I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
- Jul 19, 2004
- Reaction score
- Out of Bounds
How about laying flat on the sleepers as the train goes over. Would there be enough clearance? Depends on how fat you are of course.
This can happen, but it depends on the specifics of the given location. It's by no means guaranteed.
There are formal specifications for how much clearance is maintained between the top rail surface and the wheel-set axle, but (at least in North America) this is less than 3 inches.
Any additional clearance is afforded by the height of the rails above the base track bed and ties / sleepers beneath. In situations where the tracks are recessed (e.g., light rail / trolley rails inset into pavement) there can be zero additional clearance. On bridges and trestles any additional clearance is wholly dependent upon the span's design and construction.
Beyond all that ... There's no guarantee there won't be any under-hanging protrusions, equipment, or debris nullifying whatever clearance the axle clearance specs and rail / bed configuration afford you.