Are you prepared to make the decision?
- How many times have you been a part of a crew-induced emergency?
- Conductors, how many times have you alerted your engineer to take action to stop the train?
- Engineers, do you discuss parameters with your conductors for emergency brake application in your job briefings?
- Conductors, have you ever pulled the emergency brake (dumped the air) to stop your train?
- Do you discuss the possible situation of emergency in your job briefings and develop an action plan?
- Did you know that on the BNSF only three percent of crew-induced emergencies are performed by the conductor?
According to the SMART Rail Safety Task Force, this message is not
intended for conductors to take control of the locomotive from the hands
of the engineer. This message is meant to encourage crews to work
together for safe train operation. Conductors must know they are
empowered to take action if deemed necessary after assessing the
situation with their engineer. It is paramount for both crewmembers to
stay engaged and focused on the task at hand for safe train operations.
All too often when signals are run, speeding is excessive or train
handling is improper, conductors say, “I thought the engineer had it.”
Tips for success:
- Job briefing: crews discuss parameters for conductors to take action and put that plan in place for emergency situations.
- Conductors must stay focused and alert your engineer that he or she needs to take action.
- Engineers must remain vigilant and aware of their situation.
CSX operating rule: 301 – control of train speed
- 301.1: Crewmembers must notify the locomotive
operator of any condition that requires the train to reduce speed or
stop not more than five miles, but not less than two miles, before
reaching the condition.
- 301.2: If the locomotive operator fails to control
the train in accordance with authorized speed, other crewmembers must
take action to ensure the safety of the train. When train speed exceeds
authorized speed by:( a.) Less than five mph, other crewmembers must
direct the locomotive operator to slow the train to authorized speed, or
(b.) five mph or more, other crewmembers must direct the locomotive
operator to stop the train and immediately report the occurrence to the
proper authority. The train must not proceed until released.
- 301.3: Make an emergency air brake application to
stop the train if the: (a.) automatic braking system fails to respond as
expected, or (b.) locomotive operator fails to take action when the
train is required to stop or (c.) locomotive operator becomes
Do you see an unsafe trend developing, do you have an idea that will make our work place a safer one? Click here to email your SMART Rail Safety Task Force.
(This is Safety Alert #10 in a series of alerts posted by the SMART Rail Safety Task Force.)