Media

Media Coverage

Media inquires about FRCA should be directed to Ann Warner, Executive Director, at ann.warner@railvoices.org.

For news releases, news articles, newsletters and issue updates prior to 2014, please visit the News Archive.

FRCA Press Releases/News Stories

2017

Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Al Franken (D-MN) send a joint letter to STB Acting Chairman Ann Begeman expressing concerns over the STB delaying actions on Major Proceedings.

Dear Acting Chairman Begeman: We write regarding the Surface Transportation Board (STB)’s recent quarterly reports to Congress in which you indicate the Board has placed several of its consequential rulemaking proceedings on hold. In the Board’s First Quarter 2017 Report on Pending STB Regulatory Proceedings on April 3, 2017, you noted the current three-Member Board […] Read More »

FRCA Submitts Written Comments to Surface Transportation Board’s Regulatory Reform Task Force.

The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (“FRCA”), an alliance of freight rail shippers impacted by continued unrestrained freight rail market dominance over rail-dependent shippers representing more than 3,500 manufacturing and agriculture companies, electric utilities, fuel suppliers, and their customers, writes to you in your capacity as the Surface Transportation Board’s (“Board”) Regulatory Reform Officer…Read more » Read More »

FRCA Sends Letter to Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Supporting President Trump’s $37.1 million for STB in FY ’18 Spending.

Dear Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Reed: The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) – an umbrella organization including trade associations representing more than 3,500 manufacturing, agriculture and alternative fuels companies, electric utilities, and their customers – thanks you and your Appropriation Committee colleagues for continuing to support freight rail shipper issues…Read the full letter » Read More »

FRCA and WCTL Send Joint Letter to Congress Urging Prompt Action on Presidential Nomination and Confirmation Process for STB Members and Urging STB to Move on Major Proceedings.

Dear Chairmen Thune and Fischer, and Ranking Members Nelson and Booker, On behalf of a broad range of freight rail shippers in the manufacturing, agricultural and energy industries, the Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) and the Western Coal Traffic League (WCTL) ask that you emphasize to President Trump the importance of nominating as soon as […] Read More »

FRCA Sends Letter to House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Supporting President Trump’s $37.1 million for STB in FY ’18 Spending.

Dear Chairman Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Price: The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) – an umbrella organization including trade associations representing more than 3,500 manufacturing, agriculture and alternative fuels companies, electric utilities, and their customers – thanks you and your Appropriation Committee colleagues for continuing to support freight rail shipper issues…Read the full letter » Read More »

FRCA Participates in a Joint Filing in EP Docket No. 733, Expediting Rate Cases, before the Surface Transportation Board. Joint Reply Comments.

The Western Coal Traffic League, American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (“NARUC”), National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and Freight Rail Customer Alliance (collectively “Coal Shippers/NARUC”) submit these Reply Comments in response to the Surface Transportation Board’s (“STB” or “Board”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) served in the above-captioned […] Read More »

FRCA Praises Introduction of Rail Shipper Fairness Act.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Freight Rail Customers Alliance (FRCA) praised today’s introduction of the Rail Shipper Fairness Act by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). “This legislation builds upon the reforms to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) made by Congress when it reauthorized the STB in 2015,” said FRCA President David Sauer, who is also chief operating […] Read More »

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Introduces Legislation to Help Businesses Move Made In Wisconsin Goods to Market.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced legislation to address challenges faced by Wisconsin businesses when shipping by rail. The Rail Shipper Fairness Act aims to reduce costs and improve service problems faced by a broad coalition of Wisconsin rail shippers, including farmers, manufacturers and utilities… read more » Read More »

FRCA Praises Trump Administration Budget Request For STB

Washington, DC – The Freight Rail Customers Alliance (FRCA) today praised the Trump Administration for proposing a slight increase in the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB’s) budget for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 beginning October 1…read more » Read More »

FRCA Recommends Mr. Patrick Fuchs to be Nominated by President Trump to Serve as STB Member.

The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) – an umbrella organization including trade associations representing more than 3,500 manufacturing, agriculture and alternative fuels companies, electric utilities, and their customers – strongly supports the nomination of Mr. Patrick Fuchs from Wisconsin to serve as a Member of the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board)…Read the full letter […] Read More »

April 11, 2017. FRCA Urges Senate and House Appropriators to Move on a Final FY ’17 appropriation for federal transportation programs, including the Surface Transportation Board, and makes request for FY ’18 funding.

The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) – an umbrella organization including trade associations representing more than 3,500 manufacturing, agriculture and alternative fuels companies, electric utilities, and their customers – thanks you and your Appropriation Committee colleagues for continuing to support freight rail shipper issues. Read More Read More »

April 6, 2017. Senator John Thune (R-SD), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, urges the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund the Surface Transportation Board in FY ’18 highlighting the need for IT improvements.

Dear Chairman Cochran, Vice Chairman Leahy, Chairman Collins, and Ranking Member Reed: This letter provides my views as Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on transportation funding issues for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations bill of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD Subcommittee). As you […] Read More »

What Does A Monopolist Look Like? It Looks Like Union Pacific (UNP)

At the end of last month, I published an investment idea to the members of our service regarding Union Pacific (UNP). The investment expresses a bearish view on the company’s value based on my analysis as a long-time value investor, and is structured using option contracts. One of the points I brought up in a […] Read More »

President Donald Trump Appoints Ann Begeman as Acting Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board.

President Donald J. Trump has appointed Ann Begeman to serve as Acting Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board. Ms. Begeman is currently serving a second, five-year term as a Member of the Board following her recent nomination by President Barack Obama on December 7, 2016, and her unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate on December 9, 2016. Read More »

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) Sends Letter to President Trump

“New appointees to the STB should have an understanding of the challenges shippers face and seek to ensure balance in the regulatory environment so that freight rail service can be efficient and reliable and rates can be competitive.” Read More »

2016

STB Enters into MOU with Canada

On December 7th, the STB entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). This agreement is a MOU of Understanding to facilitate information sharing between the agencies. Read More »

STB Asks for Nominations to Serve on RSTAC

On December 9th, the STB announced vacancies on its Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC) and is seeking nominations for (1) a representative of a small shipper; and (2) a representative for a Class I railroad. Read More »

FRCA Applauds U.S. Senate Confirmation of Ann Begeman to Serve Second Term on STB

Early this morning by unanimous consent, the Senate approved Begeman’s nomination to a second five-year term on the STB. Begeman was first appointed to the STB in 2011. Read More »

Railroads Call for Halt to all Regulations

Argus Media November 18, 2016 Washington, 18 November (Argus) – The Surface Transportation Board (STB) should halt its rulemakings until open positions on the board are filled by president­-elect Donald Trump and the US Senate, railroads said yesterday. STB should yield to Trump’s call for a temporary moratorium on all federal regulations while the president-elect […] Read More »

STB’s tempest in transparency

Pity economic regulators. The more they seek the middle-ofthe-road, the greater risk both sides assail them. Economist Sidney L. Miller wrote, “It seems clear that our railways are regulated well, rather than wisely.” Read More »

New government report fails to clear the air over railroad rate disputes

Three options for rate testing include a ‘full’ test that costs shippers millions of dollarsTrain MagazineBy Bill Stephens | September 27, 2016 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The complex, expensive, and often cumbersome way that federal regulators determine whether railroad rates are reasonable does not need an overhaul.That’s the conclusion of an independent analysis of the three methods […] Read More »

Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation STB Reauthorization Act will help expedite rate cases, FRCA says

