Red Boards, Yellow Boards, Green Boards…. What Do They Mean?

Taylor-Yard-11-30-2015 (266)

Somewhere along the way in your railfanning travels you may have stumbled across one or more colorful “boards.” They may be red, yellow, green or a combination of colors and they vary in appearance from railroad to railroad but their colors are the same and so is their purpose.

They’re temporary flags (“slow boards”) and they’re usually found at or near mile marker posts and there’s generally four types in use.

1. A Red/Yellow board alerts the train crew that there’s a red board two miles further down the track.

2. The Red board protects the men, women and equipment working on (or adjacent to) the track. There’s normally a Track Bulletin Form B that’s given to the crew at the start of their trip which gives them the exact milepost limits of the restricted area and the name the employee in charge of the work area. A crew member must then contact the employee in charge by radio once they’re getting close and receive instructions for movement through the work area (or to stop and remain stopped until the employee in charge allows the train to pass through the limits).

3. A Yellow board means that there’s a temporary speed restriction two miles further down the track. The train crew receives a Track Bulletin Form A, which gives the limits and the maximum speed. If the crew doesn’t have a Form A for that location, then, beginning two miles after passing the yellow board, the train must slow to 10 MPH and not increase its speed for two additional miles or until a green board has been passed by the last car of the train.

4. A Green board indicates the end of the temporary restriction and, after the last car of the train has passed the green board, track speed may again be governed by timetable instructions and signal rules.

The video shows a red board adjacent to the mile marker at CPF 671 in Scranton, Pa..

Red Boards, Yellow Boards, Green Boards…. What Do They Mean

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Author:Railfan AC

AC is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, a long haul trucker, a transportation enthusiast and a lifelong lover of trains. AC's mission is to travel America documenting American railroading in the 21st century while educating those who want to know about the importance the railroads play in our daily lives including, but not limited to, the movement of goods, services and more.

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