Tuesday, August 19, 2014

STB summons CP, BNSF to service hearing

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The Surface Transportation Board late Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, announced it will hold a public field hearing on Sept. 4, 2014 "to provide interested persons and parties the opportunity to report on service problems in the United States rail network, to hear from rail industry executives on their efforts to address service problems, and to discuss additional options to improve rail service."

The hearing will occur at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo, N.D. (pictured above), beginning at 8:00 a.m. Central Time.

STB said it "will direct Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) and BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) to appear at the hearing, and the agency also invites impacted shippers, other Class I railroads, and other affected carriers to appear. The hearing will be open for public observation."

Persons wishing to speak at the hearing in the case titled United States Rail Service Issues, Docket No. EP 724, should file with the Board a notice of intent to participate no later than Aug. 25, STB said. STB added, "Such notices are not required to be served on (officially distributed to) the parties of record (official participants) in this case, and will be posted to the STB's website when they are filed."

STB said the scheduled hearing is in effect a continuation of a process already under way, as it "has been closely monitoring the rail industry's performance since service problems began last year, and has taken a number of actions, both formal and informal, to address those problems. The Board held a hearing at its offices in Washington, D.C. on April 10, 2014.

"Following that hearing, the Board issued orders requiring CP and BNSF to provide their respective plans and supporting data regarding the movement of fertilizer and grain. In addition, the Board's Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance (OPAGAC) has been working with rail carriers to address and correct service issues as they arise, STB said.

The decision may be viewed and downloaded at the Board's website, www.stb.dot.gov, under "E-LIBRARY / Decisions & Notices / 08 / 18 / 14."