Regional and Shortline Railroads

Many railroad worker injuries occur on shortline railroads. These injuries are that are covered by FELA, not workers’ compensation. Class II and Class III, or short line and regional, railroads account for 31 percent of U.S. freight The more than 550 short line and regional railroads operate in every state except Hawaii and Shortline railroads are small, local, mid-sized, and regional railroads that operates over a short distances to the national, Class I railroads. Railroads in United States are classified by size. Large railroads are classified as Class I, such as BNSF, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Canadian National, Norfolk Southern, CSX, and Kansas City Southern. Shortline railroads fall into the classification of Class III or Class II, according to the Surface Transportation Board.

The larger Class II railroads are often classified as regional railroads. At the current time there are some twenty-one Class II railroads in service, some of which are independently owned (like the Iowa Interstate), some that are part large railroad holding companies (such as Watco’s Wisconsin & Southern and Genesee & Wyoming’s Buffalo & Pittsburgh), and many independently owned Class IIs such as the Florida East Coast Railway, Dakota Missouri Valley Western Railroad, Montana RailLink, Red River Valley Western, Central Oregon, Portland and Western, and the Northern Plains Railroad.

Shortlines operate for a number of reasons, such as linking industries together that require or share freight (such as paper factories and timber, or power and manufacturing plants and coal), to carry freight and resources to interchange points with the large Class I railroads, and small tourist railroads. These shortline railroads are critical in linking regions and services to the nation’s infrastructure. Some shortlines are older and have been operating for generations. Many other others were created as larger railroads sold off or abandoned large sections of their rail networks and shortlines were created to service the localities and regions that benefit from rail service and interchanging with large railroads.

Class II and III railroads are not subject to the same reporting requirements as larger railroads. A good railroad attorney also knows that these railroads have much different regulatory and safety requirements, such as different train speeds, maintenance, inspection, and safety equipment standards. These differences can be critical to those with claims and knowing these differences can make or break a case.

Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm has experienced attorneys with the skills and drive necessary to fight against railroads, protect your rights, and prove that your railroad injury was caused by a negligent railroad carrier. Because no two cases are alike, we specifically tailor our legal representation to give each and every client specialized legal to the specific facts of their claim and will not stop until justice is achieved. We are 100% dedicated to every client we take on, no matter how big or small the case. We handle each case with care and commitment to getting you the compensation you need to get back to life as you know it. Contact us at Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm to schedule an initial consultation with a railroad attorney today.