Exempt crossing

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Exempt crossing
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 23, 2004 11:02 AM
What does it mean?

thanks
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Posted by bnsfkline on Saturday, October 23, 2004 11:26 AM
an Exempt crossing is a crossing that is on a Dormant Piece of Railroad track. However, there is one mystery. The Manufactureres have a 'Exempt" Crossing on their trackage headed to the Budwiser Brewrey. Man, I can't spell. But anyway, this trackage is used, but the exempt sign is there. Normally it means that the crossing is on a piece of Dormant or Abandoned right of way.
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Posted by dldance on Saturday, October 23, 2004 12:54 PM
I have seen exempt crossing signs on active (but lightly used) rail lines where the automotive cross traffic always has the right of way. In operation - the train must come to a full stop before the grade crossing and then flag protect the train during the crossing.

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Posted by edbenton on Saturday, October 23, 2004 1:41 PM
Exempt crossings are also used so school buses dont have to stop and check for trains also any haz mat carrying vech does not have to stop also and check for trains saves time and on a busy highway could just save a life
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 23, 2004 1:46 PM
"Exempt" applies to vehicles on the road, which would otherwise have a duty to stop or otherwise use special lookout, keep to the far right, use only one gear, etc. (e.g., school buses, tank trucks). When an 'exempt' sign is properly posted, the responsibility switches to the train crew (as didance notes) to flag the crossing and otherwise ensure motor vehicle traffic is safely stopped.

A few relevant statutes:

Minnesota:

Subd. 2. Exempt crossing. (a) The commissioner may
designate a crossing as an exempt crossing if the crossing is:


(1) on a rail line on which service has been abandoned; or


(2) on a rail line that carries fewer than five trains each
year, traveling at speeds of ten miles per hour or less.


(b) The commissioner shall direct the railroad to erect at
the crossing signs bearing the word "Exempt" that conform to
section 169.06 [this section describes signage] . The installation or presence of an exempt sign does not relieve a driver of the duty to use due care. A train
must not proceed across an exempt crossing unless a police
officer is present to direct traffic or a railroad employee is
on the ground to warn traffic until the train enters the
crossing.


(c) A vehicle that must stop at grade crossings under
subdivision 1 is not required to stop at a marked exempt
crossing unless directed otherwise by a police officer or a
railroad employee.


Lakewood, Colorado:

10.12.030 Certain vehicles to stop at all grade crossings.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the driver of any motor vehicle carrying more than six passengers for hire, or of any school bus carrying any school child, or of any vehicle carrying explosives or hazardous materials as a cargo or part of a cargo, or of any vehicle designed to carry flammable liquids, whether empty or loaded, such hazardous materials or flammable liquids to be described in regulations issued pursuant to Section 42-20-108, C.R.S., as amended, before crossing at grade any tracks of a railroad shall stop such vehicle within fifty feet but not less than fifteen feet from the nearest rail of such railroad and while so stopped shall listen and look in both directions along such track for any approaching train and for signals indicating the approach of a train and shall not proceed until he can do so safely.

B. After stopping as required in this section and upon proceeding when it is safe to do so, the driver of any such vehicle shall cross only in such gear of the vehicle that there will be no necessity for changing gears while traversing such crossing and the driver shall not manually shift gears while crossing the tracks.

C. When stopping is required at such railroad crossing the driver shall keep as far to the right of the roadway as possible and shall not form two lanes of traffic unless the street or roadway is marked for four or more lanes of traffic.

D. Subsections (A) and (B) of this section shall not apply at:
1. Any railroad grade crossing protected by crossing gates or an alternately flashing light intended to give warning of the approach of a railroad train;
2. Any railroad grade crossing at which traffic is regulated by a traffic-control signal;
3. Any railroad grade crossing at which traffic is controlled by a law enforcement officer or human flagman;
4. Any railroad crossing where state or local road authorities within their respective jurisdictions have determined that trains are not operating during certain periods or seasons of the year and have erected an official sign carrying the legend "exempt crossing," which shall give notice when so posted that such crossing is exempt from the stopping requirement provided for in this section;
5. Street railway grade crossing within a business district.

Vermont: Title 5: Aeronautics and Surface Transportation Generally, Chapter 68: CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF THE ROAD --

5 V.S.A. § 3581. Warning devices and signs at grade crossings; exemption from stopping

(a) A railroad shall maintain railroad crossing (crossbuck) signs conforming to the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, as amended from time to time, at every public highway where the same is crossed by its railroad at grade.

