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SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

Notice: The STB will perform planned website maintenance on Sunday, December 11, 2022, from 7:00 PM to 11:59 PM EST. As a result, e-filing, filings, decisions, recordations and related advanced search will not be available during the maintenance window. All other portions of the STB website will be available.

Home » Resources » Litigation Alternatives

Litigation Alternatives

The STB’s experts can help you explore alternatives to costly, time-consuming litigation: our Rail Customer and Public Assistance Program assists with everything from straightforward inquiries to informal dispute resolution.  STB-led mediation enables disputing parties to seek common ground, and arbitration allows an impartial third-party to settle parties’ disputes in lieu of a formal adjudication by the Board.

Rail Customer and Public Assistance Program

As a free service, RCPA staff can help individuals better understand the STB’s jurisdiction and procedures, and informally advise disputing parties.  Our staff includes lawyers, former employees of shippers and railroads, and other professionals who are subject-matter experts on topics such as:

  • STB regulations and procedures
  • Rates and other charges
  • Railroad car supply and service issues
  • Claims for damages

  • Interchange issues
  • Employee complaints
  • Community concerns
  • Fuel surcharges

Click here to learn more.

Note: Since RCPA is an informal program, we cannot order a specific resolution or provide official opinions or rulings.  You have the right to bring a formal proceeding before the Board at any time.  RCPA staff will not take part in any formal matters, and your identity will not be revealed to other parties without your consent.

Mediation

The Board favors the resolution of disputes through the use of mediation in lieu of formal Board proceedings whenever possible.  The STB facilitates communication so disputing parties can reach a resolution that satisfies everyone.  Click here to learn more.

Arbitration

In arbitration, disputing parties agree to allow an impartial third-party to help settle their differences in lieu of initiating a formal proceeding before the Board.  The Board has an arbitration process that can be used for certain types of disputes.  Click here to learn more.