Reliable Rail Service Act Reintroduced

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Legislative

The Reliable Rail Service Act has been reintroduced in Congress by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Roger Marshall. The legislation seeks to address the ongoing challenges related to unreliable service and high costs. Supporters of the bill expressed appreciation for its reintroduction, after not moving forward when it was originally introduced in 2022.

Reliable Rail Service

“Congress needs to tackle head on the significant cost increases and service disruptions that harm the businesses of our ag retailer members and their farmer customers who rely on freight rail transportation to deliver the critical crop input products to feed and fuel our nation,” Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) President & CEO Daren Coppock said in a press release. “ARA appreciates Senator Baldwin and Roger Marshall for leading legislative efforts to address the continuous rail service problems faced by our industry, which has caused supply chain disruptions and negatively impacted other shippers within the agricultural industry.”

The Reliable Rail Service Act centers on the common carrier obligation and provides improved clarity. For one, a clear definition will be made of what constitutes the common carrier obligation. The legislation also establishes specific criteria for the Surface Transportation Board to use in determining if a rail carrier has violated its obligation. More than 50 agricultural, labor, manufacturing, and transportation organizations have given their support for the legislation.

“Unfortunately, America’s freight rail companies too often fail to provide the equal, timely, and affordable service required of them by federal law,” said President Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO. “Let’s hold railroads accountable and better serve the small businesses, farmers, and other customers who rely on freight rail to transport their goods.”

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West