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The bipartisan Reliable Rail Service Act sponsored by Senators Baldwin and Marshall addresses long-standing problems facing businesses that rely on freight rail to deliver essential products.

Many rail customers are served by a single railroad and have no feasible transportation options. Without effective competition, railroads have too often ignored customer needs with few repercussions. As a result, years of railroad actions to cut workers, close rail yards, and take locomotives out of service have gutted network resilience, making service disruptions more frequent, severe, and long-lasting.

Poor rail service and missed deliveries have resulted in lost production for U.S. manufacturers, farmers, and energy producers, as well as supply chain disruptions and higher costs for consumers.

Railroads have gutted network resilience:

  • Cut nearly 45,000 jobs over the past five years
  • On average, less than 68% of rail cars arrive on time

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Why It’s Needed

The legislation helps to restore balance between rail customers and their carriers.

Clarifies the railroads’ statutory obligation to provide “timely, efficient, and reliable rail service;”

Establishes specific criteria to hold railroads accountable for fulfilling this obligation

Provides a more workable and timely process for rail customers to seek relief from the Surface Transportation Board

How It Helps

The Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act is a timely and sensible solution that will encourage railroads to do better and reliable freight rail service.