(b) The transportation board, upon recommendation of the agency of transportation and after notice to the railroad and the person having control of the highway and an opportunity to be heard, may designate certain crossings as "exempt" and may impose such conditions as the interests of safety and the public good dictate. However, a flagperson shall be stationed at every crossing whenever a train is crossing a highway where an exempt sign is displayed. Within 90 days of such an order, the railroad in the case of warning devices and the person having control of the highway in the case of advance warning signs, shall affix "exempt" signs in accordance with section 1025 of Title 23. The petitioner shall bear the expense of the exempt sign.

(c) At the request of the agency of transportation, the railroad, or the person having control of the highway, and after notice and an opportunity to be heard, the transportation board may rescind an "exempt" crossing designation. The railroad and the person having control of the highway shall remove the "exempt" signs as directed by the transportation board. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 39(b), eff. March 1, 1961; 1967, No. 153, § 1; 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. March 1, 1973; 1985, No. 268 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1991, No. 49, § 1, eff. June 4, 1991; 1993, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 53a.)

Note the differences in what constitutes grounds for an 'exempt' designation. There's no requirement for abandonment, and 'dormancy' may be seasonal or even based on emergencies or short-term events. The important issue is that motor traffic no longer has the 'onus of responsibility' for safety at a rail/road crossing so marked.
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Posted by FThunder11 on Saturday, October 23, 2004 3:20 PM
Here theres an abandoned rail line through town, and at all the crossings they have thoes. the took down the gates and left the lights. It just means that you can ignore the crossing because there wont be any trains, IF ITS AN ABANDONED LINE, If like overmod said there is less than 5 trains, then u still have to keep a lookout. And we also have exempt here sice they paved over all the tracks at crossings [:(]
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Posted by DSchmitt on Saturday, October 23, 2004 3:32 PM
Here is a link to the Calitornia PUC page of General Orders for railroad/highway crossings. GO 145 is "Exempt" crossings:


http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/static/industry/transportation/crossings/genorders.htm

The California vehicle code requires that certain classes of vehicles (for instance school buses) come to a complete stop at all railroad crossings that are not signed "EXEMPT"

High volumn (rail traffic) crossings (with automatic crossing gate protection) as well as low volumn crossing (without automatic crossing gate protection) can qualify.

The California law does not relieve the the drivers of the vehicle classes, designated in the vehicle code, or any motorist of the responsibility to be observant and cross the railroad tracks in a safe maner. It just allows the designted vehicle classes to operate in the same manner as non designated vehicle classes.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 23, 2004 8:24 PM
Wow, that's interesting.

I have never heard of exempt crossings before.....learn something new everyday.

...don't think I have actually ever seen one IRL.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 23, 2004 10:16 PM
Not in use any more,gone.....................astalavesta................!
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Posted by Gluefinger on Sunday, October 24, 2004 12:26 AM
you mean they killed off the exempt signs?
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Posted by Pennsy58 on Sunday, October 24, 2004 7:55 AM
Don't know if this was covered or not, but the other thing with an exempt crossing is that things are backwards from normal for the train. The train must stop prior to crossing the road. Go figure! Then railroad personnel must dis-embark the train and stop traffic before the train can cross.
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Posted by cnw4001 on Sunday, October 24, 2004 8:07 AM
Next time you go through the Wooster Ohio area on U S 30 you can see one just west of the active RR overpass.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Sunday, October 24, 2004 11:49 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Pennsy58

Don't know if this was covered or not, but the other thing with an exempt crossing is that things are backwards from normal for the train. The train must stop prior to crossing the road. Go figure! Then railroad personnel must dis-embark the train and stop traffic before the train can cross.


You need to say where that rule applies. It is not true in California, where a crossing with train speeds of 60 mph may be exempt. "Exempt" apparently has different meanings in different States.

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Posted by espeefoamer on Sunday, October 24, 2004 6:04 PM
When I was a child there was an exempt crossing in Whittier, CA.Our school bus did not stop at this crossing. This line has since been abandoned and the tracks were torn out recently[:(][:(!].
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Posted by jchnhtfd on Monday, October 25, 2004 8:13 AM
As folks have noted, usually the most important points that in order for a crossing to be exempt, there has to be a well-defined statute stating the conditions (I hadn't read the Vermont one in years -- thanks for the nostalgia trip!); the crossing has to meet those conditions; the railroad and local authorities having jurisdiction have to agree. Then, once it is so designated, the train must stop before reaching the crossing and a flagman must go out and protect the crossing; then the train may proceed. This is not quite the same as saying that the road traffic has the right of way -- the flagman has every right to stop the traffic as soon as he gets out there.

