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9/11/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB rejects shippers' rate complaints for two coal moves


The Surface Transportation Board (STB) recently rendered decisions in two railroad rate complaint proceedings: AEP Texas North Co. vs. BNSF Railway Co.; and Western Fuels Association Inc. and Basin Electric Power Cooperative vs. BNSF. And in both cases, STB determined the rates BNSF charged to haul coal from Wyoming's Powder River Basin weren’t “unreasonable.”

AEP Texas North had challenged a BNSF rate of about $18 to haul a ton of coal 1,200 miles; Western Fuels Association, a rate of about $6 to haul a ton of coal 200 miles. In each case, the shipper “had not shown that the challenged rates are unreasonable” under STB’s “stand-alone cost” (SAC) rate test, according to a Sept. 10 STB statement.

But STB also gave the shippers the option of revising their cases in light of the board’s recent changes to the SAC methodology, which were made after the complaints were filed. The shippers must let STB know by Oct. 10 if they’re planning to submit revisions.



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