The new Surface Transportation Reauthorization (STB) Act of 2015 may help assist shippers in rate cases before the board, a leader of the Freight Rail Customer Alliance  (FRCA) told a U.S. Senate committee last week. The new law, which President Barack Obama signed in December 2015, “is helping our entire nation better meet today’s freight […] Read More »

Freight Rail: South Dakota Depends On It

By Sen. John ThuneAugust 12, 2016It doesn’t matter if you’re the farmer in the field who harvests the crops, the manufacturer in the factory who makes the goods, or the consumer at home who relies on the food and energy that’s produced, everyone in the United States benefits from efficient and reliable freight rail. It’s […] Read More »

Shippers put hopes on new regulatory process

Washington, 12 August (Argus) — Shippers of coal, corn and other agricultural products say an overhaul of federal rail regulations could help their long-term profitability.   Appearing at a Senate hearing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, yesterday, rail shippers said they have long suffered from high rail rates and an overly onerous process for challenging […] Read More »

FRCA Testifies on STB Transparency and Railroad Rate Processes at U.S. Congressional Hearing

  Read More »

FRCA Testifies Before U.S. Congressional Hearing on Implementation of Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015

For Immediate Release Thursday, August 11, 2016 Contact:  Ann Warner ann.warner@railvoices.org   Sioux Falls, SD    – A new Federal law is helping to improve government oversight of the nation’s growing reliance on freight railroads, a leader of the Freight Rail Customers Alliance (FRCA) said today at a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science […] Read More »

Explaining the Surface Transportation Board

Board member Deb Miller discusses functions and future of the organization regulating railroads… read more. Read More »

Freight Railroads Are Braking for Regulatory Creep

The paperwork for safety compliance alone costs about $1.5 billion a year. And more rules are coming.Economic forecasters are projecting the slowest expansion in four years, slashing expectations for the year to only 1.8% in overall GDP growth, according to a new survey from the National Association for Business Economics. Thus continues the weakest recovery […] Read More »

Amtrak Trains Fight to Go First: Freight railroads are pushing federal regulator to change rule giving passenger trains priority over cargo trains

By Laura Stevens and Andrew Tangel The Wall Street Journal May 22, 2016 7:15 p.m. ETWhich train should go first—an Amtrak passenger train or a cargo train? That’s the question federal regulators are trying to resolve.For more than 40 years, Amtrak says it has had the right to go first under law, meaning freight railroads […] Read More »

STB Unlikely To Freely Wield New Investigative Power

Share us on: By Linda Chiem Law360, New York (May 20, 2016, 5:59 PM ET) — The Surface Transportation Board’s newfound ability to initiate railroad investigations on its own is another tool to challenge major rate or service disruptions, experts say, but rail shippers won’t get much relief from the status quo or see a flood […] Read More »

Surface Transportation Board Issues NPRM on Arbitration Procedures.

The Surface Transportation Board today announced its proposal to amend existing procedures for the arbitration of disputes before the Board to make those procedures conform to statutory requirements of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2015, P.L. 114-110 (2015) (STB Reauthorization Act).The Board’s existing regulations governing the use of arbitration are generally consistent with the […] Read More »

Shippers Feeling Railroaded With Prices Up Even as Freight Falls

May 5, 2016 05:00AM ET | Bloomberg GovernmentBy Thomas Black with assistance from Frederic Tomesco (Bloomberg) — Kevin Acker has both savored and suffered the pricing power of freight railroads. The manager at Chemours Co. depends on a single railroad that serves 80 percent of the chemical maker’s facilities, hauling bulky cargo that trucks can’t move efficiently. […] Read More »

CQ Budget Tracker

AMTRAK ACRIMONY: Congress gave Amtrak too much power in a 2008 rail law, according to a federal appeals court ruling that could bode poorly for the struggling passenger railroad bemoaned by many in Congress.   The decision, which struck down key provisions that sought to improve the performance of Amtrak, is likely to send the […] Read More »

CQ Budget Tracker

David Lerman, Editor | May 2, 2016 AMTRAK ACRIMONY: Congress gave Amtrak too much power in a 2008 rail law, according to a federal appeals court ruling that could bode poorly for the struggling passenger railroad bemoaned by many in Congress. The decision, which struck down key provisions that sought to improve the performance of Amtrak, is […] Read More »

Appeals Court Strikes Down 2008 Passenger Rail Improvement Act

(Bloomberg) — A U.S. appeals court in Washington says a 2008 act of Congress that reauthorized Amtrak’s operations and was intended to improve its service unconstitutionally gave the passenger rail line power over freight railroads.   Three-judge panel on Friday struck down Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008.   Panel concludes law unlawfully […] Read More »

Appeals Court Strikes Down 2008 Passenger Rail Improvement Act

By Andrew Harris | April 29, 2016 11:38AM ET   (Bloomberg) — A U.S. appeals court in Washington says a 2008 act of Congress that reauthorized Amtrak’s operations and was intended to improve its service unconstitutionally gave the passenger rail line power over freight railroads.   Three-judge panel on Friday struck down Passenger Rail Investment […] Read More »

Executive Order — Steps to Increase Competition and Better Inform Consumers and Workers to Support Continued Growth of the American Economy.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to protect American consumers and workers and encourage competition in the U.S. economy, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. Policy. Maintaining, encouraging, and supporting a fair, efficient, and competitive marketplace is […] Read More »

Merger talk raises fears of service issues.

Washington, 15 April (Argus) — North American railroad customers remain concerned about a merger between carriers, even after Canadian Pacific (CP) called off its efforts to acquire eastern railroad Norfolk Southern (NS) on 11 April. Customers fear a return to the lengthy delivery delays, car shortages and regional congestion spurred by past consolidations in the rail […] Read More »

CSX Plans More Cuts in Response to Slower Freight Volume.

By JOSH FUNKOmaha, Neb. (AP) — CSX railroad plans to continue cutting costs this year to deal with slowing freight volume and declining profits. Executives at the Jacksonville, Florida, based railroad discussed their outlook Wednesday — one day after reporting a 19 percent drop in first quarter profit. “I’m really pleased with how we responded,” Chairman and […] Read More »

Surface Transportation Board Decision Granting Canadian Pacific’s Motion to Withdraw Petition for Expedited Declaratory Order.

SERVICE DATE – APRIL 13, 2016 SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION Docket No. FD 36004 CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY LIMITED—PETITION FOR EXPEDITED DECLARATORY ORDER Decided: April 13, 2016 On March 2, 2016, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CPRL)1 filed a petition requesting that the Board issue a declaratory order on two issues pertaining to CPRL’s pursuit of a […] Read More »

Capito, Manchin, Jenkins, Mckinley Welcome Canadian Pacific’s Decision To End Norfolk Southern Takeover.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Representatives Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) today applauded Canadian Pacific Railway’s announcement that it will end efforts to takeover Norfolk Southern. The announcement comes after they expressed their concerns about the merger due to the potentially devastating impact it […] Read More »

CP filed Motion to Withdraw Petition for Expedited Declaratory Order.

BEFORE THE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARDFINANCE DOCKET NO. 36004CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY LIMITEDMOTION TO WITHDRAWPETITION FOR EXPEDITED DECLARATORY ORDERPetitioner, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (“CPRL”) hereby moves the Board for leave to withdraw its Petition for Expedited Declaratory Order filed in the above captioned docket on March 2, 2016 (the “Petition”) and to discontinue this proceeding. The Petition […] Read More »

Shuster Statement on Canadian Pacific’s Termination of Norfolk Southern Merger Proposal.

