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e-CFR data is current as of October 22, 2020

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 222 → Subpart B


Title 49: Transportation
PART 222—USE OF LOCOMOTIVE HORNS AT PUBLIC HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSINGS


Subpart B—Use of Locomotive Horns


Contents
§222.21   When must a locomotive horn be used?
§222.23   How does this regulation affect sounding of a horn during an emergency or other situations?
§222.25   How does this rule affect private highway-rail grade crossings?
§222.27   How does this rule affect pedestrian grade crossings?

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§222.21   When must a locomotive horn be used?

(a) Except as provided in this part, the locomotive horn on the lead locomotive of a train, lite locomotive consist, individual locomotive or lead cab car shall be sounded when such locomotive or lead cab car is approaching a public highway-rail grade crossing. Sounding of the locomotive horn with two long blasts, one short blast and one long blast shall be initiated at a location so as to be in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section and shall be repeated or prolonged until the locomotive occupies the crossing. This pattern may be varied as necessary where crossings are spaced closely together.

(b)(1) Railroads to which this part applies shall comply with all the requirements contained in this paragraph (b) beginning on December 15, 2006. On and after June 24, 2005, but prior to December 15, 2006, a railroad shall, at its option, comply with this section or shall sound the locomotive horn in the manner required by State law, or in the absence of State law, in the manner required by railroad operating rules in effect immediately prior to June 24, 2005.

(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(3) and (d) of this section, or when the locomotive horn is defective and the locomotive is being moved for repair consistent with section 229.9 of this chapter, the locomotive horn shall begin to be sounded at least 15 seconds, but no more than 20 seconds, before the locomotive enters the crossing. It shall not constitute a violation of this section if, acting in good faith, a locomotive engineer begins sounding the locomotive horn not more than 25 seconds before the locomotive enters the crossing, if the locomotive engineer is unable to precisely estimate the time of arrival of the train at the crossing for whatever reason.

(3) Trains, locomotive consists and individual locomotives traveling at speeds in excess of 60 mph shall not begin sounding the horn more than one-quarter mile (1,320 feet) in advance of the nearest public highway-rail grade crossing, even if the advance warning provided by the locomotive horn will be less than 15 seconds in duration.

(c) As stated in §222.3(c) of this part, this section does not apply to any Chicago Region highway-rail grade crossing at which railroads were excused from sounding the locomotive horn by the Illinois Commerce Commission, and where railroads did not sound the horn, as of December 18, 2003.

(d) Trains, locomotive consists and individual locomotives that have stopped in close proximity to a public highway-rail grade crossing may approach the crossing and sound the locomotive horn for less than 15 seconds before the locomotive enters the highway-rail grade crossing, if the locomotive engineer is able to determine that the public highway-rail grade crossing is not obstructed and either:

(1) The public highway-rail grade crossing is equipped with automatic flashing lights and gates and the gates are fully lowered; or

(2) There are no conflicting highway movements approaching the public highway-rail grade crossing.

(e) Where State law requires the sounding of a locomotive audible warning device other than the locomotive horn at public highway-rail grade crossings, that locomotive audible warning device shall be sounded in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (d) of this section.

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§222.23   How does this regulation affect sounding of a horn during an emergency or other situations?

(a)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, a locomotive engineer may sound the locomotive horn to provide a warning to animals, vehicle operators, pedestrians, trespassers or crews on other trains in an emergency situation if, in the locomotive engineer's sole judgment, such action is appropriate in order to prevent imminent injury, death, or property damage.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, including provisions addressing the establishment of a quiet zone, limits on the length of time in which a horn may be sounded, or installation of wayside horns within quiet zones, this part does not preclude the sounding of locomotive horns in emergency situations, nor does it impose a legal duty to sound the locomotive horn in such situations.

(b) Nothing in this part restricts the use of the locomotive horn in the following situations:

(1) When a wayside horn is malfunctioning;

(2) When active grade crossing warning devices have malfunctioned and use of the horn is required by one of the following sections of this chapter: §§234.105, 234.106, or 234.107;

(3) When grade crossing warning systems are temporarily out of service during inspection, maintenance, or testing of the system; or

(4) When SSMs, modified SSMs or engineering SSMs no longer comply with the requirements set forth in appendix A of this part or the conditions contained within the Associate Administrator's decision to approve the quiet zone in accordance with section 222.39(b) of this part.

