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Rail News: Shippers

Judge: Railroads' talks should be included in shippers' lawsuits


A federal judge ruled last week that details of conversations between four Class Is should be included in lawsuits involving price-fixing allegations that shippers filed against the rail carriers.

The shippers allege that BNSF Railway Co., CSX, Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad "engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy to coordinate their fuel surcharge program to improve supra-competitive total price increases on their shipping customers," according to the court document.

The judge's ruling can be read here.

The plaintiffs have alleged that the railroads conspired to impose fuel surcharges that far exceeded any of their fuel costs. The shippers' lawsuits have been making their way through the court system for more than a decade.

The railroads have argued that their surcharges were appropriate and legal, and were designed to recover the rising cost of fuel.