Medical supplies on trains.
Safety devices; block system.
Safe tracks and bridges.
Protecting grade crossings.
Exempt railroad crossings.
Highway crossings, advance warning signs.
Railroad highway crossings.
Railroad crossings; grade separation, safety devices.
Snowmobile rail crossings.
Bridges made safe.
Safety gates on drawbridges.
Reports of accidents, investigation.
General penalty upon railroads and water carriers.
Water carrier freight charges; collection, refund.
Water carrier freight bills; examination; refunds.
Common carriers of passengers or property by water; certificate required.
Information, papers and accounting.
Payment of office expenses by railroads and water carriers.
Ch. 195 Cross-reference
See also RR
, Wis. adm. code.
In this chapter:
“Department" means the department of transportation.
“Office" means the office of the commissioner of railroads.
“Railroad historical society" means a nonprofit historical society that operates railroad locomotives and rolling stock on railroad tracks for the purpose of historic preservation and is not a common carrier.
“Railroad track equipment" means a device that is operated on rails and used primarily for the maintenance of railroads.
Definitions, scope of chapter, application of statute. 195.02(1)(1)
In this chapter, unless a different meaning is manifest: “Railroad" means and embraces all corporations, companies, individuals, associations, their lessees, trustees or receivers that own, operate, manage or control any railroad or part of a railroad as a common carrier in this state, or cars, or other equipment used thereon, or bridges, terminals or sidetracks, used in connection therewith, whether owned by such railroad or otherwise.
This chapter applies to the transportation of passengers and property between points within this state, and to the receiving, switching, delivering, storing and handling of such property, and to all water carrier charges connected therewith, and applies to all common carriers engaged in the transportation of passengers or property wholly by rail or partly by rail and partly by water, and to all common carriers of property wholly by water which operate between fixed end points, but shall not apply to transportation of property by water under contract as a private carrier.
This chapter shall not apply to private railroads that are not common carriers.
Each provision of this chapter applies only to the extent that it is not contrary to or inconsistent with federal law or the constitution of the United States.
“Water carrier" means a common or contract carrier of property by water that operates between fixed end points, but does not include a water carrier under common control with a railroad when transporting freight for continuous carriage or shipment. In this chapter, “common carrier," with respect to a water carrier, includes a contract carrier other than a private contract carrier.
See also RR
, Wis. adm. code.
Office; powers and duties, general enumeration. 195.03(1)(1)
The office may take testimony and administer oaths and may promulgate rules to govern its proceedings and to regulate the mode and manner of all hearings. All hearings shall be open to the public.
In any matter within its jurisdiction under ch. 192
or this chapter, the office may initiate, investigate and order a hearing at its discretion upon such notice as it considers proper.
Study railroad and water carrier business, demand information.
The office may inquire into the management of the business of all railroads and water carriers, and shall keep itself informed as to the manner in which the same is conducted, and may obtain from any railroad or water carrier all necessary information to enable the office to perform the duties and carry out the objects for which it is responsible.
Questionnaires, answers compulsory.
The office shall prepare forms for the purpose of obtaining the information which it may deem necessary or useful to the proper exercise of its functions, which shall conform as nearly as practicable to the forms prescribed by the federal railroad administration, federal surface transportation board, or other applicable federal agency or authority, and shall furnish the forms to railroads and water carriers, and every railroad and water carrier receiving the forms shall cause the forms to be properly completed and verified under oath by its proper officer and returned to the office within the time fixed by the office.
Examine books and files of railroads and water carriers.
The commissioner of railroads or any person employed by the office for that purpose shall, upon demand, have the right to inspect the books and papers of any railroad or water carrier and to examine under oath any officer, agent or employee of such railroad or water carrier in relation to its business and affairs; provided that any person other that the commissioner of railroads who makes such demand shall produce his or her authority under the hand and seal of the office.
Production of records and files kept out of state.
The office may, by an order or subpoena to be served in the manner that a circuit court summons is served, require the production within this state, at such time and place as it may designate, of any books, papers or accounts kept by any railroad or water carrier without the state, or verified copies in lieu thereof, if the office shall so order.
Uniform system of accounting.
The office may prescribe a uniform system of keeping and rendering accounts of all railroad and water carrier business transacted in this state, and the time within which railroads and water carriers shall adopt such system; provided that all forms of accounts which may be prescribed by the office shall conform to any applicable requirement under 49 USC 11141
or 49 CFR 1201
and, as nearly as practicable, to similar forms prescribed by federal authority.
Time for filing water carrier rate tariffs.
The office shall fix the time for filing water carrier schedules relative to the transportation of passengers and property and of any service in connection therewith.
The office may prescribe the forms for water carrier schedules.
Passes to shippers.
The office may prescribe regulations for free transportation of attendants upon shipments of livestock.
Elevators and warehouses.
The office may prescribe rules and regulations covering the charges and manner of conducting the business of public elevators and warehouses upon railroad ground.
The office may make reasonable regulations for furnishing cars to shippers, and for moving, loading and unloading cars and for weighing cars and freight, and to test railroad weights and scales used in weighing freight or cars.
The office shall have control of private railroad tracks insofar as the same are used by common carriers for the transportation of freight, in all respects the same as though such tracks were part of a public railroad.
