U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 23, 2020
Signals shall be provided to govern train movements into and through interlocking limits, except that a signal shall not be required to govern movements over a hand-operated switch into interlocking limits if the switch is provided with an electric lock and a derail at the clearance point, either pipe-connected to the switch or independently locked, electrically. Electric locks installed under this rule must conform to the time and approach locking requirements of Rule 314 (without reference to the 20-mile exceptions), and those of either Rule 760 or Rule 768, as may be appropriate.
Track circuits and route locking shall be provided and shall be effective when the first pair of wheels of a locomotive or a car passes a point not more than 13 feet in advance of the signal governing its movement, measured from the center of the mast, or if there is no mast, from the center of the signal.
§ 236.303 - Control circuits for signals, selection through circuit controller operated by switch points or by switch locking mechanism.
The control circuit for each aspect with indication more favorable than “proceed at restricted speed” of power operated signal governing movements over switches, movable-point frogs and derails shall be selected through circuit controller operated directly by switch points or by switch locking mechanism, or through relay controlled by such circuit controller, for each switch, movable-point frog, and derail in the routes governed by such signal. Circuits shall be arranged so that such signal can display an aspect more favorable than “proceed at restricted speed,” only when each switch, movable-point frog, and derail in the route is in proper position.
Mechanical locking, or the same protection effected by means of circuits, shall be provided.
Approach or time locking shall be provided in connection with signals displaying aspects with indications more favorable than “proceed at restricted speed.”
Facing point lock or switch-and-lock movement shall be provided for mechanically operated switch, movable-point frog, or split-point derail.
Indication locking shall be provided for operative approach signals of the semaphore type, power-operated home signals, power-operated switches, movable-point frogs and derails, and for all approach signals except light signals, all aspects of which are controlled by polar or coded track circuits or line circuits so arranged that a single fault will not permit a more favorable aspect than intented to be displayed.
Mechanical or electric locking or electric circuits shall be installed to prevent signals from displaying aspects which permit conflicting movements except that opposing signals may display an aspect indicating proceed at restricted speed at the same time on a track used for switching movements only, by one train at a time. Manual interlocking in service as of the date of this part at which opposing signals on the same track are permitted simultaneously to display aspects authorizing conflicting movements when interlocking is unattended, may be continued, provided that simultaneous train movements in opposite directions on the same track between stations on either side of the interlocking are not permitted.
Relief from the requirement of this section will be granted upon an adequate showing by an individual carrier to allow opposing signals on the same track simultaneously to display aspects to proceed through an interlocking which is unattended, provided that train movements in opposite directions on the same track between stations on either site of the interlocking are not permitted at the same time.
(a) A loss of shunt of 5 seconds or less shall not permit an established route to be changed at an automatic interlocking.
(b) A loss of shunt of 5 seconds or less shall not permit the release of the route locking circuit of each power-operated switch hereafter installed.
A signal shall be provided on main track to govern the approach with the current of traffic to any home signal except where the home signal is the first signal encountered when leaving yards or stations and authorized speed approaching such signal is not higher than slow speed. When authorized speed between home signals on route governed is 20 miles per hour or less, an inoperative signal displaying an aspect indicating “approach next signal prepared to stop” may be used to govern the approach to the home signal.
§ 236.311 - Signal control circuits, selection through track relays or devices functioning as track relays and through signal mechanism contacts and time releases at automatic interlocking.
(a) The control circuits for aspects with indications more favorable than “proceed at restricted speed” shall be selected through track relays, or through devices that function as track relays, for all track circuits in the route governed.
(b) At automatic interlocking, signal control circuits shall be selected (1) through track relays, or devices that function as track relays, for all track circuits in the route governed and in all conflicting routes within the interlocking; (2) through signal mechanism contacts or relay contacts closed when signals for such conflicting routes display “stop” aspects; and (3) through normal contacts of time releases, time element relays, or timing devices for such conflicting routes, or contacts of relays repeating the normal position or normal state of such time releases, time element relays, or timing devices.
When movable bridge is protected by interlocking the signal appliances shall be so interlocked with bridge devices that before a signal governing movements over the bridge can display an aspect to proceed the bridge must be locked and the track alined, with the bridge locking members within one inch of their proper positions and with the track rail on the movable span within three-eighths inch of correct surface and alinement with rail seating device on bridge abutment or fixed span. Emergency bypass switches and devices shall be locked or sealed.
Electric lock shall be provided for each hand-operated switch or derail within interlocking limits, except where train movements are made at not exceeding 20 miles per hour. At manually operated interlocking it shall be controlled by operator of the machine and shall be unlocked only after signals governing movements over such switch or derail display aspects indicating stop. Approach or time locking shall be provided.
§ 236.326 - Mechanical locking removed or disarranged; requirement for permitting train movements through interlocking.
