September 18, 2014

Senators move to strengthen STB

A bipartisan pair of senators is planning to introduce legislation to beef up the panel of federal regulators that is supposed to oversee operations on the nation’s freight and passenger railways. The panel, the Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Board (STB), has been at the center of a recent dispute between Amtrak and a Canadian [...]

STB: Five Class I’s revenue adequate in 2013

The Surface Transportation Board announced Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, that it has found five U.S. Class I railroad properties to be “revenue adequate for the year 2013, meaning that five of the Class I railroads achieved a rate of return equal to or greater than the Board’s calculation of the average cost of capital to [...]

Durbin sets hearing on Amtrak delays

Amtrak Logo

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Weeks after calling for a study of the potential for increased service along Amtrak’s Chicago to Carbondale route, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is holding a hearing in Champaign Wednesday on freight train interference along the corridor. The meeting between Surface Transportation Board Chairman Dan Elliott, Amtrak board member Tom Carper and local [...]

BNSF loses freight to Union Pacific amid rail delays

BNSF_Color_Logo

DALLAS – BNSF Railway Co., the only U.S. railroad ordered by the regulator (Surface Transportation Board) to provide weekly service updates, is losing market share to Union Pacific Corp., its main competitor, as train speeds slow and on-time deliveries drop. The shift in market share had shown up in carload statistics, Union Pacific Chief Executive [...]

STB: Miller on board as member

deb_miller_stb

Surface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel Elliott III yesterday announced Deb Miller has been sworn in as the 12th board member since the agency was formed in 1996. She will serve a term that expires on Dec. 31, 2017. President Barack Obama nominated Miller for the STB post in September 2013 and the Senate confirmed the [...]

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

railyard, train yard; trains

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

STB_logo

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

deb_miller_stb

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. [...]