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Railroad "Test" for Railfans
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   Author  Topic: Railroad "Test" for Railfans  (Read 369 times)
Gadfly
Railfan
Posts: 232
Railroad "Test" for Railfans
 
« on: Oct 19th, 2011, 8:55pm »
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Just for giggles and to get something started, let's see how much you "know" about railroading with a sample question you might find on a Rules exam:  
 
"What is the most RESTRICTIVE signal, or flag you can encounter on the railroad?
 
A. RED
 
B. YELLOW
 
C.  BLUE
 
D. GREEN
 
All you actual railroaders, keep QUIET. Let's see how many correct answers we get.  
 
Gadfly


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photoman475
Historian
Posts: 870
Re: Railroad "Test" for Railfans
 
« Reply #1 on: Oct 19th, 2011, 9:03pm »
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Gadfly:
 
I'll bite.  A blue signal is the most restrictive.
 


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Redwings361
Chaser
Posts: 79
Re: Railroad "Test" for Railfans
 
« Reply #2 on: Oct 19th, 2011, 10:20pm »
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I'm going to also say "blue"

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ehbowen
Railfan
Posts: 242
Re: Railroad "Test" for Railfans
 
« Reply #3 on: Oct 21st, 2011, 1:15pm »
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Agreed. Blue. You can't pass it under any circumstances and only the worker who placed it can clear it.


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Gadfly
Railfan
Posts: 232
Re: Railroad "Test" for Railfans
 
« Reply #4 on: Oct 22nd, 2011, 1:37pm »
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on Oct 21st, 2011, 1:15pm, ehbowen wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Agreed. Blue. You can't pass it under any circumstances and only the worker who placed it can clear it.

 
You are correct, as is your description of how it is placed and removed. Why can't just anyone remove a blue flag/light as opposed to a red board signal?
 
GF


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toddsyr

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Posts: 4326
Re: Railroad "Test" for Railfans
 
« Reply #5 on: Oct 22nd, 2011, 6:38pm »
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on Oct 22nd, 2011, 1:37pm, Gadfly wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
You are correct, as is your description of how it is placed and removed. Why can't just anyone remove a blue flag/light as opposed to a red board signal?
 
GF

 
 
Well, it's the safest way to protect the workman who put it there. If you put it there, you won't remove it until you know it's safe to do so.  
 
Todd K. Stearns


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Gadfly
Railfan
Posts: 232
Re: Railroad "Test" for Railfans
 
« Reply #6 on: Oct 23rd, 2011, 10:03am »
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on Oct 22nd, 2011, 6:38pm, toddsyr wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Well, it's the safest way to protect the workman who put it there. If you put it there, you won't remove it until you know it's safe to do so.  
 
Todd K. Stearns

 
 
Only the workman who placed it can remove a blue flag or signal. There is also something, used in other industries as well, called "Lockout-Tagout". A defective machine is found and determined to be unsafe.  Two locks are obtained and the machine is "locked out" while the workman repairs it with the two locks. Each lock has two keys; one for the workman, one for the supervisor OR another workman, each lock is keyed differently.  Only when the machine is fixed and deemed safe again (signed off) are both workmen located and the locks opened, the machine returned to service.  This, too, is designed to prevent someone from starting a machine or returning it to service while bad ordered or while a workman may be under or in it repairing it!  This HAS happened, and "Lockout-Tagout" was designed to prevent this.  
 
GF


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CHESSIEMIKE
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Posts: 4302
Re: Railroad "Test" for Railfans
 
« Reply #7 on: Oct 28th, 2011, 10:26pm »
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on Oct 22nd, 2011, 1:37pm, Gadfly wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
You are correct, as is your description of how it is placed and removed. Why can't just anyone remove a blue flag/light as opposed to a red board signal?
 
GF

One question I have had about this. Is there a way to "transfer" Blue Flag Protection? Joe puts out a Blue Flag on a locomotive at a derailment site. Joe has an emergency situation come up that calls him away. Hours after he is gone, the reason for the Bue Flag is corrected. Do we wait for Joe to show back up?
CHESSIEMIKE


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Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
Gadfly
Railfan
Posts: 232
Re: Railroad "Test" for Railfans
 
« Reply #8 on: Oct 30th, 2011, 12:57pm »
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on Oct 28th, 2011, 10:26pm, CHESSIEMIKE wrote:       (Click here for original message)

One question I have had about this. Is there a way to "transfer" Blue Flag Protection? Joe puts out a Blue Flag on a locomotive at a derailment site. Joe has an emergency situation come up that calls him away. Hours after he is gone, the reason for the Bue Flag is corrected. Do we wait for Joe to show back up?
CHESSIEMIKE

 
ASAIK there is no way to "transfer" a blue flag.  The "key" may be transferred to another employee who is performing the work and that employee MUST be present at the site when a blue flag is encountered.  OUR blue flags had locks and keys like a switch so "just anyone" couldn't remove it. (Aw Joe left hours ago and I can advance anyway, etc).  That is the purpose of blue flags: to prevent such from happening.  Blue flags were placed at the beginning of a shift (shop forces), or at the arrival of forces at an incident, and removed at the end.  The on-coming shift then placed the flags with a designated employee responsible for its removal.  The crew, or switcher, or track machine, upon encountering a blue flag, MUST find the responsible employee and have THAT employee clear the track of people, tools and machinery before entering the affected area.  A blue flag or signal is considered a "closed" signal that must be personally attended by the people/gang involved whereas a "red board" or switch is "open" and can be regarded by the incumbent rules and changed by verbal, radio, or flag authority.  You CANNOT pass a blue flag without it's being unlocked by the person(s) who placed it OR by the person who holds the key. Period!  
 
So, yes a blue flag can be overruled....but only by the person who is holding the key to unlock it (Norfolk Southern rules), and the crew wishing to clear must deal with these people directly!   I have seen this happen whereby a blue flag was breached and a switcher came into a shop area without authority (by arbitrarily removing a blue flag)  while workmen were repairing a car.  Luckily, no one was hurt, and they got the engine signed down before there was any injury!  That resulted in the keyed blue flags.  Boy, you oughta heard [u]THAT[/i] safety meeting!  WHEW!  


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ClydeDET
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Posts: 4793
Re: Railroad "Test" for Railfans
 
« Reply #9 on: Nov 8th, 2011, 4:31pm »
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on Oct 23rd, 2011, 10:03am, Gadfly wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Only the workman who placed it can remove a blue flag or signal. There is also something, used in other industries as well, called "Lockout-Tagout". A defective machine is found and determined to be unsafe.  Two locks are obtained and the machine is "locked out" while the workman repairs it with the two locks. Each lock has two keys; one for the workman, one for the supervisor OR another workman, each lock is keyed differently.  Only when the machine is fixed and deemed safe again (signed off) are both workmen located and the locks opened, the machine returned to service.  This, too, is designed to prevent someone from starting a machine or returning it to service while bad ordered or while a workman may be under or in it repairing it!  This HAS happened, and "Lockout-Tagout" was designed to prevent this.  
 
GF

 
Had an uncle who could tell you about why blue flag/lockout-tagout is a good idea. The book bindery he was working in as young man in the 1930s didn't have that, and while he had his left hand in a binding press clearing a  problem - somebody turned it on. He spent the rest of his life with a hook, as he lost that arm and hand about half-way from wrist to elbow....


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