April 13, 2022: Federal Register
Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) will hold a public hearing on April 26 and 27, 2022, on recent rail service problems and recovery efforts involving several Class I carriers. The hearing will be held in the Hearing Room of the Board's headquarters, located at 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423-0001. The Board will direct executive-level officials, including operating and human resources officials, of BNSF Railway Company (BNSF), CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT), Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR), and Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) to appear to discuss:
- the recent rail service problems,
- each carrier's ongoing and planned efforts to improve service, and
- each carrier's estimated timeline for recovery of normal service levels.
The Board will also invite and welcome the attendance of executive-level officials, including operating and human resources officials, of Canadian National Railway Company (CN), Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCS), and Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP). In addition, the Board will provide other carriers, rail customers, labor organizations, and other interested parties the opportunity to report on recent service issues and service recovery efforts.
The hearing will be held on April 26 and 27, 2022, beginning at 9:30 a.m. each day, in the Hearing Room of the Board's headquarters and will be open for public observation. The hearing will be available for viewing on the Board's website. Any person wishing to speak at the hearing should file with the Board a notice of intent to participate (identifying the party, proposed speaker, and amount of time requested) as soon as possible but no later than April 14, 2022. Submission of written testimony by hearing participants is optional; any such written testimony, and written comments by any other interested persons, may be submitted by April 22, 2022.
Rail network reliability is essential to the Nation's economy and is a foremost priority of the Board. In recent weeks, the Board has heard informally from a broad range of stakeholders about inconsistent and unreliable rail service. These challenges include tight car supply and unfilled car orders, delays in transportation for carload and bulk traffic, increased origin dwell time for released unit trains, missed switches, and ineffective customer assistance. Moreover, the Board has received several recent reports, from the Secretary of Agriculture, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, and other stakeholders, about the serious impact of these service trends on rail users, particularly with respect to shippers of agricultural and energy products.
The Board also encourages affected rail customers, shipper organizations, labor organizations, and other interested parties to appear at the public hearing to discuss their service concerns and comment on carriers' efforts toward service recovery.