49 CFR § 232.205 - Class I brake test-initial terminal inspection.

§ 232.205 Class I brake test-initial terminal inspection.

(a) Each train and each car in the train shall receive a Class I brake test as described in paragraph (c) of this section by a qualified person, as defined in § 232.5, at the following points:

(1) The location where the train is originally assembled (“initial terminal”);

(2) A location where the train consist is changed other than by:

(i) Adding a single car or a solid block of cars, except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section;

(ii) Removing a single car or a solid block of cars;

(iii) Removing cars determined to be defective under this chapter; or

(iv) A combination of the changes listed in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (a)(2)(iii) of this section (See §§ 232.209 and 232.211 for requirements related to the pick-up of cars and solid blocks of cars en route.);

(3) A location where the train is off-air for a period of more than 24 hours.

(4) A location where a unit or cycle train has traveled 3,000 miles since its last Class I brake test; and

(5) A location where the train is received in interchange if the train consist is changed other than by:

(i) Removing a car or a solid block of cars from the train;

(ii) Adding a previously tested car or a previously tested solid block of cars to the train;

(iii) Changing motive power;

(iv) Removing or changing the caboose; or

(v) Any combination of the changes listed in paragraphs (a)(5) of this section.

(A) If changes other than those contained in paragraph (a)(5)(i)-(a)(5)(v) of this section are made to the train consist when it is received in interchange and the train will move 20 miles or less, then the railroad may conduct a brake test pursuant to § 232.209 on those cars added to the train.

(B) [Reserved]

(b) Except as provided in § 232.209, each car and each solid block of cars added to a train shall receive a Class I brake test as described in paragraph (c) of this section at the location where it is added to a train unless:

(1) The solid block of cars is comprised of cars from a single previous train, the cars of which have previously received a Class I brake test and have remained continuously and consecutively coupled together with the train line remaining connected, other than for removing defective equipment, since being removed from its previous train and have not been off-air for more than 24 hours; or

(2) The solid block of cars is comprised of cars from a single previous train, the cars of which were required to be separated into multiple solid blocks of cars due to space or trackage constraints at a particular location when removed from the previous train, provided the cars have previously received a Class I brake test, have not been off-air more than 24 hours, and the cars in each of the multiple blocks of cars have remained continuously and consecutively coupled together with the train line remaining connected, except for the removal of defective equipment. Furthermore, these multiple solid blocks of cars shall be added to a train in the same relative order (no reclassification) as when removed from the previous train, except for the removal of defective equipment.

(c) A Class I brake test of a train shall consist of the following tasks and requirements:

(1) Brake pipe leakage shall not exceed 5 psi per minute or air flow shall not exceed 60 cubic feet per minute (CFM).

(i) Leakage Test. The brake pipe leakage test shall be conducted as follows:

(A) Charge the air brake system to the pressure at which the train will be operated, and the pressure at the rear of the train shall be within 15 psi of the pressure at which the train will be operated, but not less than 75 psi, as indicated by an accurate gauge or end-of-train device at the rear end of train;

(B) Upon receiving the signal to apply brakes for test, make a 20-psi brake pipe service reduction;

(C) If the locomotive used to perform the leakage test is equipped with a means for maintaining brake pipe pressure at a constant level during a 20-psi brake pipe service reduction, this feature shall be cut out during the leakage test; and

(D) With the brake valve lapped and the pressure maintaining feature cut out (if so equipped) and after waiting 45-60 seconds, note the brake pipe leakage as indicated by the brake-pipe gauge in the locomotive, which shall not exceed 5 psi per minute.

(ii) Air Flow Method Test. When a locomotive is equipped with a 26-L brake valve or equivalent pressure maintaining locomotive brake valve, a railroad may use the Air Flow Method Test as an alternate to the brake pipe leakage test. The Air Flow Method (AFM) Test shall be performed as follows:

(A) Charge the air brake system to the pressure at which the train will be operated, and the pressure at the rear of the train shall be within 15 psi of the pressure at which the train will be operated, but not less than 75 psi, as indicated by an accurate gauge or end-of-train device at the rear end of train; and

(B) Use a calibrated AFM indicator to measure air flow. A train equipped with at least one distributed power unit or an air repeater unit providing a source of brake pipe control air from two or more locations must not exceed a combined flow of 90 cubic feet per minute (CFM). Otherwise, the air flow must not exceed 60 CFM. Railroads must develop and implement operating rules to ensure compliant operation of a train if air flow exceeds these parameters after the Class I brake test is completed.

(iii) The AFM indicator must be calibrated for accuracy at periodic intervals not to exceed 92 days. The AFM indicator and all test orifices must be calibrated at temperatures of not less than 20 °F. AFM indicators must be accurate to within ±3 standard cubic feet per minute (CFM) at 60 CFM air flow.

(iv) For each AFM indicator, its last date of calibration must be recorded and certified on Form F6180-49A.

