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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB sends fall peak letters to railroads, appoints staff members


As it's done the past few years, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) is soliciting letters from Class Is and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) to learn how railroads plan to manage service demands during the fall peak.

On Aug. 9, STB Chairman Daniel Elliott sent letters to BNSF Railway Co., CN, Canadian Pacific, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern Railway, Union Pacific Railroad and the ASLRRA. Response letters are due to the STB by Sept. 15.

The board is requesting that Class Is and the association — which will represent short lines — provide their plans for handling “critical commodities,” such as agricultural products, coal and intermodal cargo, in late 2010. The railroads also should describe their ability to maintain train speeds, terminal dwell times and cars on line; summarize their service-related investments during the past year; characterize passenger-rail service developments and on-time performance for Amtrak; detail anticipated rail congestion points and efforts to restore service on weather-affected or damaged infrastructure; provide the status of positive train control initiatives; and address their most recent customer service survey.

Meanwhile, the STB also appointed Raymond Atkins general counsel, effective Sept. 1, to succeed Ellen Hanson, who retired last month after 10 years in the post. Atkins has served as an attorney in the board's general counsel's office since 2003 and currently is the STB’s chief of staff.

The STB also named Timothy Strafford chief of staff to succeed Atkins. An attorney in the STB's Office of Proceedings since 1999, Strafford has served as assistant to the office’s director since 2006.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/19/2010