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BNSF railroad rules guide

This rules apply to the BNSF subdivisions, on the western U.S. sceneries of RunOnRails.com train simulator. NOT AN OFFICIAL RAILROAD REFERENCE.

Speed signs

Approach speed limit
Approach the next speed limit sign (in 2 miles) not exceeding the posted speed. Where a sign shows two numbers, the higher speed applies to passenger trains, and the lower applies to other trains.
Speed limit
Proceed at the posted speed. Where a sign shows two numbers, the higher speed applies to passenger trains, and the lower applies to other trains. If posted speed is higher than your current speed, accelerate to posted speed only when the entire train has passed this sign.
Resume speed
Resume to maximum authorized speed after rear of train has passed this sign.
Stop
Stop before passing this sign.
Yard limit
All movements entering or moving within yard limits must be made at restricted speed. At restricted speed, you always must be sure you can stop within half of the vision range short of any kind of obstruction or stop signals, never exceeding 20mph.

Signals

Stop
Stop before passing the signal.
Approach
You must proceed, prepared to stop at the next signal. Trains exceeding 30mph immediately reduce to that speed (40mph for passenger and active PTC trains). This aspect indicates that next signal is stop at this very moment.
Clear
You must proceed.
Diverging Approach
Proceed on diverging route not exceeding prescribed speed through turnouts, then approach next signal prepared to stop. Trains exceeding 30mph immediately reduce to that speed (40mph for passenger and active PTC trains).
Diverging Clear
Proceed on diverging route not exceeding prescribed speed through turnouts, then proceed at posted speed.
Approach Medium
Proceed prepared to pass next signal not exceeding 40mph and be prepared to enter diverging route at prescribed speed.
Advance Approach
Proceed prepared to pass next signal not exceeding 50mph and be prepared to enter diverging route at prescribed speed.
Approach limited
Proceed prepared to pass next signal not exceeding 60mph and be prepared to enter diverging route at prescribed speed.
Restricting
You must proceed at restricted speed. At restricted speed, you always must be sure you can stop within half of the vision range short of any kind of obstruction or stop signals, never exceeding 20mph.
Approach Restricting
Proceed prepared to pass next signal at restricted speed.

Note on route signaling

BNSF use a signal speed system referred to as route signaling, meaning that signals do not give a specific speed limit for turnouts or diverging routes, they only indicate whether or not you are going to go on the straight or diverging route. It's the engineer responsibility to know the speed of every diverging route or turnout, what is known as prescribed speed. Most of the times, an advance signal will force you to reduce to a specific speed before the diverging signal, but you cannot assume this speed is the turnout prescribed speed.

In the real thing, prescribed speeds are given in the subdivision documentation. A simplified version of the same concept is used in this simulator, you can find the prescribed speeds in the scenery maps page.

Trackside signs

Milepost
Tells you are roughly at the posted number of miles from start of the line, subdivision, or other reference point. Use this information to always know your location within railroad line or subdivision.
Whistle
Grade crossing warning. Blow the standard horn sequence.

References and further reading