Questions about the delay in block rule

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Questions about the delay in block rule

Postby MattW » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:21 pm

I understand the general gist of the delay in block rule: if a train stops in between signals and can't see the next, it has to maintain a slower speed until it can see the next signal. What I don't entirely understand, is in what scenarios it applies. The texts of the rules I can find state that "push pull trains shall not..." However, I've recently understood that NJT's Riverline observes delay in block, and when riding the Crescent, heard the conductor remind the engineer of delay in block, after a station stop was complete and it was time to move again. I'm fairly certain that the Crescent wouldn't qualify as a push-pull train, so does it apply to all trains? What about D/EMUs? Are they considered push-pull?
Thanks
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Re: Questions about the delay in block rule

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:28 pm

NORAC rule 504(a),Depending on the RR involved,could be applied to ALL trains after making ANY kind of stop.
Believe that is how NS applies the rule in the case of the Crescent.
It's possible that the next signal on the NJT Riverline is a controlled signal,most likely set at stop.(504(b))


Note: NORAC Version 10,Nov 06,2011,pg 107
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Re: Questions about the delay in block rule

Postby ThirdRail7 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:10 pm

MattW wrote:I understand the general gist of the delay in block rule: if a train stops in between signals and can't see the next, it has to maintain a slower speed until it can see the next signal. What I don't entirely understand, is in what scenarios it applies. The texts of the rules I can find state that "push pull trains shall not..." However, I've recently understood that NJT's Riverline observes delay in block, and when riding the Crescent, heard the conductor remind the engineer of delay in block, after a station stop was complete and it was time to move again. I'm fairly certain that the Crescent wouldn't qualify as a push-pull train, so does it apply to all trains? What about D/EMUs? Are they considered push-pull?
Thanks


Let's start with the Crescent. Unless the rule is modified by special instructions, N&S rule 403 would apply:


403. Delayed/Stopped in a Block
(a) Rule 251 and 271 Territory
If a train or engine has entered a block on a proceed indication that
does not require Restricted Speed, and is delayed, it must proceed at
Restricted Speed. The train or engine may resume the speed authorized
by the last signal received when:
1. The next signal is seen to display a proceed indication.
2. The track is seen to be clear to the next signal.
(b) Rule 261 Territory
If a train or engine has entered a block on a proceed indication
that does not require Restricted Speed, and stops, it must proceed
prepared to stop at the next signal.
EXCEPTION: At points where crews change, unless a leaving signal
is provided, Restricted Speed must be observed until leading
end of movement reaches the next signal.
(c) Cab Signal Territory
The requirements above do not apply to trains and engines that
have cab signals in service for the direction of movement or that have
experienced a cab signal failure in Rule 562 cab signal territory without
fixed automatic block signals.


So, as you can see if the Crescent stopped for any reason between fixed signals, it would be governed by this rule.


There are two parts to the NORAC rule. One involves push pull trains and one doesn't. We'll help you out, but first a few definitions:


DISTANT SIGNAL: A fixed signal used to govern the approach of a train to a home
signal

HOME SIGNAL: A fixed signal governing entrance to an interlocking or controlled
point.



504. Delay in a Block
The following restrictions do not apply to trains that have cab signals in service
for the direction of movement, or that have experienced a cab signal failure in Rule
562 territory (cab signals without fixed automatic block signals).
a. Trains Making Stops Other Than Station Stops
If a train that has passed a block signal stops for any reason other than a
passenger train making a station stop, it must proceed at Restricted Speed. The
train may resume the speed authorized by the last signal received when:
1. The next signal is seen to display a proceed indication,
AND
2. The track is known to be clear to the next signal.

b. Push-Pull Trains Making Station Stops or Slow Movement After Passing
Distant Signal
If a push-pull train that has passed a distant signal makes a station stop or
reduces speed to less than 10 MPH, it must:
1. Approach the home signal prepared to stop,
AND
2. Not exceed 40 MPH, unless governed by a slower speed.
The train may resume the speed authorized by the distant signal when the home
signal is seen to display a proceed indication.

If a push-pull train makes a stop other than a station stop in any block, it will be
governed by paragraph “a” of this rule.


Notice the difference in the rules. Years ago, NORAC's definition mirrored N&S's rule. However, the MARC accident at Silver Spring changed the perspective. Prior to Silver Spring, trains that were stopped in stations were historically not considered delayed in block. However, the rule as written didn't allow for station stops. Since NORAC territory is LOADED with passenger traffic, the members of the committee overhauled the rule to allow for passenger stops. As such, a train stopped for a station would not be considered delayed in block.

The additional of push pull satisfied the federal emergency order that was implemented after Silver Spring that dealt with the concerns of push-pull operations. The FRA wanted an additional layer of protection for push pull trains. As such, a push pull train is only considered delayed in block under this rule if it is between a distant signal and a home signal (in other words if you're on the approach to an interlocking). Rule 504b would apply. They also slapped on additional restrictions for calling signals on push pull trains.