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) today released the following statement on Canadian Pacific Railway’s decision to terminate its proposal to merge with Norfolk Southern: “I believe this proposal was bad for America, and our Nation’s military also raised concerns about the negative implications it could have for national defense.  This merger was not […] Read More »

Klobuchar Statement On Canadian Pacific Ending Merger Efforts With Norfolk Southern

As a long-time leader and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, Klobuchar has repeatedly raised concerns about the negative impact on consumers of increased consolidation in the railroad industry Since 1980, number of class one railroads in U.S. has gone from 26 to 7; today 90 percent of the freight traffic is handled by […] Read More »

Canadian Pacific terminates efforts to merge with Norfolk Southern.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. Press Release.  April 11, 2016.CALGARY, April 11, 2016 /CNW/ – Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (TSX:CP) (NYSE:CP) today announced that it has terminated efforts to merge with Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS), including the withdrawal of a resolution asking NS shareholders to vote in favour of good-faith negotiations between the two companies. No […] Read More »

Justice Department Opposes Canadian Pacific’s Petition to Establish Voting Trust

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, April 8, 2016 Canadian Pacific’s Proposed Voting Trust Structure Risks Irreversibly Harming Competition The Department of Justice filed a reply today in opposition to Canadian Pacific Railway Limited’s (“CPRL”) petition for a declaratory order regarding use of a voting trust pending the Surface Transportation Board’s (“STB”) review of a potential merger […] Read More »

U.S. Army, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Filed Reply Comments Opposing CP’s Petition for Expedited Declaratory Order re: its Voting Trust Pursuit.

Ms. Cynthia T. Brown Chief, Section of Administration Office of Proceedings Surface Transportation Board 395 E Street N.W Washington, DC 20423 7 April 2016 Re: DoD Reply Regarding Canadian Pacific Railway Limited – Petition for Expedited Declaratory Order (Docket No. FD 36004) Dear Ms. Brown: The Surface Transportation Board sought replies addressing Canadian Pacific’s petition […] Read More »

Shuster Opposes Canadian Pacific Proposal to Merge with Norfolk Southern

For Immediate Release: April 05, 2016 Contact: Jim Billimoria, Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 Washington, DC – Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) today released the following statement in opposition to Canadian Pacific Railway’s proposal to merge with Norfolk Southern: “I have closely followed Canadian Pacific’s attempts to merge with another railroad over the […] Read More »

Board Releases STB Reauthorization Reports. Surface Transportation Board Press Release.

Today the Surface Transportation Board issued reports as part of its implementation of theSTB Reauthorization Act of 2015, P.L. 114-110 (2015). The Board issued four reports: –the first quarterly report on rate case review metrics; –the first quarterly report on formal and informal service complaints; –the second quarterly report on unfinished regulatory proceedings; and –a […] Read More »

CP files definitive proxy statement regarding shareholder proposal for NS Annual Meeting, welcomes opportunity to meet with NS board.

CP Press Release. Read More »

Norfolk Southern Steps Up Fight Against Canadian Pacific Merger.

<p>Railroad urges employees to vote down friendly talks</p> <p>By LAURA STEVENS<br> Updated March 29, 2016 5:52 p.m. ET</p> <p>Norfolk Southern Corp. urged employees to vote down Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s effort to enlist shareholders to press the board for friendly merger talks at its annual meeting, which it scheduled for May 12.</p> <p>In a letter […] Read More »

In response to Canadian Pacific’s (CP) submitted shareholder resolution asking NS to “engage in good faith discussions” with shareholders relative to CP’s bid for NS, shareholders will vote on this resolution.

In a letter to NS shareholders, the NS Board recommends that shareholders vote AGAINST the CP resolution. Read More »

Norfolk Southern (NS) announced that it will hold its annual meeting on May 12, 2016 at 8:30am.

PDF Read More »

CP weighing "all" legal options to prevent U.S. rails from collaborating to block NS deal

Legal fight among railroads threatens to escalate. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) said today it is weighing all legal options against U.S. railroads that are “working collectively” to block CP’s proposed $27 billion acquisition of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS), threatening to escalate a battle that began six weeks ago when CP asked the U.S. Department of Justice […] Read More »

Canadian Pacific petitions U.S. Surface Transportation Board for declaratory order

Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) (NYSE:CP) today announced that it has petitioned the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a declaratory order confirming the viability of the voting trust structure CP has suggested as part of its proposed merger with Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS). “Shareholders of both CP and NS have asked that we seek this declaratory order […] Read More »

Street Insider: Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) Petitions U.S. Surface Transportation Board for Declaratory Order to Confirming

Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) today announced that it has petitioned the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a declaratory order confirming the viability of the voting trust structure CP has suggested as part of its proposed merger with Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC). “Shareholders of both CP and NS have asked that we seek this declaratory […] Read More »

Canadian Pacific Asks Regulators to Review Rail Merger Deal

Omaha, Neb. (AP) — Canadian Pacific has asked federal regulators to approve the structure of its roughly $30 billion proposed takeover of Norfolk Southern railroad. The two railroads haven’t agreed on a deal, but Canadian Pacific is trying to address Norfolk Southern’s concerns about the U.S. Surface Transportation Board. It’s difficult to predict how the board would […] Read More »

Canadian Pacific Approached CSX About Deal While Pursuing NS

Omaha, Neb. (AP) — Canadian Pacific reportedly approached the CSX railroad about a possible merger earlier this year while it continued to pursue its proposed takeover of rival Norfolk Southern.The latest overture to Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Canadian Pacific first contacted CSX in the fall of 2014 about […] Read More »

Rail shippers split on outlook for Canadian Pacific-NS combination

CP says shippers favor deal by 3-to-1 margin; shipper survey by investment firm says 70 percent oppose any large mergers. By DC Velocity Staff   What do rail shippers think of Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CP) proposed $28 billion takeover of U.S. eastern railroad Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS)? Depends on who is asked.   CP said […] Read More »

Canadian Pacific Approached CSX About a Takeover CSX rebuffs offer; Canadian Pacific still committed to separate Norfolk Southern Bid

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., which is pressing an unwanted takeover bid for Norfolk Southern Corp., recently revived a $20 billion-plus effort to combine with CSX Corp. in the latest sign of its eagerness to bring consolidation to the industry. Canadian Pacific made a fresh approach to CSX in January, according to people familiar with the matter […] Read More »

Shuster leaning toward 'no' on CP-NS merger.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is leaning toward opposing a proposed merger between Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern Corp., a Pennsylvania newspaper reported this morning. After touring Norfolk Southern Railway’s Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona yesterday, Shuster said he was keeping an open mind but was currently leaning toward “no,” the Altoona […] Read More »

Canadian Pacific to seek declaratory order from U.S. Surface Transportation Board

CALGARY, Feb. 16, 2016 /CNW/ – Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) (NYSE:CP) today announced it will seek a declaratory order from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) confirming the viability of the voting trust structure that CP has suggested as part of its proposed merger with Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS). CP urges NS, consistent with its duties […] Read More »

The year ahead in Washington

Written by  Frank N. Wilner, Contributing EditorReposted from Railway Age Washington is a rat hole worth watching because, as the politically savvy know, lawmakers and regulators can inflict unexpected, unprovoked and unjustified wounds. Typically, in a Presidential election year, legislative output by Congress is a slow order. This Presidential election year may be atypical, owing to the […] Read More »

Chairman Elliott demonstrated a commitment to executing the provisions in my STB Reauthorization Act and assured me that the first major reforms to the STB in 20 years will be implemented in a timely fashion.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, recently met with Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Dan Elliott about the implementation of S. 808, the STB Reauthorization Act, of which Thune was the lead Senate sponsor. “I appreciated Chairman Elliott taking the time to discuss the next […] Read More »

