a thorough understanding, in writing, as to the specific operation of each train or transfer and the protection to be provided. If communication fails between the trains or transfers affected, no moves shall be made other than those which were last arranged.

  • (b) WITHIN ABS TERRITORY

    With the protection of at least two block signals to the rear, two or more trains or transfers may be authorized to proceed in the same direction within the same limits governed by block signal indications.

303.1 Radio Protection against Following Trains and Transfers

(Not applicable to trains or transfers in possession of a work clearance)

Where specified in special instructions, protection against following trains and transfers will be provided as follows:

  • (a) The RTC must not authorize a train or transfer to follow a preceding train or transfer until the crew of the following train or transfer has been restricted by its clearance as follows; “Protect against (preceding train or transfer) from (location)”.

  • (b) Except as provided in paragraph (d), a train or transfer so restricted must not leave the location named nor leave any identifiable location until the preceding train or transfer has reported that it has left an identifiable location ahead. This report must be recorded in writing by a crew member of the following train or transfer. Such information may be received from the RTC. Identifiable locations as listed in Rule 82 must be used. Under circumstances in which a report is not received from the preceding train or transfer, the following may operate at REDUCED speed to a maximum speed of 25 MPH.

  • (c) A train or transfer so restricted must not pass the preceding train or transfer.

  • (d) When the preceding train or transfer has stopped, arrangements may be made with the following train or transfer to “close up”. These arrangements must be made in writing between the crews of both trains or transfers. When the preceding train or transfer resumes moving, the following train or transfer will be governed by paragraph (b).

    Note: When the preceding train or transfer has left the location to which the following train or transfer is authorized, Rule 303.1 no longer applies.

304. Restriction before Leaving

When a train or transfer has been restricted by clearance, such train or transfer must not leave the point named until it is positively known that the opposing train(s) or transfer(s) named on the clearance have arrived.

A train or transfer has not arrived until its designated engine and marker have arrived.

Trains or transfers operating without a marker have not arrived until confirmed by direct communication with a member of the crew of such train or transfer.

If unable to observe the arrival of a train or transfer, or unable to communicate with a member of the crew, the RTC must be contacted.

304.1 Stopping Clear of Fouling Point

A train or transfer required to stop at a meeting, clearing or waiting point, or at the end of authority, must be stopped clear of the route to be used by another train or transfer.

305. Before Issuing Clearance Authority

Before issuing clearance authority, the RTC must provide protection against all conflicting trains, transfers and TOP within the limits stated.

306. Track Use

In multi-track OCS, a clearance must specify the track(s) to be used.

308. Work Clearance Authority

  • (a) When authorized to work by clearance a train or transfer may move in either direction within the limits named in the clearance.

  • (b) A work clearance remains in effect until superseded or cancelled.

308.1 Changing Direction - Proceed Clearance

Unless otherwise provided by rules or special instructions, when authorized to proceed by clearance, a train or transfer must move only in the specified direction.

Provided the track to be operated over has not been released or a block in ABS is not re-entered, a train or transfer authorized by clearance to proceed may reverse a distance of 300 feet or less. In ABS a crew member must be in position to see the section of track to be used is clear and will remain clear of equipment or a track unit.

309. Moving Through Working Limits

  • (a) To enter or move within the working limits of one or more trains or transfers, a train or transfer must be restricted by its clearance as follows: “Protect against Work 5748 (and Work 9460) between Exeter and Jasper.”

  • (b) A train or transfer must not enter nor move within the working limits until a thorough understanding is established with the conductor and locomotive engineer of each work train or transfer. Such understanding must be in writing and include information with respect to the specific operation of each train and transfer and the protection to be provided. Such protection must be provided until the train or transfer has left the working limits.

310. Multiple Work Authorities

  • (a) Two or more work authorities may be issued within the same or overlapping limits. Each train or transfer must be restricted by its clearance to protect against each other.

  • (b) Conductors and locomotive engineers authorized to work must have a thorough understanding, in writing, as to the specific operation of each work train or transfer and the protection to be provided.

311. Protecting Against a Foreman

  • (a) A train or transfer must not be authorized to enter or move within the limits of a TOP until it has been restricted as follows: “Protect against foreman (name) between (location) and (location).”

  • (b) The train or transfer must not enter, nor move within, the TOP limits until instructions have been obtained from the foreman named on the clearance. These instructions must be repeated to, and acknowledged by, the foreman before being acted upon. 

314. Optional to 309 and 310: Proceeding Through or Working within Work Train or Transfer Limits

  • (a) A train or transfer may be authorized to proceed through or work within the limits of one or more trains or transfers authorized to work, provided such train or transfer is restricted by its clearance as follows;
    “Protect against work (number) between (location) and (location)”

  • (b) A train or transfer must not enter nor move within the working limits until a thorough understanding is established with the conductor and locomotive engineer of each train or transfer authorized to work. Such understanding must be in writing and include information with respect to the intended operation of each train or transfer and the protection to be provided.

    Such protection must be provided until the train(s) or transfer(s) has left the working limits.

315. Radio Broadcast Requirements

  • (a) A member of the crew on all trains and transfers must initiate a radio broadcast to the airwaves on the designated standby channel 1 to 3 miles from the next station or interlocking. This broadcast must include the next requirement to protect against another train, transfer or foreman if the restriction is between the upcoming station and the next station or interlocking.

  • (b) A member of the crew located on other than the engine must confirm that the radio broadcast has been made in accordance with (a). If unable to contact the engine crew to ascertain this information, immediate action must be taken to stop the movement before it will reach the next point of restriction.

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