(v) An AFM indicator not incompliance with this part must:

(A) Not be used, including in the performance of a leakage test or to aid in the control or braking of the train;

(B) Be tagged in accordance with § 232.15(b) and include text that it is “inoperative” or “overdue”; and

(C) Be placed with its tag in a conspicuous location of the controlling locomotive cab.

(2) The inspector(s) shall take a position on each side of each car sometime during the inspection process so as to be able to examine and observe the functioning of all moving parts of the brake system on each car in order to make the determinations and inspections required by this section. A “roll-by” inspection of the brake release as provided for in paragraph (b)(8) of this section shall not constitute an inspection of that side of the train for purposes of this requirement;

(3) The train brake system shall be charged to the pressure at which the train will be operated, and the pressure at the rear of the train shall be within 15 psi of the pressure at which the train will be operated, but not less than 75 psi, angle cocks and cutout cocks shall be properly positioned, air hoses shall be properly coupled and shall not kink, bind, or foul or be in any other condition that restricts air flow. An examination must be made for leaks and necessary repairs made to reduce leakage to the required minimum. Retaining valves and retaining valve pipes shall be inspected and known to be in proper condition for service;

(4) The brakes on each car shall apply in response to a 20-psi brake pipe service reduction and shall remain applied until a release of the air brakes has been initiated by the controlling locomotive or yard test device. The brakes shall not be applied or released until the proper signal is given. A car found with brakes that fail to apply or remain applied may be retested and remain in the train if the retest is conducted at an air pressure that is within 15 psi of the air pressure at which the train will be operated. The retest may be conducted from either the controlling locomotive, the head-end of the consist, or with a suitable test device, as described in § 232.217(a), positioned at one end of the car(s) being retested, and the brakes shall remain applied until a release is initiated after a period which is no less than three minutes. If the retest is performed at the car(s) being retested with a suitable device, the compressed air in the car(s) shall be depleted prior to disconnecting the hoses between the car(s) to perform the retest;

(5) For cars equipped with 8 1/2-inch or 10-inch diameter brake cylinders, piston travel shall be within 6 to 9 inches. If piston travel is found to be less than 6 inches or more than 9 inches, it must be adjusted to nominally 7 1/2 inches. For cars not equipped with 8 1/2-inch or 10-inch diameter brake cylinders, piston travel shall be within the piston travel stenciled or marked on the car or badge plate. Minimum brake cylinder piston travel of truck-mounted brake cylinders must be sufficient to provide proper brake shoe clearance when the brakes are released. Piston travel must be inspected on each freight car while the brakes are applied;

(6) Brake rigging shall be properly secured and shall not bind or foul or otherwise adversely affect the operation of the brake system;

(7) All parts of the brake equipment shall be properly secured. On cars where the bottom rod passes through the truck bolster or is secured with cotter keys equipped with a locking device to prevent their accidental removal, bottom rod safety supports are not required; and

(8) When the release is initiated by the controlling locomotive or yard test device, the brakes on each freight car shall be inspected to verify that it did release; this may be performed by a “roll-by” inspection. If a “roll-by” inspection of the brake release is performed, train speed shall not exceed 10 MPH and the qualified person performing the “roll-by” inspection shall communicate the results of the inspection to the operator of the train. The operator of the train shall note successful completion of the release portion of the inspection on the record required in paragraph (d) of this section.

(9) Although an air repeater unit is not a locomotive or appurtenance under part 229, an air repeater unit operated in accordance with this part must:

(i) Receive an inspection in accordance with § 229.21 where and when an inspection is required in accordance with § 232.205(a)(1); and

(ii) Otherwise comply with part 229 as applicable to those parts that provide compressed air, modulate the brake pipe, and otherwise control the movement of the train. All remaining parts are subject to the inspection requirements of parts 215 and 232.

(d) Where a railroad's collective bargaining agreement provides that a carman is to perform the inspections and tests required by this section, a carman alone will be considered a qualified person. In these circumstances, the railroad shall ensure that the carman is properly trained and designated as a qualified person or qualified mechanical inspector pursuant to the requirements of this part.

(e) A railroad must notify the locomotive engineer that the Class I brake test was satisfactorily performed, whether the equipment to be hauled in his train has been off-air for a period of more than 24 hours, and provide the information required in this paragraph to the locomotive engineer or place the information in the cab of the controlling locomotive following the test. The information required by this paragraph may be provided to the locomotive engineer by any means determined appropriate by the railroad; however, a written or electronic record of the information must be retained in the cab of the controlling locomotive until the train reaches its destination. The written or electronic record must contain the date, time, number of freight cars inspected, and identify the qualified person(s) performing the test and the location where the Class I brake test was performed.

(f) Before adjusting piston travel or working on brake rigging, cutout cock in brake pipe branch must be closed and air reservoirs must be voided of all compressed air. When cutout cocks are provided in brake cylinder pipes, these cutout cocks only may be closed and air reservoirs need not be voided of all compressed air.

[66 FR 4193, Jan. 17, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 17582, Apr. 10, 2002; 73 FR 61553, Oct. 16, 2008; 85 FR 80571, Dec. 11, 2020]

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