Clearance profile

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Clearance profile kept free from vegetation on the Klewan – Orschiw railway line in the Ukraine

As a gauge , a defined boundary line is designated, the most of the vertical transverse plane of a travel path (for example, roads or rail - tracks ) is determined. With the clearance profile, on the one hand, the “clear space” is specified that must be kept free of objects on the route, and on the other hand, it also serves as a structural specification for the dimensioning of the intended vehicles.

The loading dimension or vehicle gauge is specified for the vehicles . This is chosen in such a way that the vehicles cannot touch the clearance profile during the usual lateral and vertical movements when traveling on the rails. The boundary profile must also be adhered to in the curves. Long vehicles can therefore be built less wide than short vehicles or they have to be tapered at the ends in the floor plan.

The responsible mode of transport (e.g. a railway company) or an authority (e.g. the Federal Railway Authority or the Road Construction Office) determines the shape and dimensions of the clearance profile (s ) for all or for selected parts of the traffic route network.

The clearance profile is not only determined in close connection with the vehicle dimensions, but also with regard to further safety distances, e.g. B. for service and supply routes to electrical systems and possibly also the free view of signals and other operational needs.


Standard light space

Standard clear space according to EBO (left main tracks / right other tracks)

The standard clear space or the boundary profile is the space that all adjoining buildings along railroad tracks must at least leave free so that all vehicles can move safely. The differences between the vehicle boundary lines and the boundary profile result in the safety distance between the vehicle and fixed systems.

Starting from a standardized reference line, the vehicle boundary line and the clearance profile can be determined with the associated calculation rules. The combination of the reference line and the associated calculation rules is called the limit line. Various boundary lines have been specified by the International Union of Railways (UIC) in UIC leaflets 505-1, 505-4, 505-5, 505-6 and 506 and in standard EN 15273. The G1 gauge is generally used for international rail traffic in Europe. The GA, GB and GC gauges were defined for container traffic by rail in Europe. Other limit lines (e.g. G2, GB1, GB2) are only valid in some countries.

In Germany, the railway building and operating regulations (EBO) have adopted the G1 limit line for vehicles used internationally and the larger G2 limit line for the other vehicles. Accordingly, the German standard clear space is based on the G2 limit line; In Germany, however, the even larger GC clearance profile is to be used as the standard profile for new lines and extensive renovations. Most European standard gauge railways, e.g. B. in Scandinavia , Benelux countries, France , Italy , Switzerland , Austria , Hungary , Poland , the Czech Republic or Greece , the clearance profile is based on the UIC boundary lines. Within these countries, almost all wagons that conform to the UIC gauge can be used freely, which in particular facilitates long-distance and freight traffic.

For smaller clearance profiles z. B. Narrow gauge railways , Great Britain , Ireland , Iceland (planned rail network) and Japan (Cape gauge network) known. Although English freight wagons regularly come to Central Europe through the Eurotunnel , many wagons built in Central Europe cannot run on the British route network because of the much smaller vehicle profile in England, except on the high-speed line High Speed ​​One , which connects the Eurotunnel with London.

Larger clearance profiles have z. B. Finland , Sweden , Russia , Ukraine , Belarus , Japan (only high-speed network), India , Pakistan , Lithuania , Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Uzbekistan , Tajikistan , Turkmenistan , Afghanistan (1520 mm track sections and planned Indian broad gauge network , not standard gauge network ) , the USA , Canada , planned Brunel broad-gauge network (never built) and three-meter -gauge network (never built). Express train coaches regularly come to Germany from Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine; However, these are cars specially built for use in Central Europe, which correspond to the local clearance profile.

Until a few years ago, large-profile sleeping cars ran on individual routes to Berlin and, when Soviet troops were stationed, also to Wünsdorf, Schwerin, Dresden and Erfurt. For some time now, Swedish wagons with the clearance profile customary there have been running in night trains with excess loading gauge (LÜ) via Sassnitz to Berlin.

The so-called vegetation control also serves to keep the clearance clear .

Excess loading gauge (LÜ)

A consignment that exceeds the loading gauge (LÜ consignment) is an exceptional consignment in rail transport. A shipment is considered exceptional if it can only be transported under special technical or operational conditions due to its external dimensions, weight or its nature.


