Monday, March 30, 2009

Rail-shipper accord reported on "re-reg"

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Washington sources said Monday that railroads and shippers are expected reach agreement on so-called "re-reg" legislation within about two weeks following intense and highly confidential negotiations involving all the key players: carriers, "captive shippers," legislators (especially Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D.-W.Va.), and labor interests.

"There should be a shipper/railroad consensus bill by mid-April," said one source, who added that the Association of American Railroads board had agreed earlier this month to compromise on shipper issues.

The legislation has to do with the railroads' remaining antitrust immunity and perceived competitive abuses.