11/12/2021 (Friday) [PDF Version]
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In order to inform the public of upcoming planned events in certain matters pending at the Board and to enable interested parties to prepare, Surface Transportation Board Chairman Martin J. Oberman today announced that the Board will be holding three public hearings in the first quarter of 2022, in the following proceedings:
CSX Merger Application to Acquire Pan Am Systems, Inc., Docket No. FD 36472
The Board will hold a public hearing on January 13, 2022 (and January 14, 2022, if necessary), on the revised application for CSX Corporation and CSX Transportation, Inc., et al. to acquire control of Pan Am Systems, Inc., and its shortline subsidiaries.
The public hearing is planned for the Hearing Room of the Board’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Further details will be provided in a future decision. The Board’s July 30 decision accepting for consideration the revised application in CSX Corporation—Control and Merger—Pan Am Systems, Inc., FD 36472 et al., may be viewed and downloaded here.
Amtrak Application to Operate Gulf Coast Service, Docket No. FD 36496
The Board will hold a public hearing on February 15, 2022 (and February 16, 2022, if necessary), concerning Amtrak’s application seeking an order requiring CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX), and Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) to allow Amtrak to operate additional intercity passenger trains over CSX’s and NSR’s rail lines between New Orleans and Mobile.
On October 15, 2021, the Board issued a decision extending the procedural schedule and setting a due date of December 30, 2021, for proposal(s) on the hearing format. The public hearing is planned for the Hearing Room of the Board’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Further details will be provided in a future decision. The Board’s October 15 decision in Application of the National Passenger Railroad Corporation Under 49 U.S.C. § 24308(e)—CSX Transportation, Inc., and Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Docket No. FD 36496, may be viewed and downloaded here.
Reciprocal Switching, Docket No. EP 711 (Sub No. 1)
The Board will hold a public hearing on March 15-16, 2022, concerning reciprocal switching regulations it proposed in Reciprocal Switching (NPRM), Docket No. EP 711 (Sub No. 1) et al. The NPRM generated divergent responses from a variety of stakeholders. The Board has reviewed the existing record in this proceeding and continues to have ex parte meetings with interested stakeholders. Since issuance of the NPRM and receipt of written comments in this docket, there have been significant changes in and affecting the freight rail industry. Commenters may now have additional or modified views on the effects of and/or need for the proposed regulations. Interested persons are invited and encouraged to engage in this public hearing to address these issues and any other matters relevant to this proceeding.
The public hearing is planned for the Hearing Room of the Board’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Further details concerning the hearing and ex parte meetings will be provided in a future decision. The NPRM, Docket No. EP 711 (Sub No. 1) et al., may be viewed and downloaded here.
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Chairman Oberman underscored that he and the Board are committed to transparency in Board proceedings and facilitating public participation in the Board’s rulemakings and adjudicatory decisions. “Each of the three matters for which public hearings are now being scheduled involves issues with the potential for significant impact, not only on the involved railroads but on the shipping community, labor, rail passengers, consumers, and the public at large,” Oberman said. “Discussing these issues in a public forum is an important step for improving public participation and accountability for the Board. I anticipate conducting more public hearings and oral arguments in significant matters before the Board.”