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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Surface Transportation Board (STB) yesterday wrote to each Class I to address certain service issues related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In letters to the Class Is' chief executive officers, FRA Administrator Ronald Batory and STB members said they've been made aware of concerns such as "missed industrial switches and excessively late or annulled trains due to crew availability issues."
The letters stress the importance of crew availability, safety, equipment resources and communication between rail carriers and shippers as the economy recovers from the pandemic, FRA and STB leaders said.
"It is our expectation that there will be heightened emphasis on improving employee availability, equipment resources and robust communication to quickly resolve service issues as they arise and to prevent them from becoming widespread," the letters state.
The agencies' leaders also commended the railroads for their efforts to provide service during the pandemic, noting that the agencies have received "many positive reports" during formal and informal interactions with industry stakeholders.
The letters can be read on the STB's website.