NH2060 wrote: ↑Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:02 am
So Amtrak -a federal agency- is going to *force* CSX -a private company- to make them use their tracks however they please?
I don’t see that playing out well in court. If it doesn’t you might as well say goodbye to any chance of Amtrak returning to the Gulf Coast.
And if it does succeed that could all but certain open up a giant Pandora’s box to the federal government interfering in the operations of privately owned railroads.
Amtrak is allowed to do this as part of the now-decades-old deals by which CSX and NS predecessor roads (in this case, the Louisville & Nashville and the Southern Railway) offloaded their obligation to provide passenger service onto the Feds.
Also, while I'm not a lawyer I suspect
that this may be somewhat of a special case in that, technically, Amtrak never abandoned
service between New Orleans and Mobile. The Sunset Limited
was "suspended" between New Orleans and Orlando in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina washed out the line, but it was never officially discontinued.
For what it's worth, the Federal Government has been involved with the railroads since 1832, when the Feds first contracted with a railroad to carry the US mail. Hence the ability of railroads to take private land with eminent domain. It's not quite the same as the Government walking in the front door of a Walmart and forcing them to sell a certain brand of T-shirt or something.