April 17, 2014

Rail companies to report fertilizer delivery plans

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A federal oversight board told Canadian Pacific Railway and BNSF Railway that they have until Friday to report their plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments for spring planting of U.S. crops. The Surface Transportation Board’s decision Tuesday comes in response to a hearing it held last week on recent service [...]

Rail regulatory proposal would raise costs, cut service

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WASHINGTON – The nation’s freight rail industry this week will outline for the Surface Transportation Board (STB) the various negative impacts of a proposal to force non-market based requirements on railroads at the request of the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL). The proposal calls for the STB to override market forces by forcing Class I [...]

Class I employment flat in 4th quarter

The U.S. Class I workforce expanded slightly in November, then contracted a bit in December, according to employment data recently compiled and released by the Surface Transportation Board (STB). As of mid-November 2013, the large U.S. roads employed 163,199 people, up less than 0.1 percent from October’s level and 0.3 percent from November 2012′s count. [...]

Shippers liable for coal dust costs

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Federal regulators have handed freight railroads a victory, saying they can require shippers to pay for specific steps to control coal dust from rail cars.  In a Dec. 13 decision, the Surface Transportation Board ruled that shippers failed to prove that BNSF Railway Co.’s coal-loading rules were unreasonable, though it struck down one provision relating [...]

Obama nominates former Kan. DOT secretary for STB

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President Barack Obama has nominated former Kansas Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller to the Surface Transportation Board, reportedly replacing George Bush-appointee Francis Mulvey. Miller, a Democrat, was the Kansas secretary of transportation from 2003 to 2012, making her the first female and longest serving transportation secretary of that state. She was appointed by former Gov. [...]

UP lone “revenue adequate” railroad for 2010

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has determined that only one major railroad – Union Pacific – was “revenue adequate” in calendar year 2010. A railroad is considered “revenue adequate” if it achieves a rate of return on net investment equal to at least the current cost of capital for the railroad industry. Revenue [...]

Rail revenue adequacy faces challenge; stocks down

WASHINGTON – Individuals choose bank savings accounts based on the interest rate offered, assuming the investment is secure because no depositor has ever lost their principal on a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) backed account. By contrast, corporate investors must consider risk of their principal along with an anticipated rate of return on their investment. [...]

UTU wins protection for members on beer railway

WASHINGTON – The UTU has won a victory on behalf of 12 train and engine employees represented by the UTU and employed by Manufacturers Railway, a 124-year-old subsidiary of brewer Anheuser-Busch for which Manufacturers performs switching services in St. Louis. In March, the carrier sought permission from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) to discontinue operations, [...]

STB chairman: T&E workers ‘unsung heroes’

Elliott NEW YORK – Former UTU Associate General Counsel Dan Elliott, now chairman of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board — the federal agency regulating rail mergers, line sales, abandonments and labor protection — returned to his roots July 4, speaking to more than 500 UTU officers and members attending the union’s eastern regional meeting here. [...]

New STB member; RRB, NMB hopefuls waiting

WASHINGTON — A former John McCain aide, Ann Begeman, has been confirmed by the Senate as the one Republican on the three-member U.S. Surface Transportation Board. Two other presidential nominees — Walt Barrows to become the labor member on the Railroad Retirement Board, succeeding Butch Speakman; and Republican Thomas Beck to the National Mediation Board, [...]