As for what qualifies as a push pull train, NORAC defines a push-pull trains as a passenger train with a Multiple Unit (MU) or control car on
either end. Individual operators have their own spin and classification on what is a control car, but typically an engine on both ends doesn't qualify as a push pull train. Conrail (or whatever entity has the River Line) might have a different opinion and may have slapped tighter restrictions on the River Line over the territory.

Perhaps you can check with them.

However, these are the basics.
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Re: Questions about the delay in block rule

Postby cobra30689 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:38 am

ThirdRail7 wrote:Let's start with the Crescent. Unless the rule is modified by special instructions, N&S rule 403 would apply



Note however there is no mention of the 40mph speed limit in the rule. As a VRE engineer however, I am bound by special instructions....

a) Crewmembers operating Virginia Railway Express (VRE) passenger trains
between AF Tower, MP 9.1 and South Manassas, MP 35.1, are hereby
required to comply with the following:
After a stop, including a station stop, or when speed is reduced below 10
MPH, movement must approach the next signal, at a speed not exceeding
40 MPH, prepared to stop until it can be plainly seen to be displaying an
aspect permitting the train to proceed and the track to that signal is clear.

I am going to make the assumption that Amtrak abides by the 40mph rule as well.....I dug around both my Piedmont Division and System timetables and found nothing directly referring to them.
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Re: Questions about the delay in block rule

Postby Engineer Spike » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:29 pm

Delayed in block goes hand in hand with the 5 minute rule for opening a main track hand throw switch. The 5" rule is to protect against a train which has already gone by the last block signal, before opening the switch,which shunts the signal. A delayed train may have stopped. Another may have opened the switch, and waited the 5".The delayed train might not know that the train had entered ahead. This is the reason for restricted speed.

CTC requires the delayed train to just prepare to stop at the next signal. This is due to the time circuit in the electric locks. It is also why a train can't clear in tracks without electric locks, except for slow speed tracks.
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Re: Questions about the delay in block rule

Postby mmi16 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:39 pm

At one time, scheduled station stops were not considered being 'delayed in the block'.

On my carrier, that interpretation changed after a MARC commuter train passed a signal displaying 'Approach', then made a station stop and departed the station as if they had passed a 'Clear' signal and at the next signal which displayed 'Stop', the MARC train (operating in push mode) was unable to stop and struck Amtrak's Capitol Limited as it was crossing from #2 track to #1 track at the Control Point that was displaying the Stop signal. 8 people died.

Thereafter, my carrier has ruled that making a scheduled station stop within a block is being delayed in the block.
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Re: Questions about the delay in block rule

Postby ThirdRail7 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:47 am

mmi16 wrote:At one time, scheduled station stops were not considered being 'delayed in the block'.

On my carrier, that interpretation changed after a MARC commuter train passed a signal displaying 'Approach', then made a station stop and departed the station as if they had passed a 'Clear' signal and at the next signal which displayed 'Stop', the MARC train (operating in push mode) was unable to stop and struck Amtrak's Capitol Limited as it was crossing from #2 track to #1 track at the Control Point that was displaying the Stop signal. 8 people died.

Thereafter, my carrier has ruled that making a scheduled station stop within a block is being delayed in the block.


Yes...thanks...we kind of covered that here:

ThirdRail7 wrote:[

Notice the difference in the rules. Years ago, NORAC's definition mirrored N&S's rule. However, the MARC accident at Silver Spring changed the perspective. Prior to Silver Spring, trains that were stopped in stations were historically not considered delayed in block. However, the rule as written didn't allow for station stops. Since NORAC territory is LOADED with passenger traffic, the members of the committee overhauled the rule to allow for passenger stops. As such, a train stopped for a station would not be considered delayed in block.

The additional of push pull satisfied the federal emergency order that was implemented after Silver Spring that dealt with the concerns of push-pull operations. The FRA wanted an additional layer of protection for push pull trains. As such, a push pull train is only considered delayed in block under this rule if it is between a distant signal and a home signal (in other words if you're on the approach to an interlocking). Rule 504b would apply. They also slapped on additional restrictions for calling signals on push pull trains.




But that begs for a follow up question:

Does your carrier have anything other than push pull trains making station stops? If you can't answer without giving away your identity or location, I understand.
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Re: Questions about the delay in block rule

Postby Thunder » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:00 pm

My carrier is push pull. We have the delayed in block on certain lines. Ours is prepared to stop not exceeding 40 mph till next signal is visible. But on the line I operate we have locations where we dont have to follow said rule as we have cab signals.

GCOR also has a if you drop below 10 mph that SSI on BNSF and CN had changed to 8 mph.
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