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DOT Regulations for the Railroad

[box type=”shadow”]Crossing Safety Under FRA regulations, crossing caution systems are to be inspected, tested, and maintained so they are dependable and foolproof. Any malfunctions are to be reported immediately. In addition to making sure this equipment works properly, the FRA has regulated that all locomotive whistles are to be activated approximately 15 to 20 seconds before coming to the crossing unless an exception has been approved. All locomotives that travel in speeds faster than 30 miles per hour must have an incident recorder. Locomotives at speed in excess of 20 miles per hour must have “operative auxiliary alerting lights.” They make a triangular reflection that assists in locating a coming train.[/box][box type=”shadow”]Hazardous Materials Those in the office of hazardous materials oversee the transportation of harmful products. Regulations set by the FRA include a 50 mph speed limit for trains pulling tank cars loaded with poison inhalation hazards (PIH). This limit is lowered to 30 mph for trains pulling PIHs in non-signaled areas such as those that are dark. FRA has recommended that tank cars pulling PIH materials have a puncture resistant shell that can endure a blow at 25 mph. Also, no package can leak. Any defects in the packaging or tank car are to be located in its place of origin, before train shipment and fixed before shipping.[/box][box type=”shadow”]Operating Practices According to FRA regulations, railway employees working under, on, or between rolling gear on a track must display a “blue signal.” This signal must be visible at each end of the moving equipment. If blue signals are unavailable, an operator or engineman needs to be informed of the situation. Any entrance or exit to the area of maintenance must be locked. If a controlling engine is to be unattended, the brake valve must be wholly applied. In addition a reverser handle, if present, must be removed. Concerning duty, no employee can work with a .04 alcohol content or higher and alcohol is not allowed to be consumed in less than four hours before a shift is set to begin. [/box]