Railway Freight & Passenger Train Brake Inspection and Safety Rules Guidelines




October 27, 2014


1. Short Title

1.1 For ease of reference, these Guidelines may be referred to as the "Brake Inspection Guidelines".

2. Scope

2.1 These Guidelines prescribe the minimum safety standards for the safe operation of brakes on all equipment operated by a railway company subject to the jurisdiction of the MOTI pursuant to the Railway Safety Act(BC).

3. Definitions

In these Guidelines:

3.1 “bad order” means railway equipment that has been identified with a defect.

3.1.1 “BCSA” means British Columbia Safety Authority.

3.6 “brakes” means pneumatic or other systems used to control the movement of railway equipment.

3.8 “brake system defect” means a defective or inoperative brake component that prevents the brake system from functioning as intended.

3.9 “brake test” means a test performed for the purpose of establishing that the brake system functions as intended, as outlined in Part II of these Guidelines and railway company procedures/work instructions.

3.9.1 “car moving equipment” means a rail car mover or any other equipment used to

move rolling stock but does not include a locomotive.

3.12 “certified car inspector” means a person who is trained, qualified and certified to inspect and maintain car brake equipment.

3.17 “equipment” or “railway equipment” means railway locomotives, car moving equipment,  freight cars and cabooses.

3.21 “locomotive or engine” means a rail vehicle propelled by any energy form, intended for the propulsion and/or control of freight equipment.

3.23 “modified tilt test” means a test of the portable locomotive remote control device in which the operator control unit is tilted until an alarm is generated.

3.23.1 “MOTI” means the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

3.24 “operative” means a brake that applies and releases and is in a suitable condition to retard and/or stop equipment.

3.25 “person in charge” means a person certified in accordance of these Guidelines, appointed by a railway company to ensure the safe conduct of a railway operation.

3.26 “portable locomotive remote control device” means a device that is a component part of a system for remotely operating a locomotive(s).

3.27 “psi” means pressure in pounds per square inch (“kpa” means the equivalent to 1000 newtons per square metre).

3.29 “push-pull operation” means a train operation in which the control of the train can be from either end.

3.30 “qualified person” means in respect of a specified duty, a person who, because of knowledge, training and experience, is qualified to perform that duty safely and properly.

3.31 “railway company” means a railway or railway company subject to the Railway Act(BC).

3.32 “railway safety inspector” means a BCSA inspector designated pursuant to Section 4 (1) of the Railway Safety Act(BC).

3.35 “safety control” means a device(s) that will cause a brake application to be initiated automatically if the locomotive or rail car mover operator becomes incapacitated.

5. Qualified Persons

5.1 A railway company shall ensure that its qualified persons are trained and qualified to perform the inspection and testing of brakes, associated control devices and safety controls in compliance with these Guidelines and in accordance with company procedures/work instructions, and all amendments, as provided in the company’s SMS.

5.2 A railway company shall provide a full description of the training program, criteria and all amendments used for qualifying those employees performing brake tests in accordance with these Guidelines.

5.3 A railway company shall maintain a record of all qualified persons. This record shall be made available to a railway safety inspector upon request.

6. Pre-Shift Requirement for Locomotives and Car Moving Equipment

6.1 When taking charge of a locomotive(s) or car moving equipment, except when changing off with another crew, the locomotive engineer, equipment operator or qualified person shall determine that all brakes are functional.

6.2 When the brake test is done by other than the locomotive engineer or car moving equipment operator, the results of the test shall be made available to the locomotive engineer and be retained on record for ninety-two (92) days.

9. Corrective Action Reporting 

9.1 A railway company shall reply in writing or by acceptable electronic means, within fourteen (14) days, to the BCSA, on the corrective action taken to correct a non-compliance(s) reported by a railway safety inspector. On defective equipment, the reply, from a railway officer, shall also include the equipment initials and number and the date and location of the corrective action taken.


