Press Release: Thune Announces Commerce Committee Hearing to Examine Freight Rail Transportation Challenges

Thune Announces Commerce Committee Hearing to Examine Freight Rail Transportation Challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today announced a hearing of the full committee entitled, “Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce” on Wednesday, January 28 at 10:00 a.m. ET (9:00 a.m. CT, 8:00 a.m. MT). The hearing will focus on challenges facing our nation’s freight rail network created by higher demand, pending and proposed rules and regulations, and infrastructure needs. Next week’s hearing continues Thune’s work to improve freight rail service for ag producers and shippers and prevent future rail service disruptions from occurring.

“Rail service challenges that began over a year ago throughout South Dakota are still fresh in the minds of ag producers and those who depend on reliable freight rail service,” said Thune. “As chairman, I recognize the important role the Commerce Committee has in overseeing our nation’s freight rail sector and believe this hearing is key to continuing our work on improving freight rail service. I remain committed to working with shippers, the railroads, and the Surface Transportation Board to examine where things went wrong in the past and determine how we can prevent backlogs and service delays from occurring in the future. The railroads have taken some steps to address these challenges, including record investment, and I look forward to examining the state of the freight rail sector during the upcoming hearing.”

Last Congress, the Commerce Committee held various rail related hearings, including a hearing on the rail service challenges facing shippers across the country, which included agriculture producers in South Dakota who struggled with access to reliable freight rail service during a record harvest. In addition, on September 17, 2014, the Commerce Committee passed the bipartisan Surface Transportation Board (STB) reform bill that Senator Thune and former Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) introduced to institute common-sense reforms regarding how the STB works and to address rate disputes and service complaints. For a complete outline of Thune’s work to address last year’s rail service backlog, visit his website.

Hearing Details:

WHAT:          Commerce Committee Hearing entitled: “Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce.”
DATE:            Wednesday, January 28, 2015
TIME:            10:00 a.m. ET, 9:00 a.m. CT, 8:00 a.m. MT
WATCH:        Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Website

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