(IANR Photograph)

USDA, NGFA Weigh In on Proposed CN-IANR Combination

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) are recommending several conditions that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) consider if it approves CN’s application to acquire control

“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.

Biofuel Facilities Eligible for USDA Grants (UPDATED)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding $100 million in grants through its Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to expand infrastructure for renewable fuels sourced from U.S. agricultural products (biodiesel, ethanol, etc.).

USDA to STB: ‘Move Forward’ With Private Railcar Rulemaking

The Petition for Rulemaking that would update the demurrage and accessorial rules governing the railroads’ use and handling of privately owned freight cars “is a step in the right direction,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in comments filed June 30 with the Surface Transportation Board (STB).