Precision-Scheduled Railroading

Six of the seven largest U.S. freight railroads have reported implementing precision-scheduled railroading (PSR), a strategy intended to increase efficiency and reduce costs. PSR is not defined by a prescribed set of operational changes. However, stakeholders GAO interviewed—including representatives of railroads, employee unions, and shippers—associated the following operational changes with PSR: (1) reductions in staff, (2) longer trains, and (3) reductions in assets such as locomotives. For example, the overall number of staff among the seven largest freight railroads (known as Class I) decreased by about 28 percent from 2011 through 2021. Further, all seven railroads said they have increased the length of trains in recent years.

— U.S. Government Accountability Office

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