U.S. court says Amtrak has too much power over freight carriers

April 29, 2016

Amtrak, the government-owned passenger rail company, wields too much power in setting regulations that private freight carriers must also follow, a top court ruled on Friday.Website Insert Cars and Financing copy

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down parts of a 2008 law called the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, saying it violates the due process rights of freight carriers.

The court said there is a due process problem because a government-owned, nominally for-profit entity has regulatory authority over the industry in which it participates. Both freight carriers and Amtrak compete for use of the same track, the court noted. The railroad law allows Amtrak and the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration to work jointly on the regulations.

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