Personal injury Library

What Are Class III Railroads?

Have You Been Injured in an Accident with a Train Owned by a Class III Railroad in Texas?

Railroads are an important part of our transportation industry in the United States. They carry freight and other goods quickly and efficiently across the country. The railroads themselves are categorized in different classes based primarily on the amount of their annual operating revenue, but other factors such as the amount of track miles the railroad owns is considered as well.

Questions Answered on This Page:

  • How is a class III railroad different from the other classes?
  • What can I do if a class III train injures me?
  • What do I need to know about class III railroads?

What is a Class III Railroad?

Class III is the category for the smallest railroad companies in the United States. Even though Class III railroads are the smallest railroads, they are the largest by number of participants of the three classifications, and currently there are nearly 500 Class III railroads in operation. Class III railroads typically have annual operating revenues of $31 million or less and are often called Shortline Railroads because of the very limited amount of track miles they own, sometimes as little as one mile or less.

The plentiful number of Class III railroads that are operating in our country increases the odds that the general public can encounter them as well. Railroad crossings are in many modern cities and rural areas alike, and often times Class III railroads operate on these tracks. Accidents between these trains and the public is inevitable. If you have been injured in an accident with a Class III railroad handling your case is nearly impossible to do alone. The laws that govern railroads are complex, not to mention the task of dealing with the railroad company's insurance carrier. Though Class III railroads are small compared to the other two classes, they will do whatever it takes to defend themselves against injury claims brought on by motorists. They may be small by industry standards, but they still have more resources at their disposal to defend themselves than the average person. We will work for you to level the playing field and help you with your claim.

Getting to Know Class III Railroads

Class III/Shortline railroads are also further divided into two sub categories by the American Association of Railroads. The first subcategory, local railroads, are line haul railroads that fall just below the regional or Class II category. Local railroads typically perform many of the same functions as Class II railroads, but miss the cutoff for Class II designation because of the annual operating revenue requirements or the limited amount of railroad track mileage they own. The second sub category, switching and terminal railroads, are small railroads that are usually owned jointly by two or more larger railroads for the purpose of transferring rail cars between railroads or they operate solely in one facility or group of facilities.

Class III railroads are known not only for their small size, but also because of the level of customer service they provide. To keep their customers happy, Class III railroads work diligently to deliver goods on time and even ahead of schedule, and offer better rates. This level of service is often necessary for the railroad to survive financially from one year to the next. Additionally, many Class III railroads often need to provide high customer service because many have only one or two customers that they service consistently in a year and their limited service areas can make it difficult to expand their customer base so they cannot afford to lose any customers.

Class III Railroads and Safety

Though the Class III railroads have to comply with the federal safety regulations, they do not have to comply with the optional safety standards and trainings that the industry's professional organizations recommend. The Class III railroads often have limited funding and will opt not to spend the additional money to enroll in the optional safety programs that the industry offers.

Call Grossman Law Offices Today

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a Class III railroad train, the experienced train accident attorneys at Grossman Law Offices can help. We have experience with these claims and we can help you when you need it most. Contact us today at 855-326-0000.

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