INITIAL TERMINAL AIR BRAKE TEST

        There have been a few minor changes to the Initial Terminal Air Brake Test.
        This test, now also known as a "Class 1" test, is performed about 99% the way it was in the past. The test usually takes place where a train is originally made up or where cars have been added to the train that are not a "solid block".
        Let's review the definition of a "solid block" of cars.

      One or more cars coupled together consecutively and continuously
      - that are charged
      - tested as outlined per a "Class 1" initial terminal test
      - have an air brake system that: remains charged or is disconnected from the air supply for less than four hours.

        Cars that are uncoupled in the process of setting out defective cars still remain a solid block as long as the train maintains it's original sequence.
        The "Class 1" initial terminal test has two major parts. One is a leakage test and the other is the visual inspection of each car's air brakes.
        The "Air Flow" method is the preferred method of doing the leakage test.
        The train inspection will require co-operation between the engineer and either a Qualified Mechanical Inspector or a Qualified Person. The person performing the inspection is in charge of the train while the test is being conducted. Before the engineer is given permission to apply or release the brakes, the person in charge must determine that all employees are safely positioned.
        The "Class 1" inspection requires the Qualified Employee to inspect both sides of the train sometime during the inspection process in order to be able to examine and observe the functioning of the brake system.
        A "roll-by" inspection of the brake release will not constitute an inspection of that side of the train for purposes of this inspection requirement.
        During the inspection, it must be determined that angle cocks are properly positioned, air hoses are properly coupled, and an examination must be made for leaks. If leaks are discovered, necessary repairs must now be made to minimize them. This may require replacing the air hose or air hose gaskets.
        Also during the inspection, look to see that retaining valves are in the exhaust position, piston travel is correct and that the brake rigging does not bind or foul.
        A part of the procedure that is new is that the "Qualified Employee" must observe that brakes on cars not only apply, but remain applied until the signal is given to release. Brakes must remain applied a minimum of three minutes. Any car whose brakes release prior to the signal may be re-tested after release, recharge and reapplication. This process may only take place once on that car. If, in that second test the brakes still do not remain applied, the brakes on that car must be considered inoperative and the tagging and recording process must take place.
        Again, a car must be tagged on both sides and a copy left in the cab of the locomotive. Report the same information to the train dispatcher who will deliver the information into an automatic tracking system.
        Make sure 100 percent of the train brakes are operative when making a "Class 1" test.
        When the test and inspection of the air brake application is complete and the proper notification has been received to release the brakes, inspect each brake to make sure all brakes have released. This inspection may be made as the train departs, but the engineer must move the train not exceeding 10 MPH during the roll-by.