March 30, 2015

Committee holds hearing on freight rail challenges

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U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today held his second hearing as chairman entitled, “Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce.” The hearing focused on challenges facing our nation’s freight rail network created by higher demand, pending and proposed rules and regulations, and infrastructure needs. [...]

Class I workforce notched another gain in November

The U.S. Class I workforce continued to enlarge last month. As of mid-November, the large railroads employed 169,845 people, up 0.4 percent from October’s level and 4.1 percent from November 2013′s mark, according to Surface Transportation Board employment data. Only the transportation (other than train and engine) workforce sector registered a month-over-month decline, dipping 0.3 percent [...]

NS to buy part of northeast rail line from CP

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CALGARY – Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. is selling a stretch of track in the northeastern United States to a major U.S. railway in a $217-million deal. Norfolk Southern plans to acquire nearly 455 kilometres of rail line from Delaware & Hudson, a CP subsidiary, between Sunbury, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y. Read the complete story at [...]

Low on coal, utilities ask regulators to prod rails

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WASHINGTON – Ongoing rail service problems have left power plants from Minnesota to Texas low on coal as an early blast of winter weather hit the nation’s midsection this week. Some fear the stage has been set for a repeat of last winter, when heavy snowfall and subzero temperatures crippled rail operations in the Upper [...]

Obama to renominate Elliott for STB

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President Barack Obama announced his intent Nov. 12 to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts: Daniel Elliott III – member, Surface Transportation Board, and upon appointment to be designated chairman; Lauren McFerran – member, National Labor Relations Board. “I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important [...]

STB orders more extensive reporting from rails

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FARGO, N.D. – Grain elevator and agriculture groups are cautiously optimistic that a more extensive reporting system for railroads, ordered Oct. 8 by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, will at least allow agricultural shippers to see whether they’re getting the same kind of service as oil, coal and other industries. The STB, which regulates railroads, [...]

Senate panel approves freight rail oversight changes

The Senate committee that deals with transportation issues approved a bill to beef up the panel of federal regulators that is supposed to oversee operations on the nation’s freight and passenger railways. The measure, which was approved unanimously on Wednesday by the Senate Commerce Committee, emboldens the Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Board (STB) to [...]

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

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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 [...]