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Senate passes S.808
The U.S. Senate on June 19, 2015 passed S.808, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015, which would authorize appropriations for STB programs, establish the STB as a government…
AAR defends grain rates at STB hearing
Testifying at a June 10, 2015 Surface Transportation Board hearing on the shipment of grain by rail, representatives from the Association of American Railroads legal and economic policy departments said…
New rail study: “Policy must tolerate market power”
For more than three decades, railroad regulators have used the same method to determine which shippers are captive; and, if so, to determine a remedy to limit railroad market power…
STB sets grain rate regulation hearing agenda
The Surface Transportation Board has announced the speakers for the Board’s June 10, 2015 public hearing, Rail Transportation of Grain, Rate Regulation Review, Docket No. EP 665 (Sub-No. 1), to…
Shippers hoist by own petard at House hearing
Poor Mr. Dooley—Calvin, that is, president of the American Chemistry Council and not the fictional Mr. Dooley created during the late 19th century by humorist Finley Peter Dunne. The latter…
Rails to Congress, STB: “If in doubt, don’t”
Successful baseball pitchers learn to throw first-pitch strikes and stay aggressive in the strike zone when their team is in the lead. Life imitates baseball, meaning railroad spokespersons will serve…
Railroads free, leave us be!
Freedom from excessive regulation helped transform the freight railroads into the most cost effective of all transportation modes. There’s no reason to change that.
STB nominee reflects a shipper tilt
Paint former Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Dan Elliott a darling of the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL), a shipper organization asking the STB to require—through so-called open access—that two…
Dan Elliott’s STB renomination hearing: May 6
Former Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Dan Elliott, whose renomination to a second five-year term has been on ice since November, will have a Senate Commerce Committee confirmation hearing May…
STB issues Tongue River Railroad Draft EIS
The Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for public review and comment of Tongue River Railroad Company’s (TRRC)…
Uncertainty clouds key rail bills in Senate
Two bills of substantial importance to railroads—Staggers Rail Act revisions as part of reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Board (STB), and extension of the deadline to implement Positive Train Control…
Senate bill would mandate STB reforms
It is shipper-friendly legislation with which freight railroads probably can live. And while it’s not all the stuff so-called captive shippers would prefer—such as mandatory caps on rail rates and…
Implications aplenty in Supreme Court Amtrak ruling
The Supreme Court March 9 sent back to a federal appellate court for reconsideration a freight railroad challenge to a provision of the 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act…
Can Sen. Thune mediate a rail/shipper cease-fire?
Could it be that Republicans in control of Congress might facilitate an end to three decades of productivity sapping legislative fisticuffs between railroads and self-proclaimed captive shippers over an appropriate…
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…
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…
Class I CEOs diverge on the merits of mergers
During third-quarter 2014 earnings presentations, two Class I CEOs with considerable experience in mega-mergers expressed opposing viewpoints on the merits of a final round of railroad mergers that would presumably…
STB asks CP to “clear ambiguities”
The Surface Transportation Board, in a decision dated Oct. 14, 2014 (Docket No. EP 724, “United States Rail Service Issues,” has asked Canadian Pacific Railway to “answer specific questions to…
STB requiring weekly Class I service performance reports
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board announced Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 that it is requiring all Class I railroads to publicly file weekly data reports regarding service performance “to promote industry-wide…
Is FRA’s Szabo headed to the STB?
Joe Szabo, the former union boss and now embattled Federal Railroad Administrator, may be on his way out—to another federal railroad regulatory agency, actually, if rumors involving his former Chicago…
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