Washout signal

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Phoebe Snow

Frequent rail passenger
For you rails,

how do you display a hand signal for a washout? Do you face the train, and go back and forth with one hand at knee level directly in front of you? Or do you use two hands, in a manner similar to NFL referee signal when a team misses a field goal, only just a bit faster? Is there a preferred duration, or do you just constantly wail away with your hands? Is there a frequency you wave at, that most hoggers will recognize, or do you just do it as fast as you can?

The reason I ask was I read a story on some newspaper website, it was awhile back and I don't remember where, but a railfan had came upon a truck that was high centered on a crossing. The railfan heard a train horn for some crossing that was a couple miles up the road, a situation where there was simply no time to call the 800 number, so he jumped in his car and peeled up to the next crossing, where he gave the washout hand signal and the train did get stopped just a few feet shy of the truck.

There are situations where the 800 number just won't be fast enough.

And you would think the carriers would make an effort to teach this to law enforcement, too. There are tons of train vs truck videos on youtube where a gaggle of cops just stand there after getting the driver out, having been on scene for 10 minutes or more while dispatch is trying to do its thing through the labyrinth of telecom. A washout signal from a cop, where the uniform adds authority, could save alot of damages and potential derailments.
 

ENR3809

BCR Hoghead
Any frantic waving motion is considered a stop signal. You don't need to give the crew a washout.
 

BNSFEng

Locomotive Engineer!!!
Any frantic waving motion is considered a stop signal. You don't need to give the crew a washout.
Agreed. If I see any sign like that by anyone I'm stopping no questions asked until I'm stopped. Then I want to know what I stopped for if I don't see the obstruction or missing track due to a real washout!
 




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