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RULE §21.910Utilities Crossing Railroad Property

    (A) Casing and pipeline installations must be accomplished by directional boring, jack-and-bore, tunneling, or other approved methods. Tunneling construction under tracks will be permitted only under direct supervision of the department. Tunneling procedures and equipment, as well as structural design, must have department approval prior to starting any work on state railroad right of way. Generally, tunneling will not be considered where less than six feet of cover exists, or where excessively sandy, loose, or rocky soils are anticipated. Rail elevations over the work must be monitored at intervals prescribed by the department to detect any track movement. Movements of over one-quarter inch vertically shall be immediately reported to the department. The following requirements shall apply to these construction methods.

      (i) The use of water under pressure jetting or puddling will not be permitted to facilitate boring, pushing, or jacking operations. Some boring may require water to lubricate cutter and pipe, and under such conditions, is considered dry boring.

      (ii) Where unstable soil conditions exist, boring or tunneling operations shall be conducted in such a manner as not to be detrimental to the railroad.

      (iii) If excessive voids or too large a bored hole is produced during casing or pipeline installations, or if it is necessary to abandon a bored or tunneled hole, prompt remedial action shall be taken by the utility.

      (iv) All voids or abandoned holes caused by boring or jacking are to be filled by pressure grouting. The grout material shall be sand cement slurry with a minimum of two sacks of cement per cubic yard and a minimum of water to assure satisfactory placement.

      (v) The hole diameter resulting from bored or tunneled installations shall not exceed the outside diameter of the utility pipe, cable or casing including coating, by more than one and one-half inches for pipes with an inside diameter of 12 inches or less, or two inches for pipes with an inside diameter greater than 12 inches.

      (vi) Pits for boring, tunneling, or jacking will not be permitted within 30 feet of the centerline of the track or closer to the track than the toe of fill slopes in fill sections, or toe of shoulder slopes in ditch sections when pipes are allowed on the railroad property.

    (B) Vents. In casing pipe installations, vents are appurtenances by which fluids or gases between carrier and casing may be inspected, sampled, exhausted, or evacuated.

      (i) Vents shall be located at the high end of short casings and at both ends of casings longer than 150 feet.

      (ii) Vent standpipes shall be located and constructed so as not to interfere with maintenance of the railroad or to be concealed by vegetation. Where possible, they shall be marked and located at the property line. The markers shall give the name and address of the owner, and a phone number to contact in case of an emergency.

      (iii) Casing pipe shall be properly vented when sealed. Vent pipes shall be of sufficient diameter, but in no case less than two inches in diameter, and shall be attached near each end of the casing, projecting through the ground surface at property lines.

      (iv) Vent pipes shall extend not less than four feet above ground surface. The top of a vent pipe shall be fitted with a properly screened down-turned elbow or a relief valve.

      (v) For pipelines carrying flammable materials, vent pipes on casings shall be at least 16 feet vertically from aerial electric wires. Casings shall be suitably insulated from underground conduits carrying electric wires on railroad right of way.

    (C) Shut-off valves.

      (i) The utility shall install accessible emergency shut-off valves within effective distances on each side of the railroad track. Where pipelines are provided with automatic control stations, no additional valves will be required.

      (ii) Shut-off valves may not be placed on the right of way unless approved by the district engineer. If approval is acquired, a guardrail must protect the shut-off valve.

      (iii) When a guardrail is required, its height shall be four feet above the ground line. All four corner posts shall be driven to a minimum depth of four feet below ground line. There shall be a minimum clearance of two feet from the valve to the guardrail. The steel pipes for the four corner posts and guardrail shall have a minimum diameter of four inches. All joints will be welded with a one-quarter inch fillet weld all around.

  (6) Water lines.

    (A) Where casing pipe is used, venting is not required. Sealing will be required if the ends of the casing are not above high water.

    (B) Where non-metallic pipe is permitted and installed, steel casings are required from right of way line to right of way line.

    (C) Manholes must be located outside the right of way, if possible. Manholes shall not be located within 25 feet of railroad trackage in the shoulder, shoulder slope, ditch or backslope, and shall not protrude above the surrounding ground without the approval of the department.

    (D) The utility shall place a readily identifiable and suitable marker at each railroad property line where it is crossed by a water line.

  (7) Sewer lines.

    (A) New and relocated sewer lines shall be constructed with satisfactory joints, materials, and designs that will provide protection and resistance to damage from sulfide gases and other corrosive elements to which they may be exposed.

    (B) Where casing pipe is used, venting and sealing of casing will be required.

    (C) Where non-metallic pipe is permitted and installed, a durable metal wire shall be concurrently installed or other means shall be provided for detection purposes.

    (D) Manholes must be located outside the right of way, if possible. Manholes shall not be located within 25 feet of railroad trackage in the shoulder, shoulder slope, ditch or backslope, and shall not protrude above the surrounding ground without the approval of the department.

  (8) Electric power lines.

    (A) Lines must remain at a minimum depth of five and one-half feet below the base of rail (BBR).

    (B) Lines must remain at a minimum depth of three feet BNG for 750 volts and less, and four feet BNG for greater than 750 volts.

    (C) The wireline must be encased completely across the state railroad right of way with a rigid metallic conduit.

    (D) Crossings must not be installed under or within 50 feet of the end of any railroad bridge, centerline of any culvert, or switch area.

    (E) Department personnel must be present during installation if railroad signals are in the vicinity of wireline crossings, unless otherwise authorized by the department.

    (F) Markers that identify the utility shall be placed at both property lines for utilities crossing the railroad property. For parallel lines, markers shall be placed above the cable at intervals no less than 300 feet apart. The markers shall identify the owner, type of cable, and an emergency telephone number. A six-inch wide warning tape shall be installed, one foot BNG directly over the underground power line where located on state railroad right of way outside the track ballast sections.

    (G) Above-ground utility appurtenances installed as a part of an underground installation shall be located at or near the railroad property line and shall not be any closer than 25 feet to the centerline of track.

  (9) Fiber optic lines. The same requirements for electric power line crossings as outlined in paragraph (8) of this subsection will apply for fiber optic line crossings except that:

    (A) a minimum depth of four feet BNG is required for fiber optic cable wirelines;

    (B) the department must approve any specialized equipment used to install cable; and

    (C) no rail plow will be allowed for installation purposes.

Source Note: The provisions of this §21.910 adopted to be effective April 20, 2006, 31 TexReg 3273

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