17. Portable Locomotive Remote Control Device Tilt Test

17.1 A portable locomotive remote control device tilt test shall be performed once every twenty-four (24) hours, and when it is not a direct operator to operator hand off. The test shall be performed in accordance with company procedures/work instructions, and shall verify:

  1. application and release of the equipment brakes;
  2. that an emergency brake application is initiated as per its design;
  3. when tilted, the device will apply the brakes and nullify the transmission of power to the locomotive or car moving equipment traction motors.

17.2 A modified tilt test may only be performed on a direct operator to operator hand off, in accordance with company procedures/work instructions.


20. Maintenance

20.1 All brake equipment shall be maintained in a safe and serviceable condition.

a. freight car brakes shall be maintained in accordance with the current AAR requirements and railway company procedures/work instructions;

c. locomotive brakes shall be maintained as a minimum in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and railway company procedures/work instructions. Locomotive brake systems shall receive Clean Oil Test & Stencil (COT&S) maintenance as follows:

i. At intervals that do not exceed 1,104 days for locomotives equipped with a 26-L or equivalent brake system; or

ii. At intervals that do not exceed 1,472 days for locomotives equipped with an air dryer and a 26-L or equivalent brake system and for locomotives not equipped with an air compressor and that are semi-permanently coupled and dedicated to locomotives with an air dryer; or

iii. At intervals that do not exceed 1,840 days for locomotives equipped with air dryers and electronic air brake system including the following: CCB-1, CCB-2, CCB-26, EPIC 1 (formerly EPIC 3102), EPIC 3102D2, EPIC 2, KB-HS1, or Fastbrake brake systems; or

iv. At intervals that do not exceed 736 days for locomotives equipped with a brake system not specifically identified in paragraphs i, ii, and iii.

20.2 On locomotives, car moving equipment or self-propelled equipment, the date of testing or cleaning of brake equipment and the name of the shop or station at which the work was done shall be retained in the cab in a format in accordance with railway company procedures/work instructions.

20.3 Train brake test devices shall be cleaned, repaired and tested every ninety (90) days, to maintain safe and satisfactory operation, in accordance with company procedures/work instructions. 

20.4 A locomotive that is out service for 30 or more consecutive days may use the time to extend the Clean Oil Test & Stencil maintenance date. An out of service record shall be retained as per company procedures/work instructions. A locomotive can have one or more periods of 30 or more consecutive out of service days. Each period must be recorded as above. Once COT&S air-brake changeout is completed, all credit days revert to zero days.

21. Brake Cylinder Piston Travel 

21.1 A car with a body-mounted brake cylinder has piston travel out of adjustment

  1. on a freight car, the piston travel is less than six (6) inches (one hundred fifty (150) mm) or more than nine (9) inches (two hundred thirty (230) mm);

21.2 A car with truck-mounted brake cylinders shall have piston travel, unless otherwise governed by design, sufficient to provide brake shoe clearance when the brake is released.

  1. on a freight car, piston travel shall not exceed five (5) inches (one hundred twenty-five (125) mm);

21.3 A freight car with a special type of brake equipment, not covered by the above, shall have piston travel adjusted as indicated on the badge plate or stenciling applied in a conspicuous location near the brake cylinder. 

21.5 On a locomotive, the maximum physical limit of brake cylinder piston travel will be indicated in the cab. In operation, piston travel must not come within two (2) inches (fifty (50) mm) of the limit. For example, should the brake cylinder permit an eight (8) inch (two hundred (200) mm) travel, the maximum piston travel shall not exceed six (6) inches (one hundred fifty (150) mm).

22. Locomotive and Car Moving Equipment  Feed Valves and Pressure Settings 

22.1 Air pressure feed valves shall be adjusted to the following pressures in accordance with company procedures/work instructions:

  1. the minimum brake pipe pressure with the automatic brake valve in release position shall be eighty (80) psi (five hundred fifty (550) kpa) for freight and remote control locomotive operation;
  2. the minimum differential between the brake pipe and main reservoir air pressures with the brake valve handle in release position shall be fifteen (15) psi (one hundred (100) kpa);
  3. the independent brake cylinder pressure shall be the full application pressure, as posted in cab.