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Section 6: PS&E Design

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Confirming PS&E Design Matches Exhibit A Design

On construction projects, the Exhibit A design is typically a 30% design done 12 or more months in advance of the final as-let PS&E. Most railroad companies will request a review and approval of the as-let PS&E (often referred to as an Exhibit B on construction projects) to verify that certain elements of the design have not changed. Key elements that should not differ between the Exhibit A and 100% PS&E include:

  • horizontal and vertical clearances for overpasses
  • location of overpass bents and abutments
  • alignment of overpass or underpass
  • width of overpass
  • any drainage or hydraulic elements on railroad right-of-way
  • fence details on overpass
  • lighting details on overpass over rail line
  • location and design of crash walls
  • locations of other features on railroad right-of-way such as sidewalks, light poles, signing, retaining walls, guardrail, etc.
  • stencil of DOT number and railroad milepost on overpass (BNSF only)
  • haul road details
  • railroad company access road details
  • underpass material selection and design elements
  • protection for underpass bents (barrier or other)
  • shoofly track design geometry and materials
  • any other track design geometry and standards
  • locations and types of railroad warning devices on at-grade crossings
  • roadway approach grades on at-grade crossings
  • roadway lane widths, shoulders, and medians on at-grade crossings
  • construction phasing on railroad right-of-way.
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PS&E Requirements

As part of the PS&E plan set on TxDOT construction projects, the following railroad specific plan sheets are required:

  • Railroad Scope of Work Sheet
  • Railroad Requirements Sheets (Bridge or Non-Bridge).

These sheets should be identified in the Index of Sheets under the section heading “Railroad.” Do not include the Exhibit A in the PS&E unless there is information which is not contained in the rest of the PS&E, such as track realignments.

The Railroad Scope of Work Sheet is intended as a project-specific sheet which clarifies:

  • general railroad information such as DOT number, railroad company, railroad milepost, railroad subdivision, and train movements
  • any work to be performed within railroad right-of-way identified as work to be performed by TxDOT contractors and work to be performed by railroad companies
  • railroad flagging information
  • railroad insurance requirements for TxDOT contractors and subcontractors including percentage of contract work within railroad right-of-way (needed to obtain railroad protective liability insurance)
  • whether a railroad Right-of-Entry Agreement is required or not (invasive or non-invasive work) and who will obtain (TxDOT on behalf of contractor or contractor)
  • whether a Railroad Coordination Meeting is required as part of the preconstruction meeting
  • emergency contact information at the railroad company.

It is noted that on bridge projects, railroad protective liability insurance minimum limits are $5,000,000 single occurrence and $10,000,000 aggregate. On other projects, railroad protective liability insurance minimum requirements are $2,000,000 single occurrence and $6,000,000 aggregate.

The percentage of work within railroad right-of-way is determined by dividing project bid items within railroad right-of-way by total cost of bid items on the project. Project engineering, contingencies, and other costs are not considered.

The Railroad Requirements Sheets clarify various information for contractors, including:

  • need for safety training
  • operational requirements when working near tracks
  • minimum construction clearances
  • shoring and demolition requirements (bridge projects)
  • construction and as-built submittals (bridge projects).

Information on how to complete the Railroad Scope of Work Sheet, Railroad Requirements Sheets, and approved Right-of-Entry Agreements may be found in the “Rail Safety” section of the Traffic Operations Division website.

The District Railroad Coordinator should assist the Project Designer to include these sheets in the PS&E prior to letting.

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Special Specifications

If track work is involved, special specifications will usually need to be added to the PS&E. Examples include:

  • ballasted track construction
  • underpass structure
  • culverts or drainage pipes under track
  • contractor prequalification for track work.

Any pipes underneath the track must meet Cooper E-80 loading requirements.

Designers should pay close attention to any track specifications to confirm the specification correctly identifies if a contractor is:

  • providing track materials
  • performing track removal
  • salvaging track materials
  • building track panels
  • performing track installation
  • performing track tie-ins.

TRF-RSS and the Bridge Division can assist the districts if special specifications are needed.

The following items do not usually require special specifications since they are provided by the railroad company:

  • crossing surface panels
  • active warning devices (i.e. gates, cantilevers, and mast flashers)
  • passive warning devices (i.e. crossbuck signs).
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Force Account Estimates

A railroad company force account estimate should be added to the estimate for all work on the project provided by the railroad company, assuming this information is received prior to letting.

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