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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 3572

1st Engrossment - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to railroads; requiring walkways by certain track; proposing coding for
new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 219.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [219.372] WALKWAYS BY TRACK; GENERAL REQUIREMENTS;
DEFINITIONS.
new text end

new text begin (a) Walkways may be surfaced with asphalt, concrete, planking, grating, native
material, crushed material, or similar or other nonrevenue material. When crushed
material is used, 100 percent of the material must be capable of passing through a
1-1/2-inch square sieve opening and 90 - 100 percent of the material must be capable
of passing through a one-inch square sieve opening; provided however, a de minimus
variation is not a violation of this paragraph when the rail carrier has made a good faith
effort to comply with the percentage requirements. Smaller crushed material may be used
where drainage and durability issues do not arise. Material that is three-fourths inch or
less must conform with standards set forth by the American Railway Engineering and
Maintenance of Way Association for switching lead tracks.
new text end

new text begin (b) Walkways must have a uniform surface and must be maintained in a safe
condition without compromising track drainage.
new text end

new text begin (c) Cross slopes for walkways must not exceed one inch of elevation for each eight
inches of horizontal length in any direction.
new text end

new text begin (d) Walkways must be a minimum width of two feet.
new text end

new text begin (e) Walkways within the scope of sections 219.372 to 219.378 must be kept free of
spilled oil, sand, posts, rocks, and other hazards or obstructions.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [219.373] NEW YARD TRACKS.
new text end

new text begin (a) Rail carriers shall provide walkways adjacent to those portions of yard tracks
constructed after July 1, 2008, where rail carrier employees frequently work on the ground
performing switching activities.
new text end

new text begin (b) For the purpose of this section, "frequently" means occurring at least five days
per week, one shift per day.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [219.374] OTHER TRACKS.
new text end

new text begin (a) Walkways by main and secondary track switches must be constructed with
materials set forth in section 219.372.
new text end

new text begin (b) Walkways by switch stands may have a wider apron from base of switch stand
area and must be maintained in a safe condition without compromising track drainage.
new text end

new text begin (c) When the commissioner of transportation finds, after notice and hearing, that rail
carrier employees who frequently work adjacent to a portion of track performing switching
activities are exposed to safety hazards due to the lack of a walkway or to the condition of
a walkway constructed before July 1, 2008, the commissioner shall order the rail carrier
to construct a walkway adjacent to a portion of track where employees are performing
switching activities, or require a rail carrier to modify an existing walkway in conformance
with the standards set forth in section 219.373 within a reasonable period of time.
new text end

new text begin (d) For purposes of this section, "frequently" means at least five days per week, one
shift per day, or any other period deemed "frequently" by the commissioner to warrant
an order pursuant to this section.
new text end

Sec. 4.

new text begin [219.375] EXCEPTIONS TO COMPLIANCE.
new text end

new text begin Rail carriers are excused from complying with sections 219.372 to 219.378 during
maintenance activities or any period of heavy rain or snow, derailments, rock and earth
slides, washouts, and similar weather or seismic conditions, and during a reasonable
period afterwards to allow a return to compliance.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [219.376] WAIVERS.
new text end

new text begin A rail carrier may petition the commissioner of transportation for a waiver of any
provision of sections 219.372 to 219.378 pursuant to section 218.041 or other applicable
statute.
new text end

Sec. 6.

new text begin [219.377] COMPLAINTS; ENFORCEMENT.
new text end

new text begin (a) A formal complaint of an alleged violation of sections 219.372 to 219.378 may
not be filed until the filing party has attempted to address the alleged violations with the
rail carrier. Any complaint of an alleged violation of sections 219.372 to 219.378 must
contain a written statement that the filing party has made a reasonable, good faith attempt
to address the alleged violation with the rail carrier.
new text end

new text begin (b) All formal complaints filed with the commissioner of transportation must be
resolved pursuant to procedures set forth in section 218.041 or other applicable statute.
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [219.378] WALKWAY EXEMPTIONS.
new text end

new text begin (a) Sections 219.372, paragraphs (a), (c), and (d); 219.373; and 219.374, paragraphs
(a) and (b), do not apply to track placed in revenue service before the effective date of this
section until the date and time track and supporting structure are replaced, resurfaced, or
as otherwise ordered by the commissioner of transportation pursuant to section 219.374 to
eliminate an unsafe or hazardous condition.
new text end

new text begin (b) A small business that owns or operates any track in this state is exempt from
sections 219.372, paragraphs (a), (c), and (d); 219.373; 219.374, paragraphs (a) and (b);
219.375; and 219.376. On determining after notice and hearing that exempting a small
business that owns or operates any track in this state pursuant to paragraph (a) poses
an unreasonable threat or substantial harm to the public safety, the commissioner of
transportation shall order that business to eliminate any unsafe walkway condition.
new text end

new text begin (c) As used in this section, "small business" either has the meaning given in section
645.445 or is a class three carrier as classified by the Federal Railroad Administration.
new text end

Sec. 8. new text beginSHORT TITLE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 to 7 may be cited as the "Railroad Walkway Safety Act."
new text end

Sec. 9. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin This act is effective July 1, 2008.
new text end