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Trains 1, Towns 0

The Indiana Supreme Court has struck down a more than 150-year-old state law that allowed local governments to fine railroads when a stopped train blocks a street for more than 10 minutes. The justices unanimously agreed the 1865 Blocked Crossing Statute was pre-empted by the 1995 Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act. The act prohibits states from enacting a law or rule that manages or governs rail transportation. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. challenged the statute after receiving 23 citations in Allen County from December 2014 to December 2015. The railroad’s lawyers said the company faced a heavy compliance burden of having to run trains at higher speeds, operate shorter trains more frequently or temporarily pull trains apart at crossings to limit blocked crossings.

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