Chapter 4963: TRAINS; EQUIPMENT

4963.01 Posting time of arrival of trains.

A company or person operating a railroad within this state shall place a blackboard, at least four feet in length and two feet in width, in a conspicuous place in each passenger depot of such company located at any station in the state at which there is a telegraph office. Such company or person must have written upon such board, at least ten minutes before the schedule time for the arrival of each passenger train stopping regularly upon such railroad at such station, whether such train is on schedule time or not, and if late, how much. For each violation of this section, such company or person so neglecting or refusing to comply with it, shall forfeit the sum of ten dollars, to be recovered in a civil action in the name of the state, one half of which sum shall go to the party commencing proceedings, and the remainder shall be paid to the treasurer of the township or municipal corporation in which such proceedings are had.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.01

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.02 Waiting rooms - toilet rooms.

Every person, firm, or corporation operating a railway wholly or in part within this state shall provide a suitable waiting room for the use of the traveling public at each station where a passenger train of the railroad is regularly scheduled to stop. Such room shall be so maintained and kept as to be conducive to the comfort and health of the patrons of the railroad. Where any such waiting room is located within a municipal corporation within reasonable connecting distance of a water supply and sewerage system, there shall be provided in connection with such waiting room suitable and separate toilet rooms and water closets for the use of male and female persons. Each such toilet room or water closet compartment shall be properly heated, lighted, and ventilated and shall contain sufficient floor space and a sufficient number of water closets, urinals, lavatories, and toilet accessories to properly and suitably accommodate such patrons. The location, construction, and installation of such toilet rooms and water closets shall be in accordance with the state building code.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.02

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.03 Duty of public utilities commission.

Upon the written complaint of ten or more citizens of this state being filed with the public utilities commission that section 4963.02 of the Revised Code is being violated the commission shall forthwith make investigation thereof. If it is found that such violation exists, it shall issue an order to the person, firm, or corporation guilty of such violation setting forth the nature of the improvement required and directing that it be completed within a time to be specified in such order. Any person, firm, or corporation failing to comply with such order or with this section or section 4963.02 of the Revised Code, upon conviction for such violation before a court of common pleas of the county in which such violation occurs, shall forfeit not less than one hundred dollars. Such forfeiture shall be recovered in a civil action in the name of the state for the benefit of the county in which the violation occurs. Such action shall be brought by the prosecuting attorney of the county, at the instance of the commission, as provided in other cases for the recovery of forfeitures against railroad companies.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.03

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.04 Movable bridge between passenger cars required.

Every railroad company conveying passengers shall provide the passenger cars in its trains with a flexible or movable bridge or apron of the full width of the opening between the railings attached to the platforms of such cars, with sideboards or network of strap iron, large wire, or other suitable material at each side of the bridge or apron of at least equal height with the ordinary railings upon the platforms, or some other apparatus or arrangement equally efficient to enable passengers to pass from car to car with safety. A company which fails to comply with this section shall forfeit one hundred dollars for each day of such failure, to be recovered in a civil action in the name of the state, and paid into the state treasury. The public utilities commission shall enforce this section. This section does not apply in case of a passenger car attached to a freight train.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.04

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.05 Heating for cars.

When necessary to heat its cars for carrying passengers, mail, baggage, or express matter, each railroad company shall do so by electricity, hot water, or steam heat so constructed and protected as will most effectually guard passengers against danger from fire, in accidents by collision, or when cars are overturned or thrown from the track. No such company shall permit any other corporation or person to use cars carrying passengers, mail, baggage, or express matter over its road unless their heating apparatus conforms to the requirements of this section. A railroad company which fails to comply with this section is liable to a forfeiture of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars, to be recovered in the name of the state, for the benefit of its common schools. Such action shall be prosecuted in any county through which the railroad passes by the prosecuting attorney of such county, at his own instance or the instance of the public utilities commission, as provided by law in other cases for the recovery of penalties and forfeitures against railroad companies, after due notice given by the commission to the president or managing officer of such delinquent company, and the company's further neglect for thirty days to comply with this section.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.05

