STB Worried About Grain Shipment Disruptions

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has expressed concern that Class I railroads will be unable to handle this year’s harvest season grain shipping demands.

Regulators sent a letter dated Aug. 18 to the top executives of the Class 1 carriers that also said it awaited their comments during an Aug. 25 meeting of the National Grain Car Council in Kansas City, Missouri.

“The board is particularly interested in your reports related to your preparedness to meet the demands of the fall harvest as it begins to ramp up in September and extends through the turn of the year,” the letter said in part.

“In light of current challenges affecting the four largest Class I railroads, the board is concerned about the Class I railroads’ ability to meet grain shipping needs and is highly focused on whether railroads will have sufficient crew, locomotive, equipment and capacity resources along key corridors supporting domestic and international markets.”

The letter also said regulators want to hear during the Kansas City meeting from shippers, short line and rail-car industry representatives about the matter.

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