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Section 5: Exhibit A Design

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Sheet Layout

The Exhibit A plan set is a:

  • 30% PS&E plan set on construction projects
  • plan set showing applicable work within railroad rights-of-way on all other projects (FSP, replanking, railroad capital improvement).

Each Exhibit A should include separate sheets, if applicable, for:

  • title sheet with Index of Sheets (not required on replanking projects)
  • project layout sheet (on large construction projects)
  • active warning devices (if installing or modifying)
  • signing and striping (if not shown with active warning devices)
  • traffic signal layouts and phasing (if preemption is involved)
  • plan view of conduits, pipes, and culverts under track
  • planking layout (if installing or modifying)
  • bridge or roadway plan and profile
  • rail survey (bridge projects; out to 1000 feet on both sides of bridge on overpass projects and out to 1500 feet on both sides of bridge on underpass projects)
  • roadway typical sections (planking and construction projects)
  • rail typical sections (planking and underpass projects)
  • ditch cross sections on 100 foot centers (joint drainage projects)
  • railroad requirements sheets (construction projects).

Any traffic control plan, detour route, and boring logs sheets are usually considered support material and are not part of the Exhibit A.

The checklists under the following subheadings are provided for development of these plan sets.

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Guidelines on All Exhibit A’s

  1. Title sheet included with a project map and Index of Sheets.
  2. All sheets numbered and named correctly with Index of Sheets.
  3. Project info correctly identified: CSJ, County, Roadway, City, District, and CCSJ if applicable.
  4. Railroad company, subdivision, milepost, and any DOT numbers identified on the title sheet and in the title blocks of other sheets.
  5. If there are multiple tracks, each track labeled and identified: mainline, siding, spur, yard, wye, etc.
  6. Train data shown: number of switching and through movements, including speed for each type of movement.
  7. AADT and design speed of roadway traffic shown.
  8. General Notes: All railroad company work, work done by state, and work done by local government identified correctly.
  9. General Notes: Traffic control being provided by the state, not the railroad company (NOTE: Reverse is true on FSP projects).
  10. General Notes: Any notes removed that require the railroad company to stencil the DOT number on the mast.
  11. Railroad right-of-way shown in plans; width of railroad right-of-way shown.
  12. Existing utilities and utility relocations shown.
  13. Existing conditions and proposed conditions shown.
  14. Number of days of flagging and number of days of inspection shown (if needed).
  15. Drawing should be 1:20 scale whenever possible. Text should be large enough to be clearly legible when the sheet is reduced to 8.5x11-inch size.
  16. If plans are drawn in colors, colors are clear, well defined, and easily legible when printed or copied in black and white.
  17. Final Exhibit A plans should be sealed, signed and dated by the licensed Texas Professional Engineer.
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Guidelines on Construction Project Exhibit A’s

  1. Title sheet project description reflects work in railroad right-of-way, not the overall PS&E.
  2. Project plan view layout included if work impacts multiple rail lines or crossings.
  3. Fencing parallel to track to discourage trespassing shown (if desirable).
  4. Impacts to any existing railroad signals shown.
  5. Ensure Railroad Requirements Sheets are included at the end of the Exhibit A and are the correct version. Use Bridge or Non-Bridge sheets depending on project scope. Only sheet 1 of 3 may be modified; sheet 1 must be sealed, signed, and dated by the licensed Texas Professional Engineer.
  6. Any absolute track windows requested from the railroad company shown. (If so, this needs to be requested from the railroad company. Typically applies to overpasses over rail yards or underpasses.)
  7. Any required right-of-way acquisition shown.
  8. Direction of increasing railroad milepost shown.
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Guidelines on Projects with Traffic Control Plans

NOTE: Any construction, safety, replanking, or railroad capital improvement projects where lane closures are involved or phased construction exists should include a proper traffic control plan for review and development of cost estimates.

