[Federal Register Volume 88, Number 179 (Monday, September 18, 2023)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 63917]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2023-20137]



49 CFR Parts 1144 and 1145

[Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 1)]

Reciprocal Switching

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board.

ACTION: Proposed rule; closure of Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-docket No. 1).


SUMMARY: On July 27, 2016, in Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 1), the 
Surface Transportation Board (Board or STB) proposed to revise its 
reciprocal switching regulations. After considering the full record and 
the developments in the freight rail industry, the Board has decided 
not to pursue those revisions and to close Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 
1). Instead, in Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 2), the Board is proposing a 
new set of regulations that would provide access to reciprocal 
switching when there is inadequate service. The Board will continue to 
assess what other action, if any, the Board should take with respect to 
reciprocal switching.

DATES: September 18, 2023.

ADDRESSES: All filings must be submitted to the Surface Transportation 
Board either via e-filing on the Board's website or in writing 
addressed to 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423-0001. Filings will 
be posted to the Board's website and need not be served on other 
commenters or any other party to the proceedings.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Valerie Quinn at (202) 740-5567. If 
you require accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 
please call (202) 245-0245.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 27, 2016, the Board granted in part 
a petition for rulemaking filed by the National Industrial 
Transportation League seeking revised reciprocal switching regulations. 
The Board proposed regulations in Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 1) that 
would provide for prescription of a reciprocal switching agreement when 
either practicable and in the public interest or necessary to provide 
competitive rail service. Due to developments in the freight rail 
industry since the Board's 2016 notice, including critical and ongoing 
service problems, the Board has decided to focus, at this time, its 
reciprocal switching reforms on more specific and objective remedies 
for inadequate rail service. See Reciprocal Switching, EP 711 (Sub-No. 
1) et al., slip op. at 1-21, 31 (STB served Sept. 7, 2023). See also 
id. at 7 n.8 (welcoming comment on what other actions, if any, the 
Board should consider with respect to competitive access and, in 
particular, whether the Board should further broaden the application of 
the public interest prong of 49 U.S.C. 11102). Accordingly, for the 
reasons discussed in Reciprocal Switching, the Board is closing Docket 
No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 1) and is instead proposing, in Docket No. EP 711 
(Sub-No. 2), a new rule focused on more defined processes for the 
prescription of a reciprocal switching agreement in cases of inadequate 
service. Notice of the rule proposed in Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 2) 
is being published concurrently with this notice. That concurrent 
notice includes the full discussion from the Board's September 7, 2023 
decision, which is fully incorporated by reference herein.
    It is ordered:
    1. Docket No. EP 711 (Sub-No. 1) is discontinued as of the service 
date of the Board's decision in Reciprocal Switching, EP 711 (Sub-No. 
1) et al.

    Decided: September 13, 2023.

    By the Board, Board Members Fuchs, Hedlund, Oberman, Primus, and 
Jeffrey Herzig,
Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2023-20137 Filed 9-15-23; 8:45 am]