Canadian Pacific Abandons Threat of Proxy Fight for Norfolk Southern Railway to pursue strategy of seeking Norfolk Southern shareholder support for friendly merger talks

Updated Feb. 9, 2016 3:32 p.m. ET By JACQUIE MCNISH and LAURA STEVENSCanadian Pacific Abandons Threat of Proxy Fight for Norfolk Southern -WSJ Canadian Pacific said it plans to file a resolution seeking Norfolk Southern shareholder support to ask the railway’s board to enter merger talks with Canadian Pacific.“We believe this shareholder resolution is the clearest, […] Read More »

CP files shareholder proposal for Norfolk Southern Annual Meeting

February 9, 2016 01:54PM ET | PR NewswireCALGARY, Feb. 9, 2016Proposed combination of CP and NS to deliver significant value to shareholders and significant benefits for customers, competition and the economyCALGARY, Feb. 9, 2016 /CNW/ – Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) (NYSE:CP) today notified Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS) of its intent to submit a resolution to NS’ […] Read More »

STB receives first letters of support for CP-NS merger

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) has begun to receive letters from rail customers who are in favor of Canadian Pacific’s proposed takeover of Norfolk Southern Corp. Dakota Plains Holdings Inc. and multiple other shippers wrote last month to the STB to say they support CP’s proposal to acquire NS. Until last week, most of […] Read More »

Today’s Top Supply Chain and Logistics News From WSJ

Norfolk Southern Corp. is undertaking a big restructuring effort the freight railroad hopes works on two different tracks. The railroad’s plan will cut 1,200 jobs and scale back operations in a bid to reduce costs and meet the steep decline in energy shipments that are eating into Norfolk Southern’s profits, the WSJ’s Laura Stevens and […] Read More »

Norfolk Southern to cut jobs, routes and locomotives

Robert Wright in New YorkFinancial TimesNorfolk Southern the US railroad being stalked by Canadian Pacific, on Wednesday outlined plans to cut staff, close routes and mothball locomotives amid a series of measures aimed at cutting annual costs by $650m by 2020. The company revealed the plans after publishing fourth-quarter figures showing net income down 29 per […] Read More »

WEST VIRGINIA DELEGATION SENDS LETTER TO SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD OPPOSING NORFOLK SOUTHERN TAKEOVER

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today joined Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) and Representative David McKinley (R-W.Va.) in sending a letter opposing Canadian Pacific Railway’s plan to acquire Norfolk Southern. The letter, sent to U.S. Surface Transportation Board Chairman David Elliot, Vice Chairman Ann Begeman, and board member […] Read More »

Canadian Pacific is putting the brakes on efforts to take over competitor Norfolk Southern, at least for now.

Keith Creel, CP’s president and chief operating officer, said the issue has become unnecessarily politicized and created an environment where the acquisition wouldn’t receive fair consideration by the federal agency charged with approving the plan. “If the politics trump the facts then you’re … wasting your time,” Creel told POLITICO, citing the dozens of lawmakers that […] Read More »

Pennsylvania State Senate Introduces Resolution Opposing CP-NS Merger

PRINTER’S NO. 1504THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIASENATE RESOLUTION No. 262 Session of 2015INTRODUCED BY RAFFERTY, YAW, ALLOWAY, GREENLEAF, VULAKOVICH, SCHWANK, WOZNIAK AND BARTOLOTTA, JANUARY 19, 2016REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION, JANUARY 19, 2016A RESOLUTIONUrging the United States Surface Transportation Board, the United States Department of Justice, the United States Department of Transportation and the Congress of the […] Read More »

Canadian Pacific Seeks DOJ Review of ‘Campaign’ Against Merger

January 19, 2016 10:00AM ET | Bloomberg Government(Bloomberg) — Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. asked the U.S. Justice Department to look into a “collective campaign” by large railroads to block its hostile stock-and-cash bid for Norfolk Southern Corp.The Canadian company said it sent a letter to inform the U.S. government of the “unprecedented action of major […] Read More »

CP asks U.S. Dept. of Justice to review recent meetings of some Class I railroads to oppose CP acquisition of NS

January 19, 2016 9:00AM ET    PR NewswireCALGARY, Jan. 19, 2016 CALGARY, Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Canadian Pacific (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) said today that it has submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, asking it to review recent actions by a number of major U.S. railroads who have stated publicly that they are […] Read More »

January 15, 2016. Senator Baldwin Sends Letter to STB Expressing Potential Merger Concerns.

The Honorable Daniel R. Elliott III Chairman United States Surface Transportation Board 395 E Street, SW Washington, DC 20423Dear Chairman Elliott: I write today about potential consolidation within the freight rail industry. Wisconsin’s economy relies on a quality and responsive railroad system that allows businesses to move their goods to market. For that reason, I […] Read More »

Illinois House Republican Delegation Write Letter to STB Expressing Concerns

Congress of the United StatesWashington, DC 20515January 15, 2015The Honorable Daniel R. Elliott III, Chainnan U.S. Surface Transpo1iation Board 395 E Street, SW Washington, DC 20423-0001The Honorable Debra Miller, Vice Chairman U.S. Surface Transpo1iation Board 395 E Street, SW Washington, DC 20423-0001The Honorable Ann D. Begeman, Commissioner U.S. Surface Transportation Board 395 E Street, SW […] Read More »

FRA to Scrutinize “Significant Safety Hurdles” from Major Railroad Mergers

Move could place another obstacle in way of Canadian Pacific’s uphill effort to combine with Norfolk Southern By TED MANN and LAURA STEVENS Updated Jan. 15, 2016 1:33 p.m. ET Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. faces an additional obstacle in its uphill effort to combine with Norfolk Southern Corp., as federal regulators are concerned that mergers […] Read More »

Canadian Pacific unveils new website to promote NS merger proposal

Rail News: Canadian Pacific. 1/11/6Canadian Pacific yesterday launched a new website that highlights what the Class I says would be the benefits of its proposed merger with Norfolk Southern Corp.The website provides details of CP’s proposal, along with details of its next steps in the effort to acquire NS, according to a CP press release.CP […] Read More »

STB now showing the letters

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief Everything is out in the open, as it should be. Today (January 8, 2016), the Surface Transportation Board established a page on its website, “Major Railroad Mergers and Consolidations Correspondence,” that contains all the correspondence connected to the proposed merger of Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern. The correspondence is in […] Read More »

Norfolk Finds Allies in Spurning Ackerman-Backed CP Takeover Bid

(Bloomberg) — Norfolk Southern Corp. is gaining political and customer support for rejecting Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s takeover bid, which could make it harder for the Canadian company and investor Bill Ackman to wage a proxy fight.  The U.S. Surface Transportation Board on Friday posted on its website 17 letters from shippers and lawmakers expressing […] Read More »

House Democrats Oppose Canadian Pacific Takeover. Press Release and Letter.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Michael Capuano (D-MA) sent a letter strongly urging the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to reject a potential hostile takeover or acquisition of the Norfolk Southern Corporation […] Read More »

2015

Surface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel R. Elliot Announced Details of STB Reauthorization Act.

Surface Transportation BoardFOR RELEASEContact: Dennis Watson (202) 245-023412/21/2015 (Monday)Michael HigginsNo. 15-19(202) 245-0238FIRS 1 (800) 877-8339www.stb.dot.govSURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD CHAIRMAN DANIEL R. ELLIOT ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF STB REAUTHORIZATION ACTSurface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III today announced details of the Board’s implementation of the STB Reauthorization Act of 2015. Effective December 18, 2015, the Reauthorization Act […] Read More »

Durbin Leads Illinois Members in Registering Concern with Oversight Agency Over Proposed Freight Merger.

