49 USC 20106 - Preemption

(a) National Uniformity of Regulation.— 

(1) Laws, regulations, and orders related to railroad safety and laws, regulations, and orders related to railroad security shall be nationally uniform to the extent practicable.
(2) A State may adopt or continue in force a law, regulation, or order related to railroad safety or security until the Secretary of Transportation (with respect to railroad safety matters), or the Secretary of Homeland Security (with respect to railroad security matters), prescribes a regulation or issues an order covering the subject matter of the State requirement. A State may adopt or continue in force an additional or more stringent law, regulation, or order related to railroad safety or security when the law, regulation, or order
(A) is necessary to eliminate or reduce an essentially local safety or security hazard;

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(B) is not incompatible with a law, regulation, or order of the United States Government; and
(C) does not unreasonably burden interstate commerce.
(b) Clarification Regarding State Law Causes of Action.— 

(1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt an action under State law seeking damages for personal injury, death, or property damage alleging that a party
(A) has failed to comply with the Federal standard of care established by a regulation or order issued by the Secretary of Transportation (with respect to railroad safety matters), or the Secretary of Homeland Security (with respect to railroad security matters), covering the subject matter as provided in subsection (a) of this section;
(B) has failed to comply with its own plan, rule, or standard that it created pursuant to a regulation or order issued by either of the Secretaries; or
(C) has failed to comply with a State law, regulation, or order that is not incompatible with subsection (a)(2).
(2) This subsection shall apply to all pending State law causes of action arising from events or activities occurring on or after January 18, 2002.
(c) Jurisdiction.— 
Nothing in this section creates a Federal cause of action on behalf of an injured party or confers Federal question jurisdiction for such State law causes of action.