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Old 03-30-2017, 08:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ditch Lights on Locomotives

I was under the impression that ditch lights on locomotives are required on locomotives that run through at-grade public crossings. I just saw 2 UP and one CSX lashed together come through Rochelle, IL and the lead locomotive (A UP GE unit) did NOT have his ditch lights turned on, nor was the center headlight on bright.

Obviously the trio of locomotives will cross a public grade crossing just after passing the webcam at the Rochelle RR Park.

Horns are no longer required to be sounded coming Rochelle but the engineer did have the bell ringing.

The train was only the 3 locomotives, no cars were coupled on but I did not now this made a difference in in the requirement to have the ditch lights illuminated.

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-30-2017, 10:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe they were going backwards?
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The trio of locomotives were clearly coming TOWARDS the webcam and were approaching the crossing a grade-level highway/rail crossing at N 9th Street in Rochelle.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The ditch lights are not required under 20 MPH. All headlights must be on bright when going through a grade crossing even if there is another locomotive coming the other way.

Ghe horn was probably not sounded because the crossing is in a "quiet zone".
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Right...and say a train designated xxxx is traveling west, stops and uncouples it's train to pickup more cars. Loco's travel east then they're going backwards...that is making a reverse move....to pickup more cars at say a business. FRA rules state that only the lead locomotive needs it's ditchlights on. In this case the lead locomotive is the foremost west pointing one...not the 3rd one back.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Also some locos also had the ditch lights only come on when the horn was blown. Being a quiet zone no horn sounded. Later RJD
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