Canadian Rail Operating Rules


117. Reliability Tests

The crew of a movement when equipped with radios must carry out an intra-crew test of such radios before leaving their initial terminal, change-off or starting point. When a movement is equipped with a single radio, it must be voice tested as soon as practicable after the crew commences duty.

118. Devices Used in Lieu of Radio

When a communication device is used in lieu of a radio, all radio rules are applicable.

119. Continuous Monitoring

  • (a) When not being used to transmit or receive a communication, receivers must be set to the appropriate standby channel and at a volume which will ensure continuous monitoring. When required to use another channel to perform other duties, at least one radio, when practicable, should be set to the designated standby channel to receive emergency communications.

  • (b) The volume of a radio receiver should be kept at a level that will avoid annoyance to the public in passenger cars and station facilities.

  • (c) Foremen named in Form Y GBO , TOP or clearance must set their radio to “scan mode” when not being used to communicate with another employee and must otherwise have their radio set to monitor the applicable designated standby channel.

120. Radio Terms

  • (a) In radio communication the following terms when used will denote:

    “STAND BY” - Monitor this channel for my next transmission.
    “OVER” - Transmission is ended and a response is expected.
    “OUT” - Transmission is ended and no response is expected.

  • (b) OPTIONAL:

    Except when radio communication relates to switching operations, when a transmission is complete and a response is expected or required, the transmitting employee must end each transmission with the spoken word “OVER”.

121. Positive Idenfication

  • (a) The person initiating a radio communication and the responding party must establish positive identification. The initial call must commence with the railway company initials of the person being called.

    In addition, when a non-railway company person is calling on a company’s channels, they must use their company’s name to identify themselves within the initial transmission.

  • (b) The person initiating the radio communication must end the initial call with the spoken word “OVER.”

  • (c) Each party to a radio communication must end their final transmission with the spoken word “OUT.”

  • (d) When an authority is requested from the RTC or signalman, communication must include the information required for the issuance of the authority.

    E.g. name, location, movement designation, required limits, signal number and/or track(s) to be used or entered.

122. Content of Radio Communications

Radio communications must be brief and to the point and contain only essential instructions or information.

123. Verification Procedures

  • (a) When necessary, a repetition, acknowledgement or other response required from a crew member may be checked and confirmed to the RTC by another crew member.

  • (b) When GBO , clearances, other authorities or instructions, required to be in writing, are received by radio, they must be verified by the procedures prescribed by their specific rules.

  • (c) Except when transmitted by an automated device, or as otherwise provided, when verbal instructions or information affecting the safety of a movement are received by radio, such information must be repeated to the sender.

123.1 Radio or Hand Signals

Before changing between radio or hand signals, a definite understanding as to the method of communication must be established between crew members giving or receiving instructions. In case of an emergency, either method may be used in addition to that previously arranged.

123.2 Switching by Radio

When radio is used to control switching, and after positive identification has been established, the following procedures are required:

  • (i) direction in relation to the front of the controlling locomotive must be given in the initial instruction and from then on whenever the direction is to change;

  • (ii) distance to travel must be given with each communication and increments of less than two car lengths need not be repeated;

  • (iii) when the movement has travelled one-half the distance required by the last instruction and no further communication is received, the movement must stop;

  • (iv) the indication of block and interlocking signals affecting their movement, must be communicated between crew members while switching;

  • (v) doubt as to the meaning of an instruction or for whom it is intended must be regarded as a stop signal; and

  • (vi) when car lengths are used to communicate distance, unless otherwise arranged, the distance referred to is 50 feet per car length.

125. Emergency Communication Procedures

  • (a) An employee will transmit the word “EMERGENCY” three times at the beginning of the transmission to indicate the report of;

    • (i) an accident involving injury to employees or others;

    • (ii) a condition which may constitute a hazard to employees or others;

    • (iii) a condition which may endanger the passage of movements; or

    • (iv) a derailment which has occurred on, or is fouling, a main track.

  • (b) When an emergency communication, which is directed to a specific person or movement, has not been acknowledged, any other employee hearing it will, if practicable, relay the communication by any means available. Other employees must not interfere with such communication.

  • (c) An emergency communication has absolute priority over other transmissions.

126. Restricted Use of Radio

In addition to the restrictions in Rules 14 and 602, radio must not be used to;

  • (i) give advance information with respect to the indication of a block or interlocking signal; or

  • (ii) give information which may influence a crew to consider that speed restrictions are diminished.

127. Conducting Emergency Radio Test

  • (a) In order to ensure emergency communication channels are in operation, and to ensure employees are familiar with the emergency procedures, the RTC may contact a crew member of any movement or an engineering field employee and direct them to initiate an emergency test call on their respective RTC channel.

  • (b) These tests will be made randomly and employees receiving a request for an emergency test will initiate it on the applicable RTC channel, using the following example for wording: “Emergency test, Emergency test, Emergency test. ABC 1234 East at mile 12 Canada Sub, testing the Emergency call.”

  • (c) Upon completion of the test, the RTC will inform the employee if the test was successful. Employees will then return to their designated standby channel.