Chapter 4: Grade Crossing Replanking Program

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Section 1: Overview

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Program Background

The State Railroad Grade Crossing Replanking Program was originally authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1979 to provide dedicated State Highway Funds for replacing worn-out grade crossings located on the state highway system. The Traffic Operations Division (TRF) manages the program.

Annual Reauthorization. TRF requests program reauthorization on an annual basis through the Transportation Planning and Programming Division’s (TPP) annual authorization of bank balance allocation programs. The Texas Transportation Commission reauthorizes and approves the program by minute order.

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Program Funding

The Replanking Program is managed as a bank balance allocation program. Bank balance allocation means that the commission authorizes the total amount of funding and the method of project selection. This provides flexibility within each program year to cancel and add projects to the program without commission action.

Program funds are used to reimburse the railroad force account portion of the projects. State force account work is financed out of the district’s maintenance budget.

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Eligible Crossings

Every railroad operating in Texas can participate in the Replanking Program.

Program funds can only be used on state highway system crossings where the state highway originally crossed the railroad. Grade crossings located on city streets and county roads and most spur track crossings cannot be replanked under this program. Spur tracks not eligible for the program are those that originally crossed an existing state highway. Eligible spur tracks are those that were originally crossed by the state highway.

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Crossing Surface Materials for Replanking

The standard surface materials for the replanking of railroad grade crossings are precast concrete panels with rubber headers along the rails. Timber is seldom used, as concrete has proven more durable and cost-effective. Rubber surfaces are occasionally used. Asphalt crossings are generally unacceptable and should be used only on a temporary basis. Most of the major railroad companies have adopted the use of concrete panel crossing surfaces with rubber inserts in the rail flangeway as a company standard (see Figure 4-1).

 Cross section of typical concrete surfaced
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Figure 4-1. Cross section of typical concrete surfaced crossing.

(To access the MS Word version of this figure from on line, click this file name: TFEG4-1.)

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