Surface Transportation Board Seeks Nominations for Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council and Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee Vacancies On November 3, 2014, the Board announced that it is seeking nominations of two small railroad representatives to fill vacancies on the Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC), and nominations of a downstream domestic petroleum industry representative and an electric utility industry representative to fill vacancies on the Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC). To learn more about RSTAC and its vacancies, click here. To learn more about RETAC and its vacancies, click here.
Rail Service Updates “Quick Link” The Board has made available a Rail Service Updates quick link to a page on this site providing easy access to all incoming filings, reports, and agency decisions in U.S. Rail Service Issues, EP 724. To access this information, click “Rail Service Updates” under “Quick Links” at the top-right of this homepage, or click here.
Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Request for Comment Issued on CSXT Request for Acquisition and Joint Use of Louisville & Indiana Railroad Company Line. The STB’s Office of Environmental Analysis has issued a Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Request for Comments on CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) and Louisville & Indiana Railroad Co.’s (L&I) proposal seeking Board authority for CSXT to acquire from the L&I, and jointly use with it, a perpetual, non-exclusive operating easement over the L&I rail line between Indianapolis, Ind. and Louisville, Ky. To view the Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Request for Comment, click here.
Environmental Notices: Canaveral Port Authority Petition to Build and Operate Rail-Line Extension to Port Canaveral, Fla. To provide Port Canaveral, Brevard County, Florida with direct access to freight rail service, the Canaveral Port Authority plans to file a request with the STB to build and operate approximately 11 miles of new railroad line from a point near the Port’s North Cargo Area to connect with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s John F. Kennedy Space Center’s existing rail line. To view the Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS, Notice of its Draft Scope of Study, Notice of Scoping Meetings, and Request for Comments on the Draft Scope, click here.
Railroads’ Fall Peak-Season Service Plans.
Since 2004, the Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board has annually requested the railroad industry to explain its plans to handle increased traffic volumes associated with the traditional fall "peak shipping season." To view STB Chairman Daniel R. Elliott’s 2014 fall peak-season letter to the railroads, and the railroads’ respective responses, click here.
STB Authorizes CHSRA to Construct Fresno-Bakersfield, Calif., Passenger Railroad Line, Subject to Environmental Mitigation Conditions
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has issued a decision authorizing the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) to construct a 114-mile, high-speed passenger rail line between Fresno and Bakersfield, Calif., which will be the second section of the planned statewide California High-Speed Train System. The authorization is subject to environmental mitigation conditions, including a condition that CHSRA build the route designated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) as environmentally preferable and comply with mitigation imposed by FRA in its Record of Decision, as well as three additional environmental conditions. To see the STB’s August 12, 2014 decision in California High-Speed Rail Authority—Construction Exemption—in Fresno, Kings, Tulare, & Kern Counties, Cal., FD 35724 (Sub-No. 1), click here.
Draft Environmental Assessment issued in Hartwell Railroad proposal to build connecting track to CSXT in Elbert County, Georgia.
On July 1, 2014, the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis issued a Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) analyzing the potential environmental effects of a proposal by Hartwell Railroad Company (Hartwell) to construct approximately 1,360 feet of track, in Elbert County, Georgia, to allow Hartwell to connect its existing Toccoa-Elberton Line and the existing Abbeville Subdivision of CSX Transportation, Inc. The proposal would reestablish a prior rail connection, formerly owned by Norfolk Southern Railway Company. To view the Draft EA in Hartwell Railroad Company—Construction of Connecting Track Exemption—in Elbert County, Ga., FD 35756, click here.
Board Directs Canadian Pacific, BNSF to File Grain Car Service Plans, Weekly Status Reports On June 20, 2014, the Board directed Canadian Pacific Railway Company and BNSF Railway Company to report their plans to timely resolve their backlogs of grain car orders, as well as respective weekly status reports pertaining to grain car service. To view the Board’s decision, click here.
Board Directs Canadian Pacific, BNSF to Provide Fertilizer Delivery Plans, Weekly Status Reports
On April 15, 2014, the Board directed the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and BNSF Railway Company to report their plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments for spring planting of U.S. crops, and, beginning April 25, 2014, to provide weekly status reports for six weeks regarding fertilizer delivery over their respective networks. To view the Board's decision, click here.
Final Rules: Demurrage Liability
“Demurrage” is a charge a railroad assesses a person receiving railcars when that person holds railcars, at origin or destination, beyond an initial period of “free time” allowed for the loading or unloading. The Board has adopted final rules stating who may charge, and who is subject to, demurrage, and what notice must be provided before demurrage can be assessed. The Board has also clarified its interpretation of the law governing liability for payment. To view the Board’s decision, click here. To view a compliance guide, click here.
Got a Complaint?
Need help from the Board without filing a formal complaint? The Rail Customer and Public Assistance team offers a free, confidential avenue to settle disputes between shippers and railroads. Read more about the program here.