49 U.S.C. § 10901 : US Code - Section 10901: Authorizing construction and operation of railroad lines

      (a) A person may - 
        (1) construct an extension to any of its railroad lines;
        (2) construct an additional railroad line;
        (3) provide transportation over, or by means of, an extended or
      additional railroad line; or
        (4) 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).
      (b) 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.
      (c) 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.
      (d)(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 - 
        (A) the construction does not unreasonably interfere with the
      operation of the crossed line;
        (B) the operation does not materially interfere with the
      operation of the crossed line; and
        (C) the owner of the crossing line compensates the owner of the
      crossed line.

      (2) 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