about the condition of the ground, the brakeman should
lantern down and look at the ground before alighting.
c. Obstructions. Switch stands are natural obstructions on every
Sufficient clearance exists for a man standing on
the bottom step of a moving car, provided he stands erect. He should
never lean backward when passing a switch light.
This applies more
to older yards than to those designed and built in the last two
decades or so.
When a brakeman wants to get off a moving car, he
should do so immediately after passing a switch. He will then have
approximately 50 feet of unobstructed ground on which to alight. In
little-used portions of auxiliary yards, switch lights are often
removed to avoid cleaning and servicing the lanterns.
working around unlighted switches must exercise extreme caution and
determine that each switch is correctly lined before passing it.
Likewise, brakemen must be careful not to stumble and fall over
Other obstructions that constitute hazards to a man
riding the side of a car include tunnel walls, bridge piers, and
permanent structures built close to the track.
These are generally
marked with signs which read "Close Clearance" or "No Clearance" and
are usually equipped with red lights.
d. Clear tracks and telltales.
Cars must be shoved far enough
into the clear on each track to prevent limiting (fouling) the lead
clearance. When an engine is shoving a cut of cars down a lead, the
brakeman riding the first car of the cut must observe the clearance
of each track before passing it. He must also be on constant lookout
for cars being shoved toward him. A crew at the opposite end of the
yard may be coupling a track and accidentally shove cars out on the
lead. The brakeman riding a cut of cars should be prepared to signal
the engineer to stop, and should attempt to line the switch correctly
before the cars run through it and damage it. Overhead obstructions
consist of bridges and trestles whose clearance is insufficient for a
man on top of a car.
Such obstructions are generally protected by
telltales--small ropes suspended vertically from a cable extended
across the track.
The bottom of a telltale is 12 1/2 inches below
the obstruction so as to strike the upper body of a man riding on top
of a boxcar.
The hanging ropes striking a man riding the top of a
car mean one thing--get down at once!
4.3. MOVING EQUIPMENT
Cars and locomotives that are moving logically present the two
chief causes of accidents in rail yards.
Many rules have been
written to cover specific incidents which experience has proved to