Sidetrack Agreement Railroad

October 7, 2021

The sidetrack agreement is in particular a contractual clause that protects the company from any liability in the event of a loss that may occur on the land on which the line is located. The company has, for example, legal immunity in the event of property damage. The sidetrack agreement is a kind of insured contract. Other types of insurance contracts are rental contracts, elevator maintenance contracts, the indemnification obligations of a municipality and the assumption of criminal liability for another party in a contract or contract to pay duties to a third party. The parties to an insured contract undertake to assume certain debts, even if the protection against these commitments is included in the “Hold Harmless” provision of a commercial contract. An insured contract invalidates such a provision. Sidetrack agreements are concluded when the design of a railway system concerns private property. The representatives of the railway company will contact the owner of the land to ask for permission to build a secondary track on their land in return for financial compensation. A secondary track is a railway line that forks off from the main track of a railway. It is different from a siding, a section of track parallel to the main track and used to park cars or pass trains on the same track. On the other hand, a sidetrack “goes somewhere”.

Sidetracks typically take place on private land, allowing companies that send and receive shipments by rail to make freight directly on their land and not in a depot. The contractual liability regime included in civil liability insurance protects the insured against certain debts contracted in a contract with indemnification provisions. For example, a landscaping company mandated by the landowner signs a contract in which it agrees to “keep the owner of the land and the railway company unharmed” for injuries that occur on the construction site. However, the insurance policy of the landscape company contains contractual provisions on liability that exclude these commitments for the insured and that cancel the “damage management agreement”. The police restore liability to the owner of the land and the railway company, as would be the case if no contract with the landscaping company were concluded. . . .

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