Effective Date: 10-19-1961

4963.06 Fire extinguishers required.

All railroad coaches carrying passengers shall be equipped with at least one portable fire extinguisher. Such fire extinguishers shall be of a construction which renders them durable and efficient. The public utilities commission shall enforce this section. No person, company, or corporation operating a railroad in whole or in part in this state shall violate this section. Each day that such person, company, or corporation runs its trains in violation of this section constitutes a separate offense.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.06

Effective Date: 01-23-1963

4963.07 Distance from station platform to steps on passenger cars - forfeiture.

Companies and person operating a railroad shall so regulate the distance between station floors or platforms and the top of the lowest step on passenger cars so that it will not exceed twelve inches. When the distance is more than one foot, it shall be changed or safe steps provided for passengers within that limit. A company failing to comply with this section shall forfeit not less than fifty nor more than five hundred dollars for each delinquency. On the written complaint of any citizens, the prosecuting attorney of a county in which such default occurs at once shall begin suit against the company guilty of such default for the recovery of such forfeiture.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.07

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.08 Lights on front and rear of car required.

No superintendent, trainmaster, yardmaster, or other employee of a railroad company doing business in this state shall allow or permit a passenger or freight car to stand on a track commonly called a running track, within yard limits, unless a flagman or red light is on the end of the car during the period from thirty minutes before sunset to thirty minutes after sunrise. The public utilities commission shall enforce, and prosecute any violations of this section.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.08

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.09 to 4963.13 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4963.09 to 4963.13

Effective Date: 10-19-1961

4963.14 Cars from connecting railroads.

A common carrier may refuse to receive from connecting railroads or from any shipper a car not equipped in accordance with sections 4963.09 to 4963.12, inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.14

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.15 Recovery of forfeiture.

No common carrier shall use any locomotive engine, run any train, or haul or permit to be hauled or used on its railroad, any tender or car in violation of sections 4963.14 to 4963.16 , inclusive, of the Revised Code. Whoever violates this section shall forfeit one hundred dollars for each such violation, to be recovered in a suit brought by the prosecuting attorney in the court of common pleas of the county having jurisdiction in the locality where such violation occurred. Upon duly verified information being given him of such violation, the prosecuting attorney shall bring such suit. The public utilities commission shall give the proper prosecuting attorney information of any such violations as comes to its knowledge. Such sections do not apply to locomotives, tenders, cars, or trains used exclusively in the movement of logs when the height of the drawbars of such locomotives, tenders, and cars does not exceed twenty-five inches, to street cars, or to locomotives, tenders, cars, similar vehicles, or trains while in actual use in interstate commerce.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.15

Effective Date: 12-16-1964

4963.16 Contributory negligence.

Any employee of a common carrier engaged in moving traffic on a railroad between points within this state, who is killed or injured by a locomotive, tender, car, similar vehicle, or train, in use contrary to sections 4963.14 and 4963.15 of the Revised Code, shall not be deemed to have assumed the risk thereby occasioned, although continuing in the employment of such carrier after the unlawful use of such locomotive, tender, car, similar vehicle, or train had been brought to his knowledge. Such employee shall not be held to have contributed to his injury in a case where the carrier violated such sections when such violation contributed to his death or injury.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.16

Effective Date: 12-16-1964

4963.17 to 4963.20 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4963.17 to 4963.20

Effective Date: 10-19-1961

4963.21 Construction of caboose cars - exception.

No common carrier operating a railroad, in whole or in part, within this state, or manager or superintendent of such common carrier, shall require or permit the use within this state upon such railroad, of any caboose car or other car used for like purpose which is not at least twenty-four feet in length, exclusive of platforms, and equipped with two four-wheeled trucks, with suitable closets, and with either a cupola or with bay windows, and provided with a door in each end and an outside platform across each end of such car. Each platform shall be not less than twenty-four inches in width and shall be equipped with proper guardrails and with grab-irons and steps for the safety of persons getting on and off said car. Said steps shall be equipped with a suitable rod, board, or other guard at each end and at the back, properly designed to prevent slipping from such step. In case of unusual and unforeseen demands of traffic on the railroad, caboose cars not built in accordance with this section may be used temporarily only where the railroad company desiring to use the same applies to and obtains from the public utilities commission authority to use the same temporarily.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.21

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.22 Automatic or foot-power doors required on locomotive engines.

