49 CFR § 218.4 - Preemptive effect.
Normal State negligence standards apply where there is no Federal action covering the subject matter. Under 49 U.S.C. 20106 (section 20106), issuance of the regulations in this part preempts any State law, regulation, or order covering the same subject matter, except an additional or more stringent law, regulation, or order that is necessary to eliminate or reduce an essentially local railroad safety or railroad security hazard; that is not incompatible with a law, regulation, or order of the United States Government; and that does not unreasonably burden interstate commerce. Section 20106 permits State tort actions arising from events or activities occurring on or after January 18, 2002, for the following: Violation of the Federal standard of care established by regulation or order issued the Secretary of Transportation (with respect to railroad safety, such as these regulations) or the Secretary of Homeland Security (with respect to railroad security); a party's violation of, or failure to comply with, its own plan, rule, or standard that it created pursuant to a regulation or order issued by either of the two Secretaries; and a party's violation of a State standard that is necessary to eliminate or reduce an essentially local safety or security hazard, is not incompatible with a law, regulation, or order of the United States Government, and does not unreasonably burden interstate commerce. Nothing in section 20106 creates a Federal cause of action on behalf of an injured party or confers Federal question jurisdiction for such State law causes of action.