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Title 49 Part 238 → Subpart D → §238.303

Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter II → Part 238 → Subpart D → §238.303

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 238 → Subpart D → §238.303

e-CFR data is current as of February 24, 2020

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 238Subpart D → §238.303


Title 49: Transportation
PART 238—PASSENGER EQUIPMENT SAFETY STANDARDS
Subpart D—Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance Requirements for Tier I Passenger Equipment


§238.303   Exterior calendar day mechanical inspection of passenger equipment.

(a) General. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, each passenger car and each unpowered vehicle used in a passenger train shall receive an exterior mechanical inspection at least once each calendar day that the equipment is placed in service.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, all passenger equipment shall be inspected as required in this section at least once each calendar day that the equipment is placed in service to ensure that the equipment conforms with the requirement contained in paragraph (e)(15) of this section.

(3) If a passenger care is also classified as a locomotive under part 229 of this chapter, the passenger car shall also receive a daily inspection pursuant to the requirements of §229.21 of this chapter.

(b) Each passenger car and each unpowered vehicle added to a passenger train shall receive an exterior calendar day mechanical inspection in accordance with the following:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each passenger car and each unpowered vehicle added to a passenger train shall receive an exterior calendar day mechanical inspection at the time it is added to the train unless notice is provided to the train crew that an exterior mechanical inspection was performed on the car or vehicle on the last day it was used in passenger service. The notice required by this section shall contain the date, time, and location of the last exterior mechanical inspection;

(2) Each express car, freight car, and each unit of intermodal equipment (e.g., RoadRailers®) added to a passenger train shall receive an exterior calendar day mechanical inspection at the time it is added to the train, unless notice is provided to the train crew that an exterior mechanical inspection was performed on the car within the previous calendar day. The notice required by this section shall contain the date, time, and location of the last exterior mechanical inspection.

(c) The exterior calendar day mechanical inspection shall be performed by a qualified maintenance person.

(d) The exterior calendar day mechanical inspection required by this section shall be conducted to the extent possible without uncoupling the trainset and without placing the equipment over a pit or on an elevated track.

(e) As part of the exterior calendar day mechanical inspection, the railroad shall verify conformity with the following conditions, and nonconformity with any such condition renders the passenger car or unpowered vehicle used in a passenger train defective whenever discovered in service:

(1) Products of combustion are released entirely outside the cab and other compartments.

(2) Each battery container is vented and each battery is kept from gassing excessively.

(3) Each coupler is in the following condition:

(i) Sidewall or pin bearing bosses and the pulling face of the knuckles are not broken or cracked;

(ii) The coupler assembly is equipped with anti-creep protection;

(iii) The coupler carrier is not broken or cracked; and

(iv) The yoke is not broken or cracked.

(4) A device is provided under the lower end of all drawbar pins and articulated connection pins to prevent the pin from falling out of place in case of breakage.

(5) The suspension system, including the spring rigging, is in the following condition:

(i) Protective construction or safety hangers are provided to prevent spring planks, spring seats, or bolsters from dropping to the track structure in event of a hanger or spring failure;

(ii) The top (long) leaf or any of the other three leaves of the elliptical spring is not broken, except when a spring is part of a nest of three or more springs and none of the other springs in the nest has its top leaf or any of the other three leaves broken;

(iii) The outer coil spring or saddle is not broken;

(iv) The equalizers, hangers, bolts, gibs, or pins are not cracked or broken;

(v) The coil spring is not fully compressed when the car is at rest;

(vi) The shock absorber is not broken or leaking oil or other fluid; and

(vii) Each air bag or other pneumatic suspension system component inflates or deflates, as applicable, correctly and otherwise operates as intended.

(6) Each truck is in the following condition:

(i) Each tie bar is not loose;

(ii) Each motor suspension lug, equalizer, hanger, gib, or pin is not cracked or broken; and

(iii) The truck frame is not broken and is not cracked in a stress area that may affect its structural integrity.

(7) Each side bearing is in the following condition:

(i) Each friction side bearing with springs designed to carry weight does not have more than 25 percent of the springs in any one nest broken;

(ii) Each friction side bearing does not run in contact unless designed to operate in that manner; and

(iii) The maximum clearance of each side bearing does not exceed the manufacturer's recommendation.