  1. Phased construction shows how railroad right-of-way is impacted during all applicable phases.
  2. Any lane closures or shifts over at-grade crossings which impact crossing surface, railroad signals/signs, or preemption shown.
  3. Affects to adjacent at-grade crossings shown for any project detours.
  4. Pedestrian elements properly detailed during all phases.
  5. Any temporary traffic signals and preemption details shown for applicable construction phases.
  6. All gates, signs, and cantilevers visible in each phase (driver view not obstructed). Any unnecessary gates deactivated by railroad company when not needed. Any unnecessary signal lights bagged or removed.
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Guidelines on Projects with Overpasses

  1. Note included that drainage slots are blocked over railroad right-of-way and proposed bridge will not increase the quantity or change the characteristics of the drainage flow on the railroad right-of-way.
  2. Roadway grades, and widths of lanes, shoulders, and medians shown.
  3. Fencing provided over railroad right-of-way, or if not, an explanation is provided in the DCRG. Fence needed on bridge if gap is greater than two (2) feet between structures (NOTE: Fencing is not typically provided unless there are pedestrian elements on the bridge, a rail yard or rail switch is beneath bridge, or there is a history of vandalism in the area.)
  4. Splashboard provided on barrier if bridge is in an area where a snowblower could blow snow onto railroad right-of-way.
  5. Lighting is provided over tracks, but in a location where changing bulbs is easier and vertical clearance is not reduced (i.e. not directly over tracks). Electrical service located on TxDOT right-of-way. Lighting required when bridge covers 80 feet of track or more, with distance measured along the track.
  6. Access is provided to all adjacent property owners in proposed facility.
  7. Any right-of-way preparation work (removing trees, etc.) on railroad right-of-way identified.
  8. Any temporary at-grade crossings or haul roads shown, including planking work by railroad company. Temporary at-grade crossings should restrict access by the public by locked fence or other means.
  9. Hike and bike access is provided on bridge if needed.
  10. Any railroad cantilever and flashing light and gates under bridge will not hit bridge.
  11. Highway stationing shown.
  12. National Bridge Inventory (NBI) number shown if available.
  13. Railroad access road shown (if needed).
  14. Distance between dual structures shown.
  15. Crash walls shown if center of any existing or future track is closer than 25 feet to the face of the column.
  16. Note included to stencil in DOT number and railroad milepost on BNSF structures. Note clarifies that BNSF will maintain.
  17. Dimensions shown from centerline of rail (both existing and future tracks) to face of footings and columns.
  18. Permanent vertical clearance at least 23 feet 4 inches minimum for UPRR; 23 feet 6 inches for BNSF & KCS. Must be shown from edge of railroad right-of-way to edge of railroad right-of-way, with point of minimum vertical clearance identified.
  19. Minimum temporary vertical (21 feet 6 inches UPRR & BNSF; 22 feet KCS) and horizontal (12 feet UPRR; 14 feet KCS; 15 feet BNSF) clearances shown.
  20. Future tracks shown at 20 foot centers. A future track may be shown on both sides of the existing track at the same elevation as the existing track if no other information is available.
  21. All bents and abutments are off of railroad right-of-way. If this is not true, an explanation is provided in the DCRG, including how far design elements encroach into railroad right-of-way.
  22. For any demolition, distance below ground structural element must be removed is shown. (UPRR & KCS prefer 3 feet below finished grade and 2 feet below base of rail, whichever is lower; BNSF prefers 3 feet below finished grade and 3 feet below base of rail, whichever is lower).
  23. Plan details match information provided in the DCRG.
  24. Rail survey provided for all tracks under the overpass.
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Guidelines on Projects with Underpasses

  1. Vertical clearance shown (typically 16 feet 6 inches minimum).
  2. Warning signs included for vertical clearance if clearance is less than 20 feet.
  3. Details for shoofly bridges included (if shoofly bridge is used during construction).
  4. Location and details of shoring included.
  5. Details of who is doing work (contractor or railroad company), who is providing materials, and any absolute work windows shown.
  6. Bridge columns protected from vehicular traffic with proper barriers and object markers.
  7. Details of any adjacent at-grade crossings impacted by construction shown.
  8. For any demolition, distance below ground structural element that must be removed is shown. (UPRR & KCS prefer 3 feet below finished grade and 2 feet below base of rail, whichever is lower; BNSF prefers 3 feet below finished grade and 3 feet below base of rail, whichever is lower).
  9. Anti-graffiti fence shown (if required by railroad company).
  10. Storm sewer and pump station design shown.
  11. Plan details should match TSR. Refer to railroad company design guidelines when determining how to design underpass bridge and develop TSR/Ex A. See the Traffic Operations Division website for railroad company design guidelines.
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Guidelines on Projects with At-Grade Crossings

