Ditch Light Regulation

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Ditch Light Regulation
Posted by Mike Balla jr on Thursday, January 21, 2010 9:53 PM

Okay, The 1990s regulation that introduced Ditch Lights, what is the name of the bill. What I'm looking for is the law passed through Congress; Does anyone know a file number, a name, date passed, or an online copy (not a summery, but like a PDF copy of the regulation.) for example.

Please respond, Thanks. Sign - Dots

Fallen Flags that have changed Railroading- EWS (English Welsh & Scottish Railway) ATSF (Santa Fe Railroad) SP (Southern Pacific Railroad) BR (British Rail) SR(Southern Railroad) C&O (Chesapeake and Ohio) Good night, and good luck. ~ Mike Balla Jr.
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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, January 21, 2010 10:44 PM

I could be wrong, but I don't think you're going to find a "bill" since such a requirement is likely a regulation, not a law.

Bills turn into laws.  Regulations come from regulatory bodies (like the FRA).

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Friday, January 22, 2010 6:04 AM

Larry's right.

Here's an excerpt from a post on 01-19-2010 at 10:20 PM by Falcon48 over on the headlight question thread at - http://cs.trains.com/trccs/forums/t/167300.aspx?PageIndex=1 

"Current FRA rules require headlights and auxiliary lights (ditch lights) to be used on locomotives which operate at a speed over 20 mph over public highway grade crossings, see 49 CFR sec. 229.125."

Later today I'll try to post either the link or the text of that rule.

- Paul North.

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Friday, January 22, 2010 11:50 AM

As promised above, here's the link and a copy of the text version.  I suspect it was the 1996 amendments/ revisions - as noted in the brackets at the very end [emphasis added - PDN] -

[45 FR 21109, Mar. 31, 1980, as amended at 61 FR 8887, Mar. 6, 1996; 68
FR 49717, Aug. 19, 2003; 69 FR 12537, Mar. 16, 2004]

that implemented the 'ditch lights' requirement. 

I don't believe there was a specific 'Act of Congress' that led to this - instead, it was promulgated by the FRA pursuant to its inherent powers to regulate the industry under the ''Railroad Safety Act of 1970'' (or a similar title), and/ or the ''Railway Safety Appliance Act'' from early in the 20th century / late 19th century time frame.  If you really want to see what statutory authority - 'law' or Act or 'Public Law', etc. - that the FRA actually relied upon to issue this regulation, you'd have to review the 'public notice' of that and related and supporting documentation, which can be found at page 8887 of the Federal Register (''FR'')of March 6, 1996 as also underlined above. 

  http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2008/octqtr/49cfr229.125.htm 

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 49, Volume 4]
[Revised as of October 1, 2008]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 49CFR229.125]

[Page 452-453]

                        TITLE 49--TRANSPORTATION

       CHAPTER II--FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF
                             TRANSPORTATION

PART 229_RAILROAD LOCOMOTIVE SAFETY STANDARDS--Table of Contents

                      Subpart C_Safety Requirements

Sec. 229.125  Headlights and auxiliary lights.

