The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is expressing concerns over the Surface Transportation Board (STB) Reauthorization Bill (S.2777), scheduled to be marked up in the Senate Commerce Committee today.
The AAR says if allowed to proceed as is, the legislation would harm the nation’s railroads’ ability to move what the economy demands and deliver the service shippers expect. The railroad industry would not be able to continue to reinvest record amounts of private capital into the freight rail system if the STB Reauthorization Bill passes in its current form.
AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger says railroads have several serious concerns with the bill, beginning with the legislation directing the STB to pursue regulations that could cap rates and require railroads to turn over traffic to competitors.
“The rail industry believes this legislation will harm the ability of the nation’s railroads to invest in the network and improve service for our shippers,” said Hamberger, who noted railroads are moving the most freight in the last seven years and commodities, such as grain, are up double digits over this time last year. “These new restrictive regulations would be imposed on the nation’s railroads at a time when investments in capacity, new equipment and new hires are needed.”