Train or yard crew must be assigned a controlling locomotive that is under the actual control of the assigned locomotive engineer of that crew. The locomotive engineer shall be in the cab of the controlling locomotive or, while the locomotive is stationary, be replaced in the cab by another member of the same crew. The locomotive does NOT have to be coupled to the equipment but must be in the vicinity. The utility employee must establish communication with the crew by contacting the designated crew member on arriving at the train and before commencing any duties with the crew.

Before commencing duties, DCM provides notice & identity of UE. Once crew members acknowledge this notice, the DCM advises UE he/she is authorized to work as part of the crew. Communication must be maintained (each member understands duties).

The railroad operating rules must define a specific designated crew member as a point of contact. In order to ensure that railroad employees are properly trained and tested, FRA cross-referenced Part 218 with Part 217. This means railroads must have a railroad operating rule on “blue signal protection”, and the rule is subject to all of the provisions of Part 217.