Ditch Lights

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  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
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Ditch Lights
Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, May 07, 2017 7:03 PM

Notice that the currently operating steam engines are not equipped with ditch lights.  Do they have a waiver?


Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 2,073 posts
Posted by RME on Sunday, May 07, 2017 8:07 PM

See 49 CFR 229.125(h) for some of your answer:

(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) [the ditch-light specifications] of this section.

There is no mention of ditch lights in part 230 at all; the relevant section is 230.86. "Required illumination"

          (a) General provisions. Each steam locomotive used between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with an operable headlight that provides illumination sufficient for a steam locomotive engineer in the cab to see, in a clear atmosphere, a dark object as large as a man of average size standing at least 800 feet ahead and in front of such headlight. If a steam locomotive 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 be equipped on its rear end with an operable headlight that is capable of providing the illumination described in this paragraph (a).
          (b) Dimming device. Such headlights shall be provided with a device whereby the light from same may be diminished in yards and at stations or when meeting trains.
          (c) Where multiple locomotives utilized. When two or more locomotives are used in the same train, the leading locomotive only will be required to display a headlight.


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