Chapter 10: Other Railroad Agreements

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Section 1: Letter Agreements

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Policy and Practices

A letter agreement is used on projects requiring minimal work on railroad right-of-way where the only thing the railroad is doing is providing flaggers. Flaggers are needed for safe operation and work conditions.

Examples of projects using letter agreements are:

  • seal coat and asphaltic concrete pavement (ACP) overlay
  • installation of overhead wire lines
  • installation of conduit under track
  • minor pavement rehabilitation
  • minor maintenance
  • installation of computerized traffic management system.

Discussions of these types of projects follow.

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Seal Coat and ACP Overlay Projects

TRF prepares a project-specific letter agreement for each crossing affected by a seal coat and asphaltic concrete pavement (ACP) overlay project, whereby the railroad gives TxDOT permission to perform the seal coat or ACP overlay work up to the edge of the crossing. The letter agreement provides the following information:

  • project data
  • statement of the work
  • provision for flagging
  • letting date
  • notification.
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Installation of Overhead Wire Lines

When an overhead wire line is installed over the track, the Union Pacific Railroad requires that TxDOT complete their Application for Overhead Wireline Crossing and include it (along with a cover application form) as part of the agreement. The district completes the forms and submits them to the Traffic Operations Division (TRF) when requesting preparation and execution of the agreement. Samples of these forms are provided in Appendix A of the hard copy print version of this volume. These sample forms may be photocopied as necessary. Copies may also be obtained from the Traffic Operations Division.

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Installation of Conduit Under Track

As with overhead wire lines, when conduit is installed under the track, the Union Pacific Railroad requires that TxDOT complete their Application for Underground Wireline Crossing and include it (along with a cover application form) as part of the agreement. The district completes the forms and submits them to the Traffic Operations Division (TRF) when requesting preparation and execution of the agreement. Samples of these forms are provided in Appendix A of the hard copy print version of this volume. These sample forms may be photocopied as necessary. Copies may also be obtained from the Traffic Operations Division.

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Minor Pavement Rehabilitation

Minor pavement rehabilitation includes such work as:

  • repair of pot holes in the roadway
  • crack sealing
  • seal coats
  • ACP overlays.
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Minor Maintenance

Minor maintenance projects can include such work as performing minor repairs on a grade separation and drainage ditches where a fully executed agreement exists requiring TxDOT to maintain the structure or drainage ditches or both.

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Plan Layout (Exhibit A)

On all types of projects involving letter agreements, except seal coat projects (see following discussion), the district prepares a plan layout (Exhibit A) in sufficient detail to show all work to be performed by TxDOT, TxDOT’s contractor, and the railroad. Exhibit A must be signed, sealed, and dated by a registered professional engineer and must include:

  • project data include:
    • county
    • control-section-job (CSJ)
    • project
    • highway number or road name
  • work description — the work to be performed by TxDOT and its contractor
  • title block includes:
    • the railroad company name and DOT No. (if available)
    • crossing location
    • railroad milepost and highway station at each location
    • the words “Exhibit A.”

Required Railroad Forms. Railroad application forms for overhead or underground wire lines (if required) should be attached to Exhibit A. These forms do not need to be sealed.

Seal Coat Projects. On seal coat projects, the district should provide the following as part of Exhibit A:

  • location of each project including the DOT No.
  • a location map of each project
  • name of the railroads involved
  • project data.

For seal coat projects, the Exhibit A does not need to be signed, sealed, and dated by a registered professional engineer.

The district submits Exhibit A to the Traffic Operations Division (TRF).

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Agreement Preparation and Negotiations

Using the layout furnished by the district as Exhibit A, TRF prepares the letter agreement and forwards the agreements to the railroad company.

The letter agreement contains:

  • project data include:
    • county
    • project
    • control-section-job (CSJ)
    • highway number or road name
  • work description — the work to be performed by TxDOT and its contractor
  • flagging clause — gives the railroad authority to provide flaggers and gives an estimated cost for the flagging.
  • fiber optic clauses — provides the 1-800 number that TxDOT’s contractor must call before any work is performed on railroad property
  • insurance clause — requires TxDOT’s contractor to provide railroad protective liability insurance.

TRF handles all negotiations concerning the agreement, including revisions. Upon receipt of the signed letter agreement, TRF forwards a copy of the executed agreement to the district and the Finance Division (FIN).

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Work Order

The district issues the work order to the railroad for flaggers. The work order should be issued at least five days before any work is performed, so that the railroad has time to provide flaggers. A copy of the work order should also be sent to TRF and FIN. The work order authorizes payment to the railroad.

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Completion Letter

The district issues the completion letter to the railroad when the project is complete and the flagger is no longer needed. A copy of the completion letter should also be sent to TRF and FIN. This letter authorizes final payment to the railroad.

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