Surface Transportation Board, DOT.
Notice of Public Hearing.
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) will hold a public hearing on April 10, 2014, at its offices in Washington, DC, to provide interested persons the opportunity to report on recent service problems in the United States rail network, to hear from rail industry executives on plans to address their service problems, and to discuss additional options to improve service.
The hearing will be held on April 10, 2014, beginning at 9:30 a.m., in the Hearing Room at the Board's headquarters located at 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC. The hearing will be open for public observation. Any person wishing to speak at the hearing shall file with the Board a notice of intent to participate, identifying the party and the proposed speaker, no later than April 7, 2014. The notices of intent to participate are not required to be served on the parties of record; they will be posted to the Board's Web site when they are filed.
All filings may be submitted either via the Board's e-filing format or in the traditional paper format. Any person using e-filing should attach a document and otherwise comply with the instructions at the “E-FILING” link on the Board's Web site at “www.stb.dot.gov.” Any person submitting a filing in the traditional paper format should send an original and 10 copies of the filing to: Surface Transportation Board, Attn: Docket No. EP 724, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001.
Copies of written submissions will be posted to the Board's Web site and will be available for viewing and self-copying in the Board's Public Docket Room, Suite 131. Copies of the submissions will also be available (for a fee) by contacting the Board's Chief Records Officer at (202) 245-0238 or 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001.
Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Valerie Quinn at (202) 245-0382. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339.
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Start Supplemental Information
The Board has been closely monitoring the rail industry's performance metrics, and is concerned about the service problems that have been occurring across significant portions of the nation's rail network, particularly on the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) and BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) systems. The Board Members have written to CP and BNSF 
to express concerns that poor service is negatively affecting agricultural, coal, passenger, and other traffic. Per the Board's request, senior management representatives of CP and BNSF met individually with each Board Member, and the Board requested certain additional data from CP and BNSF.
The Board's Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs and Compliance (OPAGAC) has also been working with CP and BNSF to address and correct service issues as they arise. Representatives of OPAGAC have held numerous meetings and conference calls with affected parties to better understand the specific problems shippers are facing, and to help facilitate a quick resolution whenever possible. Board staff has facilitated meetings in Fargo, North Dakota, on service issues with shippers from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. We anticipate that, following this public hearing, additional field meetings in other affected areas will be held. The Board's hearing is not intended to replace the informal and confidential process facilitated by OPAGAC, and shippers and railroads are encouraged to continue communicating through that office.
The Board will hold a public hearing beginning at 9:30 a.m., on April 10, 2014,
at its offices in Washington, DC, to provide an opportunity for interested persons to report on the status of rail service and to discuss ways to remedy the current service problems.
The Board will direct executive-level officials from CP and BNSF to appear at the hearing to discuss their ongoing and future efforts to improve service on their railroads and to provide an estimated timeline for a return to normal service levels. The Board particularly encourages impacted shippers and/or shipper organizations to appear at the hearing to discuss their service concerns and to comment on the railroads' Start Printed Page 18949plans.
Also, given the service disruptions that have hindered nearly all carriers that connect through the Chicago area, other Class I railroads are also invited to file notices to appear at the hearing.
This decision will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.
It is ordered:
1. A public hearing will be held on April 10, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., in the Board's Hearing Room, at 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC, as described above.
2. CP and BNSF are directed to appear at the hearing.
3. By April 7, 2014, any person wishing to speak at the hearing shall file with the Board a notice of intent to participate (identifying the party and the proposed speaker). The notices of intent to participate are not required to be served on the parties of record; they will be posted to the Board's Web site when they are filed.
4. This decision is effective on its service date.
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By the Board, Chairman Elliott and Vice Chairman Begeman.
[FR Doc. 2014-07605 Filed 4-3-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P