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Special Railroad Court, 1974-1997

In 1973 Congress passed the Regional Rail Reorganization Act (87 Stat. 985), which facilitated the consolidation and management of several railroads undergoing bankruptcy reorganization. As part of this legislation, Congress created a “special court” to hear cases arising from the act and the reorganization plan it authorized. The court’s judges were to be three district or circuit judges selected by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and were empowered to exercise the powers of a district judge. Under the terms of the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1996 (110 Stat. 3847, 3858), the court was abolished 90 days after that law’s enactment (which occurred on Oct. 19, 1996).