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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB's shipper assistance program lends hand to 120 companies in 2004

Last week, the Surface Transportation Board announced its four-year-old Rail Consumer Assistance Program helped 120 rail shippers and other companies with various inquiries and complaints last year. The concerns ranged from rates and other charges to car supply and service issues to damage claims to employee and community complaints.

Launched in November 2000 and managed by the STB's Office of Compliance and Enforcement, the program is designed to informally assist rail shippers with disputes or problems they can't resolve with a railroad. Board members use the program to identify issues, develop alternative problem-solving approaches to litigation and improve communication within the rail industry.

Since 2000, the program has handled more that 425 concerns. Shippers can submit inquiries or complaints, or obtain information via the Internet (, a toll-free telephone number (866-254-1792), fax (202-565-9011), e-mail ( or mail (1925 K St. NW, Suite 780, Washington, D.C. 20423-0001).

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/10/2005