Kevin Sheys guides railroad and transit industry clients through regulatory and transactional challenges to help them achieve their objectives.

He represents government and private sector clients on high-priority freight and passenger railroad projects and matters before the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and the Surface Transportation Board (STB).

In the passenger rail sector, Kevin counsels railroad industry clients on a wide range of regulatory issues including railroad safety compliance and waivers and compliance with the wide array of laws applicable to recipients of federal funding. He has been primary outside counsel on more than 20 commuter and light rail "new start" projects, including related line acquisitions, shared use agreements, and regulatory issues. He also represents contractors on operation and maintenance service procurements.

In the freight sector, Kevin has represented buyers in more than 30 rail line acquisitions and advised numerous freight railroads on how to make effective use of the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA) pre-emption to expedite permitting and environmental clearance of new facilities. He advises on the scope of federal railroad labor, employment and retirement laws, and hazardous materials transport compliance. He assists locomotive, rolling stock, and systems manufacturers and suppliers on a wide range of regulatory and transactional issues. He also assists oil, steel, chemical, agriculture, and heavy manufacturing companies in establishing or expanding rail-served facilities.

Kevin brings versatile knowledge of the railroad and transit industry to our Transportation team through his unique experience while guiding and delivering solutions for clients.

Awards and recognitions


Transportation, Rail (for Railroads) (Nationwide)
Chambers USA


Transportation and Maritime
Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers


Top 45 Regulatory & Compliance Trailblazers
National Law Journal

Education and admissions


J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude, 1987

B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College, magna cum laude, 1984


Member, American Public Transportation Association, Legal Affairs and Commuter Rail Committees

Member, Railway Supply Institute, Washington Affairs Committee

Member, National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association, Safety Committee

Member, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, Board of Directors

Member, Transportation Research Board, Standing Committee on Transit and Intermodal Transportation Law

Bar admissions and qualifications

District of Columbia



Court admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Representative experience

Advised a large tank car lessor regarding U.S. Department of Transportation's DOT-117 tank car standards.*

Represented Amtrak in a Surface Transportation Board proceeding to establish terms and compensation for Amtrak's continued use of the Canadian National Railway Company rail lines.*

Advised the California High-Speed Rail Authority's effort to secure STB authorization for construction of track and facilities in the Central Valley.*

Advising the Metropolitan Council's acquisition of a rail line from Canadian Pacific Railway for extension of the METRO Green Line from downtown Minneapolis.*

Negotiating an operating agreement for the Port of Oakland regarding a new port rail operator covering expanded facilities on former Oakland Army Base.*

Advising Jackson County, Missouri's acquisition of a railroad from Union Pacific Railroad and defense of third-party Surface Transportation Board challenges to the acquisition.*

*Matter handled prior to joining Hogan Lovells.

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