Due to a recent ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court, law enforcement officials, including Waterloo’s officers, can no longer cite trains for blocking railroad crossings.
Last month, all five justices of the Indiana Supreme Court found that Indiana’s statute preventing trains from blocking a railroad crossing for more than 10 minutes was pre-empted by the federal Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act. The court concluded the federal law takes precedence over any state’s attempt to “manage or govern rail transportation.” This includes Indiana’s blocked-crossing statute, because it substantially interferes with railroad operations.
Citizens who have concerns when encountering railroad crossings should contact the Federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) to file their complaint or concern. To do that, click on the following link: https://www.stb.gov/RailCustomerPublicAssistance.nsf/Request?OpenForm.
The STB keeps statistics of complaints, so it is very important that citizens report blockages every time they experience them. This will allow the federal government to understand the magnitude of the problem, so it can be properly addressed.