The Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) comment period closed Nov. 7 for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) it issued this fall in Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 2), Reciprocal Switching for Inadequate Service.
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.
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.
A recurring and intractable thread tying together railroad history is that when the choice has been between economic liberty and government intrusion, selecting the latter has repetitively discouraged capital investment, diminished service quality, adversely affected safety, and sooner than later caused hand-wringing among those most dependent on rail transportation.
The Surface Transportation Board announced Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 that it will hold a public hearing on March 25-26, 2014 “in Petition for Rulemaking to Adopt Revised Competitive Switching Rules, EP 711, to explore issues surrounding The National Industrial Transportation League’s (NITL) petition to modify the Board’s standards for mandatory competitive switching.”
A statement released Friday by the Association of American Railroads commented unfavorably on a proposal by the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) for mandatory switching, which AAR asserted “would harm all rail network users.”