countries--use signals meaning "come towards me" or "go away from
me." Where these signals are used it makes no difference which way
the engine is headed.
Knowing and practicing the correct method of
getting off moving cars is vitally important.
The danger in
incorrect or haphazard alighting increases, of course, with the speed
of the moving cars. The following method applies to all speeds: when
standing on a sill step, often called a "stirrup," facing the car, if
the car is moving to your right, the left foot should hit the ground
If the car is moving to your left, the right foot should
touch first. In short, the foot opposite to the direction of travel
must be the one to touch ground first.
This holds true, no matter
which side of the train the rider is on. In addition, if the draft
is traveling comparatively fast, a safer landing can be made by
leaning in the direction opposite to the direction of movement. The
best rule in this connection, however, is: don't attempt to get off
until you know you can land safely.
4.4. BLUE SIGNAL
While a red light is a signal no railroader regards lightly, a
blue one probably commands a shade more respect. It means that cars
or engines so protected must not be coupled to or moved.
daylight, it is usually a square metal flag painted blue and mounted
on a 5-foot metal rod stuck into the ground at each end of a track.
At night, a blue lantern or light is attached to the flag. On a yard
classification track, the blue signal means that car inspectors are
working on, in, or under the cars on that track.
respect the blue signal for what it is: a sign of imminent, potential
danger. Only the workmen who display the blue signal are authorized
to remove it.
A type of blue signal on some railroads combines a
derail device and a blue flag. It is clamped to the rail and locked
with a padlock, and it derails a car switched in against it. Where
this type is not used, some railroads require that a blue-flagged
track have its switch lined with the lead and locked with a padlock.
This prevents a switching crew from inadvertently switching a car to
a track thus protected.
Another danger that all car inspectors must guard against--a
danger about which rules are strict and specific--deals with repairs
to airbrake systems.
Before attempting repairs to the airbrake
system on a car in a train containing air, the car must be cut out
from the remainder of the train and bled free of air. This is done
by closing the angle cocks on each end of the car and bleeding the