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SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD SEEKS RAILROAD PLANS FOR FALL "PEAK" SHIPPING SEASON




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>From the Surface Transportation Board, Washington, D.C.
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Surface Transportation Board Chairman W. Douglas Buttrey today announced
that he has corresponded with the chief executive officers of each of the
seven largest railroads concerning their respective goals and plans to meet
the expected increase in demand for railroad service during the fall
shipping season known as the "fall peak."  Chairman Buttrey similarly
corresponded with the association that represents the Nation's small and
regional railroads.


 In announcing his correspondence with the railroads, the Chairman noted:


 "There is heightened focus this year on the ability of the railroads to
 meet demands for rail service.  At least four major factors have converged
 to cause this heightened focus:  the healthy domestic economy; growth in
 import/export traffic; the agriculture sector's forecast of record
 harvests; and the fact that rail infrastructure has begun to show capacity
 constraints.


 "Consequently, I believe it is essential that the Surface Transportation
 Board continue its close monitoring of the railroads' service plans.  This
 will contribute to the Board's confidence level that appropriate planning
 is being done to ensure that spikes in rail traffic demand that are
 expected for the remainder of the year can be handled as efficiently as
 possible.  As in past years, this will also provide an important tool for
 rail customers to keep them better informed and enable them to plan
 efficiently for the needs of their rail-served businesses."


 Click here for a hotlink to Chairman Buttrey's letter  (
 http://www.stb.dot.gov/PeakLetters1.nsf/8340d3d43ec3ee0d85256f69006ad899/ed1b22ad594a1e9d8525719c00614c2b/$FILE/Fall%20Peak%20Master%20Ltr%202006.doc
  ) to the railroads.  A fact sheet is attached.


 FACT SHEET


 The fall "peak-season" letters that Surface Transportation Board Chairman
 W. Douglas Buttrey sent on July 17, 2006, to the seven largest railroads
 requested information relative to each railroad's service plans and
 operational goals during this year's peak shipping season.  The letters
 specifically focused on each railroad's


 o  Steps being taken to ascertain demand for, and to prepare for, the
 provision of fall


 peak-season service;


 o  Performance goals for the remainder of 2006;


 o  Plans for achieving those performance goals; and


 o  Plans to communicate goals, plans and steps with customers.


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