  1. Design matches field notes from diagnostic inspection.
  2. Design incorporates findings from crash reports.
  3. Are there any adjacent intersections that require preemption or does project include a traffic signal with preemption? Warrant 9 in Section 4C.10 of the TMUTCD may be used as justification for the traffic signal. As an alternative, a four-way stop or a two-way stop (stop signs on roadway parallel to rail line) may be used to assist in moving traffic over an at-grade crossing.
  4. Signing:
    1. Do Not Stop on Tracks (R8-8) signs on any approaches over at-grade crossings heading towards an adjacent intersection where vehicles may stop.
    2. Stop (R1-1) or Yield (R1-2) sign at a passive crossing; Stop Ahead (W3-1) and Yield Ahead (W3-2) signs may also be required (see Section 2C.36 of the TMUTCD).
    3. Crossbuck (R15-1) signs on right side of roadway; a second on left may also be present.
    4. Number of Tracks (R15-2P) sign, if more than one track.
    5. Emergency Notification Signs (ENS) on all approaches (I-13, not R15-4)
    6. Low Ground Clearance Grade Crossing signs (W10-5; W10-5p) if crossing has a high vertical profile.
    7. Grade Crossing Advance Warning Signs (W10-1; W10-2; W10-3; W10-4) on all approaches and parallel roads within 100 feet of the highway intersection; if parallel road is within 100 feet of crossing, install W10-1 sign on opposite side of roadway from tracks.
    8. Advance warning signs may be supplemented with No Gates or Lights (W10-13P) plaque at passive crossings.
  5. Sidewalks and shared use pathways:
    1. Gates typically are not required, but bell must be present.
    2. Crossbuck signs on both sides of roadway for both approaches.
    3. Sidewalks should cross perpendicular to rail. Sidewalks do not ‘stop’ at railroad right-of-way.
    4. Railroad masts adjacent to sidewalks include backlights.
    5. ADA ramps and proper crosswalks shown at adjacent traffic signals with pedestrian signals.
  6. Crossing has been evaluated for truck traffic:
    1. Turning radii at adjacent intersections.
    2. Turning vehicles will not hit gates & cantilevers.
  7. Humped crossings have been evaluated and mitigated.
  8. Curbs or islands should not be closer than 10 feet from center of rail, but many railroad companies prefer not closer than 10 feet from nearest rail.
  9. Medians:
    1. Needed for island gates.
    2. Protected with painted curb or object marker so they are not hit at night.
    3. 10 foot minimum width (back of curb to back of curb) preferred.
    4. Edge of island is parallel to rail, not perpendicular to roadway.
  10. Any culverts under roadway need to be adjusted for roadway widening.
  11. Is metal beam guard fence (MBGF) needed to protect gates or for roadway drop-offs? (See Appendix A of the TxDOT Roadway Design Manual.)
  12. Any sight distance issues on either approach such as curved approaches? A Train When Flashing (W10-4B) side mounted or overhead device may be used. Alternate method such as a cantilevered flashing light may be used.
  13. Superelevation on track accounted for on roadway design.
  14. Any track being abandoned should be removed along with crossing surface panels and replaced with same material as adjacent pavement.
  15. A Tracks Out of Service (R8-9) sign is used with bagged railroad signals in lieu of the Crossbuck sign (R15-1) for tracks that are temporarily placed out of service.
  16. Active or passive devices must be relocated by railroad company if an existing track is removed at a multiple track crossing.
  17. Striping is correct:
    1. Stop bars 8 feet from centerline of railroad signal post or 15 feet from near rail for passive crossings; may be located further back based on site evaluation.
    2. Distance to nearest railroad crossing solid line varies based on approach speed (TMUTCD, Table 2C-4, Condition B, Deceleration to 0 mph):
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      Approach Speed (mph)

