Frank N. Wilner is author of six books, including, Amtrak: Past, Present, Future; Understanding the Railway Labor Act; and, Railroad Mergers: History, Analysis, Insight. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics and labor relations from Virginia Tech. He has been assistant vice president, policy, for the Association of American Railroads; a White House appointed chief of staff at the Surface Transportation Board; and director of public relations for the United Transportation Union. He is a past president of the Association of Transportation Law Professionals.

News item: Canadian Pacific (CP) is pursuing a hostile takeover of Norfolk Southern (NS). CP is asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate whether NS and other U.S.-based major railroads—some…
Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Show us the letters, STB

On January 5, 2016, Reuters published a story containing excerpts of letters reportedly sent to the Surface Transportation Board by industry groups representing several major Norfolk Southern freight customers. The…
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Centrist approach may quiet STB debate

The critical takeaway from enactment in December of the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act, S.808, is that, absent headline-capturing abuse of captive shippers by railroads, it is unlikely Congress will…
Levitation takes two forms among railroads—magnetic levitation relating to futuristic high-speed passenger transport, and stock levitation associated with bidding wars for asset control.
Monday, November 16, 2015

CP-NS transcon a craps table roll

Few obstacles bedevil railroads as has the Mississippi River. Spanning it was the nation’s first rail bridge in 1856—promptly assaulted by steamboat Effie Afton. While the bridge was repaired and…
Monday, October 19, 2015

STB: Speak to improve the silence

Imagine sharing with two equally qualified colleagues the decision-making authority affecting long-term railroad service quality, profitability and capital investment. Such is the power of the three Senate-confirmed members of the…
Thursday, September 03, 2015

No fingerprints on NEC track grab

Here’s a mystery for you, but don’t anticipate—as in the board game, “Clue”—that it’s “Col. Mustard, in the library, with a candlestick.” The perp here is the U.S. Senate—the deed…
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

PTC: It’s the deadline, stupid

Syntax-challenged George W. Bush was bang-on correct in saying, “You got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in.” So it is…
In a historic first, and in a rail industry whose labor and management leadership ranks long have been dominated by Caucasian males, the first all-female Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) in…
Following almost six months of unemployment, and nearly a year of dining on the gristle of uncertainty, Dan Elliott is returning to the Surface Transportation Board following voice-vote Senate confirmation…
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