• New CSX Rules For Radio Communications

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by CSX Conductor
Because any crew operating on a foreign railroad (i.e. Metro-North, MBCR, Amtrak, NJT etc.) will still be operating under that railroad's operating rules and signals.

I agree that this is going to cause some problems, at least at first.

Alot of guys will probably be making sure that their out of service insurance is up to date. lol

  by DutchRailnut
><<<For example a CSX crewman based out of Selkirk and qualified on the Hudson Line and the River Line will now have to carry and be familiar with CSX's rules, Metro North Rules and NORAC rules.>>><

why would you need Norac for this route if CSX goes with new rules ????
you would only need CSX and Metro North rules, no other carriers involved.
  by Noel Weaver
"Dutch", you might still need NORAC for the North Jersey terminal area,
I think Conrail shared assets still is responsible for it and I don't think they
will go to CSX rules.
Noel Weaver

  by Railjunkie
Working for Amtrak out of ALB you need CSX,NORAC,Amtrak,Metro North,VTR(Vermont Railway),CROR, D&H/CP. I work the spare board and trying to keep what to do when things go wrong can be a pain in the ---, and if things were not bad enough the D&H may be going to General Code due to the pending NS take over. Why we cant have one set of rules is for everything is beyond me..

  by roadster
Most difficulty with the new radio proceedures is the fact that other CSX territories have separate radio freq's for the trains and dispatchers. If a train wants to talk to the dispatcher, they must switch to his channel. The dispatcher must also switch to the trains channel to talk to them. This kept the channels fairly open while a form "D", or EC-1 on CSX was given out while trains could broadcast this various info on their channel. Here, trains and dispatcher share the same channel so form EC-1's, defect detectors, signals, station stops, and all the other various info. will be broadcast on the same channel, potentially resulting in numerous circumstances of crossed transmissions, misunderstood and accepted authority. Very dangerous. The radio channel situation should have been resolved prior to the new radio proceedures being implimented. Just another example of rushing into a situation without fully researching and preping for it. I am not against the new rules, just the helter skelter manner in which they have been rushed and pushed into implementation. Not to mention the lack of training prior to their implimentation.

  by JBlaisdell
Someone on another thread (NY Forum) said encryption may be an option. Encryption would pose several problems.

*Visiting road power would need be equipped for it or be set in as a trailing unit.

*ANYONE non-RR would not be able to listen in during emergencies, i.e. fire, police

*Encryption would not be secure against anyone who wants to break it. Conrail came out with "high security" switch locks and keys which some railfans had within months. Criminals/ terrorists will be able to monitor encrypted radio if they want to.

I personally think the new radio rules will be safer. Recall the near-collision in upstate NY when a freight crew heard Amtrak call a signal and realized they were on a collision course? Announcing where your train is can only be a good thing.

  by CSX Conductor
I agree with you on that near miss in NY last year, but I believe that we shouldn't have to call signals over the radio in Cab Signalled territory.

  by Railjunkie
If I read the rule properly you only need to call interlocking signals, no automatics. On Amtrak trains the conductor must repeat the signal back to the head end or at the next station the engineer must find out why he/she is not doing so. While its a good idea in non cab signaled territory, I dont see the reason for calling them in cab signal territory.

  by FormerCSX
Hey crazy_nip, did you or do you work for the Railroad?
If not you probably have no idea how crowded the radio chatter
can get. I was a conductor for CSX and the first derailment
I was involved in was partially due to the radio channel
being over crowded with every one trying to talk over
everyone. Also CSX not following their own division timetable
rules for what channel is used for the mainline and what channel
for the yard frequency. :-D


  by rocketman
nip ya gotta give Noel some respect - that man spent alot of time on the RR
I personally liked his analogy. It says alot about CSX. Guys that have been around long enough to have endured these experiences with Penn Central then to see them come around again and fail in the same manner reserve the right to speculate on the same outcome. As far as calling signals on the radio, the only thing it serves is another thing for the company to hang these guys on. Down south years ago they were calling signals and discontinued it when crews started antcipating signals on those called ahead of them and causing wrecks. For those who have worked for CSX all along probably don't see the difference, but those who worked for CR and PC definately smell a stinker.

  by roadster
Well the reasons for CSX's failings and PC may be profoundly different, but as the people on the ground and in the cabs are noticing alot of the same symtoms, IE: lack of maintainance, poor engine availability, numerous recrews, numerous minor derailments, miles of slow orders and so on. This past year CSX has been aggressively repairing and maintaining it's infastructure in upstate NY. I hope that this trend is a sign of a new trend for CSX. The new rules offer a number of safety features like calling the home signals, but allows for a dispatcher to give a maintainer an expiration time on a foul time EC-1. When the time expires, trains may run without conversing with the maintainer to insure he is clear of the tracks!!! Also, on single track if a train goes into an emergency brake application. If the engineer gets a reset and air is restored on the rear, all the crew has to do is look back and if what they see appears to be ok, the train can proceed. Multitrack incidents still require conductor to inspect the train, by walking or in some cases a roll by inspection will suffice.
  by Noel Weaver
I need to make several points. I think "Nip" and I most likely agree on
much more than we might disagree on.
I truly like the railroads, all of them. I hate to see what is happening with
CSX. I wish I could read and hear of all the good things that are
happening there but I simply do not, not from what I read here or on the
Amtrak thread. Definately not from the CSX and other railroad employees who are my friends in the northeast. I hate to see another
Penn Central all over again and surely hope it does not really happen.
I am not encouraged when I hear the reports of late.
Is there a chance that things could turn around and get better again, I
hope there is and I suppose there is a chance but it has not happened as
I have seen a copy of the new CSX rules, three separate big books to
contain what was formerly in one NORAC book. One book for the rules,
another book for equipment rules and still another book for signal
indications. I have NEVER seen a case where a railroad put their signal
indications in a totally separate publication from the rest of their rules.
CSX by their takeover of a major portion of Conrail would have been
considered a major player in the NORAC book and to my way of thinking,
it would have made much more sense to meld into the NORAC book for
their entire railroad. It could have been done.
I sincerely hope that nothing drastic happens over this but I am not
I also noted an earlier entry which I did not bother to quote concerning the
near miss just out of Syracuse some months back. The individual said
something to the effect that a called signal prevented a wreck. That was
not the case as signals were not called over the radio. What saved a
major catastrophe was an alert freight train head end crew who heard a
hot box detector go off with a train coming at them on their track and
acted quickly to take appropiate action. I have to wonder if this particular
engineer and conductor ever got commended by the railroad for their fast
action in this case to prevent a disaster. I hope they did, they deserve one.
Noel Weaver