    (a) Each lead locomotive used in road service shall have a headlight
that produces a peak intensity of at least 200,000 candela. If a
locomotive or locomotive consist in road service is regularly required
to run backward for any portion of its trip other than to pick up a
detached portion of its train or to make terminal movements, it shall
also have on its rear a headlight that produces at least 200,000
candela. Each headlight shall be arranged to illuminate a person at
least 800 feet ahead and in front of the headlight. For purposes of this
section, a headlight shall be comprised of either one or two lamps.
    (1) If a locomotive is equipped with a single-lamp headlight, the
single lamp shall produce a peak intensity of at least 200,000 candela.
The following lamps meet the standard set forth in this paragraph
(a)(1): a single operative PAR-56, 200-watt, 30-volt lamp; or an
operative lamp of equivalent design and intensity.
    (2) If a locomotive is equipped with a dual-lamp headlight, a peak
intensity of at least 200,000 candela shall be produced by the headlight
based either on a single lamp capable of individually producing the
required peak intensity or on the candela produced by the headlight with
both lamps illuminated. If both lamps are needed to produce the required
peak intensity, then both lamps in the headlight shall be operational.
The following lamps meet the standard set forth in this paragraph
(a)(2): a single operative PAR-56, 200-watt, 30-volt lamp; two operative
PAR-56, 350-watt, 75-volt lamps; or operative lamp(s) of equivalent
design and intensity.
    (b) Each locomotive or locomotive consist used in yard service shall
have two headlights, one located on the front of the locomotive or
locomotive consist and one on its rear. Each headlight shall produce at
least 60,000 candela and shall be arranged to illuminate a person at
least 300 feet ahead and in front of the headlight.
    (c) Headlights shall be provided with a device to dim the light.
    (d) Effective December 31, 1997, each lead locomotive operated at a
speed greater than 20 miles per hour over one or more public highway-
rail crossings shall be equipped with operative auxiliary lights, in
addition to the headlight required by paragraph (a) or (b) of this
section. A locomotive equipped on March 6, 1996 with auxiliary lights in
conformance with Sec. 229.133 shall be deemed to conform to this
section until March 6, 2000. All locomotives in compliance with Sec.
229.133(c) shall be deemed to conform to this section. Auxiliary lights
shall be composed as follows:
    (1) Two white auxiliary lights shall be placed at the front of the
locomotive to form a triangle with the headlight.
    (i) The auxiliary lights shall be at least 36 inches above the top
of the rail, except on MU locomotives and control cab locomotives where
such placement would compromise the integrity of the car body or be
otherwise impractical. Auxiliary lights on such MU locomotives and
control cab locomotives shall be at least 24 inches above the top of the
rail.
    (ii) The auxiliary lights shall be spaced at least 36 inches apart
if the vertical distance from the headlight to the horizontal axis of
the auxiliary lights is 60 inches or more.
    (iii) The auxiliary lights shall be spaced at least 60 inches apart
if the vertical distance from the headlight to the horizontal axis of
the auxiliary lights is less than 60 inches.
    (2) Each auxiliary light shall produce a peak intensity of at least
200,000 candela or shall produce at least 3,000 candela at an angle of
7.5 degrees and at least 400 candela at an angle of 20 degrees from the centerline of the locomotive when the light is aimed parallel to the tracks. Any of the following lamps meet the standard set forth in this paragraph (d)(2): an
operative PAR-56, 200-watt, 30-volt lamp; an operative PAR-56, 350-watt,
75-volt lamp; or an operative lamp of equivalent design and intensity.
    (3) The auxiliary lights shall be focused horizontally within 15
degrees of the longitudinal centerline of the locomotive.
    (e) Auxiliary lights required by paragraph (d) of this section may
be arranged
    (1) to burn steadily or
    (2) flash on approach to a crossing.
    If the auxiliary lights are arranged to flash;
    (i) they shall flash alternately at a rate of at least 40 flashes
per minute and at most 180 flashes per minute,
    (ii) the railroad's operating rules shall set a standard procedure
for use of flashing lights at public highway-rail grade crossings, and
    (iii) the flashing feature may be activated automatically, but shall
be capable of manual activation and deactivation by the locomotive
engineer.
    (f) Auxiliary lights required by paragraph (d) of this section shall
be continuously illuminated immediately prior to and during movement of
the locomotive, except as provided by railroad operating rules,
timetable or special instructions, unless such exception is disapproved
by FRA. A railroad may except use of auxiliary lights at a specific
public highway-rail grade crossing by designating that exception in the
railroad's operating rules, timetable, or a special order. Any exception
from use of auxiliary lights at a specific public grade crossing can be
disapproved for a stated cause by FRA's Associate Administrator for
Safety or any one of FRA's Regional Administrators, after investigation
by FRA and opportunity for response from the railroad.
    (g) Movement of locomotives with defective auxiliary lights.
    (1) A lead locomotive with only one failed auxiliary light must be
repaired or switched to a trailing position before departure from the
place where an initial terminal inspection is required for that train.
    (2) A locomotive with only one auxiliary light that has failed after
departure from an initial terminal, must be repaired not later than the
next calendar inspection required by Sec. 229.21.
    (3) A lead locomotive with two failed auxiliary lights may only
proceed to the next place where repairs can be made. This movement must
be consistent with Sec. 229.9.
    (h) Any locomotive subject to Part 229, that was built before
December 31, 1948, and that is not used regularly in commuter or
intercity passenger service, shall be considered historic equipment and
excepted from the requirements of paragraphs (d) through (h) of this
section.

[45 FR 21109, Mar. 31, 1980, as amended at 61 FR 8887, Mar. 6, 1996; 68
FR 49717, Aug. 19, 2003; 69 FR 12537, Mar. 16, 2004]

Hope this is helpful.

- Paul North.

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by nanaimo73 on Friday, January 22, 2010 4:23 PM

Is this of any help?

"The full House and Senate will consider their Amtrak reauthorization bills next week. The Senate probably will consider S.2608 on August 10; and the House probably will vote on H.R.4250 on August 11. S.2608 is expected to have an amendment by Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (Kans.) requiring ditch lights or strobe lights on all railroad locomotives. Only a few Amtrak locomotives have ditch lights, but all have strobes. This follows a widely publicized grade crossing accident in Kansas."

Dale
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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Saturday, January 23, 2010 4:15 AM

Dale -

That's an interesting piece of research.  What year is it from ?  What source ?

 Thanks for that, and any other info you can provide.

- Paul North.

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by The Butler on Saturday, January 23, 2010 8:57 AM

Paul, you can find that quote on NARP - Hotline Archive from August 1992.

James


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Posted by tree68 on Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:39 AM

Interesting - I may stand corrected, albeit due to a typical knee-jerk reaction law.  Does anyone know if the amendment was included?  I'm presuming that the appropriation bill itself passed.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Falcon48 on Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:59 AM

nanaimo73

Is this of any help?