Loading dimensions for clearance profiles G1 and G2 according to EBO

Shipments with oversized loading dimensions - also called LÜ shipments for short - have a measured half width of more than 1575 mm minus various surcharges and must be checked by a technical specialist.


Upper floor of a double-decker car: Because of their height and the creases on the roof sides that can be seen here, double-decker cars are considered "LÜ Anton"

There are special procedures for exceeding the loading gauge (LÜ for short). At the largest possible loading gauge excess Dora z. B. the opposite track is blocked and crossings are not easily possible. The various LÜ are designated with letters and mean in detail:

  • (a) "LÜ Anton": only height excess, without measures for the opposite track
z. B. Double-deck car in a normal train
  • (b) "LÜ Berta": slightly exceeding the width, without measures, but see (c)
allows regular LÜ broadcasts Anton and Berta to pass on the neighboring track.
  • (c) "LÜ Caesar": Exceeding the width, exclusion of LÜ broadcasts Berta or Caesar on the neighboring track
Only regular consignments can run on the neighboring track. In order to rule out a collision with another LÜ consignment, it is necessary to offer the train from an operational perspective.
  • (d) "LÜ Dora": large excess of width, closure of the neighboring track
Due to the extreme width, it will be necessary to block the affected neighboring track before these vehicles can move and to keep it free of all vehicles and people.


S corresponds to the mean track distance , i.e. measured from the track center of one track to the track center of the next track. 1750 mm is the regular half-width of a vehicle consisting of 1575 mm, which corresponds to the loading dimension in the German network, plus 75 mm as a surcharge for the vehicle's arc deflection in arcs plus another 100 mm as a surcharge for operational irregularities. A regular broadcast, but also the Lü broadcast Anton, is therefore never half a width over 1750 mm. A vehicle is called LÜ-Berta if it is half a width between 1750 mm and S / 2. The Lü-Caesar group includes all vehicles with half a width of S / 2 to S-1750 mm. Everything that exceeds the dimension S-1750 mm is a LÜ-Dora.


All exceptional programs, including LÜ programs, are specially marked. This is done using a blue slip of paper (pattern U) in the slip holder of the wagon, the appropriate counterpart, the small blue slip, is attached to the consignment note, and "LÜ" is entered in column 10 of the wagon list under comments.


Delimitation of the clear space as it was valid with minor changes until 1991

In the operating regulations for the main railways in Germany in 1892 the delimitation of the clear space for the main railways in Germany was defined, whereby this is based on the technical agreements (TV) of the Association of German Railway Administrations (VDEV) and the agreement on technical unity in railways (TE). With minor changes, this profile was adopted as a standard clear space in the operating regulations of 1904 and 1928. This was valid for the Deutsche Reichsbahn until reunification. The railway building and operating regulations of 1967 also adopted the standard clearance profile. The Grofil G1 goes back to the 1913 version of the TE.

The standard clear space was calculated in Germany until 1991 using a static approach. The movement behavior of vehicles was taken into account through flat-rate surcharges. With the Third EBO Amendment Ordinance of May 1991, this consideration was replaced by a kinematic approach. As a result, the clearance should be optimally used taking into account a safety reserve. A large number of exemptions could thus be omitted. The core of the kinematic consideration is the reference line of the kinematic limit line specified in UIC leaflet 505 . The vehicle limit I previously contained in the EBO was replaced by the (wider) reference line G1 , the vehicle limit II by the reference line G2 . The previous side rooms AB and CD were included in the standard clear space, thus increasing the space to be kept free in new buildings to a distance of 2.50 m from the track axis; special regulations continued to apply to S-Bahn trains. Profile G1 is intended for vehicles used in cross-border traffic (in the original loading dimension PPI ); Profile G2 applies to the other vehicles. The option of allowing wider vehicles to be used in special areas of long-distance express traffic as well as in S-Bahn traffic has also been added.

When the EBO, which was introduced in May 1967, was designed, consideration was given to introducing a kinematic vehicle limitation. However, these considerations were discarded after the relevant investigations by the UIC had not yet been concluded. In the first version of the EBO, the dimensions previously laid down in the BO were therefore adopted as well as the subdivision of the clear space into standard light space , side spaces and space for the pantograph passage . In contrast, regulations for reducing the width of the standard clear space were newly included in the EBO of 1967.


