The regulation would potentially upend decades-old restrictions that limit shippers' control of their own rail freight. Currently, rail carriers pick up cargo and carry it to its final destination without customers being able to request that it be dropped off for a competitor to handle.
The rule “would allow a party to seek a reciprocal switching prescription that is either practicable and in the public interest or necessary to provide competitive rail service,” the regulator said in a decision posted on its website. The STB, as the agency is known, will take comments on the proposed rule until Sept. 26.
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