MEMBERS WRITE TO STB REGARDING THE PROPOSED CP-NS MERGER’S POTENTIAL IMPACT ON CHICAGO, ILLINOIS RAIL NETWORK[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – In response to a proposed merger between two of Illinois’ rail operators – Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS) – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) led a letter to the Surface Transportation Board urging […] Read More »

Senator Klobuchar Raises Concerns About Potential Canadian Pacific Railway/Norfolk Southern Railway Merger

Combined, the two railroads would have approximately $17 billion in annual revenue and would operate approximately 34,000 miles of track; in a letter to the Attorney General and Surface Transportation Board Chairman, Klobuchar said one of the most concerning aspects of the potential merger is that the railroad’s current antitrust exemption prevents the Department of […] Read More »

Rail Shippers Oppose Canadian Pacific-Norfolk Southern Merger -Survey

The Cowen survey found 71% of rail shippers did not support Canadian Pacific Railway’s proposed acquisition of Norfolk Southern Corp., fearing fewer options and higher prices. By LORETTA CHAO Dec. 7, 2015 1:15 p.m. ET Rail shippers largely oppose Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s proposed acquisition ofNorfolk Southern Corp., according to a survey by Cowen and Co. The survey found […] Read More »

FRCA Joins Over 100 Industry Groups Urging the U.S. House of Representatives to Pass STB Reauthorization.

The Honorable Paul Ryan Speaker of the House of Representatives Washington, DC  20515 The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Minority Leader of the House of Representatives Washington, DC  20515 Dear Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi: The Rail Customer Coalition (RCC) strongly supports swift House passage of S. 808, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015. […] Read More »

Thune Statement on Enactment of Legislation to Continue Highway Funding, Avert a Railroad Shutdown.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement on President Barack Obama signing H.R. 3819, a bill that authorizes highway funding through November 20, 2015, and averts a railroad service shutdown through an extension of the legal deadline for implementing positive train control technology. Sen. Thune […] Read More »

FRCA Sends Second Letter to Capitol Hill Urging Congress to Pursue PTC Deadline Extension As Soon As Possible

The Honorable Mitch McConnellMajority LeaderS-230, U.S. CapitolWashington, DC 20510The Honorable Harry ReidMinority LeaderS-221, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC 20510The Honorable John BoehnerSpeaker of the HouseH-232, U.S. CapitolWashington, DC 20515The Honorable Nancy PelosiMinority LeaderH-204, U.S. CapitolWashington, DC 20515Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, and Leader Pelosi –The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) joins with the nation’s railroads, […] Read More »

FRCA Joins 135 Other Organizations Urging Congress to Pursue PTC Deadline Extension as Part of Next Highway Sort-Term Extension

The Honorable Mitch McConnellMajority LeaderS-230, U.S. CapitolWashington, DC 20510The Honorable Harry ReidMinority LeaderS-221, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC 20510The Honorable John Boehner Speaker of the HouseH-232, U.S. CapitolWashington, DC 20515The Honorable Nancy PelosiMinority LeaderH-204, U.S. CapitolWashington, DC 20515Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi,The undersigned organizations representing American farmers, manufacturers, retailers, energy providers and […] Read More »

FRCA Joins Forces with Industry Stakeholders Urging Congress to Extend PTC Deadline

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS: The undersigned organizations representing American farmers, manufacturers, retailers, energy providers and other freight rail customers are concerned that large portions of the American rail network will be forced to shut down at year’s end without Congressional action to extend the deadline for the rail industry to fully […] Read More »

Freight Rail Customers Alliance (FRCA) Requests Support for Extension of Positive Train Control (PTC)

Dear Member of Congress:On behalf of the Freight Rail Customers Alliance (FRCA), I urge you today to support legislation extending the December 31, 2015 deadline for implementation of positive train control (PTC) by the nation’s freight railroads.PTC is a communications and signaling system that has been identified by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as […] Read More »

Freight Rail Customer Alliance Launches – Advocating for Rail-Dependent Shippers

Customers United for Rail Equality Becomes Freight Rail Customer Alliance WASHINGTON – September 10, 2015 – A long-time advocate for freight rail shippers today announced a new name and a new advocacy approach. “The new Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) is a diverse and broad Washington, D.C.-based alliance for freight rail customers working together across […] Read More »

FRCA Announces $10 Million for States to Improve Highway-Rail Crossings, Track Along Energy Routes

Federal Railroad Administration September 2, 2015 https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L17033 WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced that it is soliciting applications for $10 million in competitive grant funding available to states to improve highway-rail grade crossings and track along routes that transport energy products like crude oil and ethanol. The guidelines for the grant applications […] Read More »

FRCA Issue Priorities for the 114th Congress

During the current 114th Congress, the Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) supports the following legislation: Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 S. 808 (S. Rpt. 114-52) Provides the first authorization for the STB since 1998 and establishes basic reforms and process enhancements for the Board.   [Refer to Side-by-Side insert for more information.] Rail […] Read More »

CURE Files Written Comments to STB as Revenue Adequacy Hearing Starts

For Immediate Release: July 21, 2015Contact: Ann Warner   202.465.8716 WASHINGTON, DC —David Sauer, president of Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) today praised the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for holding a public hearing on railroad revenue adequacy (Docket No. EP 722). In announcing the hearing in May, then-Acting Surface Transportation Board Chair Deb Miller stated that, “given […] Read More »

July 21, 2015, CURE Submitted Comments-STB Revenue Adequacy Hearing.

BEFORE THE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARDDOCKET NO. EP 722 RAILROAD REVENUE ADEQUACYDOCKET NO. EP 664 (Sub-No. 2)PETITION OF THE WESTERN COAL TRAFFIC LEAGUE TO INSTITUTE A RULEMAKING PROCEEDING TO ABOLISH THE USE OF THE MULTI-STAGE DISCOUNTED CASH FLOW MODEL IN DETERMINING THE RAILROAD INDUSTRY’S COST OF EQUITY CAPITALCONSUMERS UNITED FOR RAIL EQUITY WRITTEN SUBMISSION FOR PUBLIC […] Read More »

CURE Compliments Elliott on Senate Confirmation to the STB.

For Immediate Release:  June 22, 2015Contact: Ann Warner202.465.8716 WASHINGTON, DC — David Sauer, president of Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) issued the following statement on today’s vote by the U.S. Senate to confirm Daniel R. Elliott III to a second term on the Surface Transportation Board (STB): “While chairman of the STB, Mr. Elliott earned the respect […] Read More »

CURE Praises U.S. Senate on Passage of STB Reauthorization.

