RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.



Operating Rules of the
Baltimore Light Rail System


 

 

 

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This page covers rules published in an August 1994 manual for the operations department.



3.4    Preparing Train For Service

3.4.1  Train Operators removing rail cars from storage or preparing rail cars for revenue service must perform a proper inspection.

3.4.2  Non-zero trip stop readings must be reported to Light Rail Control.

3.5    Train Lights

3.5.1  Headlights to the front and marker or tail lights to the rear must be displayed at all times while the train is in motion.

3.5.2  Railroad light must be used at night on private right-of-way, but must not be used in mixed street operation.

3.5.3  Flashing hazard lights must be used when stopped for unusual circumstances.

3.5.4  Train operators must turn on interior lights during hours of darkness or whenever visibility is reduced, but must not keep them on unnecessarily.

3.6    Entering Or Leaving Main Track

Train Operators must obtain permission from Light Rail Control before fouling or entering main track.  When leaving main track, they must notify Light Rail Control when clear.

3.7    Normal Direction Of Traffic

The normal direction of traffic in double track areas is Mainline track 1 southbound and Mainline track 2 northbound.  Train Operators must operate their trains only in the normal direction of traffic except on orders of Light Rail Control or as required by schedule authority.

3.8    Reverse Direction Of Traffic

3.8.1  When necessary to operate against the normal direction of traffic, Manual Block System rules (Sec. 5.1) will apply.

3.8.2  Only Light Rail Control may authorize the operation of trains against the normal direction of traffic.

3.8.3  Home signals govern movements through interlockings, unless instructed otherwise by Light Rail Control.

3.9    Train Operator's Position

3.9.1  If necessary to push another train or operate from other than the leading cab:
     - Permission from  Light Rail Control must be secured.
     - A qualified employee must be stationed in the leading cab to direct the movement and stop the train if necessary.

3.9.3  Whenever leaving the cab unattended, the Train Operator must properly secure controls.

3.9.4  Only authorized personnel are permitted to enter the cabs of operating trains.

NOTE:  there is no section numbered 3.9.2.

3.10    Safe Operation Of Trains

3.10.1  Train Operators must have trains under control at all times, be constantly alert and be prepared to bring trains to an immediate stop when necessary.

3.10.2  Train Operators, when following other traffic during street operations, must assume that the traffic may stop suddenly and must regulate speed and following distance accordingly.  Safety must take priority over running time.

2.10.3  Train Operators must accelerate and brake a train smoothly and operate as to avoid discomfort to passengers.

3.10.4  Train Operators must not operate a train into a section where power has been removed unless authorized by  Light Rail Control to do so.

3.11    Compliance With Speed Restrictions

3.11.1  Train Operators must comply with the posted speed and must not exceed that speed until the last car has cleared the speed zone.

3.11.2  When a flagman is assigned to protect a reduced peed zone, train must approach flagman prepared to stop and be governed by flagman's signals.

3.12    Employee Working As Flagmen

An employee working as a flagman must be qualified as a flagman and be conversant with the rule book.

3.13    Persons Working In Track Areas

3.13.1  Train Operators, upon observing person(s) on or about the track area ahead of their train, will:

a.  Sound horn in signal territory; ring bell in sight territory.

b.  Await hand signal from a person in track area.

c.  Answer the hand signal with horn or bell.

d.  Operate according to the hand signal indication until the train has passed all personnel observed.

3.13.2  If the Train Operator approaching person(s) on or about the track observes:

a.  That persons are not wearing safety vests (Mainline only), or;

b.  At least one person does not face the train and respond with a proper signal, or;

c.  Anyone waving violently.

Then, the Train Operator will:

d.  Stop the train.

e.  Sound the horn.

f.  Report to Light Rail Control and await instructions.

3.14    Passing Work Trains Or On-Track Equipment

When Passing work trains or on-track work equipment, Train Operators must sound horn when approaching equipment in signaled territory.  Bell must be rung while passing equipment in either signaled or line of sight territory.

