September 21, 2014

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 [...]

Feds order BNSF, CN to report on grain progress

U.S. railroad regulators have ordered BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway to hasten shipments of grain from a backlog that has frustrated farmers and people who run grain elevators. The Surface Transportation Board, in a decision late Friday, required the two railroads to publicly disclose every week plans to address the delays, which have forced [...]

STB: Miller on board as member

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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 [...]

FRA’s Szabo testifies on rail safety before STB

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Federal Railroad Administration chief Joseph Szabo testified April 10 before members of the Surface Transportation Board regarding the negative impact service degradation on the nation’s railroad network could have on rail safety and Amtrak on-time performance. His prepared oral testimony follows: Chairman Elliott and Vice Chairman Begeman, on behalf of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, thank [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]