For Immediate Release:June 18, 2015Contact: Ann Warner202.465.8716  WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) today congratulated the U.S. Senate for passing legislation reauthorizing the Surface Transportation Board for the first time since the agency was created in 1995. “The Surface Transportation Board (STB) Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S.808), is the first railroad reform measure since […] Read More »

CURE Hails Senate Commerce Vote on Confirmation of Elliott to STB

For Immediate Release: May 20, 2015Contact: Ann Warner 202-465-8716CURE Hails Senate Commerce Vote on Confirmation of Elliott to STBWASHINGTON, DC — Today’s voice vote by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to confirm Daniel R. Elliott III to serve a second term on the Surface Transportation Board (STB) is a key step to bringing […] Read More »

CURE Praises Senate Committee for Holding STB Confirmation Hearing

For Immediate Release: May 6, 2015Contact: Ann WarnerWASHINGTON, DC — Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) today praised the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee for holding a hearing on the confirmation of Daniel R. Elliott III to serve a second term on the Surface Transportation Board.Mr. Elliott’s previous term on the STB, including his […] Read More »

CURE Letter of Support for Daniel Elliott

April 20, 2015  The Honorable John Thune, Chairman Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee 253 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510  The Honorable Bill Nelson, Ranking Member Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee 253 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510   Dear Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson:  Consumers United for Rail Equity […] Read More »

CURE Praises Senate Commerce Committee for Approving STB Reauthorization Bill on March 25, 2015

For Immediate Release March 25, 2015 Contact: Ann Warner 202.465.8716 WASHINGTON, D.C. – David Sauer, President of Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE), called today’s bipartisan approval by the Senate Commerce Committee of legislation reauthorizing the Surface Transportation Board (STB) a “major step toward reforming the 20-year-old agency.” "The STB’s is meant to provide oversight […] Read More »

CURE Praises Introduction of “Rail Shipper Fairness Act of 2015”

For Immediate Release: March 24, 2015 Contact: Ann Warner 202.465.8716 WASHINGTON, D.C. – David Sauer, President of Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE), praised today’s introduction of the Rail Shipper Fairness Act of 2105 by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). “Senator Baldwin has been a forceful advocate of freight rail shippers dating back to her time […] Read More »

CURE Press Release Supporting Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015

For Immediate Release: March 19, 2015 Contact: Ann Warner  202-465-8716 WASHINGTON, D.C. – David Sauer, President of Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE), praised today’s introduction of bipartisan legislation reauthorizing the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for the first time in the agency’s 20-year history. “On behalf of CURE’s members and all freight rail shippers, I […] Read More »

Hearing: How the Changing Energy Markets Will Affect U.S. Transportation

2167 Rayburn House Office Building Tuesday, February 03, 2015 @ 10:00 | Contact: Contact: Jim Billimoria 202-225-9446 This is a hearing of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.   Summary of Subject Matter Witness List:   Mr. Edward R. Hamberger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Association of American Railroads Mr. Jack N. Gerard, […] Read More »

Hearings: Subcommittee to Convene Hearing on Surface Transportation Network

Republican Press Office – (202) 224-1251 Jan 29 2015 10:00 AM Senate Russell Office Buildomg – 253 WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) will convene the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security on Thursday, January 29, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. for its first hearing of the 114th Congress entitled, […] Read More »

Hearings: Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce

Republican Press Office – (202) 224-1251 Jan 28 2015 10:00 AM Senate Russell Office Building – 253 The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will convene a full committee hearing, “Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce” on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, at 10 a.m. The hearing will focus on challenges facing our nation’s […] Read More »

Committee Hearing to Examine Freight Rail Transportation Challenges

Republican Press Office 202-224-1246 Jan 21 2015 WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today announced that the committee will convene a full committee hearing, “Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce” on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, at 10 a.m. The hearing will focus […] Read More »

Consumers United for Rail Equity Names Transportation Advocate Ann Warner To Serve As Interim Executive Director

Alexandria, VA – Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) today announced that transportation advocate Ann Warner will serve as interim executive director during the restructuring of the coalition of freight rail shippers. The announcement was made by CURE President David Sauer (chief operating officer and senior vice president of Dakota Gasification Company) and Immediate Past […] Read More »

2014

Consumers United for Rail Equity Announces New Leadership and New Mission

Alexandria, VA –Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE) today announced its 2015 volunteer leadership and its plans to restructure the coalition of freight rail shippers. At its recent annual meeting in Arlington VA, the coalition appointed the following officers: President: David Sauer, chief operating officer and senior vice president of Dakota Gasification Company (Dakota Gas), […] Read More »

APPA, EEI, NARUC, and NRECA Urge STB to Monitor Rail Service Issues

On April 9, 2014, the American Public Power Association (APPA), the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) commending the the STB for opening a proceeding, Ex Parte 724, to examine rail service issues […] Read More »

Senate Confirms Deb Miller as STB Commissioner

Senate Confirms Deb Miller as STB Commissioner April 7, 2014 Read More »

CURE Comments on Shipper Testimony to National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board

Contact: Steve Sharp 501-570-2467 Steve.Sharp@aecc.com   March 17, 2014   RAIL REGULATION REFORMS NECESSARY TO ENSURE  COMPETITIVE RAIL SERVICE   WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday March 14, 2013, the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board (TRB), heard testimony from railroads and rail shippers as the TRB sought input for its comprehensive study of the nation’s […] Read More »

CURE Urges Senate Leaders to Confirm Miller as STB Commissioner

CURE Letter to Senate Leadership Urges Confirmation of Ms. Debra Miller as Commissioner at the Surface Transportation Board Read More »

CURE Applauds Commerce Committee Vote for Deb Miller

CURE Applauds Commerce Committee Vote for Deb Miller January 14, 2014 Contact: Mark Hayes | 703.907.5652 | mark.hayes@nreca.coop WASHINGTON, D.C. – Steve Sharp, of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and President of Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE), welcomed the unanimous support of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee for Deb Miller as a member of […] Read More »

 

News

Changes and New Faces in 115th Congress

The new 115th Congress got underway in January and was promptly faced with the challenges of a new Administration. The U.S. Senate began the process of confirming President Trump’s Cabinet, with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao among the first to be approved.  Once the Senate approves the President’s cabinet, it will move on […] Read More »

FRCA Issue Priorities for the 115th Congress

In January, the Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) Board of Directors approved its issue priorities for the 115th Congress. FRCA supports the following legislative issues and proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board).   Legislative Issues Surface Transportation Board (STB) Reauthorization Act of 2015, P.L. 114-110 Congressional Oversight & Implementation Continued STB implementation […] Read More »

President Trump Names Ann Begeman as Acting STB Chairman

On January 25, President Donald J. Trump designated Ann Begeman to serve as Acting Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board). Acting Chairman Begeman is currently serving a second, five-year term as a Member of the Board following her recent nomination by President Barack Obama on December 7, 2016, and her subsequent unanimous […] Read More »

The Impact and Potential Impact of Executive Orders and White House Memos on the STB and Other Independent Regulatory Agencies

Since taking office in January, President Trump has been actively using his executive powers to direct the course of government activity.  Of note are: On Inauguration Day, January 20, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a Memorandum directing agencies to delay any new regulations by sixty days to permit further review. This Memorandum […] Read More »

Freight Rail Customer Alliance Responds to Association of American Railroads

In an ongoing series of paid content articles, guest editorials, and “third party submissions” in traditional and digital media outlets around the country, along with lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) warns that pending regulatory action could hurt the nation’s economy.The freight railroad lobby is targeting pending Surface Transportation Board […] Read More »

FRCA Testifies before U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on STB Reauthorization Act Implementation

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Technology (SCOM) Committee held a field hearing on implementation of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) Reauthorization Act of 2015 (Act) on August 11 in Sioux Falls, SD.Convened by Committee Chairman, Senator John Thune (R-SD), the hearing provided an opportunity for shippers, including Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) Board member Thomas […] Read More »

NEW FRCA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Please welcome the Western Fuels Association to the Freight Rail Customer Alliance! Western Fuels Association (WFA) is a not-for profit cooperative that supplies coal and transportation services to consumer-owned electric utilities throughout the Great Plains, Rocky Mountains and Southwest regions of the United States.  Serving a wide variety of public power entities ranging from rural electric […] Read More »

STB Releases Report on Rate Case Methodologies Conclusions Reached of Concern to FRCA

