National Industrial Transportation League

STB Reauthorization: ‘If It isn’t Broke, Don’t Fix It’?

Railroad stakeholders on March 8 shared their views on the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) role in regulating the freight railroad industry as well as its reauthorization during a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. Testifying were representatives from the American Chemistry Council, Amtrak, Association of American Railroads, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, National Industrial Transportation League, and Private Railcar Food and Beverage Association.

Reciprocal Switch Peril Grows

No two words torment railroad executives and their investors more than “reciprocal switching”—a potential Surface Transportation Board (STB) decree that a railroad with sole physical access to a shipper facility transfer (switch) a shipper’s cars to a junction point with a second (competing) railroad. The second railroad pays a compensatory per-car switching fee whose reasonableness is determined by the STB.

Fifty shades of shipper vexation

The 50 shades of vexation venting from self-described captive shippers over delay by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in considering their petitions to dilute rail regulatory freedoms is matched only by their asserting last year a contradictory 50 shades of encouragement that the Board do just that.

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 gained library space in Teddy Roosevelt’s White House; the former seemed to hoist himself by his own petard—Shakespeare speak (“Hamlet”) for the bomb maker managing to blow himself up with his own device.

Mark Fagan

AAR fires at NITL over forced switching proposal

Like a U.S. Navy destroyer unleashing all of its weapons simultaneously, the Association of American Railroads has launched a strongly worded attack on the National Industrial Transportation League’s proposal to the Surface Transportation Board for “forced switching,” also known as “mandated access,” “mandatory switching,” and “forced competition.”
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Shippers ask STB to deliver a free lunch

The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) want the Surface Transportation Board to annul market forces and require that at least two Class I railroads be available to compete for freight carloads—even if the tracks of only one railroad serve a shipper’s facility.