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Senator Johnson Applauds Surface Transportation Board Announcement


Washington, DC (KELO AM) — U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) applauded Friday’s announcement by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) directing the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway Company and BNSF Railway Company to submit plans by June 27 to provide a timely resolution of their backlogs of grain car orders, as well as weekly status reports pertaining to grain car service until the situation is resolved.

“I welcome the increased scrutiny the STB has imposed on the railroads with weekly reporting on the rail backlog for moving last fall’s harvest to market,” said Johnson. “This tool will provide grain shippers with an important tool to hold the railroads accountable.  This, along with the STB requiring the railroads to provide a plan to reduce the rail backlogs, is an important step in the right direction for South Dakota’s farmers and grain elevator operators.”

This is the STB’s second order in response to the serious rail transportation issues in the upper Midwest and Great Plains.  The first order issued in mid-April to CP and BNSF concerned getting necessary fertilizer to farmers in advance of spring planting.  The railroads responded and prioritized the shipment of fertilizer to meet the enhanced scrutiny from STB.  Unfortunately, that did not address all of the rail shipping issues. 

In mid-May, Senator Johnson joined with three other Midwestern senators in sending a letter to the STB requesting additional action to make sure that the additional issues concerning last fall's harvest, biofuel shipments, and other rail transport needs are addressed. 

Courtesy: Senator Tim Johnson