Track Access Program

The Tide Right-of-Way

The Tide Light Rail service operates on a 7.4 mile east and west alignment from the Eastern Virginia Medical Center (EVMC) Light Rail Station through downtown Norfolk, continuing along the Norfolk Southern Right-of-Way, adjacent to I-264, to Newtown Road. The Tide Right-of-Way (ROW) is defined as Hampton Roads Transit owned property along the Light Rail System, including mainline tracks, yard tracks, shop tracks, and stations. The Tide Operating Right-of-Way (ROW) is the area within twelve (12) feet of the centerline of any track on the mainline or yard.

Work performed by a contractor or Hampton Roads Transit work crew within the ROW or Operating ROW will require an HRT Right-of-Way Temporary Work Permit.

The safety of all employees and contractors is paramount; all Hampton Roads Transit rules and procedures must be followed while working on the Tide alignment.

Track access safety tips, such as Personal Protective Equipment requirements, can be found in the Track Access Safety Quick Reference Guide.

Training Qualifications

To access the ROW, all contractors and Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) employees must have a minimum of Level 1 Track Access Safety Training, and in some cases must be accompanied by at least one person who is Level 2 Track Access qualified to serve as a flag person and/or lookout. Personnel who will operate Hi-Rail Vehicles or On-Track Equipment, which is equipment that operates as a rail-borne vehicle, will need Level 3 Track Access Safety Training. A contractor who will operate a Hi-Rail Vehicle or On-Track Equipment must be accompanied by a qualified track access Level 3 personnel or complete Level 3 training.

The following table summarizes the required Track Access Safety Training necessary before any contractor or Hampton Roads Transit employee will be allowed to perform any work on the ROW. Annual recertification is required for Track Access Safety Level 1, 2, and 3. Please refer to the Track Access Safety Training Guide for further information.

Work or Duties Training Required
Any work within the Operating Right-of-Way Level 1
Flagging to protect work crews, personnel, and equipment in the Operating Right-of-Way Level 1, and Level 2
Operating or Piloting any on-track equipment Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3

Permitting and Track Allocation

Scheduling of ROW activities is subject to availability of Hampton Roads Transit personnel and customer service considerations based on the impact the proposed work has on service quality and train schedules. Work within the ROW requiring temporary restrictions will only be allowed during non-peak operating times on Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to the end of revenue service and on Saturday and Sunday. Some work activities will be restricted to after-revenue service hours from 12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.

The Track Allocation planning meetings are held every Wednesday at the Norfolk Tide Facility to schedule work within the ROW for the following week. The HRT Right-of-Way Temporary Work Permit must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday prior to the work week requested. All requestors, including HRT project managers, are required to attend the weekly track allocation meeting. For further information regarding the Tide Track Access Program, please email

Safety Training GuideSafety Reference Guide