Previous Items of Interest

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Previous Items of Interest
Bullet STB Rejects Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc.'s Proposal to Build a New Railroad Line around Greater Chicago
The Surface Transportation Board rejected Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc.'s (GLBT) application to build and operate a railroad line around the greater Chicago metropolitan area through parts of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. The Board found that GLBT failed to provide sufficient financial information supporting its fiscal fitness to undertake the project. Accordingly, the Board rejected GLBT's application and discontinued the environmental review process associated with the project. The Board's decision is available here.
Bullet STB Updates Senate Commerce and House T&I Committees on its Actions in Response to CSX Rail Service Issues
On August 16, 2017, the Surface Transportation Board updated its Congressional oversight committees—the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure—on recent actions the Board has taken in response to service problems on CSX Transportation, Inc.’s (CSX) rail system. In addition to the ongoing weekly calls between CSX senior management and STB staff initiated late July, the Board advised the committees of the Acting Chairman’s direct communication with CSX’s President and CEO about service issues and the Board’s request that CSX provide specific performance data, which will be made publicly available, so that the Board and stakeholders can better monitor CSX’s recovery efforts. The letters are available here. CSX’s weekly performance presentations are available here.
Bullet STB Requests Specific Performance Data from CSX related to Service Disruptions and Recovery Efforts
On August 14, 2017, the Members of the Surface Transportation Board requested that CSX submit weekly specific service performance data to the Board's Rail Customer and Public Assistance office for purposes of ongoing calls between CSX senior management and STB staff. The performance data will assist the Board in actively monitoring CSX's service levels and the effectiveness of its recovery efforts. The Board will make CSX's submissions available on its website. The Board's letter to CSX is available here.
Bullet 2015 Waybill Update
The STB has received the 2015 Waybill Sample from RailInc Corp., and has begun the audit and quality assurance process. We will continue to provide updates as we reach milestones in our review. The 2015 Public Use Waybill Sample is still estimated to be released in September.
Bullet STB Updates Its Filing Fees to Reflect 2017 Cost Levels
As required by regulation to update its user fees at least once per year, the Surface Transportation Board has announced its latest update of fees the public must pay to file certain cases and pleadings with the Board. In this update, 83 fees will be increased, while 50 fees will be maintained at current levels. To learn more, click here.
Bullet STB Status Update on Processed 2015 Waybill Sample
The Surface Transportation Board expects to receive the processed 2015 Waybill Sample within two weeks from Railinc Corp., the Federal Railroad Administration contractor that processes the waybill. Upon receipt, the Board will commence audit and quality assurance work, and expects to release the 2015 Public Use Waybill Sample in September. The 2011-2015 productivity adjustment and all STB work products reliant on 2015 Waybill Sample mileage calculations will follow as quickly as possible. We will update this site as soon as we receive the data from Railinc.
Bullet Reminder: STB July 25 Regulatory Reform Task Force Informal Listening Session
On July 25, 2017, at 10 a.m., the Board’s Regulatory Reform Task Force will hold an informal listening session to hear stakeholders’ views on streamlining the agency’s regulations. Participants who wish to speak are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes early to sign in. Speakers are requested to limit their remarks to no more than 10 minutes. Although the Task Force may ask clarifying questions, the primary purpose of the session is for the Task Force to hear directly from stakeholders. Apart from on-site sign in for speakers, advance registration is not required. Please note that the listening session will not be set up for audio-visual presentations. Questions should be directed to the Rail Customer and Public Assistance office at 202-245-0238.
Bullet STB Posts Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act Quarterly Reports.
The Board has posted its 2nd quarter 2017 reports in accordance with the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-110). To read the reports, click here.
Bullet STB Posts 1st Quarter 2017 Employee, Service, & Compensation Data for Class I Railroads and Amtrak
The STB has posted first-quarter 2017 employment, service and compensation data for each of the Class I railroads and Amtrak here. The data show each railroad’s number of employees, service hours and compensation, by employee group. Please note that the STB does not verify this data.
