11/22/2022 (Tuesday) [PDF Version]
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The Surface Transportation Board today announced that the parties to the pending application of Amtrak to commence passenger service on the Gulf Coast have reached a settlement. The Board today issued a decision granting the parties’ joint motion to hold in abeyance the proceeding to enable the Parties to effectuate the conditions of the settlement agreement. The joint motion from the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX), Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS), and the Alabama State Port Authority, requests that the scheduled hearing and voting conference be held in abeyance until the Parties notify the Board the settlement terms have been fulfilled. As a result of the Board’s decision, the hearing scheduled for November 30, 2022, and the voting conference scheduled for December 7, 2022, are cancelled.
Chairman Martin J. Oberman issued the following statement:
“The Board appreciates the successful efforts of Amtrak, CSX, NS, and the Port to settle this important case. I particularly want to acknowledge the significant progress that has been made in achieving a settlement under the new leadership of CSX and NS, which I expect brought a fresh constructive approach to resolving the matter. The Board has stated many times our strong preference for private parties to operate in good faith and to amicably resolve disputes on their own whenever possible to obviate the need for Board action. The settlement of this case will hasten the return of passenger rail operations in the Gulf. This will result in a substantial public benefit by providing a public transportation option for Gulf Coast residents and visitors alike and will have a very positive impact on the economy of the region. I look forward to the parties informing us of the specific infrastructure improvements that will be made to the rail network as a result of the settlement. Finally, I would like to extend the Board’s thanks to the mediators in this case. Board staff worked with mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to mediate this case, and we are grateful for all their hard work.”
The decision approving the motion to hold in abeyance 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.