House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

T&I STB Reauthorization Hearing Deja Vu All Over Again

The House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure hearing, “Board Member Views on Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization,” was for the most part a rehash of the topics that the STB has been covering in its own hearings on freight rail service problems, reciprocal switching and other areas the industry has had to address in recent weeks. T&I Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who is not seeking re-election in this year’s mid-terms, and Railroad, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chair Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) chaired the hearing, which in a press release was couched as “The Surface Transportation Board’s Role in Resolving Freight Rail Conflicts.”

Shuster names T&I subcommittee chairs

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) on Jan. 23 announced his selections for Full Committee Vice Chairman and the Committee’s six Subcommittee Chairmen for the 115th Congress:

Shuster opposes proposed CP-NS merger

Chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) on April 5, 2016 announced his opposition to Canadian Pacific Railway’s proposed merger with Norfolk Southern.

  • C&S

House T&I hearing a litany of embarrassments

I watched the webcast of the June 2, 2015 U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure oversight hearing of the Amtrak accident in Philadelphia.

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 their industry well over the next 10 weeks if they similarly perform—first before a congressional subcommittee examining 35 years of partial economic deregulation under the Staggers Rail Act, and then the Surface Transportation Board (STB) as it considers shipper entreaties that the railroads’ improved financial condition warrants tightening of the strike zone.

Second attempt at PRRIA launched

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has introduced H.R. 749, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA). The bill, identical to legislation introduced in 2014 by T&I, is described as “bipartisan legislation that improves the infrastructure, reduces costs, creates greater accountability and transparency, leverages private sector resources, and accelerates project delivery for Amtrak and the nation’s passenger rail transportation system.”

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), corporate tax reform, short line tax credits, the future of coal, and a minimum crew-consist mandate?