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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Chemical shippers endorse proposed study of PSR practices


An organization representing companies that ship chemicals by rail has endorsed language in a federal bill that calls for a study on the impacts of Class Is' adoption of precision scheduled railroading (PSR) operating models in the rail industry.

Last week, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed its long-term surface transportation infrastructure bill known as the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act on a party-line vote of 35 to 25.

The bill includes language that calls for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study of PSR. American Chemistry Council (ACC) President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Jahn said members of his organization would welcome such a study.

"During several hearings, Congress and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) heard testimony from large and small businesses across America, including many of our members that have been hurt by the drastic operational changes adopted by the major railroads as part of their pursuit to implement precision scheduled railroading," Jahn said in a prepared statement. "Changes were often made with little advance notice or consultation with customers and resulted in harmful service reductions and higher shipping costs."

The ACC commends recent STB actions to address some of those problems that have been a result of PSR, including the board's new policies on demurrage charges, Jahn said.

A GAO study would help guide the STB as it "continues to pursue additional freight-rail policy reforms," he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/22/2020