Every railroad company operating locomotives on its railroads in or through this state shall provide and equip each locomotive engine so operated in this state with an automatic or foot-power door to the firebox of such engine. Such automatic or foot-power doors shall be so constructed and operated by steam, compressed air, electricity, or foot power, as deemed best and most efficient. The device for operating such door shall be so constructed that it may be operated by the fireman on said engine by means of a push button, pedal, or other appliance located in, on, or near the floor of the engine deck or floor of the tender at a suitable distance from such door to enable the fireman, while firing such engine, by pressure with his foot, to open such door. The public utilities commission shall enforce, and prosecute any violations of, this section.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.22

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.23 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4963.23

Effective Date: 10-19-1961

4963.24 Footboards.

No railroad doing business in this state shall operate or permit to be operated in this state, a locomotive regularly assigned in mine run, drop or package local freight, or switching service which is not equipped with two or more footboards. The public utilities commission shall prescribe the dimensions, location, and the manner of application of said footboards. As used in this section, "regularly assigned" means more than three consecutive days. No railroad doing business in this state shall send or cause to be sent out on its railroad a locomotive which is not equipped in accordance with this section. The commission shall enforce this section.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.24

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.25 to 4963.34 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4963.25 to 4963.34

Effective Date: 10-19-1961

4963.35 Spark arresters.

(A) No person operating a railroad shall operate a diesel locomotive engine, other than a turbocharged locomotive, used for the railroad or in the construction or repairing of the railroad, unless the locomotive has a properly installed and maintained spark arrester that complies with the standards and recommended practices for spark arresters for non-turbocharged diesel engines used in railroad locomotives, as set out in the association of American railroad's manual of standards and recommended practices and any revisions thereof.

(B) Whoever violates this section shall be fined no more than five hundred dollars for each violation. The court may enjoin the person from operating a locomotive not provided with a spark arrester installed and maintained as required by this section.

(C) The public utilities commission or any law enforcement officer for any county in which the railroad operates shall enforce this section in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(D) Any locomotive shall be exempt from the provisions of this section if it is being used exclusively in industrial plants or in yard service, or being used exclusively in connection with switching service on any track outside the boundaries of the plant or yard, unless the condition of the right of way of the track or the condition of adjoining land or property presents a potential fire hazard.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.35

Effective Date: 07-07-1978

4963.36 Company must keep right of way free from combustible material.

Every railroad company, or person in charge of a railroad as manager or receiver, shall keep the right of way clear from weeds, high grass, and decayed timber which from nature or condition are combustible and liable to take or communicate fire from passing locomotives to abutting or adjacent property. Such company is liable for all damages sustained by the owner or occupant of such property from carelessness or neglect to keep its right of way clear of such combustible material. In case of failure to comply with the requirements of this section, a person owning or controlling property abutting on or adjacent to a railroad right of way, the default still continuing after twenty days' notice in writing, may cause all combustible material to be removed from the right of way along or by such property. Upon presentation of a reasonable account for such removal to the agent at the nearest station of such company or receiver, if it or he refuses to pay the amount asked within thirty days, such amount may be recovered before any court having jurisdiction of such claim.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.36

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.37 Liability of railroad company for loss or damage by fire.

Every company, or the receiver of such company, operating a railroad or a part of a railroad is liable for all loss or damage by fires originating upon the land belonging to such company caused by operating such railroad. Such company or receiver is liable for all loss or damage by fires originating on lands adjacent to its land caused in whole or part by sparks from an engine passing over such railroad, and the exercise by such company or receiver of due care in equipping and operating such engine does not exempt such company or receiver from such liability, which may be recovered before any court of competent jurisdiction within the county in which the lands on which such loss or damage occurs are situated. The existence of fires upon the railroad company's land is prima-facie evidence that they are caused by operating such railroad. This section does not invalidate or prohibit contracts of such company or receiver by which such company or receiver is indemnified against such loss or damage by fire or released from liability for such loss or damage.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.37

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.38 Use of property not negligence.

In no case shall it be considered as negligence on the part of the owner or occupant of property injured by fire as provided by section 4963.37 of the Revised Code, that he used or permitted it to be used and remain as if no railroad passed through or near such property. This section does not apply in cases of injury by fire to personalty which at the time was on the property occupied by such railroad.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.38

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.39 Costs in appeal and attorney fee.

