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GCOR - General
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1.0 GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES

1.1 Safety

Safety is the most important element in performing duties. Obeying the rules is essential to job safety and continued employment.

1.1.1 Maintaining a Safe Course

In case of doubt or uncertainty, take the safe course.

1.1.2 Alert and Attentive

Employees must be careful to prevent injuring themselves or others. They must be alert and attentive when performing their duties and plan their work to avoid injury.

1.1.3 Accidents, Injuries, and Defects

Report by the first means of communication any accidents; personal injuries; defects in tracks, bridges, or signals; or any unusual condition that may affect the safe and efficient operation of the railroad. Where required, furnish a written report promptly after reporting the incident.

1.1.4 Condition of Equipment and Tools

Employees must check the condition of equipment and tools they use to perform their duties. Employees must not use defective equipment or tools until they are safe to use. Employees must report any defects to the proper authority.

1.2 Personal Injuries and Accidents

1.2.1 Care for Injured

When passengers or employees are injured, do everything possible to care for them.

1.2.2 Witnesses

If equipment is involved in personal injury, loss of life, or damage to property, the employee in charge must immediately secure the names, addresses, and occupations of all persons involved, including all persons at the scene when the accident occurred and those that arrived soon after. The employee in charge must secure the names regardless of whether these persons admit knowing anything about the accident.

The employee in charge must also obtain the license numbers of nearby automobiles. When necessary, other employees can assist in obtaining this information, which must be included in reports covering the incident.

Where signaling devices are provided or a flagman is on duty, the employee in charge and assisting employees must try to determine who, among the witnesses, can testify whether the signaling devices were functioning properly or if the flagman was performing his duties properly.

When possible, obtain the names of witnesses who can testify about bell and whistle signals.

1.2.3 Equipment Inspection

If an accident results in personal injury or death, all tools, machinery, and other equipment involved, including the accident site, must be inspected promptly by the foreman, another person in charge of the work, or other competent inspectors. The inspector must promptly forward to his manager a report of the inspection. The report must include the condition of the equipment and the names of those making the inspection.

If requested by the claims department, the equipment inspected must be marked for identification and placed in custody of the responsible manager or employee.

1.2.4 Mechanical Inspection

When engines, cars, or other equipment are involved in an accident that results in personal injury or death, the equipment must be inspected before it leaves the accident site.

A mechanical department employee must further inspect the equipment at the first terminal. This employee must promptly report inspection results to the proper manager.

1.2.5 Reporting

All cases of personal injury, while on duty or on company property, must be immediately reported to the proper manager and the prescribed form completed.

A personal injury that occurs while off duty that will in any way affect employee performance of duties must be reported to the proper manager as soon as possible. The injured employee must also complete the prescribed written form before returning to service.

1.2.6 Statements

Except when authorized by the proper manager:

  • Information concerning accidents or personal injuries that occur to persons other than employees may be given only to an authorized representative of the railroad or an officer of the law.
  • Information about the facts concerning the injury or death of an employee may be given only to the injured employee, an immediate relative of the injured or deceased employee, an authorized representative of the railroad, or an officer of the law.
  • Information in the files or in other privileged or confidential reports of the railroad concerning accidents or personal injuries may be given only to an authorized representative of the railroad.

1.2.7 Furnishing Information

Employees must not withhold information, or fail to give all the facts to those authorized to receive information regarding unusual events, accidents, personal injuries, or rule violations.

1.3 Rules

1.3.1 Rules, Regulations, and Instructions

Safety Rules. Employees must have a copy of, be familiar with, and comply with all safety rules issued in a separate book or in another form.

General Code of Operating Rules. Employees governed I by these rules must have a current copy they can refer to while on duty.

Hazardous Materials. Employees who in any way handle hazardous materials must have a copy of the instructions or regulations for handling these materials . Employees must be familiar with and comply with these instructions or regulations

Air Brakes. Employees whose duties are affected by air brake operation must have a copy of the rules and instructions for operating air brakes and train handling. Employees must know and obey these rules and instructions.