Bullet STB Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request Posted
The Surface Transportation Board has posted the electronic version of its Fiscal Year 2018 budget request to the U.S. Congress. To read the budget request, click here.
Bullet Cultural Resources Identification Report Issued in “Harsimus Branch” Abandonment Proceeding
On May 5, 2017, the Surface Transportation Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) issued a Cultural Resources Identification Report for public review and comment in the pending rail-line abandonment proceeding, Consolidated Rail Corporation—Abandonment Exemption—in Hudson County, N.J., Docket No. AB 167 (Sub-No. 1189X), in which Conrail seeks to abandon the Harsimus Branch, a 1.36-mi. rail line in Jersey City, N.J. Prepared pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the report identifies historic properties in the project area that are listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Comments are due June 19, 2017. To view the report, click here
Bullet Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc. Applies for Authority to Construct and Operate a New Railroad Line
On May 1, 2017, Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc., filed a formal application with the STB to construct and operate a new railroad line in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana in STB Finance Docket No. 35952. On June 2, the STB issued a preliminary decision about the application. For more information about the application and STB procedures, click here
Bullet STB makes public its FY 2016 Annual Report to Congress
On March 23, 2017, the Surface Transportation Board made public its Annual Report to Congress covering the Board’s activities in federal Fiscal Year 2016 (October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016). To read the Report, click here
Bullet Updated Excel Spreadsheet Available for Railroad Performance Data Reporting
On November 30, 2016, the Surface Transportation Board adopted a final rule in U.S. Rail Service Issues-Performance Data Reporting, Docket EP 724 (Sub-No. 4) that requires all Class I railroads, and the Chicago Transportation Coordination Office (CTCO), through its Class I members, to report certain service performance metrics on a weekly, semiannual, and occasional basis. On March 13, 2017, the Board issued a technical modification to the final rule, which adds an additional STCC code to the definition of fertilizer. Pursuant to the final rule, weekly reporting of service metrics is to be made via an Excel spreadsheet provided by the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs and Compliance. The spreadsheet is available here. Any questions about the spreadsheet should be directed to Michael H. Higgins, Deputy Director at (202) 245-0284.
Bullet STB adopts final rules revising its regulations in accordance with FOIA Improvement ACT of 2016
In a decision issued on December 15, 2016, the Surface Transportation Board adopted final rules revising its regulations governing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in response to the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (FOIA Improvement Act). Pursuant to the FOIA Improvement Act, the final rules extend the deadline for administrative appeals, make available alternative dispute resolution services, and modify the way that fees apply to FOIA requests. The final rules are effective January 14, 2017. To learn more about the STB's final rules, click here.
Bullet NEPA Review Moves Ahead in New England Transrail Case in Wilmington and Woburn, Mass; STB Seeks Public Comment
The Surface Transportation Board issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement related to New England Transrail, LLC’s request for authority to construct, acquire and operate railroad lines in Wilmington and Woburn, Mass. The Notice requests public comment on the Draft Scope of Study for the project, and advises interested parties that the agency will hold a public scoping meeting, where members of the public will be invited to comment on the Draft Scope of Study. To view the Notice and request for comment, click here.
Bullet STB Issues Supplemental NPRM on Proposed Changes to URCS
Based on public comments received in Review of the General Purpose Costing System, EP 431 (Sub-No. 4), the STB is revising its proposal to eliminate the “make-whole adjustment” that is currently applied as part of the agency’s general purpose costing system, the Uniform Railroad Costing System (URCS), and proposing other, related modifications to URCS.
Stakeholders are invited to comment on the proposed changes. The STB will also hold a public technical conference on the proposed changes on Sept. 7, 2016. To read the STB’s decisions, click here and here.
Bullet Proceeding Reopened: CSX Elsdon Line
The STB reopened Docket FD 35522 to address concerns raised by Chicago communities along the CSX Elsdon Line. CSX was instructed to comply with its representation that it would not route a train onto the line unless the track was clear, or to show cause why it could not do so. Also, the STB required CSX to submit monthly reports, providing information about at-grade crossings, blocked crossings, and the status of operating protocols with third-party railroads. To read the STB’s decision, click here.
