Contact: Janie Sheng (202) 245-0221
10/16/1997 (Thursday)
No. 97-86

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Surface Transportation Board (Board) Chairman Linda J. Morgan announced today that the Board has issued a schedule (attached) of parties, a list of speakers representing those parties, and the time allotted to each to make oral statements to the Board on the status of railroad service in the western United States during the Board’s public hearing on that matter scheduled for October 27, 1997, in Washington, D.C.
The schedule provides for 6 hours variously divided among roughly 60 speakers and the parties they represent under the following 7 categories: the Union Pacific Railroad Company, Labor Representatives, Shippers, the Federal Government, State/Local Government, Small Railroads and Passenger Railroads, and Large Railroads. To facilitate joint presentations, the Board has subdivided some categories into panels of participants who will decide among themselves the sharing of the time allotted to their
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respective panels.

The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, October 27, in the Board’s Hearing Room at its offices in the Mercury Building, 1925 K Street, N.W., in Washington. As seating in the Board’s 7th Floor Hearing Room is limited, a second room, the Brick Room on the 1st Floor of the Mercury Building, will be open and linked to the Hearing Room by television monitor. Seating for members of the public in the Hearing Room and the Brick Room will be provided on a “first-come, first-admitted” basis. As indicated in “Surface Transportation Board News” release number 97-84, issued today, October 16, the very limited media seating available in the Hearing Room will be reserved only under the conditions stipulated in that release. Media members not selected for Hearing Room seating according to those conditions likewise may observe the hearing via the Brick Room TV monitor on a “first-come, first-admitted” basis.

On October 2, 1997, the Board announced that it had begun a proceeding Rail Service in the Western United States, STB Ex Parte No. 573, instituted by the Board in a decision issued to the public on October 2, 1997. on its own motion and would hold an October 27 public hearing in Washington to provide the public the opportunity to report on the status of rail service in the West and to review proposals for solving existing rail service problems. The Board stated that the proceeding would focus on the immediate resolution of those problems, and would be conducted separately and apart from the Board’s ongoing “Union Pacific-Southern Pacific” oversight proceeding Union Pacific Corporation, Union Pacific Railroad Company, and Missouri Pacific Railroad Company--Control and Merger--Southern Pacific Rail Corporation, Southern Pacific Transportation Company, St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company, SPCSL Corp., and The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company, STB Finance Docket No. 32760 (Sub-No. 21)..

The Board’s October 2 decision in STB Ex Parte No. 573 stated that persons wishing to appear at the hearing and to make statements to the Board were required to submit their requests, and the amount of time needed to make their statements, by October 9, 1997; that the Board would issue a schedule for the hearing, a list of speakers and the time allotted to each by October 16, 1997; and that copies of speakers’ written statements must be filed with the Board by October 23, 1997.

In addition to the schedule issued today in STB Ex Parte No. 573, the Board also issued a separate decision prescribing information-filing requirements for the Union Pacific-Southern Pacific rail system in preparation for the Board’s hearing on rail service problems in the western United States.