Timetable/Special Instructions. Employees whose duties are affected by the timetable/special instructions must have a current copy they can refer to while on duty.

Train Dispatchers and Control Operators. The train dispatchers and control operators must have a copy of rules and instructions for train dispatchers and control operators. They must be familiar with and obey those rules and instructions.

Classes. Employees must be familiar with and obey all rules, regulations, and instructions and must attend required classes. They must pass the required examinations.

Explanation. Employees must ask their supervisor for an explanation of any rule, regulation, or instruction they are unsure of.

Issued, Canceled, or Modified. Rules may be issued, canceled, or modified by track bulletin, general order, or special instructions.

1.3.2 General Orders

General orders:

  • Are numbered consecutively.
  • Are issued and canceled by the designated manager.
  • Contain only information and instructions related to rules or operating practices.
  • Replace any rule, special instruction, or regulation that conflicts with the general order.

Before beginning each day's work or trip, trainmen, enginemen, and any others whose duties require, must review general orders that apply to the territory they will work on.

1.3.3 Circulars, Instructions, and Notices

Circulars, instructions, notices, and other information are issued and canceled by the designated manager. Before beginning each day's work or trip, trainmen, enginemen, and any others whose duties require, must review those that apply to the territory they will work on.

1.4 Carrying Out Rules and Reporting Violations

Employees must cooperate and assist in carrying out the rules and instructions. They must promptly report any violations to the proper supervisor. They must also report any condition or practice that may threaten the safety of trains, passengers, or employees, and any misconduct or negligence that may affect the interest of the railroad.

1.5 Drugs and Alcohol

The use or possession of alcoholic beverages while on duty or on company property is prohibited. Employees must not have any measurable alcohol in their breath or in their bodily fluids when reporting for duty, while on duty, or while on company property.

The use or possession of intoxicants, over-the-counter or prescription drugs, narcotics, controlled substances, or medication that may adversely affect safe performance is prohibited while on duty or on company property, except medication that is permitted by a medical practitioner and used as prescribed. Employees must not have any prohibited substances in their bodily fluids when reporting for duty, while on duty, or while on company property.

1.6 Conduct

Employees must not be:

  1. Careless of the safety of themselves or others
  2. Negligent
  3. Insubordinate
  4. Dishonest
  5. Immoral
  6. Quarrelsome
    or
  7. Discourteous

1.7 Altercations

Employees must not enter into altercations with each other, play practical jokes, or wrestle while on duty or on railroad property.

1.8 Appearance

Employees reporting for duty must be clean and neat.

They must wear the prescribed uniform when required.

1.9 Respect of Railroad Company

Employees must behave in such a way that the railroad will not be criticized for their actions.

1.10 Games, Reading, or Electronic Devices

Unless permitted by the railroad, employees on duty must not:

  • Play games.
  • Read magazines, newspapers, or other literature not related to their duties.
    or
  • Use electronic devices not related to their duties.

1.11 Sleeping

Employees must not sleep while on duty. Employees reclined with their eyes closed will be in violation of this rule.

1.12 Weapons

While on duty or on railroad property, employees must not have firearms or other deadly weapons, including knives with a blade longer than 3 inches. Employees may possess these weapons only if they are authorized to use them to perform their duties, or if they are given special permission by the designated manager.

1.13 Reporting and Complying with Instructions

Employees will report to and comply with instructions from supervisors who have the proper jurisdiction. Employees will comply with instructions issued by managers of various departments when the instructions apply to their duties.

1.14 Employee Jurisdiction

Employees are under the jurisdiction of the supervisors of the railroad they are operating on.

When operating on another railroad, unless otherwise instructed, employees will be governed by:

Safety rules and the air brake and train handling rules of the railroad they are employed by

The operating rules and timetable/special instructions of the railroad they are operating on

1.15 Duty-Reporting or Absence

Employees must report for duty at the designated time and place with the necessary equipment to perform their duties. They must spend their time on duty working only for the railroad . Employees must not leave their assignment, exchange duties, or allow others to fill their assignment without proper authority.

