GUIDELINES FOR LOCAL DETERMINATIONS
Speed Limit Factors.
a. Speed Considerations. The Installation Commander shall consider the following
when setting maximum safe operating speeds: track condition and FRA class; horizontal
curvature and superelevation; sight distances to potential obstacles; sight distances to highway
grade crossings; maximum train stopping distances; and railcar characteristics.
b. Additional Considerations Affecting Speed.
(1) For track maintained to FRA Class 2 standards, the maximum operating speed
shall be limited to 25 mph.
(2) For any operational speed, the above factors shall be reviewed to ensure a
potential accident scenario is not established. For example, if the speed is raised from 5 to 10
mph and there are whistle posts or track circuits for a highway crossing, the higher speed may not
allow adequate warning to motorists approaching the crossing.
(3) As noted in Section 3.5.g, any speed limit that encourages speeds in the 13 to 20
mph ranges shall be avoided.
(4) When special service equipment that may have an unusual suspension or an
unusually short wheelbase, such as a crane, is being moved, speeds shall be limited to 10 mph.
(5) High or wide loads shall be moved at walking speed, 3 to 5 mph, when
approaching tight or unverified clearances.
(6) Speeds shall be reduced to maintain safe margins if visibility is reduced because of
weather, light failure, or other causes.
a. Crossing Considerations. To assess the status of highway rail crossings, the
Installation Commander shall make an inventory of the crossings and perform a study of how to
assess these crossings. Figure 6-1 shows the study positions to collect the type of information
required by Forms 7 and 8 (See Appendix B).
After these initial screenings, crossings that are deficient should be reviewed for signage or other
additions or changes that may enhance the safety of the crossing. See Figures 6-2 to 6-4 for
examples of the type of signage changes that should be considered.