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10/7/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Montana freight-rate association joins Alliance for Rail Competition



Montana Citizens Freight Rate Association (MCFRA) recently became a member of the Alliance for Rail Competition (ARC), a coalition of rail shippers that aims to increase rail-to-rail competition through legislation.

Founded in 1956, MCFRA "maintains a presence in rail freight-rate issues," according to a prepared statement.

"Montana's economy requires strong, financially secure rail transportation, but it also requires that [rail] rates and services must be fair," said MCFRA President Viggo Andersen. "Montana pays the highest freight rates in the nation because [the state] is the most captive to a single railroad, and the answer to lifting this burden is increasing competition in the rail industry."

ARC is interested in obtaining members that are involved in their local communities, said ARC Chairman and Montana resident Terry Whiteside.

"The desire for competitive rail service and rates is really reaching a critical mass in the countryside," he said.

ARC members include representatives from the agriculture, coal, chemical, petrochemical, utility, steel, forest and paper products, and glass-producing industries.



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