Monday, April 12, 2010

Shipper forum to focus on PTC and re-regulation

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Railroad customers will turn the spotlight on such urgent industry issues as Positive Train Control and re-regulation at the 2010 North American Rail Shippers annual meeting. The sessions will be held at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C., May 26-28.

"Both PTC and re-reg will impact customers and rail carriers alike," notes NARS President Allan Roach. "PTC is estimated to cost $10 billion. If the government doesn't subsidize that in some way and the railroads still have to do it, who's going to pay?"

"There are two sides to re-regulation," adds Roach. "Some shippers believe it will reduce transportation expenses, while railroads say it will force them to curtail capital spending—just when they are expected to carry more of the nation's freight."

A key NARS feature is the railroad chief marketing officers' panel, followed by breakout sessions where shippers can discuss their concerns with railroads individually.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been asked to give the opening address, followed by Association of American Railroads and Norfolk Southern Chairman Charles W. Moorman.