(8) Each wheel does not have any of the following conditions:

(i) A single flat spot that is 212 inches or more in length, or two adjoining spots that are each two or more inches in length;

(ii) A gouge or chip in the flange that is more than 112 inches in length and 12 inch in width;

(iii) A broken rim, if the tread, measured from the flange at a point 58 of an inch above the tread, is less than 334 inches in width;

(iv) A shelled-out spot 212 inches or more in length, or two adjoining spots that are each two or more inches in length;

(v) A seam running lengthwise that is within 334 inches of the flange;

(vi) A flange worn to a 78 inch thickness or less, gauged at a point 38 of an inch above the tread;

(vii) A tread worn hollow 516 of an inch or more;

(viii) A flange height of 112 inches or more measured from the tread to the top of the flange;

(ix) A rim less than 1 inch thick;

(x) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(8)(iii) of this section, a crack or break in the flange, tread, rim, plate, or hub;

(xi) A loose wheel; or

(xii) A weld.

(9) No part or appliance of a passenger coach, except the wheels, is less than 212 inches above the top of the rail.

(10) Each unguarded, noncurrent-carrying metal part subject to becoming charged is grounded or thoroughly insulated.

(11) Each jumper and cable connection is in the following condition:

(i) Each jumpers and cable connection between coaches, between locomotives, or between a locomotive and a coach is located and guarded in a manner that provides sufficient vertical clearance. Jumpers and cable connections may not hang with one end free;

(ii) The insulation is not broken or badly chafed;

(iii) No plug, receptacle, or terminal is broken; and

(iv) No strand of wire is broken or protruding.

(12) Each door and cover plate guarding high voltage equipment is marked “Danger—High Voltage” or with the word “Danger” and the normal voltage carried by the parts so protected.

(13) Each buffer plate is in place.

(14) Each diaphragm, if any, is in place and properly aligned.

(15) Each secondary braking system is in operating mode and does not have any known defective condition which prevents its proper operation. If the dynamic brakes on a locomotive are found not to be in operating mode or are known to have a defective condition which prevents their proper operation at the time that the exterior mechanical inspection is performed or at any other time while the locomotive is in service, the following requirements shall be met in order to continue the locomotive in service:

(i) MU locomotives equipped with dynamic brakes found not to be in operating mode or containing a defective condition which prevents the proper operation of the dynamic brakes shall be handled in accordance with the following requirements:

(A) A tag bearing the words “inoperative dynamic brakes” shall be securely displayed in a conspicuous location in the cab of the locomotive and contain the locomotive number, the date and location where the condition was discovered, and the signature of the individual who discovered the condition;

(B) The locomotive engineer shall be informed in writing that the dynamic brakes on the locomotive are inoperative at the location where the locomotive engineer first takes charge of the train; and

(C) The inoperative or defective dynamic brakes shall be repaired or removed from service by or at the locomotive's next exterior calendar day mechanical inspection.

(ii) Conventional locomotives equipped with dynamic brakes found not to be in operating mode or containing a defective condition which prevents the proper operation of the dynamic brakes shall be handled in accordance with the following:

(A) A tag bearing the words “inoperative dynamic brakes” shall be securely displayed in a conspicuous location in the cab of the locomotive and contain the locomotive number, the date and location where the condition was discovered, and the signature of the person discovering the condition;

(B) The locomotive engineer shall be informed in writing that the dynamic brakes on the locomotive are inoperative at the location where the locomotive engineer first takes charge of the train; and

(C) The inoperative or defective dynamic brakes shall be repaired within 3 calendar days of being found in defective condition or at the locomotive's next periodic inspection pursuant to §229.23 of this chapter, whichever occurs first.

(16) All roller bearings do not have any of the following conditions:

(i) A sign of having been overheated as evidenced by discoloration or other telltale sign of overheating, such as damage to the seal or distortion of any bearing component;

(ii) A loose or missing cap screw;

(iii) A broken, missing, or improperly applied cap screw lock; or

(iv) A seal that is loose or damaged or permits leakage of lubricant in clearly formed droplets.

