Railways

News & Analysis as of

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

Next Stops for the Alameda Corridor East – Montebello, Maple and Turnbull Canyon Grade Separations

At some time or another, most of us have experienced sitting in our cars at a railroad crossing waiting for what seems like the longest freight train in the world go by. And it always seems to happen when you’re late for an...more

FAA Proposes More Flexible Eligibility Criteria For Expenditure Of Passenger Facility Charge Funds On Airport Rail Projects

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes to amend (81 Fed. Reg. at 26611) (May 3, 2016) a 2004 rule, restricting expenditure of proceeds from passenger facility charges (PFC) funds to airport access infrastructure...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

Tokyo’s New Train

There is a common sight in Japan — so common that it becomes almost invisible. That sight is trains. They are everywhere and I use them on a daily basis. I’ve grown to love the convenience and reliability of the Japanese...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

Stay in your Lane: Three Recent, Significant Rulings Enforce State and Federal Separation of Powers

Builders and contractors may be interested to learn that, in the past few days, the Supreme Courts of Texas capitoland Colorado, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit have issued significant rulings addressing the...more

The Luxembourg Rail Protocol to the Cape Town Convention

The Luxembourg Rail Protocol to the Cape Town Convention: its application to the UK and how it differs to the Aircraft Protocol - The UK signed the Luxembourg Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in...more

California’s Prompt Payment Laws: Just Because an Owner Has Changed Course Doesn’t Mean It’s Changed Course on Previous Payments

We’ve written before about California’s prompt payment laws which are designed to help contractors get paid in a timely and orderly fashion, which is always nice, right?...more

Australian Competition & Regulation Update for Port & Rail Infrastructure Operators and Users

In this update we touch on recent events in the competition and regulation space of relevance to port and rail infrastructure owners and access seekers, being: a recent decision of the Australian Competition...more

EU & Competition Law Update – April 2016

European Union: EU Commission maintains close scrutiny of retail geo-blocking - On the 18th of March 2016, the EU Commission published initial findings from its e-commerce sector inquiry. The initial findings show a...more

First Committee Deadline – Week Four at the Capitol

The universe of legislation in play will be significantly winnowed down this week as it is the first committee deadline. Committees must act favorably on bills in the house of origin. The focus will increasingly turn to the...more

West Coast Real Estate Update: March 2016 #3

California's High-Speed Rail May Not Be Financially Feasible - The California Legislature's analyst released a report stating that the high-speed rail system planned for California is not economically feasible. Several...more

CMA encourages increased competition in Britain’s rail sector

On 8 March 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published a policy document recommending that the government overhaul the currently franchised rail system. 99% of Britain’s trains presently run under...more

Georgia Weekly Legislative Update - March 2016 #2

In a surprise vote last week, the Georgia legislature rushed through the approval of a contentious religious liberty proposal intended to grant safe legal harbor to opponents of marriage equality....more

Procurement Pulse - March 2016

The final implementation date for the three new EU procurement directives is 18 April 2016 - so things are hotting up in terms of getting to grips with new legislation. Cabinet Office has reviewed the responses to its...more

Expo Line Extension to Santa Monica Opens May 20

The wait is nearly over: for those living on the Westside of Los Angeles, passenger rail transit will be available in just a few short months. Officials announced this week that the final extension of the Expo Line will...more

A Railway Is Not a Mine: Ontario Court of Appeal Rules on Surface Rights in Unpatented Mining Claims

On February 24, 2016, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in 2274659 Ontario Inc. v. Canada Chrome Corporation, confirming the interpretation of sections 50 and 51 of the Ontario Mining Act (Act) as they relate...more

Surface Transportation Board Rulemaking to Modify Requirements for Offers of Financial Assistance

The Surface Transportation Board (“STB” or “Board”) issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comments on how it should revise its rules related to offers of financial assistance (“OFA”). The Board’s goal is to...more

Environmental Provisions of the FAST Act

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law the “Fix America’s Surface Transportation Act,” Public Law 114-94 ("FAST Act"). As finally enacted, the FAST Act exceeds 400 pages in length. This paper reviews those...more

FAST Act Authorizes $305 Billion in Transportation Spending Over Five Years

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, signed into law by Pres. Barack Obama, authorizes approximately $305 billion in federal highway and transit spending over the next five years for transportation projects. The...more

The World in US Courts: New Decision of the US Supreme Court Limits Suits Against Non-US Governmental Entities

The US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”) codifies the doctrine of sovereign immunity and generally prohibits lawsuits in US courts against non-US sovereigns. But the FSIA has an exception where, among other things, a...more

How A Train Wreck Changed The Constitution

In the early morning of October 3, 1970 on rural road just outside San Jose, 61-year old Engineer Anthony Gassell was at the controls of his Southern Pacific locomotive as it headed northwest. At the same time, 24-year old...more

Crude-by-Rail Update: PHMSA Rejects Administrative Challenges to CBR Rule

Despite challenging oil prices and a decrease in the volume of crude oil traveling by rail, recent events have renewed the spotlight on crude-by-rail (CBR) transportation. First, two trains derailed in Wisconsin last weekend...more

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