      Distance from Centerline of Track

























    3. 50 feet from railroad crossing solid line to railroad crossing solid line.
    4. Solid 8-inch white line separates multiple approach lanes and extends 10 feet from back railroad crossing solid line.
    5. Grade Crossing Advanced Warning Sign (W10-1) sign adjacent to railroad crossing pavement markings.
    6. Double yellow line extends back a minimum of 50 feet from nearest rail on two-way left turn lane; area should be hashed out.
    7. Pavement markings required where speed is 40 mph or greater and at all active crossings on all approach lanes; exceptions may be granted at passive crossings in urban areas. (See Section 8B.27 of the TMUTCD.)
  18. Sign sizes correct per Table 8B-1 of the TMUTCD.
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Guidelines on Projects with Active Railroad Warning Devices

  1. Gates shown perpendicular to the roadway and not normally parallel to tracks (i.e. skewed crossings).
  2. Gates, cantilevers, and striping have correct distances shown. The below information is for reference only; the final design and placement of active warning devices is determined by the railroad company.
    1. 12 feet minimum, 15 feet typical from centerline of railroad signal mast to centerline of nearest track; on skewed crossing tip of gate must be a minimum of 12 feet from centerline of track.
    2. Minimum 4 feet 3 inches from center of gate mast to edge of curb; or 6 feet from center of gate mast to edge of pavement when shoulder is present; or 8 feet 3 inches (9 feet 3 inches for BNSF) from edge of pavement if no shoulder is present.
    3. Minimum 4 feet from center of gate to center of cantilever, but railroad companies prefer 6 feet.
    4. Minimum 6 feet from edge of sidewalk to center of gate.
  3. Any cabin relocations or installations identified. Correct dimensions are shown:
    1. 30 feet edge of cabin to edge of pavement or curb.
    2. 25 feet edge of cabin to near rail.
    3. Cabin location not a sight distance issue for vehicles.

    NOTE: Cabin location is subject to change by the railroad company.

  4. Correct usage of backlights and side lights. Any side streets within 100 feet of rail would require side lights. Back lights required on all two-way non-divided roadways and if pedestrians use roadway.
  5. Gate lengths are sufficient (generally not longer than 28 feet). Gates may cover up to two lanes.
  6. Generally a median is needed for multiple approach lanes. Median with flasher/gate is normally less expensive than a cantilever.
  7. One pair of flashers shown for each approach lane.
  8. Railroad company removes, provides & installs gates, cantilevers, mast flashers, and crossbucks.
  9. Front lights not needed on both a cantilever and a gate if one is in front of the other; the same applies to back lights.
  10. Note included: ‘The Railroad signal circuits and final design location were not designed by the undersigned engineer,’ above engineer’s seal.
  11. If warning signals are being removed, ownership of signals identified, including any salvage value.
  12. General notes describe the type of railroad circuitry (constant warning, etc.).
  13. Clearance time correct for active crossings with skew or multiple tracks.
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Guidelines on Projects with Traffic Signal Preemption

  1. Correct timing is identified on plan sheet (equipment response time, advance preemption time, clearance time, minimum time, and buffer time). Any traffic signal timings shown match timings in preemption form (TxDOT Form 2304).
  2. All signal heads shown.
  3. Phasing diagram for normal operation shown.
  4. Preemption phasing diagram shown with right-of way transfer, track clearance, dwell or limited cycle, and exit (return) phases.
  5. Plans identify conduits and traffic signal cable between traffic signal cabinet and rail cabin, including who provides and installs materials.
  6. Traffic signal cable should be a minimum 8 conductor cable.
  7. Plans clarify who maintains traffic signal.
  8. Protected left turn provided for traffic on track clearance phase (if there is conflicting traffic approaching traffic signal from opposite side of intersection).
  9. Battery backup provided for traffic signal controller.
  10. Traffic signal poles do not block active warning devices.
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Guidelines on Projects with Planking

