49 CFR § 232.13 - Preemptive effect.
(a) Under 49 U.S.C. 20106, issuance of the regulations in this part preempts any State law, rule, regulation, order or standard covering the same subject matter, except for a provision necessary to eliminate or reduce a local safety hazard if that provision is not incompatible with this part and does not impose an undue burden on interstate commerce. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to preempt an action under State law seeking damages for personal injury, death, or property damage alleging that a party has failed to comply with the Federal standard of care established by this part, has failed to comply with its own plan, rule, or standard that it created pursuant to this part, or has failed to comply with a State law, regulation, or order that is not incompatible with the first sentence of this paragraph.
(b) Preemption should also be considered pursuant to the Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act (now codified at 49 U.S.C. 20701-20703), the Safety Appliance Acts (now codified at 49 U.S.C. 20301-20304), and the Commerce Clause based on the relevant case law pertaining to preemption under those provisions.
(c) FRA does not intend by issuance of the regulations in this part to preempt provisions of State criminal law that impose sanctions for reckless conduct that leads to actual loss of life, injury, or damage to property, whether such provisions apply specifically to railroad employees or generally to the public at large.