15 Basic Train Handling Rules for Drivers

1. Continually be aware of the following:

(a) How the track is changing ahead and the associated permissible speed.
(b) Where and how the train is located behind the locomotive and what it would probably like to do on its on.
(c) The speed of the train and whether and how it is busy changing.
(d) The slack condition of the train and whether and how it is busy changing.
(e) The order of the tractive force or buff force exerted behind the locomotive and in the train and whether and how it is busy changing.

2. Continually consider and decide whether it is safe and wise to travel at the permissible speed, or whether a particular train and circumstances do not make it necessary or desirable to travel slower by a specific amount.

3. Desired speeds and associated control usage must be planned at least one and preferably two steps ahead.

4. Try to maintain a constant speed – except when a specific reason necessitates increasing or decreasing speed.

5. Make all speed changes as slowly as is practicable.

6. Try to avoid slack changes.

7. Ensure that unavoidable and desirable slack change takes place slowly and completely at a constant speed.

8. Take into account the application and release times of train brake applications when such applications are planned and used.

9. Do not haul unnecessarily against brake applications.

10. Do not ‘fan’ train brake applications.

11. In general (but there are a few exceptions) the application and release of of train brake applications should be dictated by road knowledge of grade conditions, and not by the speedometer.

12. In general (but there are a few exceptions) tractive effort and regenerative/dynamic brake changes should be dictated by the speedometer and not by road knowledge.

13. Do not make unnecessary tractive effort or buff force changes and ensure that required changes are not greater than the circumstances require.

14. Ensure that all tractive effort and buff force changes are made slowly.

15. Avoid high tractive effort and buff forces – particularly under circumstances which can be dangerous.

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