roee wrote:I'm sure it'd be more than fines. More like not authorized to operate trains as of Jan 1, 2016. And the arrest of people who try and operate/make crews operate trains on Jan 2, 2016.
The FRA doesn't make suggestions, they make Laws. Every FRA rule is a LAW, and laws have penalties. From fines to the RR to personal liability to arrest and imprisonment. I've never heard of the FRA imprisoning someone, but they have the power.
I believe you missed the episode of School House Rock where they discuss the three branches of government and the constitution. The FRA does not make laws; as the estemed Col Perkowski over on Amtrak forum points out, laws are made 218-51(60)-1, i.e. Congress writes them, and the President signs them into law (although I don't believe Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi understand that; perhaps they were too busy making shady deals to have watched that same episode).
The FRA is authorized (also, by an act of Congress and aproval of the President) to propogate rules and regulations based on the intent and guidance expressly authorized by said bodies to implement Congress' intent.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the FRA is not a police agency. They do not have the power to arrest. That's limited to the FBI and certain other federal agencies (branches of Homeland (Customs, TSA), Defense, Treasury (SS and IRS). I am not aware that the FRA has any police agencies. Fines can be levied; that's it. If there's criminal conduct, they have to refer the matter.
It's silly to think that a public agency would act in defiance of a legal mandate (PTC as enacted by Congress and applied by the FRA), especially by shutting down service. Unions, yes. Public agencies? Think of the outroar from commuters. That's just silly. It has happened but to a far lesser degree; the ban of diesel operation in the tunnels of GCT in the waning days of CR and early days on MNRR, I believe. MTA, NJT will all try to come to a compromise, or get the funding. If they can't afford to do it, someone will have to yield. My bet is it will be the FRA.