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Rockefeller’s last stand; RSIA Déjà vu, Volume Two; PRIIA Redux
Congress is about to adjourn for its single-most-important function these days as mid-term elections loom: getting re-elected. That means it’s time to get down to some serious last-minute, constituent-coddling activities,…
CBR liability: A trial lawyer’s perspective
At an increasingly rapid rate, the surge in crude by rail during the past few years has spawned significant litigation risk for a broadening group of “target defendants.” That’s why…
North Dakota seizes initiative in CBR degasification
The vital other shoe in crude by rail reform will drop not in Ottawa or Washington, but in Bismark, N.Dak., where, in the void created by federal inaction, officials are…
STB: Five Class I's revenue adequate in 2013
The Surface Transportation Board announced Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, that it has found five U.S. Class I railroad properties to be "revenue adequate for the year 2013, meaning that five…
Amtrak to STB: Investigate CN
Amtrak on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, made clear in part its frustration over its own on-time performance by calling on the Surface Transportation Board to look into the matter, specifically…
Feds review Purple Line foes' shrimp woes
Two Chevy Chase, Md., residents and the Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail, a citizen's group, have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the proposed Purple Line light rail…
NTSB Paulsboro report faults training adequacy
A National Transportation Safety Board report on a Conrail Shared Assets derailment in Paulsboro, N.J., cites several factors, including inadequate safety training for train crews, as contributing factors.
Exemptions expanded in FRA's final PTC rule
The Federal Railroad Aministration published its final rule concerning Positive Train Control (PTC) systems in the Aug. 22, 2014, Federal Register. The rule, which takes effect Oct. 21, 2014, expands…
Oregon OKs CBR terminal expansion
One day after Oregon denied a permit for a coal export terminal on the Columbia River, a separate state body has approved plans to expand a crude-by-rail (CBR) transfer terminal…
TSB cites lax Transport Canada oversight in Lac-Mégantic disaster
Chronic laxity by Canada’s transportation regulator is identified by the country’s accident investigator as the primary underlying cause of the July 6, 2013 derailment and explosion at Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, of…
STB summons CP, BNSF to service hearing
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…
Oregon rejects coal export terminal plan
Oregon's Department of State Lands on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, denied a permit for construction of a coal export project on the Columbia River to bolster international coal export.
Harris County MTA eyes UP right-of-way
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Tex, (Houston's METRO) has filed a motion with the Surface Transportation Board to formally acquire nearly 58 miles of right-of-way from Union Pacific Railroad…
DOT NPRM helps bump up freight car builder stocks
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on DOT 111 tank cars for crude oil and HHFTs (High-Hazard Flammable Trains), specifically the NPRM’s proposal for phasing out older,…
STB backs CHSRA second segment
The Surface Transportation Board has ruled that the California High-Speed Rail Authority "is authorized to construct a 114-mile high-speed passenger rail line between Fresno and Bakersfield, Cal., subject to environmental…
DOT crude oil NPRM: Will cooler heads prevail?
A recent call-in forum on crude by rail conducted by Cowen and Company Managing Director and Railway Age Contributing Editor Jason H. Seidl “helped affirm our view that the final version…
STB sets 2013 railroad cost of capital at 11.32%
The Surface Transportation Board on July 31, 2014 issued its decision calculating the railroad industry’s after-tax cost of capital for 2013 as 11.32%, a slight increase over 2012’s 11.12%. The…
Analysts, legal and financial experts weigh in on DOT’s HHFT NPRM
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the U.S. DOT for HHFTs (High-Hazard Flammable Trains) hauling crude oil and other commodities the DOT deems hazardous in tank cars has produced…
DOT issues open-ended NPRM on CBR, other flammable fuels
The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, issued a long-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) involving a new, stricter set of rules for crude-by-rail (CBR) train movements…
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