US rail operator BNSF Railway has filed a lawsuit against shortline operator Tri-City & Olympia Railroad (TCRY) for allegedly operating on Richland tracks where BNSF has contractual rights.

BNSF says it has secured rights to use the Richmond track and has asked the government to prohibit TCRY from preventing them operating on a section of the route.

BNSF and TCRY had entered an agreement in 2000 under which TCRY would serve BNSF customers on the Richmond track. Under the agreement BNSF would pay TCRY an agreed sum per vehicle switch.

BNSF says it has since modified the agreement with TCRY who disapproved of the change and began charging BNSF customers directly.

BNSF also claims in its filing that BNSF customers are being charged double and those who haven’t paid TCRY are not being served.

A hearing on a temporary restraining order is pending.