Surface Transportation Board Announces New RSTAC Members
On October 31, 2013, the Board announced that Robert Byrd, of Nucor Corp.,
and Jeanne Sebring, of International Paper, have become new members of the
Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council. To view the current
RSTAC membership roster, click here.
New Filing Deadline for Material Due During Federal Government Shutdown
The Board provided notice that any material due for submission to the Board during the
federal government shutdown is now due no later than Oct. 24, 2013, and that any
mailing that arrived during the shutdown will be considered received by the Board on
Oct. 17, 2013. To view the Board’s Notice, click here.
Revenue Adequacy Determination
The Board has issued its latest annual determination of railroad revenue adequacy. To view that decision, click here.
STB postpones October 22 hearing in Ex Parte 711
Click here to view the decision.
Public Advisory: Surface Transportation Board Operations during the Federal Governmental Shutdown
For the duration of the governmental shutdown, all Board operations will be suspended. The STB will not:
--Accept or process filings or tariffs, by any delivery method (mail, electronic filing, or hand delivery);
--Receive or acknowledge general or electronic mail;
--Issue decisions; or
All deadlines requiring the submission of material to the Board during the pendency of the shutdown are tolled. If you believe you have an emergency situation requiring immediate Board action (e.g., emergency service orders), call 202-245-0245 and leave a message.
Additionally, the Board's website and email will be unattended for the duration of the governmental shutdown.
Draft Environmental Assessment Issued in Proposed Joint Use of Rail Line
On August 30, 2013, the Board's Office of Environmental Analysis issued a Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) analyzing the potential environmental effects of a proposal by CSX Transportation, Inc. and the Louisville & Indiana Railroad Company, Inc. (L&I) to jointly operate over L&I’s approximately 107-mile rail line between Indianapolis and Louisville. Comments on the Draft EA are due September 30, 2013. To view the Draft EA in CSX Transportation, Inc.—Joint Use—Louisville & Indiana Railroad Company, Inc., FD 35523, click here.
Correction to 2012 Cost-of-Capital Finding On August 30, 2013, the Board issued a correction to its August 2, 2013 decision announcing the railroad industry's cost of capital for 2012. The correct figure for 2012 is 11.12%, rather than the 11.11% reported in the August 2 decision. The Board also extended the effective date of the decision to September 28, 2013. To see the Board's corrected decision, click here.
Final Rules Adopted for Positive Train Control Expenses & Investments
On August 14, 2013, the Board adopted final rules for the reporting of positive train control (PTC) expenses and investments for Class I railroads. The rules require the railroads to separately identify information on PTC implementation expenditures in their annual financial “R-1” reports to the Board so that such costs can be viewed both as a component of, and separately from, other capital investments and expenses. To see the Board’s decision adopting the final rules, click here.
Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC) Vacancies
On July 1, 2013, the Board announced two RSTAC vacancies, one for a large shipper and one for an at-large representative, and is soliciting nominations from the public for candidates to fill each position. To see the Board’s notice announcing the vacancy, which includes instructions for submission of nominations, click here. Nominations are due no later than July 31, 2013.
Litigation Alternatives Webpage Launched
The STB has launched a new “Litigation Alternatives” webpage. The “Litigation Alternatives” webpage will serve as a resource for STB stakeholders seeking information on the agency’s Alternative Dispute Resolution processes. The new page can be accessed by clicking here. In addition, a permanent link will be added under the “Quick Links” section on the right hand column of the Board’s homepage. This webpage was developed in conjunction with the STB’s new arbitration and mediation procedures in Ex Parte 699 (click here for a copy of the decision). The website will include a list of parties that have opted into the STB’s arbitration program. Union Pacific Railroad became the first party to opt into the program by a letter submitted on June 21, 2013. A copy of UP’s letter has been posted. The webpage will also contain information about the STB’s mediation process, rules on confidentiality, and Rail Customer & Public Assistance program.
California High-Speed Rail Authority Authorized to Construct Merced-Fresno, Cal., Passenger Railroad Line, Subject to Environmental Mitigation Conditions
The Board has issued a decision authorizing the CHSRA to construct a 65-mile high-speed passenger rail line between Merced and Fresno, Cal., which will be the first section of the planned statewide California High-Speed Train System. The authorization is subject to environmental conditions and the condition that CHSRA build the route designated by the Federal Railroad Administration as environmentally preferable. To see the Board’s June 13, 2013 decision in California High-Speed Rail Authority—Construction Exemption—In Merced, Madera & Fresno Counties, Cal., FD 35724, click here.
