AAR Outlines Priorities to New Administration

The wish list of the Association of American Railroads was sent to the Trump administration this week and atop the list is stopping the Surface Transportation Board from further regulating the railroad industry.

AARThe AAR framed recent STB rule making initiatives as seeking to “cater to narrow interests that believe competition is when the government orders one company to use privately owned facilities on behalf of a competitor.”

The railroad trade association argues that the deregulation measures of the 1980s have worked well and allowed railroads to earn the necessary revenues to serve customers and consumers.

“The average rail shipper today can move close to twice as much freight for about the same price it paid 35 years ago, when adjusted for inflation,” the AAR said in a letter to the administration. “The train accident rate has fallen about 45 percent since 2000, while the rail employee injury rate has fallen 47 percent since 2000.”

Some of the proposed STB regulations would, the AAR said, reduce freight rail efficiencies and investments while diverting some freight to highways.

The letter, signed by AAR CEO Edward Hamberger was sent to President Donald Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; Sens. John Thune of South Dakota and Bill Nelson of Florida, and Reps. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania and Peter DeFazio of Oregon.

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