Are STB’s Newbies Change Agents?

WATCHING WASHINGTON, APRIL 2019 – Stanley found Livingstone faster than vacancies on the five-member Surface Transportation Board (STB) have been filled, with two remaining more than three years after Congress increased from three the number of Senate-confirmed seats.

Once Upon a Time

PERSPECTIVE: SHORT LINE & REGIONAL, APRIL 2019 – “Once upon a time”: Four words that begin some of the most enduring and beloved stories in Western Literature. They are enduring because they have been read over and over again by every generation, and because the hero overcomes obstacles to end up in a good place, and everybody lives happily ever after.

OLI: Collisions, casualties increased in 2018

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) Executive Director Rachel Maleh recently revealed that railroad grade crossing collisions and rail trespass deaths increased in 2018.

ASLRRA honors Gilbertson, safety leaders

At its 2019 CONNECTIONS Convention in Orlando, Fla., the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) presented Peter A. Gilbertson, President and CEO of Anacostia Rail Holdings Co., with the 2019 Thomas L. Schlosser Distinguished Service Award, and honored Cleo Johnson, Jr., Maintenance-of-Way Foreman, Mississippi Export Railroad, was as Safety Person of the Year and David Nagy, Executive Director of Safety, Springfield Terminal d/b/a Pan Am Railway, as Safety Professional of the Year.

Winkler named Tai Ginsberg Director

Tai Ginsberg & Associates, LLC (TG&A) announced on April 5 that Sean Winkler has been named Director. Winkler, who will assist the government relations firm with its transportation and infrastructure, municipal, and technology clients, will begin on April 8.

Sen. Fritz Hollings’ role in rail merger policy

Somewhat buried in history is that today’s railroad map is a product of behind-the-scenes actions by former Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ernest Frederick (Fritz) Hollings (D-S.C.), who died April 6 at age 97. He was Commerce Committee Chairman 1987-1995 and 2001-2003, during years Democrats controlled the Senate. He left office in 2005.

Fighting Trump’s border-slowdown threat

Eighteen North American trade associations representing railroads, truckers and their customers that ship between the United States and Mexico have joined forces to tell the Trump Administration and Congress that restricting cross-border trade by either complete shutdown or slowdown, as President Trump has threatened, will have serious, highly damaging economic and social consequences.

Cleaner and greener in New Orleans

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) and the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) a National Clean Diesel Funding grant that will cover 40% of the cost of retrofitting one diesel-electric switcher locomotive with a Tier 4-compliant prime-mover.

Baker to Congress: Don’t be short-sighted about short lines

When last we heard from American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) President Chuck Baker, he was testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety on the role Class II and III railroads play in supporting intermodal connections across the U.S. surface transportation network. He also urged support for the Short Line 45-G Tax Credit.

Climate change: Timely advocacy needed

The scientific community has long warned of anthropogenic climate change, and a growing majority of Americans believe the threat is real. The United States is at the tipping point, and the rail industry could be a major beneficiary.

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