Indiana Supreme Court to see case about railroad fines

"Crossing" by amyn-design, CC BY 2.0

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court will consider the validity of a state law allowing local governments to fine railroads when a stopped train blocks a street for more than 10 minutes.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that Norfolk Southern Railway Co. is seeking the dismissal of 23 citations it received in Allen County. The company cites two federal laws pre-empting the enforcement of Indiana’s Blocked Crossing Statute.

The railway argues the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act and the Federal Railroad Safety Act prohibit states from attempting to interfere with the safe operation of trains. The railway says it would have to run trains at higher speeds, operate shorter trains more frequently or temporarily pull trains apart at crossings to limit blocked crossings.

Railroads can be fined up to $500 per citation.

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