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Federal judge says municipalities can’t cite railroads for blocking crossings NEWSWIRE

By | June 13, 2017

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BUCYRUS, Ohio — A federal judge has ruled that municipalities in Ohio can no longer cite railroads for blocking crossings. The decision came after CSX Transportation sued the City of Defiance arguing it did not have to pay city fines, the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum reports.

Judge James J. Carr of the United States District Court of Northern Ohio made the ruling in April and stated that federal law governing railroads preempts state law.

The issue came to a head a few years ago after CSX blocked a number of crossings in the region, including in one extreme instance, where a crossing was blocked for 15 hours. A local court fined the railroad $1,000 in that instance.

7 thoughts on “Federal judge says municipalities can’t cite railroads for blocking crossings NEWSWIRE

    The federal rule/law would only preempt if the rule/law is preemptive. As I understand these things (IANAL).
    I don’t know if the federal law/rule is preemptive or not.
    But I am aware of a lot of federal rules/laws that are not preemptive, and some that are but are not enforced (marijuana laws, for example).

  2. I agree that federal law must overrule local/state law in regard to railroads. Still, a crossing being blocked for 15 hours? I believe the train in question should have been cut in two at that particular location especially if it was parked there for that long. This would have saved all sides a lot of wasted time and effort.

  3. JERRY CONAWAY: everyone check out his comment below……same case here ….. law enforcement in the area realize the “reality of the RR doing their work” verses the impatience of the locals …… in the case of the judge and this ruling ….. maybe he heard all the facts (that are not present in most articles) …. I found my facts on the matter by looking at court reports of the case …… I do wonder about the 15 hour blockage, that was mentioned in the case???? endmrw0616171402

  4. Dalton GA is forever complaining about this, even though there are several overpasses and multiple grade-routes that can be taken that don’t put the drivers to far out of the way. Just some politicians being noisy for their constituents.

  5. @Henry Sommers…it appears from the story all the judge is saying is that municipalities can not preempt federal law/regulations, so what ever regulations/laws are on the federal books about interstates commerce in regards to railroads and blocking crossings are what apply. There is nothing more that needs to be said about it, just look up the applicable federal regulation(and I’m sure they’re out there).

  6. Did the judge not issue guidelines or explanations or did he just issue judgement? This ruling shouldn’t just give railroads a free ride and lock municipalities out from being able to bring grievance in case of emergency. I would think, an hope, the railroad would have to prove they had no recourse but to stop and block; but if the train could have been moved or split, or managed somehow, they should be held responsible and fined. If the blocking occurs because of an accident, derailment, or other similar incident, then the railroad would have to be allowed to continue the blocking. I hope there is more to this story than reported here.

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