A Right of Entry Permit is required when entering MTS/SD&AE right-of-way—including airspace—for any purpose. A permit is also required when working in public right-of-way occupied by MTS/SD&AE facilities. 

We must approve project plans/specifications before we will issue a permit. 


Project Review 

To start a project review, fill out the Plan Review/Right of Way Permit Application and return it to us with the required number of plan sets, a $750 application fee, and an 8.5"x11" vicinity map or Thomas Guide page showing the location of the project. 

If your project doesn't involve any construction, use the Non-Construction Plan Review/Right of Way Permit Application

Typically, we will issue a letter of findings within two weeks indicating provisional approval or requiring additional engineering review. Permit fees to include plan review, permit processing, and general permit oversight costs are assessed and an invoice is processed. If a comprehensive engineering review is necessary, a deposit will be required for the probable reimbursable cost to cover reviews and other expenses. 

Permit Application Process

We will only proceed with the permit process after the project has engineering review approval. If the encroachment requires an easement or a license to allow permanent facilities within the right-of-way, the license or easement will be processed concurrent with the permit. You must submit a plat and legal description signed by a land surveyor licensed in the State of California and an appraisal to determine fair market value. Additional fees for processing the easement or license will be assessed. Board approval is required for Railroad rights. 

Permit processing and approval are typically granted within two weeks after the plans have been approved, the proper insurance certificates have been received, and permit fees have been paid. Urgent permits require authorization from the Chief Executive Officer or his designee.

Other Requirements

  • Insurance - Most general liability insurance does not cover railroads. Any exclusions relating to performance of operations within the vicinity of any railroad, bridge, trestle, track, roadbed, tunnel, underpass, or crossing must be deleted from the policy. If the exclusions can't be removed, a separate Railroad Protective Liability Policy is required. 

Insurance Requirements

  • Schedule - You must submit a construction schedule that includes the number of days anticipated to encroach on the right-of-way to process the permit. Include times and lengths of shifts, along with anticipated construction methods. Also submit approved Traffic control Plans where applicable. Contact San Diego Trolley Inc. (SDTI) for information on Trolley schedules. Contact Rail America for information on freight train schedules
  • Flagging - Flagging is required anytime work is within 15 feet of track including airspace or as deemed necessary by Trolley personnel. Complete and fax SDTI Flagperson/Right-of-Way Work Request form and to MTS and SDTI a minimum of two business days prior to anticipated work day. Normally, the cost for flagging is $25.00 an hour for one man or $50.00 for a two-man team. Billing will be directly from SDTI to the Permittee and is separate from the Permit fee.
  • A pre-construction meeting is required with MTS and SDTI prior to work commencing within the right-of-way. You must submit a written notice of planned start of work a minimum of five business days prior to work starting in the right-of-way. All work will be stopped and you will not be allowed in the right-of-way without proper notification.
  • You must adhere to construction and safety standards we require of our contractors when working within the right-of-way.
  • You must submit a written notice that work has been completed per the permit. Any additional work required to replace or repair the railroad facilities in good working order will be the responsibility of the permit holder prior to work acceptance. We will issue a notice upon acceptance of the work.
  • Any excess deposited funds will be reimbursed after all requirements of the permit are met. This does not include non-refundable permit fees.
  • You must provide a set of as-builts (hard copy and electronic file upon request) within thirty days of relief from maintenance. No excess deposited funds will be released until as-builts are submitted signed by a licensed engineer in the State of California

Supplementary Documents