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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 4. General Mobile Equipment and Auxiliaries
Article 29. Industrial Railroads

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§3737. Side Clearance for Standard Gage Industrial Railroad Tracks.

(a) Minimum side clearances from center line of tangent standard gage industrial railroad tracks, which are used for transporting freight cars, except as hereinafter prescribed, shall be as shown below:

Description .................................................... side clearance
(b) All structures and obstructions above the                                  
top of the rail except those hereinafter specifically mentioned  8' 6"         
Note: Posts, pipes, warning signs and similar obstructions should, where practicable, have a side clearance of 10 feet.

(c) Platforms eight inches or less above top of rail....... 4' 8"  
(d) Platforms four feet or less above top of rail.......... 7' 6"  
(e) Platforms four feet six inches or less above top of            
rail when used principally for loading or unloading                
refrigerator cars.......................................... 8' 0"  
(f) Platforms previously constructed at clearance not less than seven feet three inches may be extended at such clearance unless such extension is in connection with the reconstruction of the original platform.

Note: Combinations of platforms under (d) and (e) will not be permitted. Combinations of platforms under (c) with either of those under (d) or (e) is permitted provided that the platform under (c) presents a level surface from a point not more than four feet eight inches from center line of track to the face or wall of the platform with which it is combined.

(g) Poles supporting trolley contact conductors supplying                
motive power to track affected, if of bracket construction, on           
either single or double main track............................... 8' 3"  
Note: In order to bring switch stand targets into clear vision where pole lines are or have been constructed at legal clearance on railroads operated by overhead trolley contact the clearance as applied to switch stands may be reduced to seven feet six inches.

(h) Switch boxes, switch-operating mechanisms and                        
accessories necessary for the control and operation of                   
signals and interlockers projecting four inches or less above            
the top of of rail.............................................. l3' 0"  
(i) Signals and switch stands three feet or less above top               
of rail and located between tracks where not practicable to              
provide clearances otherwise prescribed in this order........... 6' 0"   
(j) Through bridges supporting track affected, tunnels,                  
water columns and oil columns................................... 8' 0"   
See Figure 2.


Posts, poles, signs and similar facilities may have minimum clearance of 8 ' 6," but clearance of 10 ' -0 " is recommended where practicable.

All side clearance dimensions are for tangent track. In general side clearance for curve track to be 1 ' 0 " greater than that for tangent track.

When track is used principally for loading or unloading refrigerator cars, platform with height of 4 ' 6 " above top of rail may be maintained provided that minimum side clearance to center line of track shall be 8 ' 0."

Platforms 4 ' 0 " or less in height with minimum clearance of 7 ' 3 " may be extended at existing clearances if such extension is not in connection with reconstruction of original platform.

Icing platforms and supports shall have minimum clearance of 7 ' 8."

(k) The clearances for (a) through bridges supporting track affected, (b) water barrel platforms and refuge platforms on bridges and trestles not provided with walkways, (c) handrails, (d) water barrels, (e) water columns, (f) oil columns, (g) block signals, (h) cattle guards, and (i) stock chutes, when all or portions thereof are four feet or less above top of rail may be decreased to the extent defined by a line extending diagonally upward from a point level with top of rail, and five feet distant laterally from center line of track to a point four feet above top of rail and eight feet distant laterally from center line of track; provided, however, that the minimum clearance for handrails and water barrels on bridges with walkways, shall be seven feet nine inches, and, provided further, the minimum clearance for fences of cattle guards shall be six feet nine inches.

( l) All minimum side clearances prescribed in this section are for tangent track. In general, all structures adjacent to curved track, shall have a minimum side clearance one foot greater than the minimum side clearance otherwise required for tangent track. Where the division has determined that space is limited, the minimum side clearances for structures adjacent to tracks of not over 12 degree curvature may be the same as for tangent track, but where track curvature exceeds 12 degrees, one-half inch for each degree of the curve shall be added to the minimum side clearance required for tangent track.

(m) The center line of any track constructed in and along a public street shall be at least 10 feet from the property line of said street, or if the street has a lawfully established curb line, such track shall be at least 10 feet from such line.

(n) When tracks are operated exclusively for logging purposes, log rollways which serve them may be erected at less than the minimum side clearances herein prescribed.

(o) Minimum side clearances authorized in this section are applicable to tracks on which freight cars having a width not greater than 10 feet 10 inches are transported. Freight cars of a width exceeding 10 feet 10 inches but not greater than 11 feet 1 inch may be transported provided they shall be permanently marked, stenciled, or placarded, and such markings maintained in a legible condition reading:


All such required markings and placarding shall be placed on the side adjacent to the ladder or handholds near the floor line of the car at each of the four corners.

(p) If freight cars of a width greater than 10 feet 10 inches are transported, minimum side clearances shall be increased by an amount equal to one-half such additional width, and the distance between parallel tracks as provided in 3739(d) of this order shall be increased by the amount of such additional width.

    Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.  

1. New NOTE filed 9-11-85; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 85, 
No. 37).

2. Change without regulatory effect providing more legible illustration for
Figure 2 filed 2-18-2009 pursuant to 
section 100, title 1, California Codeof Regulations (Register 2009, No. 8).

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