Bullet Railroad Carload and Tonnage Data, by State
The Surface Transportation Board’s Office of Economics has made public a report providing annual carload and corresponding tonnage data for freight-rail transportation either originating, terminating, or traversing each state of the United States, as derived from the Board’s Confidential Waybill Sample, from 2012 through 2014. Annual data on states in which there are minimal freight-rail operations or few rail shippers have been redacted for confidentiality. To view the new report, click here
Bullet 2014 Uniform Rail Costing System Reprocessed to Revise Errors Involving BNSF and Western Region
The 2014 Uniform Railroad Costing System (URCS) has been reprocessed to revise errors involving BNSF Railway and no other railroad. To view the REVISED 2014 URCS data that includes the new spreadsheet version of its Phase II worktables for 2014, click here.
Bullet Revamped Merger Page
The STB has created a revamped Major Railroad Merger page and, on a separate page, is posting correspondence related to the potential CP-NS merger. To access these pages, please go to Quick Links or click here.
Bullet Draft Environmental Assessment Issued: N.W. Tenn. Port Authority/Cates Landing
On December 28, 2015, the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis issued a Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) analyzing potential environmental effects of the Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority’s proposal to construct and operate an approximately 5.5 mile rail line in Lake County, Tenn. The proposed line would connect the newly constructed Port of Cates Landing, on the Mississippi River, to an existing rail line near Tiptonville, Tenn. To view the Draft EA in Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority—Construction and Operation Exemption—in Lake County, TN., FD 35802, click here.
Bullet Now Available: 2014 URCS Data
The Board has made available 2014 Uniform Railroad Costing System (URCS) data that includes the new spreadsheet version of its Phase II worktables for 2014. To view 2014 URCS Data, click here.
Bullet URCS Phase II Worktables – New Format
The Board has released the 2013 URCS Phase II Worktables in a new spreadsheet format for use in calculating railroad unit costs. Previously, these calculations were only reflected in various PDF files available on the STB’s website. The Board is releasing the Phase II spreadsheets to increase transparency by providing the source of each calculation. To learn more, click here.
Bullet STB Library: New Hours and Procedures
Please be advised that the Surface Transportation Board Library will be open to the public from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, except when the agency is closed for federal holidays. Although the library will be open on a walk-in basis, patrons are strongly encouraged to call ahead to schedule an appointment during these hours. To make an appointment, please phone Crystal Wortham, at (202) 245-0288, or the Rail Customer and Public Assistance office, at (866) 254-1792. Additionally, library patrons will now be required to sign in and sign out when using the library.

The effective date for the new hours and procedures will be Wednesday, November 18, 2015, continuing until further notice.
Bullet December 1 Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee meeting
The Surface Transportation Board’s Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC) will meet at the Board’s headquarters on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. This meeting was scheduled for October 1, but was postponed due to the possibility of a federal governmental shutdown. The meeting will be open to the public and the media. A hearing notice will be published in advance in the Federal Register.
Bullet Lone Star Railroad Draft Environmental Assessment Issued
The Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis has issued for public review and comment its Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) analyzing the potential environmental effects of Lone Star Railroad, Inc.’s proposed construction of an approximately three-mile rail line to connect to an existing Union Pacific Railroad Company mainline and to provide service to an industrial park property near Big Spring, in Howard County, Texas. Comments are due on November 16, 2015. To view the Draft EA in Lone Star Railroad, Inc. and Southern Switching Company—Track Construction and Operation Exemption—in Howard County, Texas, FD 35874, click here.
Bullet October 1 RETAC meeting postponed
The Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for Thursday, October 1, 2015, at STB headquarters has been postponed to a later date because of the possibility of a federal governmental shutdown. This RETAC meeting will be rescheduled for a future date and that information will be forthcoming.
