No railroad company operating in this state shall remove or transfer its terminals or permanently close any terminals in this state without the permission or consent of the office after due hearing had on the matter, in compliance with ch. 195
Before any railroad company operating in this state shall make any removal or transfer of shops or terminals or abandons the same, it shall file notice of intention so to do with the office, and the office shall have the power to investigate whether such proposed removal, transfer or abandonment, as the case may be, is in the public interest and is not unreasonable or unfair as to the employees of such railroad company. No such removal or transfer shall be made during such investigation, or thereafter, if the office finds such removal, transfer or abandonment is not in the public interest or is unreasonable or unfair as to the employees of such railroad.
Railroad track clearance. 192.53(1)
Except as otherwise provided in this section, no building or loading platform shall be constructed nor shall any addition to or reconstruction of an existing building or loading platform, excluding ordinary repairs necessary for maintenance, be made that shall have a horizontal clearance of less than 8 feet 6 inches between it and the center line of any railroad track. The same clearance shall be maintained between the center line of the railroad track and any material used in and about the construction of any such building or loading platform.
Platforms at passenger stations used for loading and unloading passengers, baggage, mail and express may be constructed and maintained as follows:
A platform that is not higher than 4 inches above the top of the rail shall be not less than 4 feet 6 inches from the center line of the adjacent track.
A platform that is more than 4 inches but not higher than 8 inches above the top of the rail shall be not less than 5 feet one inch from the center line of the adjacent track.
A platform that is more than 8 inches but not higher than one foot 9 inches above the top of the rail shall be not less than 6 feet from the center line of the adjacent track.
A platform that is higher than one foot 9 inches above the top of the rail of a main track shall be not less than 8 feet from the center line of the main track.
Notwithstanding par. (b)
, high platforms for handling baggage, mail, express and freight to and from cars on other than main tracks, where an unobstructed working space at ground level is maintained on the opposite side of the track from the platform, which have a face or edge at least 5 feet 8 inches from the center line of such track, which were in existence on July 1, 1949, may be maintained.
No platform of the type described in par. (a)
may be constructed which provides a clearance of less than 6 feet 4 inches between the face or edge thereof and the center line of any such track or which is more than 5 feet above top of rail level.
Upon finding that any structure that is subject to the provisions of this section will not imperil life or limb, and that the public interest requires or permits the structure to be constructed or reconstructed otherwise than as permitted by the provisions of this section, the office may exempt the structure from the provisions of this section.
The office shall make the findings described in par. (a)
only upon written application to it to exempt the construction or reconstruction of a structure from the requirements of this section, setting forth fully the grounds therefor, and only after public hearing held upon notice to all interested parties except that, if no objection is filed with the office within 20 days of the notice, the office may authorize the exemption without hearing. The office's findings and order granting the exemption shall be in writing and shall contain complete provisions and requirements as to the horizontal clearance to be maintained in the construction or reconstruction. The structure shall be constructed or reconstructed only in compliance with the office's order.
Except as otherwise provided in this section and subject to the power of the office to make exceptions to this section in a manner similar to the power given it in sub. (4)
, no railroad or shipper may do any of the following:
Place or construct, within 8 feet 6 inches of the center line of any railroad track, any retaining walls, fences, signs, stand pipes, conveyors, or any other like obstruction, except railroad bridges, switch stands, mail cranes, coal, ice and water stations, intertrack fences and signals and other necessary interlocking mechanisms
Permit, within 8 feet 6 inches of the center line of any railroad track, the accumulation of any rubbish, waste or material of any sort, except material used for repair or construction work by the railroad company.
The intent of this subsection is to afford proper clearance between railroad cars and obstructions and to promote the safety of railroad employees in switching cars.
Any railroad or shipper to which this section applies, who violates any provision of this section or who fails, neglects or refuses to obey any lawful order made by the office under this section, shall forfeit not less than $100 nor more than $200.
See also ss. RR 2.14
, and 2.16
, Wis. adm. code.
General penalty for this chapter.
If any railroad corporation, its officers, agents or servants violate or fail to comply with any provision of this chapter the corporation shall, for every violation or failure, unless some other penalty is specifically provided, forfeit not less than $10 nor more than $1,000, and be liable to the person injured for all damages sustained thereby.
History: 1981 c. 390
; 1995 a. 225
Special penalties for this chapter. 192.55(5)
Any corporation or person operating a railroad that shall fail to erect the telltales required by s. 192.31
for the space of 60 days after notice from the office requiring such erection shall forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $100, and each 20 days' delay thereafter in erecting such telltales shall be a separate offense.
Any person violating s. 192.32
shall forfeit not less than $100 nor more than $200.
Any railroad which violates s. 192.15
shall forfeit to the state $100 for each violation and each day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
Abandoning of railroad stations. 192.56(1)
It is unlawful for any railroad company owning or operating any railroad in whole or in part in this state, to abandon any station in any town, village or city on its line of railroad, within this state, or to remove the depot therefrom, or to withdraw agency service therefrom, without first obtaining from the office an order authorizing such action.
