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View Diary: Canada Ghost Train: Crude oil may not be the cause of the explosion. (90 comments)

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  •  The rules for setting hand brakes are pretty clear (16+ / 0-)

    The Railway Association of Canada: Canadian Rail Operating Rules (pdf)


    (a) When equipment is left at any point a sufficient number of hand brakes must be applied to prevent it from moving. Special instructions will indicate the minimum hand brake requirements for all locations where equipment is left. If equipment is left on a siding, it must be coupled to other equipment if any on such track unless it is necessary to provide separation at a public crossing at grade or elsewhere.

    (b) Before relying on the retarding force of the hand brake(s), whether leaving equipment or riding equipment to rest, the effectiveness of the hand brake(s) must be tested by fully applying the hand brake(s) and moving the cut of cars slightly to ensure sufficient retarding force is present to prevent the equipment from moving. When leaving a cut of cars secured, and after completion of this test, the cut should be observed while pulling away to ensure slack action has settled and that the cars remain in place.

    (c) Application of hand brakes must not be made while equipment is being pulled or shoved.

    The train should not have been left unattended with only air brakes holding it.
    •  Is that an enforced rule, or a guideline? (5+ / 0-)

      Railways were foolishly deregulated in Canada starting in the late 80's and then much more in the 90's.  Since then we've had a ton of accidents.

      Anyway, my guess is that if there is only the one engineer, then he's too lazy (or was instructed not to in order to save money) to set many of the handbrakes.  For a long train I assume it would take a long time to set all those handbrakes yourself.

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