Regulatory

KC Southern responds to Mexican COFECE report

Kansas City Southern confirmed on March 21 that the Investigation Authority of the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (COFECE) published an excerpt of its preliminary report about its assessment of effective competition in the market of freight railway transportation services “regarding certain chemical and petrochemical products shipped in certain specific routes with an origin or destination in the southern region of the State of Veracruz.”

NS petitions FRA for brake test training waiver; unions push back

Norfolk Southern has filed a petition with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver of compliance from certain provisions of federal railroad safety regulations regarding refresher training for mechanical inspectors, “FRA WAIVER PETITION DOCKET No. FRA-2018-0100, Brake System Safety Standards for Freight and Other Non-passenger Trains and Equipment, End-Of-Train Devices (49 C.F.R. Part 232).” Two unions have filed comments disputing NS’s petition.

AAR: STB rulemakings need cost-benefit analyses

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) on March 14 petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to incorporate cost-benefit analysis into rulemaking proceedings. AAR urged that, “in the spirit of good government, such analysis should include the most current and reliable data possible, and that the Board should consider the cumulative impact of regulations when proposing and adopting new rules.”

ASLRRA to Congress: Make 45G permanent

On the heels of Tuesday’s House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee hearing on Temporary Policy in the Internal Revenue Code, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association President Chuck Baker submitted comments to Congress to take action on tax-extender policies that include the 45G Short Line Tax Credit.

Contractors petition for HOS exemptions

R.J. Corman Railroad Services, Cranemasters Inc. and the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) have petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for relief from certain hours-of-service (HOS) rules—specifically, a five-year exemption from HOS rules regarding maximum driving time for drivers of property-carrying vehicles, according to a notice published in the Federal Register on March 8.

Railway Age’s 2019 Short Line and Regional Railroads of the Year: LIRC, RCPE

Railway Age honors the Louisville & Indiana Railroad Company and the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad as its 2019 Short Line (Class III) and Regional (Class II) Railroads of the Year. Both carriers will be recognized at the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association Connections Convention in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, April 9.

Fuzzy math, politics and railcars

THE FINANCIAL EDGE, MARCH 2019 – On Feb. 19, the Alberta government announced that it had entered into transportation (and some logistics) contracts with CN and Canadian Pacific to begin to move Canadian oil sands crude from the Albertan province down to the Gulf of Mexico. The province intends to move 20,000 barrels per day (BPD) by rail beginning in July 2019, increasing to a total number of 120,000 BPD by midyear 2020.