If either party appeals from the judgment of a court in which an action under sections 4963.37 and 4963.38 of the Revised Code is begun, the party in whose favor judgment finally is rendered shall have included in his bill of costs against the adverse party, an attorney fee of fifty dollars, if it is not carried beyond the court of appeals. If carried to the supreme court, an attorney fee of one hundred dollars shall be included in his bill of costs.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.39

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.40 Rules and regulations governing the construction and maintenance of telephone and telegraph wires.

The public utilities commission shall determine standards of maintenance and operation and the nature, location, and character of the construction to be used where telegraph, telephone, electric light, power, or other electric wires of any kind cross or more or less parallel the line of a railroad, interurban railroad, or other public utility, and to this end shall formulate and issue rules, regulations, and complete detailed specifications covering each class of construction, maintenance, and operation of such electric wire crossing or parallel, under the various conditions existing. The commission, upon complaint of any person, railroad, interurban railroad, or public utility claiming to be injuriously affected or subjected to hazard, shall, after hearing, make such order and prescribe such conditions for the construction, maintenance, and operation of the lines, plants, or systems, as seems just and reasonable to it.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.40

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.41 Duty of the public utilities commission.

The public utilities commission shall enforce section 4963.40 of the Revised Code, and for that purpose shall have power to cause the removal of such telegraph, telephone, electric light, power, or other electric wires of any kind crossing or paralleling such other line and not in accordance with the rules, regulations, and specifications issued by it.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.41

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.42 Placement of structures and material - limitation - rules.

Material of all kinds and all permanent structures such as buildings, walls, coal bins, tunnels, bridges, station shelter sheds, standpipes, signal masts, poles, freight platforms, and structures of like character, placed adjacent or contiguous to a track of a railroad by a county, municipal corporation, township, railroad company, other corporation, or person, shall be not less than eight feet in the clear from the center of such track, measured horizontally from the track and such lateral clearance shall be uniformly maintained vertically upward a distance of twenty-one feet from the top of rail, except in cases in which the public utilities commission finds that such placement or construction is impracticable. This section does not apply to structures in existence on August 25, 1927. The commission may prescribe rules and regulations governing all such placement and construction.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.42

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.43 Filing plans and specifications.

Every railroad company, public or private corporation, or person proposing to build any structure or place any material as set forth in section 4963.42 of the Revised Code, with a lesser clearance from the center of the track than is prescribed in such section, before proceeding therewith, shall file with the public utilities commission plans and specifications for such structure or material and have its permit for the erection of such structures or placement. Upon protest of any interested party against the issuance of such permit, or if the commission refuses to issue such permit, the commission shall set the case down for hearing and such hearing shall proceed as other hearings before it. Observance of this section and section 4963.42 of the Revised Code may be enforced by an injunction on complaint of any interested person, corporation, or board.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.43

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.44 Telegraph and telephone wires.

Every railroad company operating ten miles or more of railroad for the transportation of passengers and freight shall erect and maintain in complete working order, for use along the line of its railroad, a telegraph or telephone wire, with an office and proper means for communication by such wire at each of its principal stations. No such company operating a railroad without a telegraph or telephone wire along the line of such railroad, shall ask or receive any compensation for the transportation of passengers or freight on such railroad. The charter of a railroad company which fails to comply with the conditions of this section shall be declared forfeited and shall be annulled by a civil action brought for that purpose in the name of the state by the prosecuting attorney of any county in or through which its railroad is operated.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.44

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4963.99 Penalty.

(A) Whoever violates section 4963.06 of the Revised Code shall be fined not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars.

(B) Whoever, being the person in charge of the operation and management of a railroad which fails to comply with section 4963.07 of the Revised Code, which failure results in personal injury, shall be fined not less than fifty nor more than five hundred dollars.

(C) Whoever violates section 4963.08 of the Revised Code shall be fined not less than twenty-five nor more than three hundred dollars.

(D) Whoever violates section 4963.21 , 4963.22 , or 4963.24 of the Revised Code shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars.

Cite as R.C. § 4963.99

Effective Date: 10-19-1961