Contact: Janie Sheng (202) 245-0221
06/29/2006 (Thursday)
No. 06-08

FedRelay 1 (800) 877-8339


Surface Transportation Board Chairman W. Douglas Buttrey today announced that he has corresponded with the chief executive officers of each of the seven largest railroads concerning their respective goals and plans to meet the expected increase in demand for railroad service during the fall shipping season known as the "fall peak." Chairman Buttrey similarly corresponded with the association that represents the Nation's small and regional railroads.

In announcing his correspondence with the railroads, the Chairman noted:

"There is heightened focus this year on the ability of the railroads to meet demands for rail service. At least four major factors have converged to cause this heightened focus: the healthy domestic economy; growth in import/export traffic; the agriculture sector's forecast of record harvests; and the fact that rail infrastructure has begun to show capacity constraints.

"Consequently, I believe it is essential that the Surface Transportation Board continue its close monitoring of the railroads' service plans. This will contribute to the Board's confidence level that appropriate planning is being done to ensure that spikes in rail traffic demand that are expected for the remainder of the year can be handled as efficiently as possible. As in past years, this will also provide an important tool for rail customers to keep them better informed and enable them to plan efficiently for the needs of their rail-served businesses."

Click here for a hotlink to Chairman Buttrey's letter to the railroads. A fact sheet is attached.


The fall "peak-season" letters that Surface Transportation Board Chairman W. Douglas Buttrey sent on June 28, 2006, to the seven largest railroads requested information relative to each railroad's service plans and operational goals during this year's peak shipping season. The letters specifically focused on each railroad's

o Steps being taken to ascertain demand for, and to prepare for, the provision of fall

peak-season service;

o Performance goals for the remainder of 2006;

o Plans for achieving those performance goals; and

o Plans to communicate goals, plans and steps with customers.