An exempt crossing will be listed in the railroads employee timetable. They are not well liked by train crews, for obvious reasons!
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, October 25, 2004 12:02 PM
In a similar vein, there are several grade crossings involving industrial leads in Bedford Park IL (near Clearing) that are not posted as exempt but the crew must flag the crossing before proceeding. The IHB also has a similar situation with some industrial leads in Alsip and Blue Island.
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Posted by MP57313 on Monday, October 25, 2004 2:59 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by espeefoamer
When I was a child there was an exempt crossing in Whittier, CA.Our school bus did not stop at this crossing. This line has since been abandoned and the tracks were torn out recently

Was this the former PE line that curved over Whittier Blvd. and ended near the hospital? Or do you mean the former UP route with the truss bridge?

Further west, in Torrance, the ATSF/BNSF Alcoa spur had "exempt" signs. Not sure if they are still there. All crossings still have flashers but no gates. The track is still there but in poor shape; it ends just short of Western Ave. now
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 12:37 AM
In relation to the signs and California, it mean special vehicls don't have to stop.

I also have the twisted pleasure of testing school bus and farm labor drivers, and I take them to tracks that have the exemp signs on them. Imagin their suprise when a train comes through at 15 to 20 mph across a blind grade crossing that is markes exempt. Hopefully it will save a life one day.

22452. (a) Subdivisions (b) and (c) apply to the operation of the
following vehicles:
(1) Any bus or farm labor vehicle carrying passengers.
(2) Any motortruck transporting employees in addition to those
riding in the cab.
(3) Any schoolbus and any school pupil activity bus transporting
school pupils, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (4) of
subdivision (c).
(4) Every commercial motor vehicle transporting any quantity of a
Division 2.3 chlorine, as classified by Title 49 of the Code of
Federal Regulations.
(5) Every commercial motor vehicle that is required to be marked
or placarded in accordance with the regulations of Title 49 of the
Code of Federal Regulations with one of the following federal
classifications:
(A) Division 1.1.
(B) Division 1.2, or Division 1.3.
(C) Division 2.3 Poison gas.
(D) Division 4.3.
(E) Class 7.
(F) Class 3 Flammable.
(G) Division 5.1.
(H) Division 2.2.
(I) Division 2.3 Chlorine.
(J) Division 6.1 Poison.
(K) Division 2.2 Oxygen.
(L) Division 2.1.
(M) Class 3 Combustible liquid.
(N) Division 4.1.
(O) Division 5.1.
(P) Division 5.2.
(Q) Class 8.
(R) Class Division 1.4.
(S) Every cargo tank motor vehicle, whether loaded or empty, used
for the transportation of any hazardous material, as defined in Parts
107 to 180, inclusive, of Title 49 of the Code of Federal
Regulations.
(6) Every cargo tank motor vehicle transporting a commodity that
at the time of loading has a temperature above its flashpoint, as
determined under Section 173.120 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal
Regulations.
(7) Every cargo tank motor vehicle, whether loaded or empty,
transporting any commodity under exemption in accordance with Subpart
B of Part 107 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(b) Before traversing a railroad grade crossing, the driver of any
vehicle described in subdivision (a) shall stop that vehicle not
less than 15 nor more than 50 feet from the nearest rail of the track
and while so stopped shall listen, and look in both directions along
the track, for any approaching train and for signals indicating the
approach of a train, and shall not proceed until he or she can do so
safely. Upon proceeding, the gears shall not be shifted manually
while crossing the tracks.
(c) No stop need be made at any crossing in the following
circumstances:
(1) Of railroad tracks running along and upon the roadway within a
business or residence district.
(2) Where a traffic officer or an official traffic control signal
directs traffic to proceed.
(3) Where an exempt sign was authorized by the Public Utilities
Commission prior to January 1, 1978.
(4) Where an official railroad crossing stop exempt sign in
compliance with Section 21400 has been placed by the Department of
Transportation or a local authority pursuant to Section 22452.5.
This paragraph shall not apply with respect to any schoolbus or to
any school pupil activity bus.

22452.5. The Department of Transportation and local authorities,
with respect to highways under their respective jurisdictions, may
place signs at railroad grade crossings permitting any vehicle
described in subdivision (a) of Section 22452 to traverse such
crossings without stopping. Such signs shall be placed in accordance
with criteria adopted by the Public Utilities Commission. Prior to
placing such signs, the Department of Transportation or local
authority shall consult with the Department of the California Highway
Patrol, railroad corporations involved, and the operators involved
and shall secure the permission of the Public Utilities Commission if
a railroad corporation under the jurisdiction of the Public
Utilities Commission is affected. Prior to permitting the placement
of such signs, the Public Utilities Commission shall seek the
concurrence of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
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Posted by MP57313 on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 1:25 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Jascar
Imagin their suprise when a train comes through at 15 to 20 mph across a blind grade crossing that is markes exempt. Hopefully it will save a life one day.