At a station where agency service is provided the application to the office for such authorizing order shall set forth the facts showing the necessity for such action by the railroad company, and if the office finds that the application is sufficient presumptively to justify the order prayed for, it shall enter an order fixing the time and place of hearing on the application, which time shall not be less than 20 days after the posting provided for in sub. (3)
Notice of the time and place of the hearing and of the purpose thereof shall be given, by the office, by posting the notice in 5 conspicuous places in the town or village.
Any public body, or citizen, or group of citizens affected may appear at said hearing and prior to or at said hearing, file objections to the granting of the order prayed for.
The hearing shall be held as other hearings before the office are held as far as applicable. The office may dismiss the application or may grant it in whole or in part and under such conditions as it may deem equitable.
At a station where no agency service is provided, the application to the office for such authorizing order shall set forth the facts showing the necessity for such action by the railroad company. Notice of proposed removal or abandonment shall be given by the office by posting notice in 5 conspicuous places in the town or village concerned; and if within 20 days after the posting of notice no objections in writing are filed with the office by persons directly affected, an order authorizing the abandonment of the station may be issued by the office. If such objections to the granting of the order are filed with the office, the office shall proceed to hold a hearing in the matter as provided in subs. (4)
Sale of abandoned rail property after release by state. 192.73(1)(a)
“Abandoned rail property" means rail property that is determined to be abandoned as provided in s. 85.09 (3)
“Condemnation commission" means the office of the commissioner of condemnation under s. 32.08
for the county in which abandoned rail property is located.
“Lessee" means a person occupying abandoned rail property under a lease.
“Owner" means a person that owns abandoned rail property but “owner" does not include any of the following:
A railroad operating as a common carrier in this state on May 11, 1990.
A railroad corporation that owns a controlling interest on May 11, 1990, in a railroad operating as a common carrier in this state.
A railroad corporation that is under common control on May 11, 1990, with a railroad operating as a common carrier in this state.
If the department determines not to acquire abandoned rail property under s. 85.09 (4)
and issues a release of its first right to acquire the property under s. 85.09 (2)
, an owner may not sell or offer to sell abandoned rail property to a person other than the lessee of the abandoned rail property unless the owner first offers to sell that property to the lessee under this subsection.
The owner shall send by certified mail a written offer to sell abandoned rail property at a fair market price to the lessee of that property. The lessee relinquishes the right to acquire abandoned rail property under this section if it does not respond to the offer by certified mail within 60 days after receipt of the offer to sell.
If the owner and the lessee do not agree on a purchase price within 60 days after the lessee's response, the lessee or the owner may request that the condemnation commission determine the fair market value for the abandoned rail property. The condemnation commission shall determine the fair market value for the abandoned rail property on the basis of 3 independent appraisals. The owner and the lessee shall each select one appraiser and shall pay the cost of that appraisal. The condemnation commission shall select one appraiser and shall divide the cost of the appraisal equally between the owner and the lessee. The condemnation commission shall inform the owner and lessee by certified mail of its determination of the fair market value for the abandoned rail property.
Within 30 days after receipt of the determination, the lessee shall notify the owner if the lessee agrees to purchase the abandoned rail property at its fair market value. If the lessee agrees to purchase, the owner shall sell the abandoned rail property to the lessee at its fair market value.
History: 1989 a. 336
Full crew employee rights.
No employee of a railroad operating in this state on May 20, 1972, shall be discharged, laid off, furloughed, removed from train or engine service, reduced in monthly earnings, transferred without the employee's approval or reduced in rank or classification, because of the repeal of s. 192.25
, 1969 stats., s. 192.26
, 1969 stats., s. 192.55 (4)
, 1969 stats., and s. 195.03 (21)
, 1969 stats., by chapter 306, laws of 1971
. A transferred employee shall be reimbursed by the employee's employer for the employee's moving expenses, including loss on sale of home. The rights granted to the employees under this section shall be binding on the railroads and shall be part of and shall have the same force and effect as the collective bargaining agreements between the employee organizations and the railroads. Any employee who recovers from a railroad upon litigation brought to enforce the employee's rights under this section shall be reimbursed by the employee's employer for all reasonable attorney fees necessarily incurred thereby.
This section does not conflict with any federal law. In re Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Co. 852 F.2d 960
When a dispute between a railroad and union involved the interpretation of contract terms as to which both of the contending interpretations were reasonable the dispute should be settled by the compulsory arbitration procedures of the railway labor act and not by the federal court. United Transportation Union v. Burlington Northern Inc. 382 F. Supp. 896
Because the railway labor act did not preempt this section, the federal court had no jurisdiction. Fricke v. Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Co. 563 F. Supp. 311