U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 26, 2020

§ 224.106 - Location of retroreflective sheeting.

(a) Railroad freight cars. The retroreflective sheeting shall be applied along the length of each railroad freight car side in the manner provided by a uniform industry standard accepted by the Associate Administrator that provides for distribution of material along the length of each car and as close as practicable to 42 inches above the top of rail. In the event such a standard is not proffered by industry or accepted by the Associate Administrator, the criteria set forth in this subpart shall apply. Retroreflective sheeting applied under this part must be located clear of appurtenances and devices such as ladders and other safety appliances, pipes, or other attachments that may obscure its visibility. Retroreflective sheeting need not be applied to discontinuous surfaces such as bolts, rivets, door hinges, or other irregularly shaped areas that may prevent the sheeting from adhering to the car sides. In addition, retroreflective sheeting need not be applied over existing or required car stencils and markings. If necessary to avoid appurtenances, discontinuous surfaces, or existing or required car markings or stencils, 4x18 and 4x36 inch strips of retroreflective material may be divided into 4x9 inch strips and applied on either side of the appurtenance, discontinuous surface, or car markings or stencils, as practicable. Unless otherwise specified, retroreflective sheeting shall be applied along the sides of freight rolling stock at intervals not to exceed every 12 feet, as practicable. If it is not practicable to apply retroreflective sheeting every 12 feet because of existing stencils, appurtenances, or discontinuous surfaces, the sheeting shall be applied at the next smallest interval practicable.

(1) General rule. On railroad freight cars other than flat cars and tank cars, retroreflective sheeting shall be applied in either a vertical or horizontal pattern along the length of the car sides, with the bottom edge of the sheeting as close as practicable to 42 inches above the top of rail. Retroreflective sheeting shall not be applied below the side sill.

(i) Vertical application. If retroreflective sheeting is applied in a vertical pattern, at least one 4x36 inch strip or two 4x18 inch strips, one above the other, shall be applied as close to each end of the car as practicable. Between these two vertical end strips, a minimum of one 4x18 inch strip shall be applied at least every 12 feet, as practicable. See Figures 1, 2 and 3.

(ii) Horizontal application. If retroreflective sheeting is applied in a horizontal pattern, at least one 4x36 inch strip, or two 4x18 inch strips, one above or next to the other, shall be applied as close to each end of the car as practicable. Between these end strips, a minimum of one 4x18 inch strip shall be applied at least every 12 feet, as practicable. See Figures 4, 5, and 6.

(2) Tank cars. On tank cars, retroreflective sheeting shall be applied vertically to each car side and centered on the horizontal centerline of the tank, or as near as practicable. If it is not practicable to safely apply the sheeting centered vertically about the horizontal centerline of the tank, the sheeting may be applied vertically with its top edge no lower than the horizontal centerline of the tank. A minimum of either one 4x36 inch strip or two 4x18 inch strips, one above the other, shall be applied as close to each end of the car as practicable. Between these two end strips, a minimum of one 4x18 inch strip shall be applied at least every 12 feet, as practicable. Retroreflective sheeting applied under this part shall not be located in the spillage area directly beneath the manway used to load and unload the tank. See Figures 7 and 8.

(3) Flat cars. On flat cars, retroreflective sheeting shall be applied in a horizontal pattern along the length of the side sill with the bottom edge of the sheeting no lower than the bottom of the side sill and the top edge of the sheeting no higher than the top of the car deck or floor. At least two 4x18 inch strips, one above the other, shall be applied as close to each end of the car as practicable. If the side sill is less than 8 inches wide, one 4x36 inch strip, or two 4x18 inch strips may be applied one next to the other, dividing the strips into nine inch segments as necessary in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section. Between the two end strips, a minimum of one 4x18 inch strip shall be applied at least every 12 feet, as practicable. See Figure 9. If a car has a separate rack structure, retroreflective sheeting may be applied to the flat car portion only in accordance with the requirements of this section. For cars without continuous side sills, retroreflective sheeting may be applied to other surfaces inboard of the sides, such as the center sill, provided that the sheeting is not obscured by other components.

(4) Cars of special construction. This paragraph applies to any car the design of which is not compatible with the patterns of application otherwise provided in this section. Retroreflective sheeting shall conform as closely as practicable to the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section and shall have the minimum amount of sheeting described in § 224.105 distributed along the length of each car side.

(b) Locomotives. Locomotives subject to this part shall be equipped with at least the minimum amounts of retroreflective sheeting required by § 224.105 either in strips four inches wide and 18 or 36 inches long and spaced as uniformly as practicable along the length of the locomotive sides, or in one continuous strip, at least four inches wide, along the length of the locomotive. Retroreflective sheeting applied to locomotive sides shall be applied as close as practicable to 42 inches from the top of the rail.