Attorney Leonard M. Singer, Boston, MA  (617) 737-7670  (

49 U.S.C. § 10501. General jurisdiction


(1) Subject to this chapter, the Board has jurisdiction over transportation by rail carrier that is—

(A) only by railroad; or

(B) by railroad and water, when the transportation is under common control, management, or arrangement for a continuous carriage or shipment.

(2) Jurisdiction under paragraph (1) applies only to transportation in the United States between a place in—

(A) a State and a place in the same or another State as part of the interstate rail network;

(B) a State and a place in a territory or possession of the United States;

(C) a territory or possession of the United States and a place in another such territory or possession;

(D) a territory or possession of the United States and another place in the same territory or possession;

(E) the United States and another place in the United States through a foreign country; or

(F) the United States and a place in a foreign country.

(b) The jurisdiction of the Board over—

(1) transportation by rail carriers, and the remedies provided in this part with respect to rates, classifications, rules (including car service, interchange, and other operating rules), practices, routes, services, and facilities of such carriers; and

(2) the construction, acquisition, operation, abandonment, or discontinuance of spur, industrial, team, switching, or side tracks, or facilities, even if the tracks are located, or intended to be located, entirely in one State, is exclusive. Except as otherwise provided in this part, the remedies provided under this part with respect to regulation of rail transportation are exclusive and preempt the remedies provided under Federal or State law.


(1) In this subsection—

(A) the term "local governmental authority"—

(i) has the same meaning given that term by section 5302 (a) of this title; and

(ii) includes a person or entity that contracts with the local governmental authority to provide transportation services; and

(B) the term "mass transportation" means transportation services described in section 5302 (a) of this title that are provided by rail.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the Board does not have jurisdiction under this part over mass transportation provided by a local governmental authority.


(A) Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of this subsection, a local governmental authority, described in paragraph (2), is subject to applicable laws of the United States related to—

(i) safety;

(ii) the representation of employees for collective bargaining; and

(iii) employment, retirement, annuity, and unemployment systems or other provisions related to dealings between employees and employers.

(B) The Board has jurisdiction under sections 11102 and 11103 of this title over transportation provided by a local governmental authority only if the Board finds that such governmental authority meets all of the standards and requirements for being a rail carrier providing transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission that were in effect immediately before January 1, 1996. The enactment of the ICC Termination Act of 1995 shall neither expand nor contract coverage of employees and employers by the Railway Labor Act, the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974, the Railroad Retirement Tax Act, and the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.

Do not act or rely upon this statute without ensuring that it is up to date and without seeking professional legal advice.