The tube railways of the
London Underground have a very small clearance profile

The clearance profile of underground trains is subject to its own standards and is often narrower and lower than that of main railways. In the case of tunnels in particular, a smaller clearance profile reduces construction costs considerably. Some subways, e.g. B. the tube railways of the London Underground , have a clearance profile that approximates a circle section if the tunnels were largely made with tunnel boring machines . Such small tunnel profiles, however, exclude entering the tunnels during operation as well as evacuating trains through the entrances. Front wall doors are therefore required for the vehicles used.

DC suburban trains

The direct current operated S-Bahn trains in Berlin and Hamburg have a smaller clearance profile. The Berlin north-south S-Bahn tunnel has a restricted special clearance profile with a height of 3.83 m above the top of the rail and a width of 3.43 m due to several crossing underground lines and river underpasses. The S-Bahn clear space for new buildings in Hamburg has a height of 3.787 m above the top of the rails and a width of 3.80 m.

The clearance profiles are extended in both cases in the area of ​​the conductor rails and pantographs, additional restrictions exist in the area of ​​the platform edges. Outside of the inner-city tunnels, the normal light space plus the extensions for the power rails are kept free. This means that most of the sections can be reached with conventional construction machinery and can also be used for diversions.

Road traffic

In road traffic, the clearance profile affects all types of traffic routes, i.e. routes for pedestrian traffic , bicycle traffic and car traffic. The clearance profile is the space that must be kept free to allow traffic and is - depending on the type of traffic - different heights and widths. In Germany, for example, a space of at least 2.50 m must be kept free above a cycle path as well as above a pedestrian path , above a road for car traffic of at least 4.50 m, and even 4.70 m for new autobahns. This is based on the fact that the German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations stipulate that the maximum height for motor vehicles , including the load, may be 4.00 m.

However, the clearance profile as such cannot be found in legal texts and is derived from the traffic safety obligation and the vehicle heights. “There is no general obligation on the part of the road construction company, which is subject to road safety, to use the air space above a lane. Keep 4 m clear of obstacles. ... not necessarily ... across the entire width of the lane. "( OLG Koblenz 12th civil senate: AZ: 12 U 1392/02 of December 15, 2003)

Within the clearance profile, only general use of the road is possible, which means that only stationary and flowing traffic are permitted here. All other uses (street cafes, scaffolding, vending cars , making music, etc.) are therefore considered special uses and require a permit, which usually has to be applied for from the city or municipality.

Parts of the building must also not protrude into the clearance profile. There are few exceptions for bay windows and the like. a., which are recorded in the applicable development plan or special use statute.

Collision of vehicles with bridges

Damaged bridge girder
Bridge superstructure moved after an accident (recognizable by the kinks in the rails), it had to be replaced

If the displayed height restrictions are not observed - often by trucks or buses - the vehicles can touch structural parts and damage them. The traffic routes leading through the passage can also be affected without this being immediately recognizable. In the case of road underpasses under railway lines, the bridge is usually closed immediately after such an incident or only driven on at reduced speed until any restrictions on load-bearing capacity and navigability have been checked and removed. This leads to considerable delays both in railways and in road traffic and therefore results in high fines for the vehicle owner.

Road vehicles damage around 1700 bridges on the British rail network every year. The most common damage is a bridge in Ely , the Ely Underpass . At this point the A142 passes under a railway line, whereby the passage is only released for vehicles up to a maximum height of 2.7 m, higher vehicles must use a level crossing . Despite the conspicuous marking of the bridge and an electronic warning board for vehicles that are too high, more than two vehicles get stuck on the bridge every month. World icon

A nationwide reported anniversary celebrated the Bridge of Stupidity in Russia near St. Petersburg in May 2018 ; no fewer than 150 trucks, mainly small trucks, got stuck in the too deep passage between 2009 and 2018 despite warnings, no less than 14 of them in the first 5 months of the year. World icon


Clearance profile of the Main-Danube Canal

In the case of waterways , the clearance profile has a trapezoidal contour; the vertical distance between the water level (at the highest water level) and the lowest boundary of a structure above it is decisive for the height. There are also surcharges for surge and wind congestion.