On September 22nd, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) issued the long-awaited final report examining rate case methodologies, An Examination of the STB’s Approach to Freight Rail Rate Regulation and Options for Simplification (Report). The study was commissioned by STB Chairman Daniel R. Elliott to provide an independent assessment of the Board’s stand-alone cost […] Read More »

FRCA Participation in STB Proceedings

The Freight Rail Customer Alliance (FRCA) continues to advocate on behalf of its members, and particularly freight-rail dependent shippers, before the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board). The STB is moving forward on numerous proceedings, due in large part to the implementation of the STB Reauthorization Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-110). The proceedings are providing […] Read More »

Election 2016 Outlook for Freight Rail Issues

The 2016 Elections could bring some significant changes to congressional committees with jurisdiction over freight rail shipper issues, no matter which party wins the White House.The next President will have the opportunity to nominate as many as three members of the Surface Transportation Board in 2017.  Current Board Member Ann Begeman’s one-year holdover period expires […] Read More »

House Approves Extension of Surface Transportation Programs and Positive Train Control Deadline

Contact: Jim Billimoria, Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 Washington, DC – The House of Representatives today approved bipartisan legislation that funds and extends the authorization for federal highway and transit programs through November 20th, and that prevents a shutdown of the U.S. rail transportation system by extending the deadline for implementation of Positive Train Control technology. […] Read More »

H.R. 3819, Highway & PTC Extension

By Danielle Parnass and Michael Smallberg | October 26, 2015 (Bloomberg Government) — Federal highway, transit and safety programs would be extended through Nov. 20 under H.R. 3819, which would also extend a deadline for railroads to implement a safety system known as positive train control (PTC). The highway programs were most recently extended in […] Read More »

Nation’s Rail Service Threatened as Deadline for Safety System Looms

By RON NIXON The New York Times September 28, 2015 WASHINGTON — Even after spending nearly $6 billion, the rail industry says it will not be able to meet its year-end government-imposed deadline to install a system known as positive train control, which is intended to prevent collisions or derailments caused by excessive speed. The […] Read More »

In reversal, there are grain trains galore

James MacPherson STERLING, N.D. — The grain elevator that towers over this small prairie town has been humming with workers loading crops onto rail cars destined for domestic and worldwide markets. It’s a welcome sight in Sterling, North Dakota, and across the upper Great Plains, where in the past two years grain elevators overflowed and […] Read More »

NORFOLK SOUTHERN: STB Findings Still Subject to Appeal

The findings entered by the Surface Transportation Board in the complaints filed by DuPont and Sunbelt Chlor Alkai Partnership against Norfolk Southern Corporation remain subject to technical corrections, requests for reconsideration, and appeal, the Company disclosed in its Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. […] Read More »

Mixed news reported for coal shipments

By Daniel Tyson REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 3:00 am An upward swing in Central Appalachian daily coal train loading last week pushed national loading volumes up the highest since May. The Surface Transportation Board’s data shows the four major U.S. railroads showed an average of 22.2 trains were loaded each day with […] Read More »

Quadrennial Energy Review Recommends Improved Understanding of Rail Congestion Impacts

A Federal government review of the nation’s energy infrastructure acknowledges the impact of railroad congestion on energy and agricultural commodities.  It recommends that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) improve its understanding of how rail congestion impacts the delivery of coal and ethanol. The first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), released April 21, 2015 by the U.S. […] Read More »

Railroads Respond to STB Requests to Provide Service Outlook

MINNEAPOLIS (DTN) — Will the nation’s railroads be ready for harvest? That’s the question transportation regulators, and grain shippers want answered ahead of harvest this fall following last year’s lengthy and widespread backlogs. On July 13, Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Dan Elliot sent a letter to all the Class 1 railroads asking them if […] Read More »

Abundant Grain Trains Available for North Dakota Harvest

The grain elevator that towers over this small prairie town has been humming with workers loading crops onto rail cars destined for domestic and worldwide markets. It’s a welcome sight in Sterling, North Dakota, and across the upper Great Plains, where in the past two years grain elevators overflowed and mountains of wheat, corn, soybeans […] Read More »

In reversal, abundant grain trains available for harvest

James Macpherson | The Associated Press STERLING, N.D. — The grain elevator that towers over this small prairie town has been humming with workers loading crops onto rail cars destined for domestic and worldwide markets. It’s a welcome sight in Sterling, North Dakota, and across the upper Great Plains, where in the past two years […] Read More »

Powder River Basin coal loading volumes remain steady, high: STB

Houston (Platts) Coal train loadings from the Powder River Basin have continued at volumes last seen during the winter, the most recent reports filed with the Surface Transportation Board showed. Data in EP 724 filings from the four major US railroads Thursday showed on average 74.1 trains/d were loaded each day with PRB coal during […] Read More »

PTC: It’s the deadline, stupid

Tuesday, August 11, 2015Written by  Frank N. Wilner, Contributing Editor Syntax-challenged George W. Bush was bang-on correct in saying, “You got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in.” So it is with Positive Train Control (PTC)—a $14 billion safety overlay utilizing computers, transponders and GPS to stop […] Read More »

Belt Railway Clears Track for More Efficiency

Better communication with railroads speeds traffic through key railroad junctionBy Bob Tita Updated Aug. 11, 2015 7:30 p.m. ET BEDFORD PARK, Ill.—The warren of winding tracks here is a central front in the rail industry’s push to become a more efficient mover of time-sensitive freight. Though little-known, Belt Railway Co. oversees a critical junction for the North American […] Read More »

Hundreds of trains to miss year-end PTC deadline, FRA says

By Jennifer Scholtes | 8/7/15 6:05 PM EDTPolitico More than 700 trains will need another three to five years to install the safety technology that could have prevented this spring’s deadly Amtrak crash, federal regulators say in a new report — the latest acknowledgment that the industry is nowhere close to meeting the Dec. 31 deadline […] Read More »

Freight Rail Traffic Tumbles on Falling Coal, Oil Demand Carloads carrying energy products declined at a double-digit rate in July, the Association of American Railroads says

ByBrian Baskin and Alison SiderAug. 7, 2015 5:29 p.m. ETWall Street JournalA Norfolk Southern train carrying intermodal containers. Growth in intermodal business has not offset the steep decline in energy-related demand for rail transport. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS Rail traffic fell in July from a year ago as an increase in container volumes couldn’t offset a steep […] Read More »

How Much Money Do Railroads Need?

Posted By Steven Johnson On August 3, 2015 @ 4:00 am  A coalition of freight rail customers says it’s time for the Surface Transportation Board to change the way it looks at the industry’s bottom line so they can get a fairer shake in dealing with railroads.Railroad customers want regulators to change the way they […] Read More »

U.S. energy traffic jam

BY MARKUS I. BRYANT, GENERAL MANAGERLast month, I reported on the Obama administration’s Department of Energy (DOE) releasing its first-ever Quadrennial (every fourth year) Energy Review (QER). As regular readers of this column know, I have been harshly critical of the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-proposed rules for limiting greenhouse gases emitted by burning […] Read More »

Daniel R. Elliott III Sworn In as Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board

June 26, 2015Surface Transportation Board Press Release Daniel R. Elliott III was sworn in June 26, 2015, as the Board’s Chairman, pledging to continue to promote transparency and to improve and streamline regulation of the Nation’s freight railroads.He was nominated to the Board by President Barack Obama on January 13, 2015 for a four year term […] Read More »

New Report Says U.S. Freight Rail Regulations Outdated, Recommends Modernization Efforts

