According to the Association of American Railroads, UP had an STB-determined rate of return last year of 13.01% and NS had a return of 12.87%. A close runner-up was CSX, with a return of 11.54%. Kansas City Southern reported a return of 10.76%, and BNSF, 9.85%.
The Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which substantially deregulated the railroads, directed the regulatory agency to conduct revenue adequacy determinations on an annual basis. That determination can be a factor in rate challenges and other STB proceedings.