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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

STB won't delay schedule for considering reciprocal switching regs


The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has denied a request to extend the procedural schedule for the board’s proposed reciprocal switching regulations.

All procedural dates remain unchanged, including those for the public hearing beginning on March 15, STB officials said in a press release issued late last week.

The decision, and the scheduled public hearing, concerns the proposed reciprocal switching regulations under which the board would exercise its authority to require rail carriers to establish switching arrangements in certain circumstances.

On Jan. 10, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) filed a motion to extend the procedural schedule. Specifically, the AAR asked the STB for a 75-day continuance of the schedule, including a corresponding continuance of the public hearing or, alternatively, to extend the deadline for written submissions to March 7. As part of its alternative request, AAR also asked that the board permit submission of supplemental written comments "within a reasonable time" following the hearing.

But the board found that the amount of notice and time for preparation was sufficient and that the AAR’s alternative request for extension of the comment deadline would hinder the board’s and hearing participants’ ability to review parties’ submissions before the hearing.

The STB will determine after the hearing whether to allow supplemental written comments, board officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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