ST. LOUIS (CN) – The state of Minnesota does not have the authority to limit the speed of trains that pass through one of its towns, the 8th Circuit ruled.
The Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific Railway Co. appealed the district court’s ruling for the city of Orr, where its substandard tracks and crossings serve about 16 trains per day, some carrying hazardous material. Orr requested a 30 mph speed limit for trains traveling through the city, until the city could relocate the track.
The district court had ruled that the Federal Railway Safety Act had a savings clause that allowed the state law to stand.
Judge Murphy ruled that the state law was pre-empted by federal law and was not needed to remedy an “essentially local safety hazard.”