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WAC 296-860-20050

Maintain side clearances.

You must make sure side clearances are at least eight feet six inches from the track centerline unless clearance requirements found in Tables 2, 3, or 4 apply.
Note:
All side clearances in Tables 2, 3, and 4 that reference "the track centerline" are based on the assumption that private rail operations generally use track that is standard gauge width (4 feet 8 1/2 inches).
Table 2 - Minimum Side Clearance for Platforms
If Your Platform
Type is:
Then the Minimum Clearance Requirements Between the Track Centerline and a Platform Edge are:
Type 1
4 feet 8 inches
Platforms with heights of 8 inches or less above the top of the rail.
See Illustration 2.
Type 2
7 feet 3 inches
Platforms with heights of 4 feet or less above the top of the rail.
See Illustration 2.
Type 3
8 feet
Platforms with heights of 4 feet 6 inches or less above the top of the rail and the platforms are used primarily for loading and/or unloading refrigerator cars.
See Illustration 2.
Type 4
7 feet 3 inches
Icing platforms and supports.
See Illustration 2.
Type 5
 
Retractable platforms attached to permanent structures.
When not in use, use the clearance requirements for a platform of its height.
Type 6
 
Platforms that are a combination of Types 1 through 3. (Only Types 1 through 3 platforms can be combined.)
Platforms may be combined if the Type 1 platform has a level surface no more than 4 feet 8 inches from the track centerline to the face of the platform wall with which it is combined.
Illustration 2 - Minimum Side Clearances for Platforms
EXEMPTION:
Except for handrail and water barrel clearances, the clearance requirements in Table 3 do not apply to bridge decks where railroad employees couple or uncouple cars on a switching lead unless the department approves them.
Note:
The requirements for filing a variance are located in the Safety and health core rules and chapter 296-900 WAC, Administrative rules.
Table 3 - Minimum Side Clearances for Bridges, Tunnels and Related Structures
If your side clearance requirement involves:
Then the minimum side clearance requirements between the track centerline and the bridge, tunnel or related structure are:
Bridge and tunnel sides - lower section
8 feet
Bridge and tunnel sides - upper section
Defined by the half-circumference of a circle whose:
 
Radius is 8 feet; and
 
Center is located on a line perpendicular to the track's centerline and 14 feet 6 inches above the top of the highest rail.
 
See Illustration 3.
Related structures on bridges and in tunnels - lower section structures (or portions of them) that are no more than 4 feet above the top of the rail. For example:
Defined by lines extending:
Refuge platforms on bridges and trestles.
5 feet laterally from the track centerline to a point level with the top of the rail and then diagonally upward to another point 4 feet above the top of the rail; and
Water columns, oil columns, and block signals.
8 feet laterally from the track centerline to a point 4 feet above the top of the rail.
Cattle chutes.
See Illustration 3A. The shaded portion of the illustration designates the area that must be free of refuge platforms, water columns, oil columns, block signals and cattle chutes.
Hand rails and water barrels
7 feet 6 inches
Fences of cattle guards
6 feet 9 inches
Illustration 3 - Minimum Side Clearances for Bridges, Tunnels and Related structures
Illustration 3A - Minimum Side Clearance for Certain Structures in or on the Lower Sections of Bridges and Tunnels
Note:
1. The department must approve all minimum clearances for car pulling units and related structures.
 
2. The requirements for filing a variance are located in the Safety and health core rules and chapter 296-900 WAC, Administrative rules.
Table 4 - Other Minimum Side
Clearance Requirements*
If your side clearance requirement involves:
Then the minimum side clearance requirements from the track centerline are:
Type A
 
Engine house and car repair shop doors.
7 feet 6 inches
Type B
 
Interlocking mechanism, switch boxes, and other similar devices projecting no more than 4 feet above the top of the rail.
3 feet
Type C
 
Poles supporting trolley contact.
8 feet 3 inches
Type D
 
Signals and switch stands no more than 3 feet high and located between tracks where it is not possible to allow other clearances required in this chapter.
6 feet
Type E
 
Signals and switch stands other than those described in Type B and Type D.
8 feet
Type F
 
Material, merchandise, inventory, storage bins or equipment stacked or stored on ground or platforms adjacent to tracks.
8 feet 6 inches
 
Note:
 
This requirement does not apply to:
 
Railroad maintenance operations
 
Emergency situations
 
Local conditions that make compliance impossible.
Type G
 
 
Space adjacent to curved track.
Increased to equal tangent track clearances. As a general rule, side clearances on curved track should be increased 1-1/2" for each degree of curvature.
*
Table 4 does not have an accompanying illustration.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, 49.17.060. WSR 15-24-102, § 296-860-20050, filed 12/1/15, effective 1/5/16; WSR 07-03-163, § 296-860-20050, filed 1/24/07, effective 4/1/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, [49.17].040, and [49.17].050. WSR 02-17-106, § 296-860-20050, filed 8/21/02, effective 10/1/02.]
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