(1) This rule adopts the federal minimum safety standards for track, freight car, and locomotive inspections prescribed by 49 C.F.R. Parts 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 223, 225, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 236, 238, 239 and 240, as printed in the annual edition of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, dated October 1, 2009, and the federal minimum safety standards for the transportation of hazardous material by rail as prescribed by 49 C.F.R. Parts 171, 172, 173, 174, 178, 179 and 180, as printed in the annual edition of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, dated October 1, 2009, as rules of the Florida Department of Transportation; and prescribes reasonable requirements governing clearances above, beside, and between railroad tracks in the State of Florida. If a later version of an individual part is subsequently issued and adopted by the Florida Department of Transportation that individual part will include the effective date of the revised standard.
    (2) Definitions. In this rule, the words or terms are defined as follows:
    (a) “Department” means the Florida Department of Transportation.
    (b) “Height of a Conventional Railroad Car” means the distance between the top of the rail and the highest part or appurtenance of a car.
    (c) “Overhead Clearance” means the vertical distance from the level of the top of the highest rail to a structure or obstruction above.
    (d) “Railroad” means as defined in Florida Statutes § 341.301
    (e) “Side Clearance” means the shortest distance from the center line of track to a structure or obstruction at the side of the track.
    (f) “Side of a Conventional Railroad Car” means that part or appurtenance of a car at the maximum distance measured at right angles from the center line of the car.
    (g) “Standard Gage” means the established distance of four feet, eight and a half inches between the heads of the two rails of a railroad track measured at right angles to the rails in a plane five-eights of an inch below the top of the rail head.
    (3) The following federal minimum safety standards for inspections of track, conventional railroad cars, locomotives, and train operations inspections are hereby incorporated by reference and made rules of the Department:
    (a) Track Safety Standards. 49 C.F.R. Part 213.
    (b) Railroad Workplace Safety. 49 C.F.R. Part 214.
    (c) Railroad Freight Car Safety Standards. 49 C.F.R. Part 215.
    (d) Special Notice and Emergency Order Procedures: Railroad Track, Locomotive and Equipment. 49 C.F.R. Part 216.
    (e) Railroad Operating Rules. 49 C.F.R. Part 217.
    (f) Railroad Operating Practices. 49 C.F.R. Part 218.
    (g) Control of Alcohol and Drug Use. 49 C.F.R. Part 219.
    (h) Radio Standards and Procedures. 49 C.F.R. Part 220.
    (i) Rear End Marking Device — Passenger, Commuter and Freight Trains. 49 C.F.R. Part 221.
    (j) Safety Glazing Standards — Locomotives, Passenger Cars and Cabooses. 49 C.F.R. Part 223.
    (k) Railroad Accidents/Incidents: Reports Classification, and Investigations. 49 C.F.R. Part 225.
    (l) Hours of Service of Railroad Employees. 49 C.F.R. Part 228.
    (m) Railroad Locomotive Safety Standards. 49 C.F.R. Part 229.
    (n) Locomotive Inspection. 49 C.F.R. Part 230.
    (o) Railroad Safety Appliance Standards. 49 C.F.R. Part 231.
    (p) Railroad Power Brakes and Drawbars. 49 C.F.R. Part 232.
    (q) Signal Systems Reporting Requirements. 49 C.F.R. Part 233.
    (r) Grade Crossing Signal System Safety. 49 C.F.R. Part 234.
    (s) Rules, Standards, and Instructions Governing the Installation, Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair of Signal and Train Control Systems, Devices, and Appliances. 49 C.F.R. Part 236.
    (t) Passenger Equipment Safety Standards. 49 C.F.R. Part 238.
    (u) Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness. 49 C.F.R. Part 239.
    (v) Qualification and Certification of Locomotive Engineers. 49 C.F.R. Part 240.
    (4) The following federal minimum safety standards for the transportation of hazardous materials by rail are hereby incorporated by reference and made rules of the Department:
    (a) General Information, Regulations, and Definitions. 49 C.F.R. Part 171.
    (b) Hazardous Materials Table, Special Provisions, Hazardous Materials Communications, Emergency Response Information, and Training Requirements. 49 C.F.R. Part 172.
    (c) Shippers — General Requirements for Shipments and Packagings. 49 C.F.R. 173.
    (d) Carriage by Rail. 49 C.F.R. Part 174.
    (e) Specifications for Packaging. 49 C.F.R. Part 178.
    (f) Specifications for Tank Cars. 49 C.F.R. Part 179.
    (g) Continuing Qualification and Maintenance of Packagings. 49 C.F.R. Part 180.
    (5) Railroad Clearance Requirements.