When mechanical locking of interlocking machine is being changed or is removed from the machine, or locking becomes disarranged or broken, unless protection equivalent to mechanical locking is provided by electric locking or electric circuits, train movements through the interlocking shall not be permitted until each switch, movable-point frog or derail in the route is spiked, clamped or blocked in proper position so that it cannot be moved by its controlling lever, and then train movements shall not exceed restricted speed until the interlocking is restored to normal operation. It will not be necessary to comply with this requirement at interlockings where protection is in service in accordance with section 303, provided that the signal controls are arranged so that the signals cannot display an aspect the indication of which is less restrictive than “proceed at restricted speed.”
Switch, movable-point frog, or split-point derail equipped with lock rod shall be maintained so that it can not be locked when the point is open three-eighths inch or more.
Plunger of lever operated facing-point lock shall have at least 8-inch stroke. When lock lever is in unlocked position the end of the plunger shall clear the lock rod not more than one inch.
Bolt lock shall be so maintained that signal governing movements over switch or derail and displaying an aspect indicating stop cannot be operated to display a less restrictive aspect while derail is in derailing position, or when switch point is open one-half inch or more.
Locking dog of switch-and-lock movement shall extend through lock rod one-half inch or more in either normal or reverse position.
Point detector shall be maintained so that when switch mechanism is locked in normal or reverse position, contacts cannot be opened by manually applying force at the closed switch point. Point detector circuit controller shall be maintained so that the contacts will not assume the position corresponding to switch point closure if the switch point is prevented by an obstruction, from closing to within one-fourth inch where latch-out device is not used, and to within three-eighths inch where latch-out device is used.
Driving pieces, dogs, stops and trunnions shall be rigidly secured to locking bars. Swing dogs shall have full and free movement. Top plates shall be maintained securely in place.
The various parts of the locking bed, locking bed supports, and tappet stop rail shall be rigidly secured in place and alined to permit free operation of locking.
Locking faces shall fit squarely against each other with a minimum engagement when locked of at least one-half the designed locking face.
Mechanical locking shall be in accordance with locking sheet and dog chart currently in effect.
Locking and connections shall be maintained so that, when a lever or latch is mechanically locked the following will be prevented:
(a) Mechanical machine - (1) Latch-operated locking. Raising lever latch block so that bottom thereof is within three-eighths inch of top of quadrant.
(2) Lever-operated locking. Moving lever latch block more than three-eighths inch on top of quadrant.
(b) Electromechanical machine - (1) Lever moving in horizontal plant. Moving lever more than five-sixteenths inch when in normal position or more than nine-sixteenths inch when in reverse position.
(2) Lever moving in arc. Moving lever more than 5 degrees.
(c) Power machine - (1) Latch-operated locking. Raising lever latch block to that bottom thereof is within seven thirty-seconds inch of top of quadrant.
(2) Lever moving in horizontal plane. Moving lever more than five-sixteenths inch when in normal position or more than nine-sixteenths inch when in reverse position.
(3) Lever moving in arc. Moving lever more than 5 degrees.
§ 236.340 - Electromechanical interlocking machine; locking between electrical and mechanical levers.
In electro-mechanical interlocking machine, locking between electric and mechanical levers shall be maintained so that mechanical lever cannot be operated except when released by electric lever.
Latch shoes, rocker links, and quadrants of Saxby and farmer machines shall be maintained so that locking will not release if a downward force not exceeding a man's weight is exerted on the rocker while the lever is in the mid-stroke position.
Switch circuit controller connected at the point to switch, derail, or movable-point frog, shall be maintained so that its contacts will not be in position corresponding to switch point closure when switch point is open one-fourth inch or more.
Mechanical locking in interlocking machine shall be tested when new locking is installed; and thereafter when change in locking is made, or locking becomes disarranged, or tested at least once every two years, whichever shall occur first.
Approach locking shall be tested when placed in service and thereafter when modified, disarranged, or at least once every two years, whichever shall occur first.
Time locking shall be tested when placed in service and thereafter when modified, disarranged, or at least once every two years, whichever shall occur first.
Route locking or other type of switch locking shall be tested when placed in service and thereafter when modified, disarranged, or at least once every two years, whichever shall occur first.
Indication locking shall be tested when placed in service and thereafter when modified, disarranged, or at least once every two years, whichever shall occur first.
Traffic locking shall be tested when placed in service and thereafter when modified, disarranged, or at least once every two years, whichever shall occur first.
Switch obstruction test of lock rod of each power-operated switch and lock rod of each hand-operated switch equipped with switch-and-lock-movement shall be made when lock rod is placed in service or changed out, but not less than once each month.
Valve locks on valves of the non-cut-off type shall be tested at least once every three months, and valves and valve magnets shall be tested at least once every year.
Cross protection shall be tested at least once every six months.
Restoring feature on power switches shall be tested at least once every three months.