Contactor seeking to use railroad radio to communicate

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Contactor seeking to use railroad radio to communicate

Postby ARuiz » Sat May 02, 2009 7:04 pm

The company I work for does contract work for the Union Pacific Railroad. and we got authorization to communicate with the Tie Gangs that we do work with.. I was wonder what would be a good radio for our trucks? anyone got any suggestions.
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Re: Radio Help

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat May 02, 2009 7:47 pm

Who did you get permissionn to use Radio's from ?? only FCC can give that permission, No railroad or its managers can OK for Non- railroaders to use VHF Railroad band.
Use of railroad Radio's is usually limited to those Employees qualified on Book of Rules as a minimum.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Radio Help

Postby ARuiz » Sat May 02, 2009 8:23 pm

we work with the tie gangs, surface gangs, whatever gang.. and when they want to keep contact with us. the EIC gives us a portable radio , we are " railroad workers ".. when we go to the job briefings they give out the microwave tower and channels ..
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Re: Radio Help

Postby EdM » Sun May 03, 2009 7:03 am

well, I dont think you can just buy a radio for that frequency and put it on the air. more is involved. I would suggest that you get the RR to loan you one of theirs, that way you will be properly licensed. But with Washington (crackville) the way it is going, no one really cares anymore... Ed
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Re: Radio Help

Postby ARuiz » Sun May 03, 2009 1:43 pm

yeah well even if we cant talk directly, then maybe a good radio to listen to the gangs... then we can contact them on their phones..
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Re: Radio Help

Postby Ken W2KB » Sun May 03, 2009 6:31 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:Who did you get permissionn to use Radio's from ?? only FCC can give that permission, No railroad or its managers can OK for Non- railroaders to use VHF Railroad band.
Use of railroad Radio's is usually limited to those Employees qualified on Book of Rules as a minimum.


Correct. And even if the operation is under the railroad's license, that FCC license is for a discreet number of radios, not an unlimited number. The railroad also remains legally responsible for the proper operation of the radios under its license. It may be that the folks on the railroad responsible for radio licensing are unaware that some MOW manager took that action, and the MOW manager is unaware of the FCC regulations and the legal implications for the RR.
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Re: Radio Help

Postby Gadfly » Sun May 03, 2009 7:45 pm

To the original poster: Proceed VERY carefully. Our FCC is not averse to issuing sanctions against against the railroads AND contract companies that violate their rules. My advice to you is to contact your railroad's Communications & Signals Dept and FCC on how to proceed with this. This is VERY serious business and could get your company some HIGH fines as well as the railroad. The use of commercial radios has some very strict rules and standards and this is NOT like a "CB" radio that is governed more like a consumer toy! Make SURE your managers AND the railroad's management BOTH know the rules for the use of the radios!!!!!!

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Re: Radio Help

Postby ARuiz » Sun May 03, 2009 8:07 pm

what are you talking about gadfly we have our commercial license for radio use.. we have our own radios, they are not set up for railroad use thats why i ask this question... we dont use this for toys like some people here listening for " FUN " this is work.. this is just for gang work not for talking to the coductors or engineers thats what the EIC " Employee in charge " is for. we've gone through all the proper ways for this, so if you just going to say watch out then dont even post. all i wanted was some equipment advise but i got what i need..
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Re: Radio Help

Postby keeper1616 » Mon May 04, 2009 10:50 am

Legal stuff aside, the question was: What radios are good for trucks. The answer is most VHF radios will work. Most VHF radios can transmit anywhere from 136-174Mhz. I have an good personal success with Motorola CDM series radios, but will not endorse one radio over another.
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Re: Radio Help

Postby Gadfly » Mon May 04, 2009 5:45 pm

The thing is, licenses are issued for specific uses and specific frequencies. Just having " a license" is not enough. That license must specify the frequencies allowed by such authorization. If YOUR license says it is for 156 MHZ and you were inspected and discovered to be operating on 161.535 (a frequency often assigned to railroads), the FCC agent would/could cite your company for unauthorized operation. That HAS happened to contractors AND railroads themselves for operating outside their license privileges. It's just a good idea to check with the railroad's Communications & Signals Dept to be on the safe side. Do what you will.


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Re: Radio Help

Postby Ken W2KB » Mon May 04, 2009 7:50 pm

ARuiz wrote:what are you talking about gadfly we have our commercial license for radio use.. we have our own radios, they are not set up for railroad use thats why i ask this question... we dont use this for toys like some people here listening for " FUN " this is work.. this is just for gang work not for talking to the coductors or engineers thats what the EIC " Employee in charge " is for. we've gone through all the proper ways for this, so if you just going to say watch out then dont even post. all i wanted was some equipment advise but i got what i need..


In order to properly advise you on the radios, you need to tell us what frequency you will be operating on. Different radios, antennas, etc. are needed depending on the frequency.
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Re: Contactor seeking to use railroad radio to communicate

Postby MNR's #1 Conductor » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:13 am

You might find this site helpful......

http://www.railcom.net
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Re: Contactor seeking to use railroad radio to communicate

Postby Engineer Spike » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:47 am

If this is such a big deal, how do taxi companies get to use our frequencies? Most of the contract crew vans have radios with the AAR frequencies installed. They use them to find us often. Sometimes they call a taxi to meet the conductor after walking the train, or making a shove, if they want him back to the head end quickly. The driver will call the conductor to find out where he is.
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