This rule adopts the federal minimum
safety standards for track, freight car, and locomotive inspections prescribed
C.F.R. Parts 213
, and 240
, as printed in the annual
edition of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, dated October 1, 2009, and
the federal minimum safety standards for the transportation of hazardous
material by rail as prescribed by 49
C.F.R. Parts 171
, as printed in the annual edition of Title 49, Code of Federal
Regulations, dated October 1, 2009, as rules of the Florida Department of
Transportation; and prescribes reasonable requirements governing clearances
above, beside, and between railroad tracks in the State of Florida. If a later
version of an individual part is subsequently issued and adopted by the Florida
Department of Transportation that individual part will include the effective
date of the revised standard.
Definitions. In this rule, the words or terms are defined as follows:
(a) "Department" means the Florida Department
(b) "Height of a
Conventional Railroad Car" means the distance between the top of the rail and
the highest part or appurtenance of a car.
(c) "Overhead Clearance" means the vertical
distance from the level of the top of the highest rail to a structure or
means as defined in Section 341.301, F.S..
(e) "Side Clearance" means the shortest
distance from the center line of track to a structure or obstruction at the
side of the track.
(f) "Side of a
Conventional Railroad Car" means that part or appurtenance of a car at the
maximum distance measured at right angles from the center line of the
(g) "Standard Gage" means the
established distance of four feet, eight and a half inches between the heads of
the two rails of a railroad track measured at right angles to the rails in a
plane five-eights of an inch below the top of the rail head.
The following federal minimum
safety standards for inspections of track, conventional railroad cars,
locomotives, and train operations inspections are hereby incorporated by
reference and made rules of the Department:
Track Safety Standards. 49
Special Notice and Emergency Order
Procedures: Railroad Track, Locomotive and Equipment. 49
Safety Glazing Standards - Locomotives,
Passenger Cars and Cabooses. 49 C.F.R. Part 223
Railroad Accidents/Incidents: Reports
Classification, and Investigations. 49 C.F.R. Part 225
Locomotive Inspection. 49
Rules, Standards, and Instructions
Governing the Installation, Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair of Signal and
Train Control Systems, Devices, and Appliances. 49 C.F.R. Part 236
Railroad Clearance Requirements.
(a) Overhead Clearance. The minimum overhead
clearance above the top of the rail of standard gage railroad tracks, which are
used or proposed to be used for transporting conventional railroad cars, shall
be 22 feet, except as otherwise provided in this rule. The minimum overhead
clearance above the top of the rail on such tracks located inside buildings
shall be 17 feet. Where the overhead clearance is less than 22 feet inside
buildings, appropriate warning signs directing the attention of railroad
employees, and others, to the reduced clearance shall be erected as specified
in subparagraph (5)(f)1. of this rule at each point where the affected track
enters the building.
Clearances. The minimum side clearance from the center line of a curved
railroad track shall be one inch per thirty minutes of curvature in addition to
the minimum side clearance from the center line of tangent standard gage
railroad tracks. The minimum side clearance used or proposed to be used for
tangent standard gage railroad tracks shall be as follows:
1. The minimum side clearance for all
structures and obstructions above the top of the rail, except those hereinafter
specifically mentioned, shall be eight feet. (Note: posts, pipes, warning
signs, and similar obstructions should, where practicable, have a side
clearance of ten feet.)
minimum side clearance for tracks adjacent to platforms for loading and
unloading conventional railroad cars, where the tops of such platforms are
approximately level with the floors of such cars serving such platforms, may be
reduced to not less than five feet nine inches, on one side of the tracks only.
Warning signs, which direct attention of railroad employees and others to the
reduced clearance, shall be erected as specified in subparagraph (5)(f)1. of
3. The minimum side
clearance for tracks adjacent to or entering engine terminal or shop
structures, such as engine houses and car repair shops, outdoor locomotive
fueling and servicing facilities, and turntables shall be six feet. When a side
clearance of less than eight feet exists on such tracks, warning signs which
direct attention of railroad employees to the reduced clearance shall be
erected at each end of the structure. The clearance requirements of this rule
do not apply to repair or servicing platforms and structures inside engine
houses and repair shops.
minimum side clearance for platforms eight inches or less above the top of the
rail shall be four feet eight inches.
5. The minimum side clearance for switch
boxes, switch operating mechanisms, and accessories necessary for the control
and operation of signals, switches, and derails, projecting four inches or less
above the top of the rail shall be three feet.
6. The minimum side clearance for signals and
switch stands three feet or less above the top of the rail and located between
tracks, where not practicable to provide clearances otherwise prescribed by
this rule because of the distance between the tracks, shall be six
7. The minimum side clearance
for fences of cattle guards shall be six feet nine inches.
Clearances Between Tracks.
1. The minimum distance between the center
lines of parallel standard gage tracks shall be 13 feet six inches.
2. The minimum distance between the center
line of any standard gage ladder track and any other adjacent track shall be 19
3. The minimum distance
between the center lines of parallel team, house, and industry tracks shall be
Obstructions and Conditions Adjacent to Tracks.
1. The space between tracks within railroad
yards, and the space beside such tracks within eight feet of the center line
thereof, shall be kept clear of grass, weeds, mud, slime, debris, and similar
2. No merchandise,
material, or other articles shall be placed or permitted to remain either on
the ground or on the platforms adjacent to any track, during the movement of
trains or engines on such adjacent track, at a distance less than eight feet
from the center line of track. This prohibition shall not apply to materials
used in the construction, maintenance, or repair of the tracks. Notice of the
general location of such materials to be used for the construction,
maintenance, or repair of the tracks shall be posted where general notices
concerning the movement of trains are posted, or shall otherwise be made
available to railroad employees working in such area.
3. A line or other marker shall be maintained
eight feet from the center line of track on all platforms, excluding passenger
platforms, to indicate the space along the edge of the platform which must be
kept clear of merchandise, material, or other articles.
The clearances prescribed in this rule shall not apply to
the extension of tracks or the adjacent buildings, structures, or facilities
provided the track or buildings or structure or facility to be extended was
constructed prior to September 17, 1953.
Deviation from Clearance. In the event
that the required railroad clearance cannot be met after any new construction
of railroad track or any adjacent building, structure, or facility, the owner,
or other designated person, of the adjacent building, structure, or facility
shall take the following safety measures:
Install appropriate warning signs at a location at least 100 feet in advance of
the location where less than the required clearance exists. Such signs must be
installed at both ends of any location which can be approached by a train from
either direction, exclusive of any switching activity on a stub end
2. Install markings, decals,
or paint on any and all obstructions that have less than the required side
clearance. Such markings, decals, or paint shall be in a pattern of diagonal
stripes to call attention to the obstruction.