3.15    Adherence To Schedule

3.15.1  Train Operators are required to be in the operating cab at terminals sufficiently in advance of departure time (and in no case less than one minute prior to departure time) to ensure on-time departure.

3.15.2  Unless otherwise noted, Train Operators are required to depart terminals and intermediate time points precisely at the scheduled departure time.  If a train is running off schedule, departure should be as close to scheduled departure time as possible unless otherwise instructed by Light Rail Control.

3.15.3  Train Operators must report to

3.16    Making Station Stops

3.16.1  Train Operators can only receive and discharge passengers at stations unless otherwise instructed by Light Rail Control.

3.16.2  Unless authorized by Light Rail Control or schedule, train operators must not move a train into a station until the train ahead on the same track has cleared.

3.16.3  Train Operators must expect to find persons on the tracks at stations, and must be prepared to stop.

3.16.4  Train Operators must not exceed 10 MPH when entering or exiting a station occupied by another train on the adjacent track.  They must anticipate that persons may cross in front of or behind the other train.

3.16.5  Train Operators  must stop their train when:

1.  A Stop Request is received.  Train must stop at the next station.

2.  Passengers are waiting on the platform.

3.16.6  Train Operators will stop with the leading door at the High Block.

3.16.7  All passengers waiting on the High Block are to be accommodated without exception.

3.16.8  Train Operators must be certain that all doors are within platform limits and that the proper door side (right or left) has been selected before activating the passenger door control.

3.16.9  Train Operators must advise Light Rail Control of any improper or missed station stops and be governed by Light Rail Control's instructions concerning discharge of passengers.  Appropriate precautionary announcements must be made to passengers alighting and boarding.

3.16.10  Train Operators must observe that passengers are clear of the train when departing.

3.16.11  Passengers inadvertently carried beyond their stop must be transferred to the first opposing train without payment of additional fare.

3.16.12  At terminals, Train Operators must make the train available for occupancy at the platform.

3.17    Operation On Slippery Rails

When starting or stopping on slippery rails, Train Operators must use a slower accelerating or braking rate than normal to insure adequate stopping distance and to prevent damage to equipment.  Any observed slippery rail should be reported to Light Rail Control immediately.

3.18    Use Of Sand

Train Operators must use sand only when necessary to avoid slip or slide and must make every effort not to use sand over switches.

3.19    Safety Stop

When making a stop at terminals, Train Operators must use a slower accelerating or braking rate than normal to insure adequate stopping distance, determined by condition of rail, to bring train to a stop not less than five feet from end of track, bumping post, or train ahead.

3.20    Changing Directions

Train Operators must not back train, change directions, or change ends between terminals, unless specifically instructed to do so by Light Rail Control.

3.21    Coupling Or Uncoupling Cars

3.21.1  Employees must use care in coupling and uncoupling cars as to avoid injury or damage.  Coupling must not be attempted when couplers are not properly aligned.

3.21.2  Employees must not be between cars when coupling or uncoupling cars.

3.21.3  Train Operators operating cars being coupled to other cars must make a safety stop five feet before the point of coupling, and then, if necessary, align the coupler from track level.

3.21.4  Train Operators must make the coupling utilizing car wash mode at the lowest practical speed.

3.21.5  Train Operators must test the brakes after the consist of a train has been changed, making the first stop a test stop.  Test stop must be made within fifty feet from the initial spot where the change in consist was made.

3.22    Taking A Train Into A Yard

Before a train is taken out of service, Train Operator must inspect entire consist to see that all passengers have left the train and collect lost articles (the Operators were required to do this at the North Avenue station before coming into the yard, but not all operators did this on a reliable basis - during my four years there, we saw our share of drunks come riding into the yard, and then we would have to call the 95's (MTA police)).

