299.341 Inspection of rail in service.§ 299.341 Inspection of rail in service.
(a) Prior to revenue service the railroad shall submit written procedures for the inspection of rails in accordance with the inspection, testing, and maintenance program.
(b) On track Classes H4 to H7, and H2 within stations, a continuous search for internal defects shall be made of all rail within 180 days after initiation of revenue service and, thereafter, at least annually, with not less than 240 days between inspections.
(c) Each defective rail shall be marked with a highly visible marking on both sides of the rail.
(d) Inspection equipment shall be capable of detecting defects between joint bars and within the area enclosed by joint bars.
(e) If the person assigned to operate the rail defect detection equipment being used determines that, due to rail surface conditions, a valid search for internal defects could not be made over a particular length of track, the test on that particular length of track cannot be considered as a search for internal defects under this section.
(f) When the railroad learns, through inspection or otherwise, that a rail in that track contains any of the defects in accordance with § 299.321, a qualified individual designated under § 299.353 or § 299.355 shall determine whether or not the track may continue in use. If the qualified individual so designated determines that the track may continue in use, operation over the defective rail is not permitted until -
(1) The rail is replaced; or
(2) The remedial action as prescribed in § 299.321 has been taken.
(g) The person assigned to operate the rail defect detection equipment must be a qualified operator as defined in this subpart and have demonstrated proficiency in the rail flaw detection process for each type of equipment the operator is assigned.