Supreme Court to Association of American Railroads: No writ of certiorari

By William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief, Railway Age Magazine; June 3, 2019

In the latest twist of an ongoing saga now in its 11th year, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has denied an Association of American Railroads (AAR) petition for a writ of certiorari* (a request that SCOTUS order a lower court to send up a case record for review) regarding whether Congress may vest a for-profit government corporation—in this case, Amtrak—with regulatory authority over its private-sector “competitors”—Amtrak’s host freight railroads.

In question is whether Amtrak and the U.S. Department of Transportation (Federal Railroad Administration) should have the legal authority to establish on-time performance metrics and standards for Amtrak trains operating over freight railroad-owned and –dispatched rights-of-way.

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