STB: Rail Infrastructure and Capacity Hearingby WWC Staff
Wheat Life, May 2007
The Washington Wheat Commission (WWC), joined with 15 other groups of shippers of agricultural commodities, along with the Alliance for Rail Competition and Montana's Governor Schweitzer in providing comments through Whiteside and Associates to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) during its rail capacity hearing in mid April. Elements of the testimony included the need for growth of the nation's rail infrastructure; the STB should monitor rail capacity and infrastructure investment; and the railroads' decisions in allocating scarce capacity must acknowledge the common carrier obligation and the public interest.
The STB would err as a matter of fact and as a matter of law to the extent that it equated the financial interest of the railroad industry with the public interest. It was noted that because rail captive shippers have already borne a disproportionate share of the cost of restoring railroads to financial strength, they do not want concerns to become a rationale for further and worse differential pricing of captive traffic, or for further reductions in the frequency and quality of rail service.
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