Transportation Research Board/National Academy of SciencesJune 10, 2015WASHINGTON – While a 1980 reform law enabled the modernization and stabilization of the U.S. freight railroad industry, federal regulation has not kept pace with the industry’s transformation and should be replaced with a system better-suited for today’s freight rail system, says a new congressionally mandated report from […] Read More »

Board Recommends Updating Regulation of Freight Rates

Greenwire/E&E Publishing, Sean ReillyJune 10, 2015The existing federal framework for regulating freight railroad rates has outlived its usefulness and needs an overhaul, an advisory panel said in a report released today. Following the resurgence of freight rail companies since enactment of a 1980 deregulation law, “this is just not the same industry in almost any respect,” […] Read More »

STB Should Restrike Balance for Shippers

May 25, 2015, Agweek, Mike Pateshttp://www.agweek.com/event/article/id/26387/group/Agribusiness/The U.S. Surface Transportation Board recently announced it will hold hearings in June to address whether the system for challenging rail rates can or should be made simpler and less expensive.It’s “long overdue,” says Deb Miller, acting STB chairwoman, in a press release.That’s an understatement.The last grain case filed with […] Read More »

Severe Fuel Supply Emergency Response Act of 2015 Introduced to Coordinate Response when Unreliable Rail Service Threatens Coal Supplies at Minnesota Power Plants

May 26, 2015, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) Press Release.https://www.franken.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=3160  Sen. Franken’s New Measure Would Coordinate Response When Unreliable Rail Service Threatens Coal Supplies at Minnesota Power PlantsSenator Says Temporary Shutdowns at Minnesota Utilities Last Winter Showed Need for Plan When Coal Stockpiles Dwindle to Dangerous Levels WASHINGTON, D.C. [05/26/15]— U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has introduced a […] Read More »

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Approved (and reported out of Committee) the Nomination of Daniel R. Elliott III to Serve as Member on the Surface Transportation Board

May 20, 2015, Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Press Release.WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation passed 13 bills and approved nominations for three agencies. Bills and nominations passed are as follows: 1.    S. 1331, Seasonal Forecasting Improvement Act, Sponsor: Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)                a.    Passed with Booker amendment                b.    Passed […] Read More »

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to Vote on STB Member-Nominee Daniel Elliott.

Executive Session Scheduled for May 20Markup of thirteen bills and three nominationsRepublican Press Office – (202) 224-1251May 14 2015WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. to consider legislation and nominations. Agenda:1.    S. 1331, Seasonal Forecasting Improvement Act, […] Read More »

Rail Industry and Government Struggle to Balance Safety and Efficiency in Shipments

May 17, 2015, By Jim SpencerStar Tribune WASHINGTON — Bob Zelenka, executive director of the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association, sums up the current rail shipping conditions for Minnesota grain farmers in a single sentence:“What a difference a year makes.”A transportation crisis driven by more crude oil trains and bitterly cold temperatures in 2013-2014 turned into […] Read More »

BNSF Cuts Back Grain Car Delays

May 17, 2015, The Bismarck Tribune, APRIL BAUMGARTEN Forum News Service More cars and less cargo means fewer delays. That’s what officials said last week, referring to the most recent grain by rail numbers. BNSF Railway had 144 outstanding grain cars from May 9-12 in North Dakota, and the company’s trains were an average of 6.8 days […] Read More »

The catalyst that transformed freight rail transport

By Robert E. Gallamore4786The government should tread carefully as it ponders regulatory changes to the U.S. freight rail system.There is history here that Washington — which witnessed the collapse of many private-sector railroads a third of a century ago and bankrolled billions of dollars for their rescue — should well understand. But in case the […] Read More »

RAIL: Freight rates spark hearing clash between industry, customers

Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter Published: Thursday, May 14, 2015 This story was updated at 9:51 a.m. Representatives of the freight rail industry yesterday clashed sharply with its customers on whether the sector needs more regulation to ensure fair shipping rates. At issue: the 1980 Staggers Rail Act, the law that virtually saved the rail […] Read More »

The Fertilizer Institute Calls For Meaningful Surface Transportation Board Reform

May 14, 2015, Fertilizer Institute Press Release, States News Service The following information was released by the Fertilizer Institute:With today’s House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as a backdrop, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) registered its support for policies that will promote greater competition between railroads and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Surface Transportation Board […] Read More »

Railroads Say Freight ate Reforms Could Derail Capacity

May 14, 2015, Chemical News & Intelligence, By Joe Kamalick WASHINGTON (ICIS)–US chemicals producers and a broad range of other manufacturers this week tried to get railroad freight rate reform back on track in Congress, but rail carriers again warned legislators to avoid reforms that could derail capital investments.In [1]a hearing before the House [2]Subcommittee on […] Read More »

Shippers hoist by own petard at House hearing

Written by  Frank N. Wilner, Contributing Editor inShare Poor Mr. Dooley – Calvin, that is, president of the American Chemistry Council and not the fictional Mr. Dooley created during the late 19th century by humorist Finley Peter Dunne. The latter gained library space in Teddy Roosevelt’s White House; the former seemed to hoist himself by […] Read More »

STB to address rail pricing issues at public hearings

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has announced plans for two public hearings on the country’s railways, a sign the federal agency is amping up efforts to address shippers’ frustrations with rail pricing.https://shar.es/1rHdAS Read More »

Sen. Franken Backs Railway Reform Proposal To Help Minnesota Farmers, Businesses Move Goods

May 11, 2015, Senator Al Franken Press Release Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) threw his support behind new legislation to address challenges faced by Minnesota industries that rely on railways to ship their goods.The Rail Shipper Fairness Act, originally sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), aims to reduce costs and improve service problems faced by […] Read More »

Senate Panel Wants Action on Rail Rate Fee Disputes

May 06, 2015 11:43AM (BNA) – If confirmed, Surface Transportation Board member nominee Daniel Elliott faces pressure to make shipping rate fees more competitive and to more quickly resolve rate fee disputes. During a hearing today by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Elliott addressed lawmakers’ concerns that the process of settling rate disputes between railroads […] Read More »

Utilities, railroads spar over 'data for data's sake' for fuel deliveries

Blake Sobczak, E&E reporterPublished: Friday, May 1, 2015Last year, several coal-fired power plants in the Midwest came days away from shutting down as railroads failed to deliver enough fuel during the winter.Now a federal rule to promote transparency in the wake of those disruptions is meeting pushback from the rail industry as service improves.The Surface […] Read More »

Shippers group presses for action on STB nomination

Sean Reilly, E&E reporterPublished: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 A coalition of freight rail shippers is urging the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to move quickly on the nomination of Daniel Elliott for another term on the Surface Transportation Board (STB). “A vacancy at the STB creates uncertainties and delays for the rail shippers that […] Read More »

Commerce Committee Approves Five Bills and Three Nominations

Surface Transportation Board Reforms Approved by Voice Vote Republican Press Office – (202) 224-1251 Mar 25 2015 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved five bills by voice vote and three nominations listed below. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman, issued the following statements: On the bipartisan markup: “Today’s mark-up […] Read More »

Senate Commerce Committee to Mark-up STB Reauthorization Act on March 25, 2015

Markup of five bills and three nominations Republican Press Office – (202) 224-1251 Mar 25 2015 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. to consider the following legislative measures and nominations. All bills under consideration enjoy bipartisan support.   Agenda: […] Read More »

Senate Commerce Committee Chair Tune and Ranking Member Nelson Introduce STB Reauthorization Bill

Featured Legislation Mar 20 2015 U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who respectively serve as the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today announced the introduction of S. 808, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) Reauthorization Act of 2015. The STB is the federal regulatory body […] Read More »

 

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