1.16 Subject to Call

Employees subject to call must indicate where they can be reached and must not be absent from their calling place without notifying those required to call them.

1.17 Hours of Service Law

Employees must be familiar and comply with the requirements of the federal hours of service law. Employees are expected to use off-duty time so they are prepared for work.

If an employee is called to report for duty before legal off-duty time has expired, before accepting the call to work, the employee must notify the individual making the call that off-duty time has not expired.

A. Notification
When communication is available employees must notify the train dispatcher or another authority of the time the law requires them to be off duty. Employees must provide notification early enough that they may be relieved, or transportation provided, before they exceed the hours of service.

B. Exceeding the Law
Employees must not exceed the federal hours of service law without proper authority. However, they must not leave trains, engines, or cars on the main track without proper protection. Employees must secure trains properly and, if possible, before they exceed the hours of service.

1.18 Unauthorized Employment

Employees must not engage in another business or occupation that would create a conflict of interest with their employment on the railroad or would interfere with their availability for service or the proper performance of their duties.

1.19 Care of Property

Employees are responsible for properly using and caring for railroad property. Employees must return the property when the proper authority requests them to do so. Employees must not use railroad property for their personal use.

1.20 Alert to Train Movement

Employees must expect the movement of trains, engines, cars, or other movable equipment at any time, on any track, and in either direction.

Employees must not stand on the track in front of an approaching engine, car, or other moving equipment.

Employees must be aware of the location of structures or obstructions where clearances are close.

1.21 Occupying Roof

Employees whose duties require them to occupy the roof of a car or engine must do so only with proper authority and when the equipment is standing.

1.22 Not Permitted on Equipment

Unauthorized persons must not be permitted on equipment.

1.23 Altering Equipment

Without proper authority, employees must not alter, nullify, change the design of, or in any manner restrict or interfere with the normal function of any device or equipment on engines, cars, or other railroad property, except in the case of an emergency. Employees must report to the proper supervisor changes made in an emergency.

1.24 Clean Property

Railroad property must be kept in a clean, orderly, and safe condition. Railroad buildings, facilities, or equipment must not be damaged or defaced. Only information authorized by the proper manager or required by law may be posted on railroad property.

1.25 Credit or Property

Unless specifically authorized, employees must not use the railroad's credit and must not receive or pay out money on the railroad account. Employees must not sell or in any way get rid of railroad property without proper authority. Employees must care for all articles of value found on railroad property and promptly report the articles to the proper authority.

1.26 Gratuities

Employees must not discriminate among railroad customers. Employees must not accept gifts or rewards from customers, suppliers, or contractors of the railroad.

1.27 Divulging Information

Employees who make up, handle, or care for any of the following must not allow an unauthorized person to access them or disclose any information contained in them:

  • Correspondence
  • Reports
  • Books
  • Bills of lading
  • Waybills
  • Tickets
  • Statistics

1.28 Fire

Employees must take every precaution to prevent loss and damage by fire.

Employees must report promptly to the train dispatcher any fires seen on or near the right of way, unless the fires are being controlled. If there is danger of the fire spreading to a bridge or other structure, crew members must stop their train and help extinguish the fire.

Cause of fire, if known, must be promptly reported.

1.29 Avoiding Delays

Crew members must operate trains and engines safely and efficiently. All employees must avoid unnecessary delays.

When possible, train or engine crews wanting to stop the train to eat must ask the train dispatcher at least one hour and thirty minutes before the desired stop.

1.30 Riding Engine

When possible, crew members on the head end of freight trains must ride in the control compartment of the engine.

When riding on the head end, the conductor will ride in the control compartment.

1.31 Repairs to Foreign Cars

Crew members who repair foreign cars must report the repairs on the prescribed form.

