Appendix B to Part 218 - Statement of Agency Enforcement Policy on Blue Signal Protection for Utility Employees
The following examples of the application of the train or yard crew exclusion from required blue signal protection for utility employees are provided to clarify FRA's enforcement policy. In the first four examples, the utility employee is properly attached to and functioning as member of a train or yard crew and is excluded from blue signal protection, provided all the conditions specified in § 218.22 are met:
A utility employee assists a train crew by adding or reducing railroad cars to or from the train. The utility employee may perform any duties which would normally be conducted by members of the train crew, i.e., setting or releasing handbrakes, coupling air hoses and other connections, prepare rail cars for coupling, and perform air brake tests.
A utility employee is assigned to assist a yard crew for the purpose of classifying and assembling railroad cars. The yard crew onboard their locomotive arrives at the location in the yard where the work is to be performed. At that time, the utility employee may attach himself to the yard crew and commence duties as a member of that yard crew.
A utility employee is assigned to inspect, test, remove and replace if necessary, a combination rear end marking device/end of train device on a through freight train. The utility employee attaches himself to the train crew after the arrival of the train and its crew at the location where this work is to be conducted. He may then perform duties as a member of that crew.
A railroad manager who properly attaches himself as a utility employee to a train or yard crew, in accordance with § 218.22, may then function as a member of the train or yard crew under the exclusion provided for train and yard crews.
In the last four examples, any railroad employee, including regularly assigned crew members, would need blue signal protection to perform the described function.
Prior to the arrival of a through freight train, a utility employee installs an end-of-train device on one end of a block of railroad cars that are scheduled to be picked up by the freight train.
A railroad employee attaches himself to a train or yard crew while the crew is in the ready room preparing to take charge of their train. Prior to the train crew leaving the ready room and taking charge of the equipment, the employee couples air hoses and other connections between the locomotives.
A railroad employee is attached to a train crew after the train crew has taken charge of the train. It is necessary for the employee to perform a repair on a rail car, such as replacing a brake shoe, in addition to those duties normally performed by train or yard crew members.
A train or yard crew, supplemented by three utility employees, has an assigned locomotive and train. The regular crew, including the engineer, has left the train to eat lunch. The utility employees have remained with the train and are coupling air hoses between rail cars in the train.