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14.1 Authority to Enter TWC Limits

Where designated by the timetable, a track warrant will authorize main track use under the direction of the train dispatcher or as prescribed by Rule 6.13 (Yard Limits) or 6.14 (Restricted Limits). Track warrant instructions must be followed where yard limits or restricted limits are in effect.

14.2 Designated Limits

Track warrant limits must be designated by specifying track, where required, and exact points such as switches, mile posts, or identifiable points. However, station names may be used as follows.

A. First Named Point

When a station name designates the first named point, authority extends from and includes the last siding switch. Authority extends from the station sign if no siding exists.

B. Last Named Point

When a station name designates the last named point, authority extends to and includes the first siding switch. Authority extends to the station sign if no siding exists.

  1. At the last named point, authority extends to but does not include the last siding switch when the track warrant states, "Hold main track at last named point."

14.3 Operating with Track Warrants

A track warrant authorizes a train or engine to occupy the main track within designated limits. However, the train or engine must not foul a switch at either end of the limits where an opposing train may use the same switch to clear the main track.

The train or engine must move as follows:

  1. Proceed from one point to another in the direction the track warrant specifies. When a crew member informs the train dispatcher that the entire train has passed a specific point, track warrant authority is considered void up to that point.
  2. If authorized to "WORK BETWEEN" two specific points, the train or engine may move in either direction between those points without flag protection.

    14.4 Occupying Same Track Warrant Limits

    Only one train can occupy the same or overlapping limits of a track warrant except when:

    1. All trains within the limits are authorized to move in the same direction and required to provide flag protection behind the train as specified under Rule 6.19 (Flag Protection). The last train may be relieved of providing flag protection when instructed not to foul the limits ahead of any preceding train.
      • A train required to provide flag protection to the rear must report to the train dispatcher when it clears the main track before reaching the last named point, unless a flagman is left to prevent a following train from passing.
    2. Two or more trains are authorized to "WORK BETWEEN" two specific points at restricted speed within the overlapping limits.
    3. Trains are moving through the limits of another train authorized to "WORK BETWEEN" two specific points, and track warrants have instructed all trains to move at restricted speed within the overlapping limits. Flag protection is not required within these limits.
    Where track warrant authority includes yard limits or restricted limits, the terms of Rule 6.13 (Yard Limits) or Rule 6.14 (Restricted Limits) apply, but track warrant instructions must be followed.

    14.5 Protecting Men or Equipment

    Men or equipment may receive a track warrant in the same manner as trains to occupy or perform maintenance on the main track without other protection.

    A track warrant must not be issued to protect men or equipment within the same or overlapping limits with a train unless:

    1. All trains are authorized to proceed in one direction only, and the track warrant specifies that men or equipment do not foul limits ahead of these trains.
    2. All trains authorized are notified of the men or equipment and have been instructed to move at restricted speed. Also, a track warrant must inform the employee in charge of men or equipment about the trains. If the track is not safe for trains to move at restricted speed, the employee must protect the track with red flags according to Rule 5.4.7 (Display of Red Flag or Red Light).

    14.6 Movement Against the Current of Traffic

    When a track warrant authorizes a train to move against the current of traffic, the train must use only the track designated within the specified limits. This train must not allow a train following on the same track to pass, unless the train dispatcher instructs it to pass.

    14.7 Reporting Clear of Limits

    A train without a crew member on the rear and operating in non-signaled or double track territory may report clear of the limits or report having passed a specific location only when it is known the train is complete. This must be determined by one of the following ways:

    1. The rear of the train has a rear-end telemetry device, and air pressure on the head-end device indicates brake pipe continuity.
    2. An employee verifies the marker is on the rear of the train.
    3. A crew member can observe the rear car of the train on which the marker is placed.
    4. The train is stopped, and an inspection verifies that the marker is on the rear car of the train.
    5. A trackside warning detector transmits an axle count for the train, and the axle count duplicates the axle count transmitted by the previous trackside warning detector.
    In addition, a train clearing in a siding or other track must comply with requirements outlined in Rule 8.3 (Main Track Switches) before reporting clear of the limits.

    14.8 Track Warrant Requests

    An employee who requests a track warrant must inform the train dispatcher what movements will be made and, when necessary, which tracks will be used and how much time is required.

    14.9 Copying Track Warrants

    The conductor and the engineer must have a copy of the track warrant issued to their train, and each crew member must read and understand it. The copy must show the date, location, and name of the employee who copied it. The following must occur when transmitted verbally:

    A. Transmitting Track Warrants

    1. An employee will enter all of the information and instructions on the track warrant.
    2. The employee will repeat the information to the train dispatcher.
    3. The train dispatcher will check it and, if correct, will say "OK" and give the time and his initials.
    4. The employee will enter the "OK" time and the train dispatcher's initials on the track warrant and repeat them to the train dispatcher.
    B. In Effect

    1. The track warrant is not in effect until the "OK" time is shown on it.
    2. If the track warrant restricts movement or previously granted authority, it cannot be considered in effect by the train dispatcher until acknowledgment of the "OK" has been received.
    Employees may relay track warrants.

    14.10 Track Warrant in Effect

    A track warrant is in effect until a crew member reports the train has cleared the limits, or the track warrant is made void. The crew member must inform the train dispatcher when the train has cleared the limits.

    Time Limit Shown

    If the track warrant shows a time limit, the train must clear the limits by the time specified, unless another track warrant is obtained. If the crew members cannot contact the train dispatcher and time limits expire, authority is extended until the train dispatcher can be contacted.

    14.11 Changing Track Warrants

    Employees must not add to or alter the track warrant in any manner, except as specified by Rule 15.1.1 (Changing Address of Track Warrants or Track Bulletins).

    When the limits or instructions of a track warrant must be changed, a new track warrant must be issued showing, "Track Warrant NO.____________ is void" and the number of the track warrant being changed. When a track warrant of a previous date is voided, the date must be included. The previous track warrant will no longer be in effect.

    14.12 Voiding Track Warrants

    A crew member must write "VOID" across each copy of the track warrant when the train has reported clear of the limits or the track warrant has been made void.

    14.13 Mechanical Transmission of Track Warrants

    Repetition is not required when track warrants are transmitted mechanically. The "OK" time will be given when the track warrant is issued. The space for the name of the copying employee may be left blank.

    Track warrants that restrict the authority or movement of a train must not be transmitted mechanically, unless the train being restricted will not leave the point without receiving the track warrant.

    Next Chapter - Track Bulletin Rules

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