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e-CFR data is current as of July 8, 2020

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 236Subpart A → Subject Group


Title 49: Transportation
PART 236—RULES, STANDARDS, AND INSTRUCTIONS GOVERNING THE INSTALLATION, INSPECTION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR OF SIGNAL AND TRAIN CONTROL SYSTEMS, DEVICES, AND APPLIANCES
Subpart A—Rules and Instructions: All Systems


Inspections and Tests; All Systems

§236.101   Purpose of inspection and tests; removal from service of relay or device failing to meet test requirements.

The following inspections and tests shall be made in accordance with specifications of the carrier, subject to approval of the FRA, to determine if the apparatus and/or equipment is maintained in condition to perform its intended function. Electronic device, relay, or other electromagnetic device which fails to meet the requirements of specified tests shall be removed from service, and shall not be restored to service until its operating characteristics are in accordance with the limits within which such device or relay is designed to operate.

[49 FR 3384, Jan. 26, 1984]

§236.102   Semaphore or searchlight signal mechanism.

(a) Semaphore signal mechanism shall be inspected at least once every six months, and tests of the operating characteristics of all parts shall be made at least once every two years.

(b) Searchlight signal mechanism shall be inspected, and the mechanical movement shall be observed while operating the mechanism to all positions, at least once every six months. Tests of the operating characteristics shall be made at least once every two years.

[49 FR 3384, Jan. 26, 1984]

§236.103   Switch circuit controller or point detector.

Switch circuit controller, circuit controller, or point detector operated by hand-operated switch or by power-operated or mechanically-operated switch-and-lock movement shall be inspected and tested at least once every three months.

[49 FR 3384, Jan. 26, 1984]

§236.104   Shunt fouling circuit.

Shunt fouling circuit shall be inspected and tested at least once every three months.

§236.105   Electric lock.

Electric lock, except forced-drop type, shall be tested at least once every two years.

§236.106   Relays.

Each relay, the functioning of which affects the safety of train operations, shall be tested at least once every four years except:

(a) Alternating current centrifugal type relay shall be tested at least once every 12 months;

(b) Alternating current vane type relay and direct current polar type relay shall be tested at least once every 2 years; and

(c) Relay with soft iron magnetic structure shall be tested at least once every 2 years.

[49 FR 3384, Jan. 26, 1984]

§236.107   Ground tests.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a test for grounds on each energy bus furnishing power to circuits, the functioning of which affects the safety of train operation, shall be made when such energy bus is placed in service, and shall be made at least once every three months thereafter.

(b) The provisions of this rule shall not apply to track circuit wires, common return wires of grounded common single-break circuits, or alternating current power distribution circuits grounded in the interest of safety.

[49 FR 3384, Jan. 26, 1984]

§236.108   Insulation resistance tests, wires in trunking and cables.

(a) Insulation resistance of wires and cables, except wires connected directly to track rails, shall be tested when wires, cables, and insulation are dry. Insulation resistance tests shall be made between all conductors and ground, and between conductors in each multiple conductor cable, and between conductors in trunking, when wires or cables are installed and at least once every ten years thereafter.

(b) Then insulation resistance of wire or cable is found to be less than 500,000 ohms, prompt action shall be taken to repair or replace the defective wire or cable and until such defective wire or cable is replaced, insulation resistance test shall be made annually.

(c) In no case shall a circuit be permitted to function on a conductor having an insulation resistance to ground or between conductors of less than 200,000 ohms during the period required for repair or replacement.

[49 FR 3384, Jan. 26, 1984]

§236.109   Time releases, timing relays and timing devices.

Time releases, timing relays and timing devices shall be tested at least once every twelve months. The timing shall be maintained at not less than 90 percent of the predetermined time interval, which shall be shown on the plans or marked on the time release, timing relay, or timing device.

[49 FR 3384, Jan. 26, 1984]

§236.110   Results of tests.

(a) Results of tests made in compliance with §§236.102 to 236.109, inclusive; 236.376 to 236.387, inclusive; 236.576; 236.577; 236.586 to 236.589, inclusive; and 236.917(a) must be recorded on preprinted forms provided by the railroad or by electronic means, subject to approval by the FRA Associate Administrator for Safety. These records must show the name of the railroad, place and date, equipment tested, results of tests, repairs, replacements, adjustments made, and condition in which the apparatus was left. Each record must be:

(1) Signed by the employee making the test, or electronically coded or identified by number of the automated test equipment (where applicable);

(2) Unless otherwise noted, filed in the office of a supervisory official having jurisdiction; and

(3) Available for inspection and replication by FRA and FRA-certified State inspectors.

(b) Results of tests made in compliance with §236.587 must be retained for 92 days.

(c) Results of tests made in compliance with §236.917(a) must be retained as follows:

(1) Results of tests that pertain to installation or modification must be retained for the life-cycle of the equipment tested and may be kept in any office designated by the railroad; and

(2) Results of periodic tests required for maintenance or repair of the equipment tested must be retained until the next record is filed but in no case less than one year.

(d) Results of all other tests listed in this section must be retained until the next record is filed but in no case less than one year.

(e) Electronic or automated tracking systems used to meet the requirements contained in paragraph (a) of this section must be capable of being reviewed and monitored by FRA at any time to ensure the integrity of the system. FRA's Associate Administrator for Safety may prohibit or revoke a railroad's authority to utilize an electronic or automated tracking system in lieu of preprinted forms if FRA finds that the electronic or automated tracking system is not properly secured, is inaccessible to FRA, FRA-certified State inspectors, or railroad employees requiring access to discharge their assigned duties, or fails to adequately track and monitor the equipment. The Associate Administrator for Safety will provide the affected railroad with a written statement of the basis for his or her decision prohibiting or revoking the railroad from utilizing an electronic or automated tracking system.

[70 FR 11095, Mar. 7, 2005]

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