The Surface Transportation Board is considering a revived mandate for freight railroads, which would add new inefficiencies to supply chains.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O n Monday, Karen Hedlund, President Biden’s nominee for the Surface Transportation Board, was sworn in to her post. The five-member board, which regulates railroads, now has three Democrats and two Republicans. That will make it easier to take up an Obama-era regulatory proposal that has languished for years: reciprocal switching.

At a time when supply chains are already stressed and transportation needs to be made easier, this mandate would add a new stressor to the mix.

Reciprocal switching means making one rail network available to competitors. Here’s a description from the proposed rule in the Federal Register:

Under reciprocal switching, an incumbent carrier


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