    (a) Overhead Clearance. The minimum overhead clearance above the top of the rail of standard gage railroad tracks, which are used or proposed to be used for transporting conventional railroad cars, shall be 22 feet, except as otherwise provided in this rule. The minimum overhead clearance above the top of the rail on such tracks located inside buildings shall be 17 feet. Where the overhead clearance is less than 22 feet inside buildings, appropriate warning signs directing the attention of railroad employees, and others, to the reduced clearance shall be erected as specified in subparagraph (5)(f)1. of this rule at each point where the affected track enters the building.
    (b) Side Clearances. The minimum side clearance from the center line of a curved railroad track shall be one inch per thirty minutes of curvature in addition to the minimum side clearance from the center line of tangent standard gage railroad tracks. The minimum side clearance used or proposed to be used for tangent standard gage railroad tracks shall be as follows:
    1. The minimum side clearance for all structures and obstructions above the top of the rail, except those hereinafter specifically mentioned, shall be eight feet. (Note: posts, pipes, warning signs, and similar obstructions should, where practicable, have a side clearance of ten feet.)
    2. The minimum side clearance for tracks adjacent to platforms for loading and unloading conventional railroad cars, where the tops of such platforms are approximately level with the floors of such cars serving such platforms, may be reduced to not less than five feet nine inches, on one side of the tracks only. Warning signs, which direct attention of railroad employees and others to the reduced clearance, shall be erected as specified in subparagraph (5)(f)1. of this rule.
    3. The minimum side clearance for tracks adjacent to or entering engine terminal or shop structures, such as engine houses and car repair shops, outdoor locomotive fueling and servicing facilities, and turntables shall be six feet. When a side clearance of less than eight feet exists on such tracks, warning signs which direct attention of railroad employees to the reduced clearance shall be erected at each end of the structure. The clearance requirements of this rule do not apply to repair or servicing platforms and structures inside engine houses and repair shops.
    4. The minimum side clearance for platforms eight inches or less above the top of the rail shall be four feet eight inches.
    5. The minimum side clearance for switch boxes, switch operating mechanisms, and accessories necessary for the control and operation of signals, switches, and derails, projecting four inches or less above the top of the rail shall be three feet.
    6. The minimum side clearance for signals and switch stands three feet or less above the top of the rail and located between tracks, where not practicable to provide clearances otherwise prescribed by this rule because of the distance between the tracks, shall be six feet.
    7. The minimum side clearance for fences of cattle guards shall be six feet nine inches.
    (c) Clearances Between Tracks.
    1. The minimum distance between the center lines of parallel standard gage tracks shall be 13 feet six inches.
    2. The minimum distance between the center line of any standard gage ladder track and any other adjacent track shall be 19 feet.
    3. The minimum distance between the center lines of parallel team, house, and industry tracks shall be 13 feet.
    (d) Obstructions and Conditions Adjacent to Tracks.
    1. The space between tracks within railroad yards, and the space beside such tracks within eight feet of the center line thereof, shall be kept clear of grass, weeds, mud, slime, debris, and similar obstructions.
    2. No merchandise, material, or other articles shall be placed or permitted to remain either on the ground or on the platforms adjacent to any track, during the movement of trains or engines on such adjacent track, at a distance less than eight feet from the center line of track. This prohibition shall not apply to materials used in the construction, maintenance, or repair of the tracks. Notice of the general location of such materials to be used for the construction, maintenance, or repair of the tracks shall be posted where general notices concerning the movement of trains are posted, or shall otherwise be made available to railroad employees working in such area.
    3. A line or other marker shall be maintained eight feet from the center line of track on all platforms, excluding passenger platforms, to indicate the space along the edge of the platform which must be kept clear of merchandise, material, or other articles.
    (e) Applicability.
The clearances prescribed in this rule shall not apply to the extension of tracks or the adjacent buildings, structures, or facilities provided the track or buildings or structure or facility to be extended was constructed prior to September 17, 1953.
    (f) Deviation from Clearance. In the event that the required railroad clearance cannot be met after any new construction of railroad track or any adjacent building, structure, or facility, the owner, or other designated person, of the adjacent building, structure, or facility shall take the following safety measures:
    1. Install appropriate warning signs at a location at least 100 feet in advance of the location where less than the required clearance exists. Such signs must be installed at both ends of any location which can be approached by a train from either direction, exclusive of any switching activity on a stub end track.
    2. Install markings, decals, or paint on any and all obstructions that have less than the required side clearance. Such markings, decals, or paint shall be in a pattern of diagonal stripes to call attention to the obstruction.
    (6) Penalties. Failure to comply with the provisions of this rule chapter will result in a penalty in accordance with Florida Statutes § 351.35(2), as provided for in applicable federal regulations specified in subsection Fla. Admin. Code R. 14-57.003(1), and hereby incorporated by reference under subsections 14-57.003(3) and (4), F.A.C.
Rulemaking Authority Florida Statutes § 334.044(2), 351.35(1). Law Implemented 341.302(7), (8), 351.35(1), (2) FS. History—New 1-27-81, Formerly 14-57.03, Amended 7-27-97, 10-16-01, 10-9-11.