Title 49 Part 238 → Subpart C → §238.231

Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter II → Part 238 → Subpart C → §238.231

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 238 → Subpart C → §238.231

e-CFR data is current as of February 26, 2020

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 238Subpart C → §238.231

Title 49: Transportation
Subpart C—Specific Requirements for Tier I Passenger Equipment

§238.231   Brake system.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, on or after September 9, 1999 the following requirements apply to all passenger equipment and passenger trains.

(a) A passenger train's primary brake system shall be capable of stopping the train with a service application from its maximum authorized operating speed within the signal spacing existing on the track over which the train is operating.

(b) Where practicable, the design of passenger equipment ordered on or after September 8, 2000, or placed in service for the first time on or after September 9, 2002, shall not require an inspector to place himself or herself on, under, or between components of the equipment to observe brake actuation or release. Passenger equipment not designed in this manner shall be equipped and handled in accordance with one of the following:

(1) Equipped with piston travel indicators as defined in §238.5 or devices of similar design and inspected pursuant to the requirements contained in §238.313 (j); or

(2) Equipped with brake indicators as defined in §238.5, designed so that the pressure sensor is placed in a location so that nothing may interfere with the air flow to brake cylinder and inspected pursuant to the requirements contained in §238.313 (j).

(c) Passenger equipment shall be provided with an emergency brake application feature that produces an irretrievable stop, using a brake rate consistent with prevailing adhesion, passenger safety, and brake system thermal capacity. An emergency brake application shall be available at any time, and shall be initiated by an unintentional parting of the train.

(d) A passenger train brake system shall respond as intended to signals from a train brake control line or lines. Control lines shall be designed so that failure or breakage of a control line will cause the brakes to apply or will result in a default to control lines that meet this requirement.

(e) Introduction of alcohol or other chemicals into the air brake system of passenger equipment is prohibited.

(f) The operating railroad shall require that the design and operation of the brake system results in wheels that are free of condemnable cracks.

(g) Disc brakes shall be designed and operated to produce a surface temperature no greater than the safe operating temperature recommended by the disc manufacturer and verified by testing or previous service.

(h) Hand brakes and parking brakes. (1) Except for a locomotive that is ordered before September 8, 2000 or placed in service for the first time before Sepbember 9, 2002, and except for MU locomotives, all locomotives shall be equipped with a hand or parking brake that can:

(i) Be applied or activated by hand;

(ii) Be released by hand; and

(iii) Hold the loaded unit on the maximum grade anticipated by the operating railroad.

(2) Except for a private car and locomotives addressed in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, all other passenger equipment, including MU locomotives, shall be equipped with a hand brake that meets the requirements for hand brakes contained in part 231 of this chapter and that can:

(i) Be applied or activated by hand;

(ii) Be released by hand; and

(iii) Hold the loaded unit on the maximum grade anticipated by the operating railroad.

(3) Except for MU locomotives, on locomotives so equipped, the hand or parking brake as well as its parts and connections shall be inspected, and necessary repairs made, as often as service requires but no less frequently than every 368 days. The date of the last inspection shall be either entered on Form FRA F 6180-49A, suitably stenciled or tagged on the equipment, or maintained electronically provided FRA has access to the record upon request.

(4) A train's air brake shall not be depended upon to hold unattended equipment (including a locomotive, a car, or a train whether or not locomotive is attached). For purposes of this section, “unattended equipment” means equipment left standing and unmanned in such a manner that the brake system of the equipment cannot be readily controlled by a qualified person. Unattended equipment shall be secured in accordance with the following requirements:

(i) A sufficient number of hand or parking brakes shall be applied to hold the equipment. Railroads shall develop and implement a process or procedure to verify that the applied hand or parking brakes will sufficiently hold the equipment with the air brakes released;

(ii) Except for equipment connected to a source of compressed air (e.g., locomotive or ground air source), prior to leaving equipment unattended, the brake pipe shall be reduced to zero at a rate that is no less than a service rate reduction;

(iii) At a minimum, the hand or parking brake shall be fully applied on at least one locomotive or vehicle in an unattended locomotive consist or train;

(iv) A railroad shall develop, adopt, and comply with procedures for securing any unattended locomotive required to have a hand or parking brake applied when the locomotive is not equipped with an operative hand or parking brake;

(v) A railroad shall adopt and comply with instructions to address throttle position, status of the reverser lever, position of the generator field switch, status of the independent brakes, position of the isolation switch, and position of the automatic brake valve, or the functional equivalent of these items, on all unattended locomotives. The procedures and instruction shall take into account weather conditions as they relate to throttle position and reverser handle; and

(vi) Any hand or parking brakes applied to hold unattended equipment shall not be released until it is known that the air brake system is properly charged.

(i) Passenger cars shall be equipped with a means to apply the emergency brake that is accessible to passengers and located in the vestibule or passenger compartment. The emergency brake shall be clearly identified and marked.

(j) Locomotives ordered after September 8, 2000, or placed in service for the first time after September 9, 2002, that are equipped with blended brakes shall be designed so that:

(1) The blending of friction and dynamic brake to obtain the correct retarding force is automatic;

(2) Loss of power or failure of the dynamic brake does not result in exceeding the allowable stopping distance;

(3) The friction brake alone is adequate to safely stop the train under all operating conditions; and

(4) Operation of the friction brake alone does not result in thermal damage to wheels or disc rotor surface temperatures exceeding the manufacturer's recommendation.

(k) For new designs of braking systems, the design process shall include computer modeling or dynamometer simulation of train braking that shows compliance with paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section over the range of equipment operating speeds. A new simulation is required prior to implementing a change in operating parameters.

(l) Locomotives ordered on or after September 8, 2000 or placed in service for the first time on or after September 9, 2002, shall be equipped with effective air coolers or dryers that provide air to the main reservoir with a dew point at least 10 degrees F. below ambient temperature.

(m) When a passenger train is operated in either direct or graduated release—

(1) All the cars in the train consist shall be set up in the same operating mode or

(2) Up to two cars may be operated in direct release mode when the rest of the cars in the train are operated in graduated release mode, provided that the cars operated in direct release mode are hauled at the rear of the train consist.

(n) Before adjusting piston travel or working on brake rigging, the cutout cock in the brake pipe branch must be closed and the air reservoirs must be voided of all compressed air. When cutout cocks are provided in brake cylinder pipes, these cutout cocks may be closed, and air reservoirs need not be voided of all compressed air.

(o) All passenger trains to which this part applies shall comply with the requirements covering the use of two-way end-of-train devices contained in part 232 of this chapter.

[64 FR 25660, May 12, 1999, as amended at 65 FR 41307, July 3, 2000; 71 FR 61861, Oct. 19, 2006]