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Section 2: Right of Entry and Survey Agreements

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Policy and Practice

When TxDOT needs to enter the railroad’s right-of-way to perform core drilling, survey, or other related work, a Right of Entry Agreement or Survey Agreement with the railroad is necessary. These agreements are usually needed at the very beginning of a project, typically before plan layouts are drawn. These agreements should be negotiated as far in advance as possible so as not to delay the project.

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Insurance Considerations

When TxDOT forces perform surveying or core drilling work, railroads do not require railroad protective liability insurance. If TxDOT’s contractor performs the work, then railroad liability protective insurance is required. Since the cost of the insurance could exceed the cost of the survey or coring project, TxDOT forces should perform this type work.

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Layout (Exhibit A)

The district prepares the layout (Exhibit A) in sufficient detail to show all work to be performed by TxDOT, TxDOT’s contractor, and the railroad. Exhibit A must include:

  • project data include:
    • county
    • project
    • control-section-job (CSJ)
    • highway number or road name
  • title block includes:
    • control-section-job (CSJ)
    • DOT No.
    • railroad mile post
    • project number
    • county number.
    • the words “Exhibit A”
  • work list — the work to be performed by TxDOT or its contractor, including the type of work to be performed on the railroad’s right-of-way and, when coring is involved, where the coring will be performed in connection to the railroad tracks.

Exhibit A must 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

Agreement Preparation. Using the layout furnished by the district as Exhibit A, the Traffic Operations Division (TRF) prepares the Right of Entry or Survey Agreement and forwards it to the railroad company.

The agreement contains:

  • project data, which includes:
    • county
    • control-section-job (CSJ)
    • highway number or road name
    • project number
    • DOT No. (if available)
    • the city
  • scope of work (description follows)
  • conditions clause (description follows)
  • a fiber optic clause (description follows)
  • insurance clauses (description follows)
  • a payment clause (description follows)
  • a termination clause (description follows).

Scope of Work. The scope of work includes all work to be performed by TxDOT, TxDOT’s contractor, and the railroad. It specifies the responsibilities of both the railroad and TxDOT.

Conditions Clause. The conditions clause gives TxDOT permission from the railroad to perform the necessary work. It specifies conditions that apply to TxDOT while on the railroad right-of-way.

Fiber Optic Clause. Most of the major railroads may have fiber optic cable buried on their rights-of-way. Therefore, it is important that the railroad be contacted at a 1-800 number (which is identified in the agreement) prior to any work being performed to determine if fiber optic cable is buried on the right-of-way. Also, the location of the fiber optic cable and who it belongs to can be identified. It is the district’s responsibility to contact the fiber optic cable company to advise them of the proposed work and to determine if the cable will be affected by the work. This clause is important to the railroad companies, because of the very high costs associated with broken or damaged fiber optic cable.

Insurance Clauses. If TxDOT’s contractor will perform the survey or coring work, then the contractor must purchase railroad protective liability insurance in the amount of at least two million dollars for bodily injury and property damage and six million dollars aggregate for all occurrences. The railroad protective liability insurance must be carried until all work on railroad property is completed. Insurance requirements are included in a Special Provision to Item 007.

Payment Clause. The payment clause specifies the conditions under which TxDOT will reimburse the railroad and when reimbursement will be made. Reimbursement to the railroad must be in accordance with Federal-Aid Policy Guide (FAPG) subchapter B, part 140, subpart I, issued by the Federal Highway Administration on April 7, 1992.

Termination Clause. Some railroad companies require that a one-year termination clause be included in the agreement. This clause specifies that the agreement, after execution by all parties involved, be good for one year from the execution date. It also states that TxDOT must notify the railroad in writing at least five days prior to starting any work on railroad right-of-way.

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Agreement Negotiations

TRF handles all negotiations concerning the agreement, including revisions. Upon receipt of the signed 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 any flagging of trains that may be required. The work order should be issued as soon as possible after the agreement has been executed by all parties. A copy of the work order should also be sent to TRF and FIN.

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Completion Letter

Upon completion of the survey or coring work, the district issues a completion letter to the railroad. This letter advises the railroad that all work on their right-of-way is complete and that they may now bill TxDOT the cost of any flagging performed in connection with the project. A copy of the completion letter should also be sent to TRF and FIN.

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