Denny D’s Did You Know

Emergency Brake Applications

When moving and your train goes into emergency it is imperative to remember to follow the procedure outlined in the GCOR. The procedure is the same if you place the train in emergency or if it happens on its own.

The are a few keys to remember from GCOR 6.23. 

First, procedure is to be followed if the train is stopped due to an emergency application or severe slack action. Don’t wait to see if your air will recover for the first step. If you are next to another main track or controlled siding, you must immediately warn other trains first, then notify the dispatcher using 911 on the radio. This is important because at this point another train could be close to passing you and your train could very well be fouling their track.

The next important part to remember is what to do when notified that a train you are about to pass is emergency. You must pass the train at restricted speed until it is known that the train is not fouling your track. If your air recovers and an inspection is not required, it would be wise to wait until you get the train moving again before notifying the dispatcher that trains may pass at normal speed.

Finally, we need to know whether or not a walking inspection of the train is required.  If your air does not come up and you have to walk and end up finding the problem, remember that you still have to inspect the rest of the train as well. You only have to meet one, not all, of the exceptions to be relieved of inspecting the train. 

• Solid loaded bulk commodity trains

• Train is made up entirely of double stack well cars and/or five-platform articulated single-level spine cars.

• Speed is greater than 20 MPH

• Train is 5,000 tons or less

If you are a key train or experienced severe slack you are walking regardless of the exceptions. If there is a condition that prevents walking, bridge or something like that, you can pull the rest by at 5 MPH.

Compliance with 6.23 is critical. There is more at stake that just getting into trouble. This also about looking out for our brothers and sisters out here. Think about passing a stopped train at 60 MPH only to find cars from their train on their sides on your track. Take it another step further, imagine that car is tank car loaded with hazardous materials.