Monday, June 23, 2014

STB to Class I’s: File grain order plans

Written by  Douglas John Bowen, Managing Editor

The Surface Transportation Board is requiring Canadian Pacific and BNSF “to publicly file their plans to timely resolve their backlogs of grain car orders, as well as weekly status reports pertaining to grain car service.”

STB's decision, Docket No. EP 724 (Sub-No. 2), issued June 20, 2014, is “[b]ased on concerns raised before and after the public hearing on this matter,” STB said.

Said STB: “It is ordered:

“1. CP is directed to report to the Board, by June 27, 2014, its plan to resolve the backlog of grain car orders on its United States network, including its timeline for doing so, and its plan for ensuring a fluid and reliable interchange of loaded and empty grain cars with RCP&E.

“2. BNSF is directed to report to the Board, by June 27, 2014, an updated plan to resolve the backlog of grain car orders on its network, including its timeline for doing so.

“3. CP and BNSF are directed to provide weekly status reports, beginning June 27, 2014, regarding the transportation of grain on their networks (for CP, on its United States network). As part of these status reports, CP and BNSF shall provide, by state, the running total of outstanding grain car orders at the end of the week, the total number of new orders for the week, the total number of orders filled for the week, the number of orders cancelled by shippers for the week, the number of orders cancelled by CP or BNSF for the week, and the average number of days late for all outstanding grain car orders. CP and BNSF shall also report the number of cars allocated to grain car service each week, including the number of private cars in service. CP's report shall include the number of grain cars requested by RCP&E and the number of cars furnished by CP on a weekly basis. These reports will be required for each carrier until it resolves its backlog of unfilled grain car orders.”

In commenting, STB noted, “Although the data submitted by both railroads indicates some initial progress toward reducing their grain car order backlogs and grain car delays, the Board remains very concerned about the limited time period until the next harvest, the large quantities of grain yet to be moved, and the railroads' paths toward meeting their respective commitments.”