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STB filing against Winchester could have national impact

More than a year after local real estate agents tried to pressure Winchester into taking action against freight trains, residents clamored for action at community meetings. It was claimed that noise during freight operations violated a local noise ordinance and Massachusetts law. Nearly a month ago, the town's zoning board ruled in favor of the residents and a cease and desist was handed to Pan Am Railways.

In response, Pan Am filed with the Surface Transportation Board, stating that they are subject only to federal law in this case. Shortly after, on July 12, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railways, Housatonic Railroad, and the Massachusetts Railroad Association (which represents nine railroads within Massachusetts collectively) made a motion to participate in the STB filing.

The motion to participate by these railroads was influenced by the ability for this proceeding to not only influence "state and local involvement in and regulation of the provision of common carrier rail service" within the state, but ultimately "throughout the nation."



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