"The full House and Senate will consider their Amtrak reauthorization bills next week. The Senate probably will consider S.2608 on August 10; and the House probably will vote on H.R.4250 on August 11. S.2608 is expected to have an amendment by Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (Kans.) requiring ditch lights or strobe lights on all railroad locomotives. Only a few Amtrak locomotives have ditch lights, but all have strobes. This follows a widely publicized grade crossing accident in Kansas."

Presumably, this refers to what is now section 20143 of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (49 USC 20143), see link for the text:

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/49/V/A/201/II/20143

As can be seen, this section required FRA to adopt rules requireing additional locomotive lighting by June 30, 1995.  Characteristically, FRA missed this deadline (they almost always miss statutory deadlines - sometimes by years), and the rules weren't published until March, 1996.  Those are the rules which (with some minor modifications) now appear in the FRA rules at 49 CFR sec 229.125(d). 

Note that the statute allows FRA to exclude categories of trains or rail operations from the auxiliary lighting requirements of its rules.  The FRA rule does so in four ways, two of which (the "third" and "fourth" below) may not be immediately obvious from the text. 

> First, the rule is limited to locos which cross public grade crossings at speeds > 20 mph (intoductory paragraph to 229.125(d)).  This excludes locos limited to low speed switching or branch line operations. 

> Second, the auxiliary light requirements are expressly inapplicable to historic locomontives (defined in sec 229.125(f) as locos built before 12-31-1948 and not used regularly for commuter or interciity passenger service).

> Third,  Part 229 as a whole doesn't apply to locos which operate on trackage in an installation which is not part of the general railroad system (229(b)(1).  That means that the auxiliary light requirements (and other requirements of Part 229) don't apply to most tourist railroads or to "plant" railroads (FRA has, in fact, repeatedly confirmed that tourist roads which don't operate on the general system aren't subject to Part 229). 

> Fourth, The auxiliary light requirements of Part 229 don't apply to steam locos (although some steam loco operators have equipped their locos with auxiliary lights).  This is because Part 229 as a whole doesn't apply to steam locos.  They are covered by Part 230, which has its own lighting requirements.  The Part 230 lighting requirements don't include auxiliary lights, see 49 CFR 230.86.    

Finally, I can't tell from the materials I have readily at hand when 20143 was originally enacted.  the notes included at the end of the statutory link provided above make it appear that the requirement was enacted on July 5, 1994.  But that's simply the date the entire Federal Railroad Safety Act was "recodified" without substantive change.  The 20143 requirement is obviously older than 1994, as is apparent from some of the deadlines shown in the text.  My guess is that the requirement may have originally been enacted in the 1988 revisions to FRSA, but I'm not sure of this. 

As typical with some of my posts, this is probably more than anyone wants to know.  But, if you have trouble getting to sleep tonight, this may help.  

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Posted by eastrail on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 12:48 PM

So - my question is - what year did it become the standard or that they needed to have them installed by?  I remember shooting out in Montana and North Dakota in the early 1990s (likely 93-94) with the arrival of the strobes on the LMX fleet and the BN GP50s.  I am guessing that 1996 was the year that they began implementing them fully - but when did the units HAVE to have them by?

Thanks,

Kevin B.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 4:07 PM

Paul_D_North_Jr

Dale -

That's an interesting piece of research.  What year is it from ?  What source ?

 Thanks for that, and any other info you can provide.

- Paul North.

I couldn't tell you the issue, or even the year, but I remember Trains having a column about thIs.  IIRC, the accident in Kansas was 2 or 3 teenage girls going home from a school function.  They were driving parallel to the Golden State Route after dark.  A train came up behind them and they turned into it's path at an unsignalled grade crossing.  I think that all in the car were killed.

I thought when reading that back then, and still do that ditch lights wouldn't have changed anything in this case.  I don't think it was that they didn't see the train, the driver just wasn't expecting a train.  

Jeff  

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:14 PM

49 USC 20413,  1992.  Found at this link.

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Posted by WMNB4THRTL on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:52 PM

Paul_D_North_Jr

Larry's right.

Here's an excerpt from a post on 01-19-2010 at 10:20 PM by Falcon48 over on the headlight question thread at - http://cs.trains.com/trccs/forums/t/167300.aspx?PageIndex=1 

"Current FRA rules require headlights and auxiliary lights (ditch lights) to be used on locomotives which operate at a speed over 20 mph over public highway grade crossings, see 49 CFR sec. 229.125."

Later today I'll try to post either the link or the text of that rule.

- Paul North.

Ah-ha!! Thank you for this bc it answers a question I had but didn't get around to asking yet. I was wondering why some tourist roads don't run with ditch lights; they're exempt!! It makes sense, bc they are slower and vintage, at least in some cases.

Wow, Paul; I/we knew you were amazing, but now you've taken to answering questions before we even ask them!! What's next, or dare I ask??!! BowThumbs UpSmile, Wink & Grin

Nance-CCABW/LEI 

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” --Will Rogers

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right! --unknown

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