Authorizing construction and operation of railroad lines
(a) A person may—
construct an extension to any of its railroad lines;
construct an additional railroad line;
provide transportation over, or by means of, an extended or additional railroad line; or
in the case of a person other than a rail carrier, acquire a railroad line or acquire or operate an extended or additional railroad line,
only if the Board issues a certificate authorizing such activity under subsection (c).
A proceeding to grant authority under subsection (a) of this section begins when an application is filed. On receiving the application, the Board shall give reasonable public notice, including notice to the Governor of any affected State, of the beginning of such proceeding.
The Board shall issue a certificate authorizing activities for which such authority is requested in an application filed under subsection (b) unless the Board finds that such activities are inconsistent with the public convenience and necessity. Such certificate may approve the application as filed, or with modifications, and may require compliance with conditions (other than labor protection conditions) the Board finds necessary in the public interest.
(1) When a certificate has been issued by the Board under this section authorizing the construction or extension of a railroad line, no other rail carrier may block any construction or extension authorized by such certificate by refusing to permit the carrier to cross its property if—
the construction does not unreasonably interfere with the operation of the crossed line;
the operation does not materially interfere with the operation of the crossed line; and
the owner of the crossing line compensates the owner of the crossed line.
If the parties are unable to agree on the terms of operation or the amount of payment for purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, either party may submit the matters in dispute to the Board for determination. The Board shall make a determination under this paragraph within 120 days after the dispute is submitted for determination.