The so-called hazard clearance profile according to the specifications of the waterway and shipping administration takes into account incorrectly maneuvered watercraft and prevents damage from approaching structures or the shore.

roller coaster

The principle of the clearance profile is also used for roller coasters . In contrast to the railway, the clearance profile here is dynamic . Most of the time, all theoretical movements of the passenger are taken into account while driving. As a rule, these are the areas above and next to the roller coaster car, which the passenger can reach with his arms and hands. After a roller coaster has been built, the route is often measured with a clearance template in order to avoid collisions with the terrain or other route sections.


It should be noted that the clearance profile here cannot cover all eventualities and it is quite possible in various lanes to reach vegetation while driving, for example. For this reason it is usually forbidden in the conditions of use of a railway to stretch one's arms and / or legs out of the carriage.

Individual evidence

  1. Profile, clearance profile, loading dimension. In: dybas - Lexicon. Retrieved September 17, 2018 .
  2. History of origin, reasons and comments on the elaboration and development of UIC leaflet series 505 and 506 with the topic of the boundary line . In: UIC (Ed.): UIC Code . 3rd edition edition. UIC 505-5, August 2010.
  3. Railway applications - Boundary lines - Part 1: General . DIN EN 15273-1, October 2017.
  4. ^ Railway building and operating regulations - EBO. Retrieved October 11, 2019 .
  5. ^ DB Netz AG: Principles of clearance. Retrieved December 7, 2019 .
  6. ↑ Loading guidelines of DB Cargo AG (UIC - loading guidelines). (No longer available online.) DB Cargo AG, archived from the original on March 20, 2017 ; accessed on March 23, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. ^ Announcement regarding the operating regulations for the main railways in Germany . In: German Reich Law Gazette . tape 1892 , no. 36 , July 5, 1892, p. 691-722 ( Wikisource ).
  8. Helmut Petrovitsch: A question of the cross-section . In: eisenban-magazin . No. 4 , 2020, p. 42 .
  9. ^ Walter Mittmann, Fritz Pätzold, Dieter Reuter, Hermann Richter, Klaus-Dieter Wittenberg: The Third Ordinance to Change the Railway Construction and Operating Regulations (EBO) . In: The Federal Railroad . No. 7-8 , 1991, ISSN  0007-5876 , pp. 759-770 .
  10. ^ Heinz Delvendahl: The railway systems in the new railway building and operating regulations (EBO) . In: The Federal Railroad . tape 41 , no. 13/14 , 1967, ISSN  0007-5876 , pp. 453-460 .
  11. Hans-Jürgen Niemeyer: Compilation of guidelines for the design of railway systems as well as tables and formulas . Addendum 4/1995. Ed .: Bundesbahn-Sozialamt (=  DB-Fachbuch . Volume 8/15 ). Eisenbahn-Fachverlag, Heidelberg / Mainz 1995, p. 143-144 .
  12. Cyclists / pedestrians 2.00 m or assessment vehicle 4.00 m + freedom of movement 0.25 m + safety space 0.25 m = 2.50 m or 4.50 m (RAS-Q / RAA - guidelines for the construction of roads - Cross-section / guidelines for the construction of motorways )
  13. Ralph Holst, Karl Heinz Holst: Bridges made of reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete. Design, construction and calculation. 6th edition, Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-433-02953-4 , p. 162 ( digitized extracts on Google Books).
  14. a b D: § 32 Paragraph 2 StVZO ; A: Section 4 (6) KFG ; CH: Art. 9 Para. 1 SVG
  15. a b The risk of bridge strikes. Network Rail, accessed September 17, 2018 (UK English).
  16. Petersburg gave the "Bridge of Stupidity" an anniversary cake , Izvestia , May 27, 2018
  17. 150th Truck Gets Stuck Under St. Petersburg's 'Bridge of Stupidity' , The Moscow Times, May 28, 2018
  18. ( Memento of the original from September 20, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  19. Subject area 5 - New bridge construction and securing at, accessed on February 26, 2018