News & Analysis as of

Railroads

Department of Transportation Repeals Controversial Rail Brake Rule

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In a decision that had become all but inevitable, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), on December 4, 2017 rescinded its rule that would have required railroads carrying highly hazardous flammable materials, such as...more

Fourth Circuit Holds that Federal Courts Have Concurrent Jurisdiction with Surface Transportation Board over ICCTA Claims

by Burr & Forman on

On November 16, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit joined the First, Fifth and Sixth Circuits in ruling that claims arising from the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (“ICCTA”) can be...more

Ouch: EEOC Gets Summary Judgment Win Relative To Employer’s Medical Testing

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: In an ADA action alleging that a maker of train components discriminated against a group of applicants by regarding them as disabled, a federal district court in Illinois granted the EEOC’s partial motion...more

Rail Blocked Crossing Statute Upheld, Departing From Overwhelming Precedent

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Many states and municipalities have (or used to have) laws that limit the amount of time a railroad may block a traffic intersection. Time and again, courts have determined that these laws are preempted by either the...more

Infrastructure Insights: Issue #9

Fast-moving Tax Bill Creates Uncertainties for Infrastructure Plan - As the GOP works to resolve its House and Senate tax bills, the legislation’s impact on President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan is far from...more

Fifth District Holds Cap-And-Trade Program Compliance Supports Refinery Project EIR’s Conclusion That GHG Emissions Are Less Than...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In a lengthy, partially published opinion filed November 21, 2017, the Fifth District Court of Appeal addressed four CEQA challenges asserted by plaintiffs and appellants (“AIR”) to the sufficiency of Kern County’s 2014 Final...more

When a Park in the Sky Leads to a Lawsuit - Three Strategies for Success in High-Stakes Litigation

by Poyner Spruill LLP on

In 2002, New York City announced its support for preserving the High Line—turning an unused elevated railroad into a thriving park in the heart of Manhattan’s West Side. Fifteen years later, it is one of the City’s top...more

Fourth Circuit Joins Three Others in Determining that the Federal Courts Have Concurrent Jurisdiction over ICCTA Claims

by Nossaman LLP on

On November 16, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit determined that claims arising from the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (“ICCTA”) can be litigated in the federal courts or at the...more

A Year-End Summary of Recent Railroad Preemption Cases

by Lane Powell PC on

Railroads have long defended certain state law tort claims in crossing accident and trespasser cases by invoking the doctrine of federal preemption. The past year is no exception. Although the discussion of the cases below is...more

When Is a Private Company Considered a Public Body and Subject to the EU Procurement Rules?

by Bryan Cave on

The case itself is a judgement of 5 October 2017, following a request for a preliminary ruling from a regional court in Lithuania to the ECJ. The question submitted was essentially should a private company established by the...more

Transloading Extends the Economics of Rail to More Customers

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Companies that use bulk products as inputs to their manufacturing or processing business often look to rail service as a way to reduce their transportation costs. Yet, many are not located adjacent to rail lines and there is...more

Positive Train Control: Roadblocks to Interoperability

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Positive Train Control ("PTC") is a system that will automatically apply the train’s brakes in certain situations. PTC systems consist of technologies designed to help detect dangerous situations and automatically intervene...more

D.C. District Judge Denies Class Certification in Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Case

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In the most closely watched rail industry litigation in the country, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has denied class certification in the railroads’ fuel surcharge antitrust litigation. The long...more

Faceoff with Federal Government Possibly Looming Following California Supreme Court CEQA Ruling; Cal High Speed Rail Project Also...

In July 2017, the California Supreme Court determined the federal Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (49 U.S.C. § 10101 et seq.) (“ICCTA”) does not preempt the application of the California Environmental...more

Ukraine: ripe for investment

by DLA Piper on

Ukraine’s infrastructure has huge potential and the increase of agricultural exports is one of the key catalysts of infrastructural development. It seems that the time is right for investment....more

CA Supreme Court Holds CEQA Not Preempted by Federal Rail Transportation Law for Projects Carried Out by State Agencies

by Perkins Coie on

The California Supreme Court has issued its decision in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad, an important case regarding preemption of state environmental law by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act...more

Calif. High Court: U.S. Rail Law Doesn't Categorically Pre-empt CEQA on Public Entity Projects - Decision Sets Up Showdown with...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Cal. Pub. Res. Code §21000 et seq., imposes significant procedural and substantive requirements on private and public projects throughout the state. However, even a state law...more

STB Finds Arkansas City's Effort to Create New At-Grade Rail Crossing is Pre-empted

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has found that efforts by the city of Ozark, Ark., to force the reinstallation of a highway-rail at-grade crossing are pre-empted by federal law....more

“Self-Governance,” Not “Regulation”: California Supreme Court Rules No Federal Preemption of CEQA under ICCTA for State-Owned Rail...

by Downey Brand LLP on

On July 27, the California Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority (S222472), resolving a split among the State’s courts of appeal—but arguably...more

California Supreme Court Holds CEQA Applies to State Entity’s Railroad Project on State-Owned Rail Line As Act of...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

On July 7, 2017, the California Supreme Court filed its 69-page opinion, written by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and joined by five other justices, in Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority, et al. (2017)...more

No Idle Matter — D.C. Circuit Holds that State’s Attempt to Regulate Locomotive Noise is Preempted by ICA and ICCTA

by Lane Powell PC on

States and municipalities commonly attempt to curb or eliminate noise generated by locomotives and rail cars as they pass through their jurisdictions. A recent attempt by the state of Delaware to shut down idling locomotives...more

Eighth Circuit Strikes Down STB Rules Defining "On-Time" Passenger Performance

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Union Pacific Railroad Company v. Surface Transportation Board, No. 16-3307, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has held that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) exceeded its authority when it promulgated...more

Surface Transportation Board Acts to Protect Integrity of its Financial Assistance Process

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has adopted new rules to prevent abuse of offers of financial assistance (OFAs) under the ICC Termination Act of 1995. Under the OFA process, a party that wants to preserve rail service...more

NTSB Publishes Two Rules Governing Agency Investigative Regulations

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on June 29, 2017, published a final rule covering 49 C.F.R. 831 subparts A-D and an interim final rule for 49 C.F.R. 831 subpart E, both of which are effective July 31, 2017...more

“We meant what we said” – U.S. Supreme Court Continues To Rein In Personal Jurisdiction

by McCarter & English, LLP on

This past term, the U.S. Supreme Court decided two matters in which it unequivocally held that state courts’ ability to assert personal jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants is limited under both general and specific...more

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