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Section 6: Project Agreements

Master Agreements

TRF-RSS has Master Agreements with all of the Class 1 railroad companies and some of the shortline railroad companies to facilitate individual project agreements on FSP projects. These agreements typically cover:

  • program and project documents and required approvals
  • construction and maintenance details for preparing and approving plans, specifications, and estimates
  • construction and maintenance responsibilities TxDOT will hold a local government responsible to for off-system public crossings
  • cost participation
  • Authority to Order Materials and Work Orders
  • subcontracting requirements
  • federal-aid policy guide requirements, policy, and guidance
  • methods of payment
  • conditions for reimbursement.

A full agreement for an individual crossing is not required if a Master Agreement exists.

Reimbursement Methods

There are three methods for reimbursing a railroad company. The appropriate method depends on the scope and complexity of the project and whether the railroad company uses its own forces or a contractor to perform the work.

Railroad Company Uses Own Forces

If the railroad company uses its own forces to perform the work, reimbursement is usually made on an actual cost basis. However, if TxDOT and the railroad company agree, reimbursement can be based on a lump sum cost estimate. This would typically occur on smaller projects where actual cost to the railroad company is easily estimated. Project costs and method of reimbursement (actual or lump sum) are approved in the individual project agreement.

Railroad Company Uses a Contractor on Continuing Contract

The railroad company may use a contractor to perform the work under a continuous agreement with the railroad company. The continuous agreement must be for a minimum of three years. The contractor’s costs are included in the project estimate and reimbursed at actual cost during construction unless a lump sum arrangement is shown in the individual project agreement. The railroad company directly invoices TxDOT and reimburses their contractor separately.

The railroad company may also provide labor (inspection, etc.) and include estimated costs in the individual project agreement. Reimbursement to the railroad company will be at actual cost.

Railroad Company Uses a Contractor for Individual Project

The railroad company may choose to solicit bids for the project from a minimum of three contractors. The lowest qualified bid will be accepted and reimbursed at actual cost. If three bids are not received, TRF-RSS may still accept the lowest qualified bidder if at least three contractors were contacted and one or more chose not to bid the project.

The railroad company directly invoices TxDOT and reimburses their contractor separately.

The railroad company may also provide labor (inspection, etc.) and include estimated costs in the individual project agreement. Reimbursement to the railroad company will be at actual cost.

Individual Project Agreement

Typically, there are three separate paths FSP projects will follow after Exhibit A’s, cost estimates, and railroad wireline diagrams are completed:

  • Exhibit B
  • Force Account Agreement
  • Crossing Closure Agreement.

Exhibit B

If a Master Agreement exists between TxDOT and the railroad company, TRF-RSS prepares an Exhibit B as per terms of the Master Agreement. The Exhibit B normally consists of:

  • signed cover page providing TxDOT’s approval of work and cost estimates
  • Exhibit A (with signature from local government)
  • cost estimates from the railroad company
  • cost estimates from the local government (if applicable)
  • railroad company wireline diagrams.

Depending on the terms in the Master Agreement, the Exhibit B may or may not need to be executed by the railroad company.

The fully executed Exhibit B is uploaded into the TRIMS Project Management Module by the TRF-RSS Project Manager.

Force Account Agreement

If a Master Agreement does not exist with the railroad company, TRF-RSS prepares and negotiates a Force Account Agreement for the crossing project. The Force Account Agreement will typically include the items listed above shown in both the Master Agreement and Exhibit B.

TRF-RSS will coordinate any comments on the proposed Force Account Agreement from the railroad company and revise the agreement as needed. The agreement will be executed first by the railroad company and then by TRF-RSS.

The fully executed Force Account Agreement is uploaded into the TRIMS Project Management Module by the TRF-RSS Project Manager.

Crossing Closure Agreement

For crossing closure projects, TRF-RSS will prepare a Crossing Closure Agreement regardless of whether a Master Agreement exists with the railroad company. The Crossing Closure Agreement typically includes similar articles and attachments as listed above for both a Master Agreement and Exhibit B and will also include a copy of the signed ordinance/resolution stating the crossing to be closed. A local government is typically given two years from the date of the executed Crossing Closure Agreement to invoice TxDOT for any improvements to adjacent roadways identified in the agreement.

TRF-RSS will coordinate all comments on the proposed Crossing Closure Agreement from participating parties (District, railroad company, local government) and revise the agreement as needed prior to submitting to all signing parties for execution. For three-party agreements, the agreement is usually executed first by the railroad company, then the by the local government, and finally, by TRF-RSS. For two-party agreements, the agreement will be executed first by the railroad company and then by TRF-RSS.

The fully executed Crossing Closure Agreement is uploaded into the TRIMS Project Management Module by the TRF-RSS Project Manager.

After Project Agreement is Executed

TRF-RSS distributes a copy of the executed Exhibit B, Force Account Agreement, or Crossing Closure Agreement, to:

  • the District
  • FIN
  • the railroad company (original copy as needed)
  • the local government (original copy as needed).

Exhibit L

At the conclusion of each program year, TRF-RSS will track the final list of crossing locations selected for improvements with Section 130 funding. This list will consist of the preliminary project list, with any No Further Action projects removed, and any additional projects added. The list is referred to as the Exhibit L.

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