02/01/2022 (Tuesday) [PDF Version]
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The Surface Transportation Board today announced details for the upcoming public hearing regarding the National Railroad Passenger Corporation’s (Amtrak) application to operate Gulf Coast service. The hearing will be held in two phases. The first phase, consisting of public comments, will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET on February 15, 2022, and will be followed by a pre-evidentiary hearing conference with the parties. Phase two, the evidentiary hearing with the parties, will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET on March 9, 2022.
This hearing concerns Amtrak’s March 16, 2021, application to the Board, seeking an order requiring CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) and Norfolk Southern Railroad (NSR) to allow Amtrak to operate additional intercity passenger trains, consisting of two round-trips per day, over the rail lines of CSXT and NSR between New Orleans, La., and Mobile, Ala. The Board received numerous comments in response to Amtrak’s application.
Phase 1: The public comment phase begins on February 15, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. ET, and will continue on February 16, 2022, if necessary. Immediately following public comment, or at 9:30 a.m. ET on February 16, 2022, whichever is later, the Board will hold a pre-evidentiary hearing conference with the parties to discuss issues related to the second phase. The proceedings on February 15-16 will be entirely virtual. They will be held online via Zoom and will be available for concurrent viewing on YouTube.
Phase 2: The evidentiary hearing with the parties will begin on March 9, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. ET, and will continue on March 10, 2022, if necessary. The parties will be directed to appear, and the evidentiary hearing will be open to the public for observation. Phase two will involve participation by the parties only and will be presided over by the entire Board. The Board will announce in a subsequent decision whether the evidentiary hearing will be held online, in-person, or in a hybrid format.
Any person, including the involved parties, wishing to participate in the public comment section of the hearing will need to file with the Board by February 7, 2022, a notice of intent to participate (identifying the entity, if any, the person represents, the proposed speaker, the amount of time requested, and summarizing the key points that the speaker intends to address). Filing details and requirements can be found in the decision below.
The decision in Application of the National Railroad Passenger 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.