Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment
In a decision served on February 14, 2017, the Surface Transportation Board tentatively adopted 1.020 (2.0% per year) as the measure of average change in railroad productivity for the 2011-2015 (five-year) averaging period. This value represents an increase of 0.6% from the average for the 2010-2014 period. Because of the unique circumstances of this year's productivity adjustment calculation, including the proposal of a linking factor to address a change in methodology in the calculation of an input to the productivity adjustment, the Board is making its productivity adjustment tentative to allow public comment on this approach. The Board will hold a technical conference with interested parties and Board staff.
United States Rail Service Issues-Performance Data Reporting
On December 5, 2016, the Board published a final rule in this docket that established new regulations requiring all Class I railroads and the Chicago Transportation Coordination Office (CTCO), through its Class I members, to report certain service performance metrics on a weekly, semiannual, and occasional basis. The Board is staying the effective date of the final rule.
United States Department of Energy and United States Department of Defense v. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, et al.; United States Department of Energy and United States Department of Defense v. Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad Company, et al.
On October 20, 2016, the United States Department of Energy and the United States Department of Defense (the Government) and Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) (collectively, Movants) filed a motion requesting approval of an agreement (NSR Settlement Agreement) that would settle these rate reasonableness disputes as between them only. The Board is adopting a procedural schedule for filing comments and replies addressing their proposed settlement agreement.
Jersey Marine Rail, LLC-Petition for Declaratory Order
By decision served on January 31, 2017, the Board granted an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 for Jersey Marine Rail, LLC (JMR) to operate as a Class III rail carrier over approximately 5,000 feet of track within the City of Linden, N.J. JMR states that it intends to rehabilitate and restore rail service over the tracks, which include a three-track holding yard and three former industrial spur tracks. JMR states that all six tracks were previously served by a common carrier and have been out of service for up to 30 years. According to JMR, it leases the existing tracks and land upon which it proposes to restore service and operate for a term, with extensions, totaling 50 years. This transaction is exempt from environmental reporting requirements under 49 CFR 1105.6(c) because the operational changes would not exceed any of the thresholds established in 49 CFR 1105.7(e)(4) or (5).