September 14, 2023
Mike Pearson tells us about railroad service changes that have been made in an effort to get agricultural goods to where they need to be.
Railroads have been consolidating since the 1960's. In 1980, there were 40 Class I carriers and by 2023, there were six Class I carriers.
A petition was created for changes and the Surface Transportation Board determined there was a lack of competition in the railroad system.
So a reciprocal switch was created. This means that for example, if a grain elevator is not happy with the service of Railroad X then they can ask for Railroad Y to be the carrier.
The goal is for the railroad carriers to maintain minimum service. The rules set clear criteria for railroad companies and incentivize railroad carriers to maintain personnel and equipment to haul rural goods.
Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Mike Pearson, a farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.
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