Denny D’s Did You Know

i would like to add one more part to riding over crossing. If it is a crossing within an intermodal facility, you must be on the ground to provide warning when shoving cars or engines. This would also include one engine long hood coward, and when pulling cars if long hood forward. 6.32.7

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DennyD’s Did You Know

Riding Over Crossings 


Did you know that when riding a locomotive over a crossing you cannot be on the steps. This means you must be all of the way up on the platform, not just off of the bottom step. 


81.7 B - Details when not to ride. The second to last last bullet covers riding overs crossings. The first part of the sentence says not to ride over a crossing on the sill step of equipment, the next part says engine steps. Notice that this does not state bottom step. Also, it is important to understand that this applies to any crossing, including those in the yard.


Another question that often comes up is when do I have to be on the ground and when can I ride across a crossing?


6.32.1 Details when to provide warning when shoving over a crossing. The rule is specifically titled CARS Shoved, or Kicked, or Dropped. The rules specifically states “cars” and does not apply to locomotives. Also, this rule applies to all crossings; public, private, field, and yard crossings. The exception is crossings used exclusively by railroad employees. If in doubt, be in the ground. 


If shoving cars over a crossing, you must be on the ground to provide warning. If the crossing has gates, you can ride across but you cannot be on the sill step. If you are riding a locomotive you can ride across any crossing but not on any of the steps. You must be all of the way up on the platform. 


If you have a crossing protection order that requires you to be on the ground to provide warning, then you must be on the ground regardless of the crossing type, locomotive or car.


Twice in my career I have had someone run into to side of my cut of cars while switching. Once, one of my coworkers was knocked of a car that was struck as he was riding a shove over a crossing. Had he been on the sill step, he would’ve undoubtedly been crushed. 



Non compliance with 81.7 is handled as a Critical Rule violation. It is important to understand and follow not just for rules compliance, but for your own personal safety as well. 

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Denny D’s Did You Know - Releasing Handbrakes

Airbrake and Train Handling rule 32.1.6 says that when releasing handbrakes, you must check 3 additional cars beyond the last one that was applied. 

There has a been a rash of trains with handbrakes found on the head few cars, so there’s a new test Item that’s being introduced to check for compliance. Take the time to go back and check. I recommend even checking when the tie down sheet says that only the engines are tied down. 

The rule would also apply when you are stopped for a hot wheel and find a handbrake.

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MOSLB Endorsed Candidates for Nov 6th Election

These are the BLET MO State Legislative Board endorsed candidates for the upcoming election. These are the candidates who have supported unions, our causes and/or the middle class over big business. These are merely our recommendations.

We are not telling you how to vote.  You're free to vote as you wish, but we strongly urge you to consider the future of your job and paycheck when voting.

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The midterm elections are less than a month away. Are you registered? Is you registration current?

Registration in Missouri closes at 5pm on Oct 10th.

Denny D’s Did You Know - Automatic Interlockings

It’s nice that the next governing signal was recently brought back. With that being said, it’s important not to to forget GCOR 9.9.1 - Approach to Automatic Interlocking. Rule 9.8 and PTC do not have an exception when delayed approaching an automatic interlocking. 

GCOR 9.9.1 applies at interlockings with an (A) symbol and also those with a (Z) symbol in the station column of the timetable.

If you are below 25 MPH passing the signal prior to these interlockings or drop below 25 MPH after passing the signal prior, you must be prepared to stop until you are within 1,000 feet of the interlocking. There a a few exceptions in the St. Louis Timetable. One exception would be approaching Tuscola on the Pana Subdivision. The signal that this rule applies to is actually a few signals before the interlocking in both directions. 

Don’t let your PTC screen or even seeing the signal with your own two eyes lure you into a trap. If you are delayed approaching an automatic interlocking, the signal could very well timeout and drop to a stop signal until you are within 1,000 feet of it

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6 Hour No Call

Brothers and Sisters, 

  The 6 hour no call is back in effect. 
Just to clarify, this programming change will block the system from calling you after you have been called to Step-up or cover a vacancy for a 6 hour period. When in this 6 hour calling window you will still be called for YOUR assignment.   
This is a step to help relive the non stop calls from CMS while we work to a more permanent solution. 


Denny D’s Did You Know - High and Wides

The other day I overheard a conductor telling the dispatcher about a dimensional load in her train. Great job. While excessive dimensional loads are pointed out on the title page of your train list, dimensional loads are only shown to be in the list of cars. There are similar requirements for both, so I thought that this would be a good opportunity for a refresher.


