Freight Rail Policy Stance: Freight railroads support a continuation of existing balanced regulatory policies.
Why This Matters: The current regulatory framework protects rail customers against unreasonable railroad actions while allowing railroads to earn enough to make massive investments into their private 140,000-mile network. These investments ensure freight rail remains America’s critical connector.
Partial economic deregulation for private freight railroads nearly 40 years ago saved the industry from ruin.
This balanced framework — overseen by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) — allows freight railroads to manage assets and pricing without overt government intervention while also providing a venue for shippers to address rail service concerns. This market-based framework helps the industry serve customers while still earning reasonable revenues that correlate strongly with investment, safety improvements and productivity gains.
The STB must maintain the current regulatory framework, which balances the needs of both railroads and shippers, and not implement wholesale changes that would compromise the ability of railroads to earn the revenue necessary to reinvest in the network and their employees to meet customer demand.