Railroad means any form of non-highway ground transportation that runs on rails or electromagnetic guideways, including:
(1) Commuter or short-haul railroad passenger service in a metropolitan or suburban area and commuter railroad service that was operated by the Consolidated Rail Corporation on January 1, 1979; and
(2) High speed ground transportation systems that connect metropolitan areas, without regard to whether those systems use new technologies not associated with traditional railroads. The term “railroad” is also intended to mean a person that provides transportation by railroad, whether directly or by contracting out operation of the railroad to another person. The term does not include rapid transit operations in an urban area that are not connected to the general railroad system of transportation.
49 CFR § 232.5
The definitions in this section are intended to clarify the meaning of terms used in this part.