Excerpts from the NORAC Rules Study Guide

This test is taken from the Northeast Operating Rules Advisory Committee* (NORAC) book of operating rules. These rules apply equally to all railroaders working on NORAC member railroads. Take the test and see how you stack up against the best of the best on the Lackawanna Terminal Railway. Answers given after each question attempt to reflect real railroad practices therefore multiple correct or almost correct answers are acceptable. The point schedule is as follows:

10 points for the most correct answer.


5 points for a reasonable answer based on reality (read expedience).


Check in periodically, as the test questions (and corresponding answers) will be changed.


Okay students of the rules, open your test booklets and begin:


 

Rule 242, Absent or imperfectly displayed signals:

The absence of a fixed signal where it is usually shown must be regarded:


1. With skepticism.
2. As a stop signal. 
3. As the most restrictive indication given by that signal. 
4. As if it weren’t there.


Since the engineer does not know what indication the signal would have given where it was where it was supposed to be, the most restrictive indication for that signal must be assumed, i.e., a missing automatic block signal displays a stop and proceed signal as it's most restrictive signal therefore a train must stop at the point where the signal should have been and then proceed at Restricted speed until a more favorable signal is passed.


When only one indication of a colored light signal, position light signal, colored position light signal, or semaphore signal is possible:

1. It will govern. 
2. It must be regarded as a stop and proceed. 
3. The train may continue at restricted speed without stopping. 
4. #2 and #3.


If there is only one possible indication of a signal is possible then that indication will govern.


When the indication of a colored light signal, position light signal, colored position light signal, or semaphore signal cannot positively be determined but is more favorable than stop and proceed:

1. It may be ignored. 
2. Indication will govern. 
3. Trains may proceed as if a Restricting were displayed. 
4. #1 and #2.


Number three is correct.


Imperfectly displayed signals:


1. Can be ignored if the last signal was a proceed signal. 2. Can be ignored if the track ahead is known to be clear.3. Must be reported to the conductor who will note it on his 1021 form. 4. Must be reported to the Dispatcher as soon as practical without delay to the train.


Number four. Any situation which affects the movement of trains must be reported to the Dispatcher.


Signals which are absent:

1. Will be disciplined. 
2. Will be subject to the absentee policy. 
3. Must be reported to the trainmaster who will note it on the proper form. 
4. Must be reported to the Dispatcher immediately.


Number four. Again, any situation which affects the movement of trains must be reported to the Dispatcher.


Rule 251, Track signaled in one direction:

When track is signaled in one direction:

1. Trains can only operate in the direction signaled. 
2. Signal indication will be the authority for trains to operate with the current of traffic. 
3. Movement against the current of traffic will be governed by non-signaled DCS rules. 
4. 2 and 3.


Number four. Remember, signal indication in only one direction.


Rule 261, Track signaled in both directions:

When track is signaled for operation in both directions:

1. Trains can operate in both directions at any time. 
2. Trains can only operate in the direction specified in the timetable. 
3. Signal indication will be the authority for trains to operate in either direction on the same track. 4. Signal indication will be the authority for the crew to go to lunch.


Number three is correct.


In 261 territory, at a hand operated switch not equipped with an electric lock, trains may clear the main only where the speed over this switch:

1. Does not exceed Restricted Speed. 
2. Does not exceed slow speed. 
3. Does not exceed 20 mph. 
4. Does not exceed 50 mph.


Number three. If the siding where the train is clearing is in territory where the normal track speed is in excess of 20 mph, the Dispatcher must issue a Form D to trains with a speed restriction of 20 mph at that location.


In 261 territory, trains may clear at hand operated switch:

1. On a controlled siding with no intermediate signals and a speed not exceeding 10 mph. 
2. On a controlled siding with no intermediate signals and a speed not exceeding 20 mph. 
3. At a controlled siding without intermediate signals  and a speed not exceeding 30 mph. 
4. Trains may not clear at a controlled siding unless the entrance to that siding is signaled.


Number three. I don't know why the speed is 30 mph, its the rule.


Rule 94, Responsibilities of Employees, Signals and Restrictions:


Employees qualified on the operating rules and located on the leading end of a locomotive:

1. Must stay awake if they are not sure of the engineer's qualifications. 
2. May leave the cab if the engineer knows all the signal names. 
3. Must be on the lookout for signals that affect the movement of their train. 
4. Must keep the engineer awake.


Number three is correct.
  

Scoring:

A total of 110 points makes you an expert on rules of the railroad (You are now the envy of all your  railfan friends and as such authorized to carry a bunch of railroad keys conspicuously attached to your key holder).

50-110 points means you have probably worked on a railroad or live near a railroad or have talked to someone who works on or lives near a railroad.

Less than 50 points means that you have no clue about what constitutes safety and are therefore ready for a top management position. Please apply immediately to the major railroad of your choice and be prepared for rapid promotion.


*Full NORAC members include: Amtrak (Amtrak); Bay Colony Railroad (BCLR); Conrail (CR); NJ Transit Rail Operations (NJTR); New York, Susquehanna and Western (NYS&W); Providence and Worcester Railroad Company (P&W); Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Company (RBM&N); Saint Lawrence and Hudson Railway (D&H); and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Authority (SEPTA).


This study guide is compiled by the Lackawanna Terminal Railway's Division of Rules and Safety. Comments and suggestions concerning the questions and related answers should be forwarded to the e-mail address given at the top of the web site. The department accepts no responsibility for time spent out of service in violation of any rules of the operating department.

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