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In cities and metropolitan areas around the country, commuters are frustrated as traffic congestion grows worse. Environmental concerns grow as the emissions from cars contribute to worsening air pollution. Civic leaders are running out of room to build more highways, or are facing opposition to the loss of green space and the potential for encouraging increased air pollution that comes from more drivers on more highways. These issues have created a resurgence of interest in commuter rail service around the country. Well-established railroad rights-of-way with lines that extend from the furthest reaches of a metropolitan area directly into a downtown area are an ideal solution to the problems created by increased traffic congestion.

Our firm has railroad law expertise from both the freight and the passenger perspective that allows it to advise clients on issues that arise in the negotiation of arrangements to acquire or to use existing rail lines for commuter service, and in the preparation for the operation of the service.

Local governments face issues with freight railroads as well. The ever-changing faces of both the transportation network and the residential and business patterns of the areas the railroads serve create a constant stream of issues that require negotiation, regulatory agency intervention or approval and litigation. This firm is well-equipped to handle the full range of these issues.

Shippers, too, often face difficult challenges when attempting to address service-related questions or resolve disputes with the railroads. In some circumstances, these are railroads that have served them for many years. In others, the railroads operate nearby but are stymied for one of a variety of reasons from providing quality service or in fact any service at all directly to a particular facility. McLeod, Watkinson & Miller can help frustrated shippers address these issues.

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