1.32 Overheated Wheels

When overheated wheels are found on a train, the train must be stopped and held a minimum of 10 minutes to allow the heat to equalize through the wheel.

1.33 Inspection of Freight Cars

When personnel are not on duty primarily to inspect freight cars, each car placed in the train may be moved after it receives a safety inspection as follows:

Cars must be checked for:

  • Leaning
  • Sagging
  • Improper position on the truck
  • Objects hanging or dragging from the car or extending from the side
  • Insecurely attached doors
  • Broken or missing safe appliances
  • Contents leaking from placarded hazardous material car
  • Insecure coupling device
  • Overheated wheel or journal
  • Broken or cracked wheel
  • Brake that fails to release
  • Any apparent hazard that could cause an accident
  • Open top loads, including trailers and containers on flat cars, must be loaded safely.
  • If width or height approaches clearance restrictions, movement must be cleared with the proper authority.
  • A freight car with any defect that makes movement unsafe must be corrected or set out of the train
  • A freight car with three bad order tags indicating that the car is safe to move may be moved to the nearest car repair point. The conductor will remove one bad order tag from the side with two tags. The conductor will use this written information from the tag to inform other crew members of the restrictions.

1.34 Flat Spots

If a wheel on a piece of equipment has a flat spot more than 2-1/2 inches long, or if the wheel has adjoining flat spots that are each at least 2 inches long, the equipment must not be moved faster than 10 MPH. Such equipment in a train must be set out at the first available point.

1.35 Dump Doors

Be sure dump doors on cars are closed after a load is dumped. If cars must be moved short distances with the dump doors open, make sure the doors and chains will clear tracks and crossings.

1.36 Excessive Dimension Loads

Place excessive dimension loads on or near the head end of trains.

Instructions will be issued to trains handling excessive dimension loads. If no instructions have been issued regarding handling the car, the conductor will immediately notify the train dispatcher.

Crew members handling excessive dimension equipment must ensure that the equipment will clear nearby objects, including equipment on adjacent tracks. If the train cannot reach a point with enough clearance, crew members must make sure protection is provided against movements on adjacent tracks.

1.37 Open Top Loads

Flat cars, open top cars, and open top TOFCs/COFCs with loads that are likely to shift must not be placed in trains next to the following if train length and makeup permit:

  • Occupied outfit car
  • Passenger car
  • Engine
  • Caboose
  • Shipment of automotive vehicles and machinery that is not fully enclosed

This restriction does not apply to cars with permanent tie-downs.

1.38 Shipments Susceptible to Damage

Shipments with painted or finished surfaces susceptible to damage, such as automobiles, trucks, tractors, combines, and other similar equipment or machinery, must not be placed closer than the fifth car behind open top cars loaded with commodities such as coal, sand, gravel, lime, soda ash, etc. subject to wind, vapor, or fume action on adjacent cars. Exceptions include shipments susceptible to damage that are:

  • Loaded in cars that fully enclose the shipments.
    or
  • Fully protected by a covering.

An open top car loaded with sand, gravel, lime, soda ash, etc. subject to wind, vapor, or fume action in other than a solid unit train must not be placed immediately ahead of an occupied caboose.

1.39 Accuracy of Speed Indicator

The engineer must verify speed indicator accuracy as soon as possible after taking charge of the engine. If the speed indicator is not accurate to within 3 MPH plus or minus at speeds of 10 to 30 MPH and to within 5 MPH plus or minus at speeds above 30 MPH, the engineer must immediately report the variance to the train dispatcher.

1.40 Reporting Engine Defects

The engineer will report any engine defect on the proper form and notify the relieving engineer, when needed.

1.41 Engines Coupled to Occupied Passenger Cars

Engines coupled to equipment that includes occupied passenger cars must not be left without an authorized employee in charge.

1.42 Trains Detoured

When trains are detoured over another railroad, the engineer of the detoured train will operate the engine unless otherwise approved by a manager of the railroad the train is being detoured over.

