Railroads

News & Analysis as of

Texas District Court Rejects Rail Contractor’s Delay and Prompt Payment Claims and Awards Owner More Than $3 Million

Balfour Beatty Rail, Inc. v. The Kansas City Southern Railway Company, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39086 (N.D. Tex., March 25, 2016) - The contractor contracted with owner to install 65 miles of railroad track, for a price of...more

2016 Oklahoma Tax Legislation

Investment/New Jobs Credit, $25 Million Cap, 2016-2018. The income tax credit for investment in manufacturing facilities or increasing jobs was amended to provide that for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, and...more

Safety Agencies Expect to Release 9 Rules This Year

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified seven proposals the agency hopes to release as final rules before the end of the year, while the Mine Safety and Health Administration, its sister agency within...more

New Campaign Raises Awareness of Railroad Intersection Dangers

In the wake of the Amtrak derailment in Pennsylvania earlier this month, Operation Lifesaver is promoting a new public awareness campaign dedicated to “changing people’s behavior around railroad tracks and crossings.” While...more

On Eve of Freight Rail Day, Thoughts Turn to Access and a Senator of Great Heart

On May 18, 2016, we’ll be helping to run the Massachusetts Railroad Association’s annual Freight Railroad Day on Beacon Hill. The association is a long-time client of ours. This is the day when we, accompanied by the...more

Rail Crossings Need Safety Review

The average locomotive weighs 200 tons. The average passenger car weighs less than 2 tons. When the two collide, it’s not hard to understand the dangers weight, momentum, and inertia will have on the average family sedan. For...more

Miscommunication leads to many railway and train accidents

An Amtrak train collided with a maintenance vehicle in Chester, Pennsylvania, killing two Amtrak employees, Backhoe operator Joseph Carter Jr., and supervisor Peter Adamovich in the early morning of April 3, 2016. About 30...more

First Agency Publishes Significant Increase in FCA Penalties; Others Expected to Follow

On May 2, 2016, the Railroad Retirement Board (Board) published an interim final rule in the Federal Register amending its regulations to increase the minimum and maximum civil monetary penalty amounts under the Board’s...more

Crude-by-Rail Update: Largest West Coast Terminal Proposal Suffocating Under Delay

The largest proposed crude-by-rail (CBR) transloading facility on the West Coast recently survived a major hurdle to its ultimate construction and operation—a lease extension. But with the proposed project enduring nearly...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending April 8, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - - Sovereign Immunity: DOT prohibited from using sovereign immunity defense in negligence action resulting from railroad crossing accident where DOT bound by crossing agreement, including indemnity...more

Texas Supreme Court: Protections of Governmental Immunity Remain Robust But Are Not Absolute

On April 1, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court, in Houston Belt & Terminal Railroad Co., et al.. v. City of Houston, et al., reviewed the implementation of the City of Houston’s 2011 drainage fee ordinance. ...more

Seventh Circuit Does The Math and Sides with Plan Administrator in Pension Calculation Dispute

On Wednesday, March 16, the Seventh Circuit inspired a collective sigh of relief among actuaries and plan administrators everywhere. In Cocker v. Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis Pension Plan for Nonschedule...more

State and Local Governments May Now Request Railroad Bridge Inspection Reports

State and local governments can now obtain railroad bridge inspection reports by making requests on the website of the Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”). This new tool will help state and local governments gain better...more

Exclusionary rail transport contracts derailed by regulator

On the 18 December 2015, the UK Office of Rail and Road (“ORR”) formally accepted commitments from one of the UK’s leading providers of Deep Sea Container (“DSC”) rail transport services, which reportedly “fully address its...more

Menlo Park Grade Separations – On Track

The City of Menlo Park is proceeding with two transportation projects. The first one, an undercrossing to separate bicycles and pedestrians from rail traffic at Middle Avenue, received the green light from the City Council...more

First Circuit Court of Appeals Clarifies Limited Deference to Surface Transportation Board Views on Railroad Preemption

In two companion decisions released in October, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, considered the extent to which federal preemption of state and local laws applies to railroad operations involving the...more

Second District Rejects CEQA And Fair Transit Hearing Challenges To LA Metro’s Westside Subway Extension Project In Lengthy...

In a 65-page opinion certified for publication and filed October 22, 2015, the Second Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s judgment denying writ petitions by the City of Beverly...more

Supreme Court Update: Maryland V. Kulbicki (14-848) And Order List

… und willkommen zurück! Oktober Term 2015 kicks off today with argument in OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs (13-1067), a case which explores the contours of the commercial-activity exception to the Foreign Sovereign...more

ADA Suit Not Precluded By State Agency Decision

A district court improperly granted summary judgment to an employer defending against a claim of disability discrimination where the district court relied too heavily on the state agency’s finding that an employee failed to...more

Texas Railroad Commission Finds Earthquakes in North Texas Not Caused by Drilling Operations

Update: On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission concluded that these small earthquakes that occurred near Azle, Texas likely were not caused by drilling operations conducted by EnerVest Operating LLC. The Texas...more

Finally Coming to Fruition: FDA’s Rule on the Sanitary Transportation of Food

Twenty-five years after Congress first tried to ensure that garbage trucks aren’t also used to haul fresh produce, a federal regulation establishing sanitation standards for the transportation of human and animal food by...more

Second Railroad Commission Decision Agrees Injection Well Not Likely Contributor to Earthquakes

Texas Railroad Commission examiners have determined that a well operated by EnerVest Operating LLC likely did not contribute to a series of earthquakes in the state, mirroring a similar determination made on August 31 in a...more

Texas Wastewater Injection Wells Off the Hook for Causing Earthquakes

On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission absolved a second oil and gas company of causing a series of earthquakes in northern Texas finding that the seismic activity was due to “natural tectonic processes.” The...more

Railroad Commission Examiners Find Injection Well Not Likely Contributor to Earthquakes

The controversy around whether wastewater injection wells cause earthquakes was finally put to legal scrutiny in a recent proceeding before administrative hearing examiners (Examiners) with the Texas Railroad Commission,...more

Unpaid Internships: Tips for Avoiding Legal Liability

Unpaid internships present companies with potential legal exposure, as shown by several recent, well-publicized legal victories for interns, including one against NBC, which ultimately paid out millions of dollars. To help...more

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