Railroad Clearances and Walkways in Private Rail Yards and Plants

Chapter 296-860, WAC

Effective Date: 10/01/02



WAC 296-860-300

For printing

Select a Letter:

Car width

Twice the distance from the centerline of a railroad car to its extreme outside part.

Common carrier

All railroads, railroad companies, street railroads, street railroad companies, corporations, partnerships, persons, cities or towns that own, operate, manage, or control any public use enterprise within Washington state that transports people or property for hire.


The Washington state department of Labor & Industries.


Any unforeseen occurrence that endangers life, limb, or property.

Icing platforms

Structures used to ice, precool, heat, ventilate or service private railroad cars that handle commodities requiring these services.


Any point or place where a highway, road, or ramp carrying vehicular traffic crosses a private rail yard or track by passing above it.

Overhead clearance

The perpendicular distance between the top of the highest rail and the lowest point of an overhead structure or obstruction.

Private rail operation

A nonrailroad company operating railroad facilities, structures, tracks and equipment in the company's yard or plant. Chapter 296-860 WAC applies to:

  • Any equipment, facility or structure owned or operated by the company


  • The construction and reconstruction of tracks or structures adjacent to any facility or structure owned or operated by the company.


Every public use railroad, other than street railroads, operated to transport people or property for hire. This definition also includes all bridges, ferries, tunnels, equipment, switches, spurs, tracks, stations, and terminal facilities of every kind that are used, operated, controlled, or owned by or in connection with any such public use railroad.

Side clearance

The shortest distance between the centerline of a track and a structure or other track side obstructions such as downspouts, ladders, equipment, piles of material or inventory, etc.

Track clearance

The shortest distance between the centerlines of adjacent railroad tracks.


Pathways located alongside or in the vicinity of a railroad track, or on a trestle or bridge, providing space so a private railroad employee can perform duties associated with the track, trestle, or bridge.


End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

© Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.