(17) Each air compressor, on passenger equipment so equipped, shall be in effective and operative condition. MU passenger equipment found with an inoperative or ineffective air compressor at the time of its exterior calendar day mechanical inspection may remain in passenger service until the equipment's next exterior calendar day mechanical inspection where it must be repaired or removed from passenger service; provided, all of the following requirements are met:

(i) The equipment has an inherent redundancy of air compressors, due to either the make-up of the train consist or the design of the equipment;

(ii) The railroad demonstrates through verifiable data, analysis, or actual testing that the safety and integrity of a train is not compromised in any manner by the inoperative or ineffective air compressor. The data, analysis, or test shall establish the maximum number of air compressors that may be inoperative based on size of the train consist, the type of passenger equipment in the train, and the number of service and emergency brake applications typically expected in the run profile for the involved train;

(iii) The involved train does not exceed the maximum number of inoperative or ineffective air compressors established in accordance with paragraph (e)(17)(ii) of this section;

(iv) A qualified maintenance person determines and verifies that the inoperative or ineffective air compressor does not compromise the safety or integrity of the train and that it is safe to move the equipment in passenger service;

(v) The train crew is informed in writing of the number of units in the train consist with inoperative or ineffective air compressors at the location where the train crew first takes charge of the train;

(vi) A record is maintained of the inoperative or ineffective air compressor pursuant to the requirements contained in §238.17(c)(4); and

(vii) Prior to operating equipment under the provisions contained in this paragraph, the railroad shall provide in writing to FRA's Associate Administrator for Safety the maximum number of inoperative or ineffective air compressors identified in accordance with paragraph (e)(17)(ii) of this section.

(viii) The data, analysis, or testing developed and conducted under paragraph (e)(17)(ii) of this section shall be made available to FRA upon request. FRA's Associate Administrator for Safety may revoke a railroad's ability to utilize the flexibility provided in this paragraph if the railroad fails to comply with the maximum limits established under paragraph (e)(17)(ii) or if such maximum limits are not supported by credible data or do not provide adequate safety assurances.

(18) All rescue-access-related exterior markings, signage, and instructions required by §§238.112 and 238.114 shall be in place and, as applicable, conspicuous or legible, or both.

(i) Except as provided in paragraphs (e)(18)(ii) and (iii) of this section, passenger equipment that has any required rescue-access-related exterior marking, signage, or instruction that is missing, illegible, or inconspicuous may remain in passenger service until no later than the equipment's fourth exterior calendar day mechanical inspection or next periodic mechanical inspection required under §238.307, whichever occurs first, after the noncomplying condition is discovered, where the car shall be repaired or removed from service.

(ii) A passenger car having more than 50 percent of the windows on a side of a level of the car designated and properly marked for rescue access that has any required rescue-access-related exterior marking, signage, or instruction that is missing, illegible, or inconspicuous on any of the other windows on that side and level of the car may remain in passenger service until no later than the car's next periodic mechanical inspection required under §238.307, where the car shall be repaired or removed from service.

(iii) A passenger car that is a sleeping car that has more than two consecutive windows with any required rescue access-related exterior marking, signage, or instruction at or near their locations that is missing, illegible, or inconspicuous may remain in passenger service until no later than the car's next periodic mechanical inspection required under §238.307, where the car shall be repaired or removed from service.

(iv) A record shall be maintained of any noncomplying marking, signage, or instruction described in paragraphs (e)(18)(i) through (iii) of this section that contains the date and time that the defective condition was first discovered. This record shall be retained until all necessary repairs are completed.

(f) Exception. A long-distance intercity passenger train that misses a scheduled exterior calendar day mechanical inspection due to a delay en route may continue in service to the location where the inspection was scheduled to be performed. At that point, an exterior calendar day mechanical inspection shall be performed prior to returning the equipment to service. This flexibility applies only to the exterior mechanical safety inspections required by this section, and does not relieve the railroad of the responsibility to perform a calendar day inspection on a unit classified as a “locomotive” under part 229 of this chapter as required by §229.21 of this chapter.

(g) Records. A record shall be maintained of each exterior calendar day mechanical inspection performed.

(1) This record may be maintained in writing or electronically provided FRA has access to the record upon request.

(2) The written or electronic record must contain the following information:

(i) The identification number of the unit;

(ii) The place, date, and time of the inspection;

(iii) Any non-complying conditions found; and

(iv) The signature or electronic identification of the inspector.

(3) This record may be part of a single master report covering an entire group of cars and equipment.

(4) This record shall be maintained at the place where the inspection is conducted or at one central location and shall be retained for at least 92 days.

(h) Cars requiring a single car test in accordance with §238.311 that are being moved in service to a location where the single car test can be performed shall have the single car test completed prior to, or as a part of, the exterior calendar day mechanical inspection.

[64 FR 25660, May 12, 1999, as amended at 65 FR 41307, July 3, 2000; 71 FR 61862, Oct. 19, 2006; 73 FR 6412, Feb. 1, 2008; 78 FR 71814, Nov. 29, 2013]