The term railroad has been defined under Title 49, Subtitle V, Part A, Chapter 201 of the US Code.
Under the US Code, the term railroad means:
- "Any form of non-highway ground transportation that runs on rails or electromagnetic guide ways, includingó
commuter or other 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
- High speed ground transportation systems that connect metropolitan areas, without regard to whether those systems use new technologies not associated with traditional railroads"
However, it does not include any express transportation operations in a metropolitan area which is not connected to the general railroad system of transport.
The railroad safety laws were incorporated to ensure smooth railroad operations and minimize the possibilities of related accidents.
(More: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode49/usc_sup_01_49_10_V_20_A_40_201.html )