Surface Transportation Board

STB Eyes Alternatives to URCS (UPDATED May 25)

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) in October 2022 sought public comment on a new report that identifies and evaluates alternatives to the Uniform Railroad Costing System (URCS) that could be used as a replacement general-purpose costing methodology. The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the Western Coal Traffic League (WCTL) respond.

Justin Broyles of R. J. Corman Railroad Group (left) and Robert (Buck) Rogers of CN have joined the Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council.

Broyles, Rogers Join RSTAC

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) on May 23 reported appointing Justin Broyles of R.J. Corman Railroad Group and Robert (Buck) Rogers of CN to the Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC). RSTAC, which was established by the ICC Termination

Exemplary Executives

RAILWAY AGE, MAY 2023 ISSUE: Railway Age’s 2023 honorees—selected by our subscribers—approach their roles with an entrepreneurial spirit, and a commitment to service, safety and sustainability.

“The delays and unpredictability seen in rail service are partly the result of the railroads’ embrace of precision-scheduled railroading (PSR) and its drastic reductions in workforce and assets to reduce operating ratios at the expense of service,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack told the Surface Transportation Board members.

USDA to STB: Move ‘Quickly to Strengthen Our Rail System’

“Unfortunately, while rail service has improved from its worst levels last year, it remains inadequate and unreliable for many agricultural shippers,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack told the five Surface Transportation Board (STB) members in identical letters dated May 12. “There is more work to be done.” This includes, he wrote, moving forward on open proceedings and reciprocal switching; providing clarity on the railroads’ common carrier obligation; and collecting more first-mile/last-mile (FMLM) service data.

The May 11 hearing, “Getting Back on Track: Exploring Rail Supply Chain Resilience and Challenges,” was led by Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Tex.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

For House Rail Subcommittee, an Earful on Supply Chain Improvements

The rail industry’s role in overcoming supply chain challenges was the theme of a May 11 hearing of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. It was part of what the T&I Committee called its continued “focus on ongoing supply chain challenges throughout the transportation sector, with the goal of identifying potential legislative solutions.” Among the five witnesses was American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) President Chuck Baker, who urged Congress members “to wield their pen with precision.”

STB Scales Back CSX Reporting Requirements

The Surface Transportation Board on May 2 extended its temporary service metrics and employment reporting period for the “Big 4” Class I’s—BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific—to Dec. 31, 2023, but