49 CFR § 1108.2 - Statement of purpose, organization, and jurisdiction.
(a) The Board's intent. The Board favors the resolution of disputes through the use of mediation and arbitration procedures, in lieu of formal Board proceedings, whenever possible. This section provides for the creation of a binding, voluntary arbitration program in which parties, including shippers and railroads, agree in advance to arbitrate certain types of disputes with a limit on potential liability of $25,000,000 in rate disputes, including any rate prescription, and $2,000,000 in other disputes unless the parties mutually agree to a lower award cap. The Board's arbitration program is open to all parties eligible to bring or defend disputes before the Board.
(1) Except as discussed in paragraph (b) of this section, parties to arbitration may agree by mutual written consent to arbitrate additional matters and to a lower amount of potential liability than the monetary award cap identified in this section.
(2) Nothing in these rules shall be construed in a manner to prevent parties from independently seeking or utilizing private arbitration services to resolve any disputes they may have.
(b) Limitations to the Board's arbitration program. These procedures shall not be available:
(1) To resolve disputes involving labor protective conditions;
(2) To obtain the grant, denial, stay or revocation of any license, authorization (e.g., construction, abandonment, purchase, trackage rights, merger, pooling), or exemption related to such matters;
(3) To prescribe for the future any conduct, rules, or results of general, industry-wide applicability;
(4) To resolve disputes that are solely between two or more rail carriers.
Parties may only use these arbitration procedures to arbitrate matters within the statutory jurisdiction of the Board.