Small-Shipper Representative To Fill Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC) Vacancy
On April 3, 2013, the Board announced its appointment of Wayne Hurst, an agricultural producer from Burley, Idaho, and past President of the Idaho Grain Producers Association and the National Association of Wheat Growers, to fill an RSTAC small shipper vacancy for which the agency had earlier solicited nominations from the public. For information about RSTAC and its officers, click here.
Notice of Availability: Final Scope of Study for Tongue River Railroad EIS
The Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis has issued a Notice of Availability of the Final Scope of Study for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in Tongue River Railroad Company, Inc.—Rail Construction and Operation—in Custer, Powder River and Rosebud Counties, Mont., FD 30186. The Notice summarizes and addresses comments on the Draft Scope of Study and sets forth the Final Scope of Study for the EIS. OEA will next prepare the Draft EIS, which will be available for public review and comment once completed. To view the Notice, click here.
Opening Comments in Petition for Rulemaking to Adopt Revised Competitive Switching Rules, Docket No. EP 711
Comments due on March 1, 2013 are now available on the agency’s website. To access filings in EP 711, click here.
Update to Tongue River Railroad Co.’s “Build” Proposal On February 26, 2013, the Board served a decision denying requests for rejection of TRRC’s supplemental application to construct and operate a rail line in southeast Montana; declining to reconsider the agency’s earlier acceptance of the application; moving forward with development of the record in this case; and extending the procedural schedule for the submittal of public comments. Public comments on the proposal’s transportation merits are now due by April 2, 2013, and TRRC’s reply is now due by May 16, 2013. To see the Board’s decision, click here.
Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC) Vacancy
On February 22, 2013, the Board announced one RSTAC vacancy for a small-shipper
representative and is soliciting nominations from the public for a candidate to fill it. To see
the Board’s notice announcing the vacancy, which includes instructions for submission of
nominations, click here. Nominations are due no later than March 25, 2013.
Commodity Revenue Stratification Report
The STB’s Office of Economics has released an expanded version of its Commodity Revenue Stratification Report—showing revenue, variable costs, tons, and carloads associated with manyfive-digit STCC code/car-type combinations—which may be of interest to shippers attempting to benchmark their rates. To see the report covering statistics from 2008 through 2011, click here.
Final Environmental Assessment issued in CSX proposal to acquire easement over part of Grand Trunk Western’s “Elsdon Line” The Board's Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) has issued a Final Environmental Assessment (Final EA) of CSX Transportation, Inc.’s proposal to acquire from the Grand Trunk Western Railroad Company (GTW) an exclusive, perpetual, non-assignable railroad operating easement over approximately 22 miles of GTW rail line (the Elsdon Line) between Munster, Indiana and Elsdon, Illinois. To view the Final EA in CSX Transportation, Inc.—Acquisition of Operating Easement—Grand Trunk Western Railroad Company, FD 35522, issued January 9, 2013, click here. To see the Board's 2/8/13 decision in FD 35522 granting authority for CSX's easement acquisition over a portion of the Elsdon Line, as well as two related requests for the trackage rights over the line, click here.
Public Version of Appendix Posted in M&G Polymers v. CSX Rate-Complaint Case
In accordance with its September 27, 2012 decision in M&G Polymers USA,
LLC v. CSX
Transportation, Inc., NOR 42123, the Board has made available a public
version of the appendix
initially provided only to the parties’ outside counsel. To view the
updated decision, which includes
the public version of the appendix, click here. To view the notice, which more fully
describes the circumstances surrounding the posting of the updated
decision, click here.
Notice Issued Extending Deadline for Comments on Tongue River Railroad Company Proposal
The Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis has issued a Notice extending the deadline for filing comments on the Draft Scope of Study for the Environmental Impact Statement in Tongue River Railroad Company, Inc.—Rail Construction and Operation—in Custer, Powder River and Rosebud Counties, Mont., FD 30186. Comments are now due by January 11, 2013. To view the Notice, 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.