League Files Reply Comments on Rail Switching

On January 13, the League joined with nine other trade groups in submitting reply comments to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) regarding the board’s proposed rule on competitive rail switching.

The 10 organizations, known collectively as the Shipper Coalition for Railroad Competition, represent thousands of companies that ship goods ranging from fertilizer to fruits and vegetables. In October 2016, the Shipper Coalition submitted opening comments in support of the STB’s proposed rule, which was published in July 2016. The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and individual Class I railroads, as well as the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), also submitted opening comments, but in opposition to the STB’s proposed rule.

The Shipper Coalition’s reply comments responded to the opening comments submitted by the railroads and reiterated key points contained in the coalition’s opening comments.

“In these reply comments, the Shipper Coalition cuts sharply through the noise and obfuscation of the railroads’ comments and makes clear that change to the 1985 Switching Rule is badly needed, and that the board’s proposed switching rule is lawful, rational, justified, and workable,” the introduction to the reply comments states. “The Shipper Coalition also debunks the railroads’ exaggerated claims that the proposed rule will wreak havoc on the rail network and discourage investment, and summarily dispatches multiple inchoate attacks based on vagueness, environmental, labor, and constitutional grounds.”

An overview of the League’s activities pertaining to the STB’s competitive switching rule is here.