3.23    Yard Movements / Safety In Yard

3.23.1  Employees must not move cars in the yard without first receiving from Light Rail COntrol.

3.23.2  Employees performing switching must do so efficiently and in a manner which will avoid personal injury or damage to cars, equipment, or other property.

3.23.3  Employee must sound bell before moving a train or car in the yard and before coupling, uncoupling or adding cars.  Before starting movement, employee must wait a sufficient amount of time to allow persons on or near cars to move to a position of safety.

3.23.4  Employees operating trains in the yard must be prepared to act immediately to stop movement.

3.23.5  Employees must not move a train in the yard if a train is moving on an adjacent track.

3.23.6  Employees must expect switches in a yard to be lined against their movement.  They must observe the alignment of yard track switches before proceeding.

3.23.7  Before walking around front or rear of a train, employees must make sure that the train is not moving or about to move.

3.23.8  Employees must be careful of their footing when throwing switches, walking on ballast, and crossing tracks.

3.23.9  Employees operating trains in the yard must do so in Yard Mode and at restricted speed (the yard mode restricts trains to 12MPH).

3.24    Cars Fouling Tracks

Cars must not be left standing beyond fouling point mark where they will foul adjacent tracks, leads, or cars on adjacent tracks without authority from Light Rail Control.

3.25    Working On Or Under Car

3.25.1  Blue signals must be displayed at both ends of a car that employees are working on, about, or under.  They must be placed where they are plainly visible to employees in the yard.

3.25.2  A car so protected must not be coupled to or moved and other cars must not be placed where they obstruct the view of the blue signals.

3.25.3  Blue signals may only be removed by the employee who placed them.

3.25.4  Light Rail Control must be advised when a car is protected by blue signals and when blue signals are removed.

3.26    Getting On Or Off Moving Cars Or Equipment

Employees must not get on or off moving cars or equipment and must make every effort to prevent passengers from getting on or off moving cars.

3.27    Train Entering Or Leaving Shop

Movement of trains into and out of the shop must be made only with permission from Railcar Maintenance (later changed to Light Rail Control, altho during the wee hours after midnight on Saturday night (or Sunday morning, which ever way you look at it), the Railcar Maintenance Foreman or Superintendent can give permission to make moves in and out of the shop and onto yard tracks only for Railcar maintenance people).

3.28    Knowledge Of Equipment

3.28.1  Employees must have sufficient knowlege of the equipment to operate it, to identify trouble, and to make simple corrections.

3.28.2  When a problem is detected, Train Operator must notify Light Rail Control and follow trouble-shooting procedures.  They must be careful to prevent injury to themselves and others when following trouble-shooting procedures.

3.28.3  If a problem develops and it is safe to do so, Train Operators must try to get to a location where passengers may leave the train safely or transfer to another train.  Permission must be received from Light Rail Control before detraining passengers.

3.29    Cutting Out Brakes

3.29.1  An authorized operator must request permission from Light Rail Control before car brakes are cut out.  Light Rail Control must notify yard personnel and Maintenance Supervisor.

3.29.2  A train with brakes cut out on any car must not be allowed to leave the yard for passenger service.

3.29.3  If it is necessary to cut out brakes on any car of a train in service, passengers must be discharged at the next station and the train removed from service.

3.30    Condition And Care Of Cars

Train Operators must check the condition of their cars and report to Light Rail Control immediately any improper condition they can not correct.  They must keep their cars as neat as possible and must pick up articles left on the train, loose papers, and other debris.

3.31    Reporting Defects

Employees must report any defects in equipment on the prescribed form.  Dangerous conditions must be reported to Light Rail Control immediately.

3.32    Training Students

When instructing students, the Platform instructors must ensure that students safely and according to all rules and procedures.  Platform instructors must be in a position to take immediate control of the vehicle.

 


Disclaimers:

I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place.  There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages.  Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like.  I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion).  If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names.  Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations.  I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area.  Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature.  While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!  

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.

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