That sounds like it would confuse the issue. What is the point of marking a crossing "exempt"...is it intended as a a heads up that a crossing is rarely used, but still active?
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Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 1:51 AM
There are several non-exempt crossing on the Sacramento Northern where the school buses stop, as prescribed by law. A couple of them may see trains several times a year, although I'm not aware of any.

At another one there is a gate across the track on one side of the road and the track (now gone) on the other side of the road was in such bad shape for at least 20 years, that I am aware of, that I doubt a train could have run on it.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 1:59 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Jascar
I also have the twisted pleasure of testing school bus and farm labor drivers, and I take them to tracks that have the exemp signs on them. Imagin their suprise when a train comes through at 15 to 20 mph across a blind grade crossing that is markes exempt. Hopefully it will save a life one day.



It sounds like that crossing should NOT be EXEMPT.

A blind crossing does not meet the sight distance criteria. For crossing without gates the California PUC requires that there be an unobstructed view of the crossing and 400 feet clear sight distance along the tracks from any point on the highway within the minimum stoping site distance to the crossing for the posted speed limit.

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I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by dldance on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 4:13 PM
seems like many of the "exempt crossings" I have seen were also exempt from maintenance[:D]

dd
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 10:43 PM
Yeah it should be change, but it was probably exempted before they built one of those cheep steel buildings.
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Posted by railfan619 on Wednesday, October 27, 2004 5:26 PM
I Drive a school bus here in wisconsin And There is an exempt crossing on 43rd st.
which I think it is good good that it is exempt because43rd is a high traffic road and it would be pretty unsafe for school buses and haz mat trucks to stop and check for trains
and I cant even think of the last time I saw a train on those tracks that cross 43rd going over to the factorys on the other side. And Also now that ADM is closed and all of the other factorys along that line should become exempt because the last time I saw a train on those tracks was back in july Or even August but yet They still store a varity of cars
on those tracks From Milwaukee road to soo line to CP and other road names to....
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Posted by BRUCE E THORNE on Saturday, March 10, 2018 6:47 PM

Many Exempt Crossing signs are on the Adirondack Railroad in Tupper Lake Region, as well as the Mohawk & Northern Railroad, which was New York Central trackage.  Commercial vehicles do not have to come to a full stop, show their flashers, and then slowly proceed across the tracks.  There are no railroad flashers but the crossbucks, have the sign EXEMPT. 

thanks, Bruce

 

 

[/quote]

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 8:02 AM

A personal friend advises “Exempt” signs mean just that, and buses, gas tankers, etc. do NOT have to stop at them, unless their company requires them to do so.  Neither do trains have to flag over them unless railroad signs facing trains indicate to do so or as per employee timetable.  Most typically, exempt signs are on little used industrial spurs.  Sometimes a government agency feels impelled to order the railroad to install crossing devices (flashers, gates, etc.) on such crossings, but an exempt sign relieves truck and bus drivers of the legal necessity of stopping unless obviously a train is approaching or actually on the crossing.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by geomodelrailroader on Thursday, May 31, 2018 10:24 PM

When a crossing is placed EXEMPT it means that busses and trucks don't stop. A crossing is placed exempt if: The line is abandoned, the tracks go through an industrial park where the conductor does the Flag Rule, the crossing is on a dead end spur, the crossing is at a blind intersection, fewer then 5 trains use the tracks, the crossing is on a two laned road, the road and intersection have been closed by the DOT, the user of the industy is closed, and the line is out of service and the crossing is about to be replaced with Out of Service signs or a bridge. If you see an EXEMPT sign stay at highway speed and keep going only stop if a local is switching.    

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, June 04, 2018 9:46 PM

geomodelrailroader
A crossing is placed exempt if: the crossing is on a two laned road,

 

Are you sure about that?

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 7:23 AM

charlie hebdo
Are you sure about that?

That was only one of several requirements he listed, all of which would have to be met.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 4:54 PM

Not so fast. It was such a long series (conditions some of which are mutually exclusive) that I didn't realize what he intended.  The way it is worded it appears that several items are redundant if all conditions must be met as you suggest. Clearly it is a list of conditions, any one of which if present make the crossing eligible to be exempt.  Except "the crossing is on a two-laned road" which is not true, one would hope.

"A crossing is placed exempt if: The line is abandoned, the tracks go through an industrial park where the conductor does the Flag Rule, the crossing is on a dead end spur, the crossing is at a blind intersection, fewer then 5 trains use the tracks, the crossing is on a two laned road, the road and intersection have been closed by the DOT, the user of the industy is closed, and the line is out of service and the crossing is about to be replaced with Out of Service signs or a bridge."

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