Best Practices for Third Party Crossings Under Railway Tracks

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  • Third party utility and pipeline crossings are common construction projects in the railroad industry. Trenchless construction methods are typically used for the installation of third party crossings within a railroad right-of-way. The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association develops manuals which provides recommended guidelines for trenchless design and construction. All Class I railroads in North America have developed their own standards and processes for accommodating third party utility crossings within their right-of-way.

    Three case studies were examined to review historical utility and pipeline crossings within a railway right-of-way. The first case study provided an example of a well-executed microtunnelling crossing technique while the remaining two case studies provided examples of microtunnelling and guided boring techniques within the railway right-of-way.

    Best practices to minimize impacts due to third party crossings under railway tracks have been provided. The recommendations for best practices were mainly focused on improving controls related to soil investigations, settlement assessments, monitoring plans, site supervision and monitoring. These recommendations include implementation of the observational method, sufficient soil info at critical locations, standardized coordinate system for settlement trough monitoring at the base of the rails, minimum installation depth for utility crossings, vibration monitoring and consideration for surveying accuracy.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International