The Surface Transportation Board (STB) on June 13 told four Class I railroads that their plans for improving shipping delays were inadequate and ordered the companies to provide more detailed data to fulfill the agency’s request for information in May.

The Board had required BNSF Railway Company (BNSF), CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX), Norfolk Southern Railway (NSR), and Union Pacific Railroad (UP) to develop service recovery plans that would specifically describe their key remedial initiatives and promote a clearer vantage point into operating conditions on the rail network.

Unfortunately, the four carriers submitted plans that were “perfunctory and lacked the level of detail” required by the Board, STB stated.

Two of the railroads “flatly refused” to provide the six-month targets for achieving their performance goals. STB has now required the railroads to supplement their plans.

“The plans simply failed to instill confidence that the carriers have a serious approach to fixing a problem caused by their own lack of preparedness to respond to external shocks and fluctuations in demand, including especially short-sighted management of labor forces and other resources,” STB Chairman Marty Oberman said in the announcement.

“Now with more explicit instructions, which should not have been needed, there will be no excuse for continued lack of compliance,” he said.

STB issued the order for service recovery plans in May shortly after holding the April 26-27 hearing on “Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service,” during which NGFA President and CEO Mike Seyfert testified on behalf of NGFA members.

Source: NGFA