Bullet Tongue River Railroad Draft EIS Comment Period Extended: Comments Now Due September 23, 2015
The Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis has issued a Notice extending the deadline—for a second time—to September 23, 2015, for filing comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Tongue River Railroad Co.’s planned construction and operation of nearly 42 miles of new line, between Colstrip and the Ashland/Otter Creek areas of Montana, in Tongue River Railroad Company, Inc.—Rail Construction and Operation—in Custer, Powder River and Rosebud Counties, Mont., FD 30186. To view the new notice extending the deadline to September 23, 2015, click here. To view the initial notice that extended the comment period to August 24, 2015, click here.
Bullet Expanded Commodity Revenue Stratification Report Released
The STB’s Office of Economics has released a new, expanded version of its Commodity Revenue Stratification Report. The report continues to show revenue, variable costs, ton, and carload data, but now does so by different combinations of railcar type and by seven-digit Standard Transportation Commodity Code (STCC). The report also shows the number of movements and average mile per carload data. (Some data has been redacted to protect confidentiality where necessary.) These changes will provide stakeholders with more detailed information about rail shipments, and may be of particular interest to shippers that would like to benchmark the rates they are paying for railroad transportation. The expanded report has been added to OE’s current, online library of two- and five-digit STCC reports found here on the STB’s website.
  NOTE: For reference purposes, the title of the five-digit report, “Expanded Commodity Revenue Stratification Report,” currently on the STB’s website will be changed to read, “5-Digit STCC Expanded Version of Commodity Revenue Stratification Report” for consistency with the titling of the current two-digit report and the new seven-digit report. To view the seven-digit report for 2013, click here.
Bullet Rail Service Webpage Improvements
User-friendly improvements have been made to the Rail Service Updates in EP 724, U.S. Rail Service Issues. To check out the latest data on the rail network, click here.
Bullet New STB Webpage on Agency Oversight of Household Goods Moving
The STB has created a new webpage describing the agency’s limited role in overseeing the interstate transportation of household goods by motor carriers (“moving companies”). This new webpage will serve as a resource for moving companies and their customers that would like more information about the STB's role in this area and the informal assistance that its customer assistance program can provide. It is important to note that the STB's oversight applies only to interstate moves (moves crossing state lines) and not to intrastate moves (moves within a single state). Please click here for more information. A link to this webpage can also be found under the "Quick Links" section of the STB's homepage.
Bullet Rail Service Updates “Quick Link”
The Board has made available a Rail Service Updates quick link to a page on this site providing easy access to all incoming filings, reports, and agency decisions in U.S. Rail Service Issues, EP 724. To access this information, click “Rail Service Updates” under “Quick Links” at the top-right of this homepage, or click here.
Bullet Environmental Notices: Canaveral Port Authority Petition to Build and Operate Rail-Line Extension to Port Canaveral, Fla.
To provide Port Canaveral, Brevard County, Florida with direct access to freight rail service, the Canaveral Port Authority plans to file a request with the STB to build and operate approximately 11 miles of new railroad line from a point near the Port’s North Cargo Area to connect with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s John F. Kennedy Space Center’s existing rail line. To view the Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS, Notice of its Draft Scope of Study, Notice of Scoping Meetings, and Request for Comments on the Draft Scope, click here.
Bullet Railroad Service Outlook Plans
Since 2004, the Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board has annually requested the railroad industry to explain its service-outlook plans. To view STB Chairman Daniel R. Elliott’s 2015 letter to railroads, and the railroads’ respective replies click here.
Bullet Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Request for Comment Issued on CSXT Request for Acquisition and Joint Use of Louisville & Indiana Railroad Company Line.
The STB’s Office of Environmental Analysis has issued a Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Request for Comments on CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) and Louisville & Indiana Railroad Co.’s (L&I) proposal seeking Board authority for CSXT to acquire from the L&I, and jointly use with it, a perpetual, non-exclusive operating easement over the L&I rail line between Indianapolis, Ind. and Louisville, Ky. To view the Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Request for Comment, click here.






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