Item 5-A in the SSI covers the requirements for High & Wides as well as high value loads. There are a few similarities as well a one major difference between dimensional and excessive dimensional loads.




• Must be as close as possible to the head end, but no closer than the 6th car from an occupied engine when train lengthsl permits. Notice the word, occupied. HAZMAT rules apply to locomotives whether occupied or not. A little different here.


•GCOR 15.2 specifically says that when you are to operate through a Form B you must notify the foreman of Excessive Dimensional loads. Although not required, I recommend notifying them of dimensional loads as well. This is important because there is often not a lot of room as you pass on-track equipment. Simply let them know of their presence in your train and the measurements shown on your train list.


•You must have a job briefing with the dispatcher regarding both excessive and dimensional loads. This would also apply to foreign railroad dispatchers as well.


•Subdivision specific speed restrictions, such as the 30 MPH locations on the Chester Sub, apply to both. Not just excessive dimensional loads. This is why it is always critical to review your paperwork for dimensional loads. The dispatcher can allow you to go through those locations at maximum authorized speed if he determines that there are no trains in the area.




•Excessive Dimensional loads require a Form C Bulletin for each subdivision you will operate on.


•Dimensional Loads do not require a Form C. Remember, you must still job brief with the dispatcher if you have them in your train.


Whether you have Dimensional or Excessive Dimensional loads in your train, it is critical to know that they are in your train and understand the rules regarding their handling. All the instructions in Item 5-A are important to understand and follow. 



Denny D’s Did You Know - FUEL CONSERVATION

There have been a few questions raised about recent fuel conservation rule changes.


Fuel Conservation Speed


Fuel Conservation Speed was recently reintroduced in the latest System General Orders. This time there are a few differences to the rule than before. Air Brake and Train Handling Rule 31.8.7 D outlines FCS. There are three key components remember. 


First of all, it is only FCS 50 this time. No FCS 40 for coal trains like before. 


Second, it is Notch 6 this time instead of Notch 5. This means that you cannot be above Notch 6 on the throttle if your speed is over 50 MPH. This does not mean that you can stay in Notch 8 until you hit 60 MPH, and then back off to 6. You can still go to notch 8 to get up to 50 MPH, but once you are above 50 MPH you must be in Notch 6 or below.


Finally, there are a few exemptions added to the rule as well. Passenger trains, UPS trains, and trains operating with PTC-Integrated EMS. As a reminder, if you are using PTC and EMS is not integrated into your PTC screen, do not use it if it is in the engineer’s control screen. 


Superintendent Bulletin Fuel Conservation Change












St. Louis Superintendent Bulletin 52 - Train Handling and Switching reintroduced the Notch 3 DPU requirement. There are two important parts to remember with this change. First of all, this applies only to EMPTY COAL TRAINS operating WITHOUT energy management, and only on specific subdivisions. Simply, the DPU cannot go above throttle 3. Also if you have less than 2,000 gallons you can disregard this requirement. However, you must report it to the dispatcher.


 The second part of the change is for those operating out of Jefferson City. The Kansas City crews are required to isolate the second unit on loaded coal trains eastbound on River Sub. When swapping out at Jefferson City, be sure to go back and put it back on-line before departing.




We are pleased to announce that now through October 31st, 2018, we are holding the annual BLET UP Central Region Open Enrollment to allow any existing or new members to get enrolled in guaranteed approved voluntary Life/AD&D, Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability coverages.  Please forward this email to all of your members to help spread the word. 


Members can visit or call our office at 224.770.5316 for additional policy information and to enroll.


If a member already has coverage and does not want to change anything, no action is required to maintain their current coverage.  There are no rate or benefit changes as your plan is still under rate guarantee.


Even though this enrollment is open until the end of October, we are encouraging members to not wait until the last weeks to enroll because of the high end of enrollment call volume that we anticipate.


I have attached a flyer for you to post as well as a detailed rate sheet for your plan.  If you would like hard copies of the flyers mailed to you please respond to this email with the number you would like and where to send.


Lastly, the following are additional coverages that are in open enrollment for members and/or families:

  • MetLife On-The-Job (Part B) Short Term Disability- $375 weekly benefit
  • Aflac Accident Insurance
  • Aflac Critical Illness Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance with Long Term Care


Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for your continued support!


Emily Kirschbaum

Enrollment Coordinator


Cornerstone Benefits Management

22333 Classic Court

Lake Barrington, IL 60010

E: [email protected]

P: 847-387-3555

F: 815-425-5349