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STB enjoys "best places" ranking
The Surface Transportation Board on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, noted that for the sixth consecutive year, it "has been ranked No. 1 among small federal agencies by the Partnership for…
North Dakota: Treat Bakken crude for transport
North Dakota has ordered producers of oil from the Bakken shale field to begin removing flammable natural gas liquids from the product before crude-by-rail (CBR) transport to other locations.
Old threats from a new Congress
In a twist to 18th century satirist Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal,” National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) President Bruce Carlton suggests shippers consume (as in “eat”) their railroads.
FRA mulls HSR "Buy America" waiver
The Federal Railroad Administration said Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 it intends to grant both Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority waivers from its "Buy America" requirement for the non-domestic…
Fuel surcharge antitrust litigation takes an interesting twist
In the ongoing, seven-years-and-counting legal battle involving railroads and certain customers who have filed a class-action suit claiming that the railroads engaged in collusion to impose fuel surcharges, the United…
Report: Proposed tank car rule is costly
A report prepared by The Brattle Group on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, states that a new proposed rule on railroad tank cars could cost the U.S. economy as much as…
STB to weigh key trackage rights case
The Surface Transportation Board has decided, somewhat reluctantly, to thrash out a trackage rights dispute raised by a BNSF request to acquire "terminal trackage rights over a single track jointly…
STB Chairman Dan Elliott: A Wile E. Coyote existence
Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Dan Elliott, recently remarried and frantic over pending Senate confirmation to a second five-year term, is proving to have more lives than cartoon character Wile…
Canada: Grasping government tightens grip on grain
Canada’s Conservative government extended its takeover of railway grain movements Nov. 29, ordering CN and Canadian Pacific to shift specified quantities of grain each week throughout the winter, or be…
New Canadian Railway Operating Certificate easy to get, hard to lose
Transport Canada’s new Railway Operating Certificate (ROC), which comes into effect Jan. 1 2015, adds one simple form to the pile of paperwork required to run trains, but gives the…
Keystone XL promoter a convert to CBR
Now even the promoter of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is boosting the benefits of crude-by-rail (CBR) over pipelines.
Milwaukee sues commission over streetcar
The City of Milwaukee on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 filed suit against the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC), challenging PSC's decision last month to make the city pay for any…
Amtrak files complaint with STB over Capitol Limited performance
Amtrak has filed a complaint with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board against Norfolk Southern and CSX over substandard on-time performance of the Washington D.C.-Chicago Capitol Limited, which operates over right-of-way…
Suit filed to block CSX D.C. tunnel plan
A suit filed in federal court seeks to block CSX from improving and expanding its Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Washington, D.C.
STB Chairman Elliott to be renominated
President Obama announced his intention Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, to renominate Daniel Ellliot III to the Surface Transportation Board for another term, and upon appointment assume the role of STB…
Post-election: Railroads look OK; rail labor, Amtrak not so good
What does Senate Republican control and the largest House Republican majority since the 1940s mean for railroad reregulation, Amtrak’s future, high- and higher-speed rail, transit funding, Positive Train Control (PTC),…
FRA’s Szabo headed back to Chicago
Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo will be stepping down from the post he has held since April 2009 and, effective Jan. 1, 2015, will be on staff at the…
NTSB, Metro-North, and politicians, Part 3
Let’s continue with my comments from Part 1 and Part 2 on the Oct. 28, 2014 National Transportation Safety Board press conference regarding NTSB’s determination of the causes of five…
Why NTSB got it wrong
I forced myself to review every miserable second of the Oct. 28, 2014 NTSB press conference regarding NTSB’s determination of the causes of five accidents on Metro-North Railway (MNR), for…
“Schumenthal” at their self-serving best and worst
I never thought I would find myself in the position of defending the Federal Railroad Administration, at least from anyone other than the Ayn Rand-Alan Greenspan-Phil Gramm-Rush Limbaugh types out…
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