What is the "Red Zone"???

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mrbbq

New Member
Look, I know the White Zone is for "loading and unloading only" at the airport. But in railroading, what/where is the "RED ZONE"???
 

shay2305

Engineer
The "Red Zone" is the area where a conductor can be struck by moving equipment. When a conductor calls for "Red Zone" protection the engineer will make the locomotive safe by fully setting the independent brake (Locomotive brake) and centering the reverse lever, putting the locomotive in neutral. The engineer will then call "set and centered" and the locomotive initials and number. This tells the conductor it is safe to enter the "Red Zone". The most common occurrence for this is probably when switching of cars is happening and the conductor need to go between two railcars to connect the brake hoses.
 

mrbbq

New Member
Thanks for your reply. I can't say that I've ever heard "set and centered" on my scanner radio. But now I more fully understand when the conducter or whomever asks for permission to enter the red zone. Learned something new today. Thanks!
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
It depends on the railroad. On BNSF we reply with "set and centered" but I've heard UP and KCS crews say "red zone for the conductor" or words to that effect.
 

LoganTrackdog

New Member
The above is only one example of a "red zone" in railroading. There are also red zones for on track machinery, loading and unloading equipment, vehicles, etc. Anywhere where you may be struck, run over, or crushed by moving machinery or equipment is a Red Zone.
 

railtech

New Member
It depends on the railroad. On BNSF we reply with "set and centered" but I've heard UP and KCS crews say "red zone for the conductor" or words to that effect.
Norfolk Southern calls it "three step protection". In addition to the two listed steps, they also open the circuit breaker to the traction motors. Engineer will say "3 step set" or "three step protected" or sometimes just "3 step".
 

bnsf971

Roadmaster
CSX also calls "set and centered" at least in the areas I am around to hear. Not so sure about the "men in black", Next time I get around an NS crew switching, I'll listen for it.
 

JeffLH

Member
It depends on the railroad. On BNSF we reply with "set and centered" but I've heard UP and KCS crews say "red zone for the conductor" or words to that effect.
On the UP too, it's required by rule that the engineer must respond, "Set and Centered." I usually respond, "Red Zone for (whom ever requested the zone), Set and Centered." The requirements on how to request and respond to requests for red zones have changed over time. Like most changes, it's more for the benefit of managers listening on the radio rather than for the guys working in the field.

Jeff
 

Greg Elems

New Member
Jeff, oh how right you are. UP doesn't want hand signals for the red zone but radio only, then the weed weasels can do their testing and not be physically present.

Greg
 

mrbbq

New Member
Thanks all for your replies. Helps to solve a "mystery" for me. Helps me better understand what I am hearing on my scanner.
 




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