The pilot will inform the engineer of speed restrictions, signals, sidings, etc. to make sure the train detours over the railroad safely.

1.43 Stopped in Tunnels

A. Engine or Train Stopped in Tunnel

When an engine is stopped in a tunnel and cannot move promptly, crew members must:

  1. Shut down diesel engine at once.
  2. Shut down Waukesha or similar type engines.
  3. Make a full service air brake application.
  4. Apply hand brakes to prevent movement in case the air brakes leak off.

B. Passenger Train Stopped in Tunnel or Deep Snow

Crew members of a passenger train stopped in a tunnel or deep snow must:

  1. Shut off any air circulating systems including:
    a. Air conditioning
    b. Ice machines
    c. Generators
  2. Shut air intake shutters.
  3. Turnoff blower fans.

C. Notification if Stopped in Tunnel or Deep Snow

The train dispatcher should be notified immediately so that proper arrangements can be made to protect persons and equipment.

D. When These Requirements Will Not Apply

These requirements will not apply if air currents carry the exhaust gases away from the train. Safety of passengers and crew members must be the first consideration.

1.44 Duties of Train Dispatchers

Train dispatchers supervise train movement and any employees connected with that movement.

1.45 Duties of Control Operators and Operators

Control operators and operators are under the direction of the train dispatcher when their duties concern handling track warrants, track bulletins, lineups, the movement of trains, and any other instructions issued by the train dispatcher.

1.46 Duties of Yardmasters

The yardmaster is responsible for and shall directly supervise yard crews, clerks, and all other employees working in the yard. The yardmaster must see that they work in a safe, efficient, and economical manner, according to the rules, regulations, and instructions of the railroad. Yardmasters must ensure the prompt and regular movement of cars, especially the proper makeup of trains and their movement into and out of the yard.

At locations where yardmasters are on duty, employees in train, engine, and yard service must comply with the yardmaster's instructions. At locations where no yardmaster is on duty, these employees will work according to the instructions of designated employees.

1.47 Duties of Trainmen and Enginemen

The conductor and the engineer are responsible for the safety and protection of their train and observance of the rules. If any conditions are not covered by the rules, they must take every precaution for protection.

A. Conductor Responsibilities

  1. The conductor supervises the operation and administration of the train (if trains are combined with more than one conductor on board, the conductor with the most seniority takes charge). All persons employed on the train must obey the conductor's instructions, unless the instructions endanger the train's safety or violate the rules. If any doubts arise concerning the authority for proceeding or safety, the conductor must consult with the engineer who will be equally responsible for the safety and proper handling of the train.
  2. The conductor must advise the engineer and train dispatcher of any restriction placed on equipment being handled.
  3. When the conductor is not present, other crew members must obey the instructions of the engineer concerning rules, safety, and protection of the train.
  4. Freight conductors are responsible for the freight carried by their train. They are also responsible for ensuring that the freight is delivered with any accompanying documents to its destination or terminals. Freight conductors must maintain any required records.

B. Engineer Responsibilities

  1. The engineer is responsible for safely and efficiently operating the engine. Crew members must obey the engineer's instructions that concern operating the engine. A student engineer or other qualified employee may operate the engine under close supervision of the engineer. Any employee that operates an engine must have a current certificate in his possession.
  2. The engineer must check with the conductor to determine if any cars or units in the train require special handling.

C. Conductor and Engineer Responsibilities

  1. Conductors and engineers must ensure that their subordinates are familiar with their duties, determine the extent of their experience and knowledge of the rules, and instruct them, when necessary, how to perform their work properly and safely.

D. Other Crew Members Responsibilities

  1. To ensure the train is operated safely and rules are observed, other crew members must assume as much responsibility as possible to prevent accidents or rule violations.
  2. When the conductor or engineer fails to stop the train, or emergency requires, other crew members must stop the train immediately.

Next Chapter - Radio Rules

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