  1. Crossing surface panels identified by material (concrete, composite, asphalt, timber, etc.) and length to be removed and installed. Planking extends at least three (3) feet beyond edge of pavement or sidewalk.
  2. Planking installations shown in eight (8) foot sections along rail line. (NOTE: Some railroad companies may prefer use of nine (9) foot or other size panels.)
  3. TxDOT installs subgrade material, railroad company removes existing and installs new subballast, ballast, ties, rail, and planking surface. TxDOT provides level up.
  4. If crossing surface panels are being removed, ownership of panels identified, including any salvage value.
  5. Plans confirm full width or half width roadway closure.
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Guidelines on Projects with Crossing Closures

  1. Details of railroad company work (removal of warning devices and crossing surface panels, passive signing, roadway on railroad right-of-way, restoring ditch, etc.) shown.
  2. Details of how crossing will be blocked from traveling public (curb & gutter to match existing, Type 3 barricade, turnaround, etc.) shown. Embankment should be filled to match existing terrain or ditch to discourage drivers from trying to use crossing.
  3. Details shown of adjacent roadway improvements (if required).
  4. Proper signs to mark closure are installed (if needed):
    1. No Outlet (W14-2)
    2. Dead End (W14-1)
    3. Type 3 barricades
    4. Two-Direction Large Arrow Sign (W1-7 or W1-7T).
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Guidelines on Projects with Existing or Proposed Quiet Zones

  1. Quiet Zone public crossings should be gated crossings with Supplementary Safety Measures (SSMs) such as:
    1. Four quadrant gates setup with maximum 2 foot separation between gate tips or 1 foot from median or channelization device with all exit and approach lanes gated.
    2. Medians with non-transversable curbs or channelization devices that extend back 100 feet from gate (or 60 feet with side streets) and all side streets within 60 feet of gate are closed; maximum 1 foot separation of gate end and curb or channelization device and all approach lanes are gated.
    3. On one-way streets, non-transversable curb extends back 100 feet from gate; 2 foot maximum separation between gates or 1 foot separation between gate and curb.
    4. A wayside horn may be used in lieu of an SSM.
  2. Any non-transversable curbs are used on roadways that do not exceed 40 miles per hour and must be at least 6 inches high. (See 49 CFR § 222.9, definition of non-transversable curb.)
  3. No Train Horn (W10-9) sign or plaque (W10-9P) shown for crossings on all approaches and roadways parallel to rail within 100 feet of rail; time of day plaque shown if applicable.
  4. Any private passive crossings in a Quiet Zone include a Stop (R1-1) sign, Crossbuck (R15-1) sign, and No Train Horn (W10-9) sign on all approaches.
  5. Any pedestrian crossings include No Train Horn (W10-9) sign on all approaches.
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Guidelines on Projects with Culverts, Drainage Pipes, or Conduits

  1. Notes indicate Class V Cooper E-80 culvert is installed across limits of railroad right-of-way or out to 30 feet from track center.
  2. Safety end treatments (SETs) included on culverts.
  3. Any conduits (electrical or drainage) rigid metal conduit (RMC).
  4. Conduits (electrical or drainage) installed at least five (5) feet below top of rail.
  5. Boring pits located at least 30 feet from track center.
  6. Wet boring not permitted.
  7. Corrugated metal pipe (CMP), precast pipe, or precast box preferred to cast in place construction in order to minimize impact to railroad operations.
  8. Open-cut construction must not be utilized unless approved by the railroad company up front or does not impact railroad operations.
  9. Minimum concrete cover (with steel reinforcement) on pipe shall be two (2) inches.
  10. Dimensions on Exhibit A match pipeline/wireline forms (UPRR only).
  11. Top of pipe at least five (5) feet below top of tie and five (5) feet below bottom of ditch.
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Guidelines on Projects with Common Use or Encroachments

  1. Future second track between encroachment area and existing track shown 20 feet from existing track.
  2. Orange construction fencing shown 25 feet away from rail so a flagger is not needed.
  3. All elements installed or modified in railroad right-of-way clearly identified with distance shown from railroad right-of-way line.
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