(c) Nothing in this part restricts the use of the locomotive horn for purposes other than highway-rail crossing safety (e.g., to announce the approach of a train to roadway workers in accordance with a program adopted under part 214 of this chapter, or where required for other purposes under railroad operating rules).

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§222.25   How does this rule affect private highway-rail grade crossings?

This rule does not require the routine sounding of locomotive horns at private highway-rail grade crossings. However, where State law requires the sounding of a locomotive horn at private highway-rail grade crossings, the locomotive horn shall be sounded in accordance with §222.21 of this part. Where State law requires the sounding of a locomotive audible warning device other than the locomotive horn at private highway-rail grade crossings, that locomotive audible warning device shall be sounded in accordance with §§222.21(b) and (d) of this part.

(a) Private highway-rail grade crossings located within the boundaries of a quiet zone must be included in the quiet zone.

(b)(1) Private highway-rail grade crossings that are located in New Quiet Zones or New Partial Quiet Zones and allow access to the public, or which provide access to active industrial or commercial sites, must be evaluated by a diagnostic team and equipped or treated in accordance with the recommendations of such diagnostic team.

(2) The public authority shall provide the State agency responsible for grade crossing safety and all affected railroads an opportunity to participate in the diagnostic team review of private highway-rail grade crossings.

(c)(1) At a minimum, each approach to every private highway-rail grade crossing within a New Quiet Zone or New Partial Quiet Zone shall be marked by a crossbuck and a “STOP” sign, which are compliant with MUTCD standards unless otherwise prescribed by State law, and shall be equipped with advance warning signs in compliance with §222.35(c) of this part.

(2) At a minimum, each approach to every private highway-rail grade crossing within a Pre-Rule Quiet Zone or Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zone shall, by June 24, 2008, be marked by a crossbuck and a “STOP” sign, which are compliant with MUTCD standards unless otherwise prescribed by State law, and shall be equipped with advance warning signs in compliance with §222.35(c) of this part.

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§222.27   How does this rule affect pedestrian grade crossings?

This rule does not require the routine sounding of locomotive horns at pedestrian grade crossings. However, where State law requires the sounding of a locomotive horn at pedestrian grade crossings, the locomotive horn shall be sounded in accordance with §222.21 of this part. Where State law requires the sounding of a locomotive audible warning device other than the locomotive horn at pedestrian grade crossings, that locomotive audible warning device shall be sounded in accordance with §§222.21(b) and (d) of this part.

(a) Pedestrian grade crossings located within the boundaries of a quiet zone must be included in the quiet zone.

(b) Pedestrian grade crossings that are located in New Quiet Zones or New Partial Quiet Zones must be evaluated by a diagnostic team and equipped or treated in accordance with the recommendations of such diagnostic team.

(c) The public authority shall provide the State agency responsible for grade crossing safety and all affected railroads an opportunity to participate in diagnostic team reviews of pedestrian grade crossings.

(d) Advance warning signs. (1) Each approach to every pedestrian grade crossing within a New Quiet Zone shall be equipped with a sign that advises the pedestrian that train horns are not sounded at the crossing. Such sign shall conform to the standards contained in the MUTCD.

(2) Each approach to every pedestrian grade crossing within a New Partial Quiet Zone shall be equipped with a sign that advises the pedestrian that train horns are not sounded at the crossing or that train horns are not sounded at the crossing between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., whichever is applicable. Such sign shall conform to the standards contained in the MUTCD.

(3) Each approach to every pedestrian grade crossing within a Pre-Rule Quiet Zone shall be equipped by June 24, 2008 with a sign that advises the pedestrian that train horns are not sounded at the crossing. Such sign shall conform to the standards contained in the MUTCD.

(4) Each approach to every pedestrian grade crossing within a Pre-Rule Partial Quiet Zone shall be equipped by June 24, 2008 with a sign that advises the pedestrian that train horns are not sounded at the crossing or that train horns are not sounded at the crossing for a specified period of time, whichever is applicable. Such sign shall conform to the standards contained in the MUTCD.

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