Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 4. LAWS RELATING TO UTILITY CORPORATIONS AND THEIR EMPLOYEES [7503 - 8286]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 1. Railroad Corporations [7503 - 7727]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

ARTICLE 7. Operation [7653 - 7663]
  ( Article 7 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

7653.
  

Every railroad corporation shall furnish, on the inside of its passenger cars, sufficient room and accommodations for all passengers to whom tickets are sold for any one trip, and for all persons presenting tickets entitling them to travel thereon. When fare is taken for transporting passengers on any baggage, wood, gravel, or freight car, the same care shall be taken and the same responsibility is assumed by the corporation as for passengers on passenger cars.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

7654.
  

Every railroad corporation shall print and conspicuously post on the inside of its passenger cars its rules and regulations regarding fare and conduct of its passengers. In case any passenger is injured on or from the platform of a car, or on any baggage, wood, gravel, or freight car, in violation of such printed regulations, or in violation of positive verbal instructions or injunctions given to the passenger in person by any officer of the train, the corporation is not responsible for damages for the injuries, unless the corporation has failed to comply with the provisions of Section 7653.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

7655.
  

A check shall be affixed to every package or parcel of baggage when taken for transportation by any agent or employee of a railroad corporation and a duplicate thereof given to the passenger or person delivering the baggage. If the check is refused on demand, the railroad corporation shall pay to the passenger the sum of twenty dollars ($20), to be recovered in an action for damages.

(Amended by Stats. 1951, Ch. 1022.)

7656.
  

If any passenger refuses to pay his fare, or to exhibit or surrender his ticket, when reasonably requested to do so, the conductor and employees of the corporation may, on stopping the train, put him and his baggage out of the cars, using no unnecessary force, at any usual stopping place, or near any dwelling house.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

7657.
  

Every conductor, baggage master, engineer, brakeman, or other employee of any railroad corporation, employed on a passenger train or at stations for passengers, shall wear upon his hat or cap, or in some conspicuous place on the breast of his coat, a badge, indicating his office or station, and the initial letters of the name of the corporation by which he is employed. No collector or conductor, without such badge, is authorized to demand or to receive from any passenger any fare, toll, or ticket, or exercise any of the powers of his office or station. No other officer or employee, without such badge, has any authority to meddle or interfere with any passenger or property.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

7658.
  

No city or county or city and county ordinance which establishes a limit on the speed of trains shall be valid unless that ordinance has been approved by the commission.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 683.)

7659.
  

Notwithstanding any city or county or city and county ordinance to the contrary, no railroad conductor or engineer, who, while operating a train, obstructs a railroad crossing, shall be subject to any criminal penalty, where he has no control over the situation causing the obstruction, or where the train cannot be moved without endangering the safety of the passengers or freight.

(Added by Stats. 1951, Ch. 648.)

7660.
  

The commission, in authorizing any restrictions on the speed of rail services, shall do so only upon receipt of evidence and a finding (a) that the restriction is required due to track condition, alignment, curvature of tracks, superelevation, or inadequate right-of-way protection, or any combination thereof, as the case may be, and (b) that higher speeds will have an adverse impact upon the health and safety of the public until the specified conditions are changed.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 791.)

7661.
  

(a) The commission shall require every railroad corporation operating in this state to develop, within 90 days of the effective date of the act adding this section, in consultation with, and with the approval of, the Office of Emergency Services, a protocol for rapid communications with the Office of Emergency Services, the Department of the California Highway Patrol, and designated county public safety agencies in an endangered area if there is a runaway train or any other uncontrolled train movement that threatens public health and safety.

(b) A railroad corporation shall promptly notify the Office of Emergency Services, the Department of the California Highway Patrol, and designated county public safety agencies, through a communication to the Warning Center of the Office of Emergency Services, if there is a runaway train or any other uncontrolled train movement that threatens public health and safety, in accordance with the railroad corporation’s communications protocol developed pursuant to subdivision (a).

(c) The notification required pursuant to subdivision (b) shall include the following information, whether or not an accident or spill occurs:

(1) The information required by subdivision (c) of Section 7673.

(2) In the event of a runaway train, a train list.

(3) In the event of an uncontrolled train movement or uncontrolled movement of railcars, a track list or other inventory document if available.

(d) The division of the commission responsible for railroad safety shall investigate any incident that results in a notification required pursuant to subdivision (b).

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 842, Sec. 54. (SB 1222) Effective January 1, 2017.)

7662.
  

(a) (1) A railroad corporation shall place appropriate signage to notify an engineer of an approaching grade crossing, consistent with federal law.

(2) Whistle post signs shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement.

(b) (1) Whenever a railroad issues written or verbal instructions to employees that may restrict or stop train movements because of track conditions, structures, persons, or equipment working, appropriate flags that are readily visible and easily recognizable to the crews on both passenger and freight trains shall be displayed as quickly as practicable. Yellow flags shall be used for temporary speed restrictions, consistent with paragraphs (2) and (3). Yellow-red flags shall be used, consistent with paragraphs (4) and (5), when a train may be required to stop.

(2) Yellow flags shall be used to warn trains to restrict movement because of track conditions or structures. Except as provided in paragraph (3), a yellow flag shall be displayed two miles before the restricted area in order to ensure that train movement is restricted at the proper location.

(3) When the restricted area is close to a terminal, junction, or another area, the yellow flag may be displayed less than two miles before the restricted area. This information shall be included in the written instructions to employees issued pursuant to paragraph (1).

(4) Yellow-red flags shall be used to warn trains to be prepared to stop because of persons or equipment working. A yellow-red flag shall be displayed two miles before the restricted area in order to ensure that the train is prepared to stop at the proper location.

(5) When the restricted area is close to a terminal, junction, or other area, the yellow-red flag may be displayed less than two miles before the restricted area. This information shall be included in the written instructions to employees issued pursuant to paragraph (1).

(6) Flags shall be displayed only on the track affected and shall be displayed to the right side of the track as viewed from the approaching train. The flags shall be displayed to protect all possible access to the restricted area.

(c) A railroad corporation shall provide milepost markers to train crews at accurate one-mile intervals. The markers shall be readily visible to the locomotive engineer within the locomotive cab, and shall be kept in good repair and replaced when necessary.

(d) A railroad corporation shall place whistle signs to the right of the main track in the direction of approach, exactly one-quarter mile from the entrance to any grade crossing as a point of reference for locomotive engineers who blow the whistle and ring the bell for these grade crossings as a warning to the public. The signs, which shall consist of an “X” or “W” or other identifiable mark or symbol on a square plate mounted on a post, shall be readily visible to a locomotive engineer within the locomotive cab, shall be kept in good repair, and shall be replaced when necessary.

(e) A railroad corporation shall place permanent speed signs to the right of the track in the direction of approach, two miles in advance of the point where the speed is either increased or decreased for both passenger and freight trains. The signs shall be readily visible to a locomotive engineer within the locomotive cab, shall be kept in good repair, and shall be replaced when necessary.

(f) A railroad corporation shall notify the commission and the collective bargaining representative of any affected employee of any new utilization of remote control locomotives in the state, on or after January 1, 2007.

(g) A railroad corporation shall provide immediate notification to the Office of Emergency Services of accidents, incidents, and other events, concurrent with those provided to the Federal Railroad Administration’s National Response Center, as required by Part 225.9 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 352, Sec. 499. (AB 1317) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 543 of Ch. 352.)

7663.
  

Whenever the Department of the California Highway Patrol or a designated local public safety agency responds to a railroad accident, the accident shall be reported to the Office of Emergency Services.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 352, Sec. 500. (AB 1317) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 543 of Ch. 352.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC7