NGFA comments on STB’s reciprocal switching proposal admin November 10, 2023

NGFA comments on STB’s reciprocal switching proposal

NGFA submitted comments on Nov. 7 in response to the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) most recent proposal on reciprocal switching rules for inadequate service.

In its comments, NGFA supported the Board’s data-sharing proposal that has the potential to both inform and incentivize railroad performance if the service data is regularly shared with shippers.

However, the Association recommended the Board incorporate “competition-enhancing concepts” considered in previous competitive and reciprocal switching proposals that would facilitate more rail-on-rail competition. 

NGFA also suggested several other actions the Board could take to improve railroad service, including finalizing the petition for rules that govern rail carriers’ use of private railcars. This petition would establish financial incentives for the efficient use of railcars owned or leased by shippers.

“The financial incentives to improve the Class I railroads’ inefficient use of private railcars proposed by NGFA and several other shipper organizations in (the petition) would…result in achieving the service improvements the Board is seeking to encourage,” NGFA noted.

Through this rulemaking and other means NGFA is committed to working with STB and railroads as much as possible to improve the performance and efficiency of the network.

The Board’s notice, EP 711 (Sub-No. 2), may be viewed and downloaded here. Reply comments are due Dec. 6.