Kansas court considers challenge to railroad regulation

September 22, 2018 - 6:09 am

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad is challenging a Kansas law that limits how long trains can block intersections.

On Thursday, the Kansas Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case, which stems from an incident in December of 2016 involving a lengthy blockage of two Chase County railroad crossings. The Texas-based railway company's court challenge could have ramifications for railroad crossings throughout Kansas.

The law in question says railroads can only block a crossing for 10 minutes.

The Chase County Sheriff's Office cited BNSF, claiming the company parked a train on a siding for four hours and blocked the only crossings that provide access to several farms.

BNSF denies the length of the blockage and argues that the state doesn't have a right to regulate how long a train can block a crossing.

A ruling on the case by the court is expected in the next few months.

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