The office may make reasonable rules, regulations, specifications and standards for the installation, operation and maintenance of all safety devices and measures.
Railroad and water carrier structures.
The office may order the repair or reconstruction of any inadequate or unsafe railroad track or water carrier structure.
Distribution of orders.
The office shall upon application furnish certified copies, under its seal, of any order made by it, which shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.
The office may sue and be sued in that name, and may confer with or participate in any proceedings before any regulatory agency of any other state or of the federal government.
The employees authorized by the office to perform railroad inspection duties may, in the performance of such duties, ride in and upon any engine, car or train of any class, of any railroad, upon payment of the lawful passenger fare, but such railroad shall not thereby be deemed to become a common carrier of passengers other than on passenger cars.
The office shall give the department of natural resources the office's opinion on whether the snowmobile crossing should be closed or removed in testimony at the hearing under s. 350.1395 (2) (b) 2.
or in a written report for introduction into the hearing record.
Complaints, investigation, hearings, notice. 195.04(1)(1)
Upon complaint of any person, including any state agency, water carrier, or railroad, either relating to a railroad as provided under s. 192.324
, 195.28 (1)
, 195.285 (1)
, 195.29 (1)
, or (6)
, or 195.32
or that any water carrier rate, fare, charge, or classification or any regulation or practice whatever affecting the transportation of persons or property, or any service in connection therewith, is in any respect unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory or that any service is inadequate, the office may investigate the complaint and shall set the complaint for hearing. No order may be entered by the office without a public hearing, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
The office shall, prior to any hearing, notify the water carrier or railroad complained of that a complaint has been made, and 20 days after such notice has been given the office may proceed to set a time and place for a hearing.
The office shall give the water carrier or railroad and the complainant 20 days' notice of the hearing and the matters to be considered and determined. Both the water carrier or railroad and the complainant shall be entitled to be heard and shall have process to enforce the attendance of witnesses.
The notice provided for in subs. (2)
may be combined but if combined the notice shall not be less than 20 days.
See also ch. RR 1
, Wis. adm. code.
Separate rate hearings; absence of direct damage.
The office may, when complaint is made of more than one water carrier rate or charge, order separate hearings thereon, and may consider and determine the several matters complained of separately and at such times as it may prescribe. No complaint shall at any time be dismissed because of the absence of direct damage to the complainant.
Whenever the office believes that any water carrier rate or charge may be unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory or that any service is inadequate or cannot be obtained or that an investigation of any matter relating to any water carrier or, if a matter arising under s. 192.324
, 195.28 (1)
, 195.285 (1)
, 195.29 (1)
, or (6)
, or 195.32
, to any railroad should for any reason be made, it may investigate the same with or without notice.
Procedure after summary investigation. 195.043(1)(1)
If, after summary investigation, the office becomes satisfied that sufficient grounds exist to warrant a formal hearing being ordered as to the matters investigated, it shall set a time and place for a hearing. The office shall publish notice of any such investigation in its weekly calendar and any report and all matters considered by the office with respect thereto shall be available for public inspection upon request.
Notice of the time and place for such hearing shall be given to the water carrier or railroad, and to such other interested persons as the office deems necessary, as provided in s. 195.04
, and thereafter proceedings shall be had and conducted in reference to the matter investigated in like manner as though complaint had been filed with the office relative to the matter investigated, and the same order or orders may be made in reference thereto as if such investigation had been made on complaint.
Witness fees and mileage. 195.044(1)(1)
Each witness who appears before the office or its agent, by its order, shall receive for attendance the fees and mileage now provided for witnesses in civil cases in courts of record, which shall be audited and paid by the state in the same manner as other expenses are audited and paid, upon the presentation of proper vouchers sworn to by such witnesses and approved by the office. Said fees and mileage shall be charged to the appropriation for the office.
No witness subpoenaed at the instance of parties other than the office is entitled to compensation from the state for attendance or travel unless the office certifies that the witness' testimony was material to the matter investigated.
The office or any party may in any hearing cause the depositions of witnesses residing within or without the state to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in circuit courts. Any expense incurred or authorized by the office in taking such depositions shall be charged to the appropriation for the office.
See also s. RR 1.09
, Wis. adm. code.
A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings before the office or its hearing examiners.
See also s. RR 1.07
, Wis. adm. code.
Transcripts as evidence.
A transcribed copy of the evidence and proceedings or any specific part thereof, on any hearing under this chapter taken by the stenographer, being certified by such stenographer to be a true and correct transcript of all the testimony or of a particular witness, or of other specific part thereof, carefully compared with the original notes, and to be a correct statement of the evidence and proceedings had on such hearing so purporting to be taken and transcribed, shall be received in evidence with the same effect as if such reporter were present and testified to the fact so certified. A copy of such transcript shall be furnished on demand free of cost to any party to such hearing.
History: 1977 c. 29
Incriminating evidence. 195.048(1)(1)
No person may be excused from testifying or from producing books, accounts and papers in any proceeding based upon or growing out of any violation of this chapter on the ground or for the reason that the testimony or evidence may tend to incriminate or subject the person to penalty or forfeiture, but no person having so testified may be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any such testimony. No person so testifying may be exempted from prosecution or punishment for perjury in testifying.
The immunity provided under sub. (1)
is subject to the restrictions under s. 972.085