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Baldwin Introduces Legislation to Improve Freight Rail Service
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 09/28/2022

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced the Reliable Rail Service Act to help address the unreliable service and high costs of rail shipping for American businesses. The measure--which is supported by members of the agriculture industry, labor organizations, energy producers, and manufacturers--ensures the largest freight railroads provide American businesses reliable services at reasonable rates, delivers Made in American products to market more efficiently, and helps bring down costs for consumers.

"American farmers, producers, and manufacturers are paying sky-high prices for subpar rail service to get their goods to market, and consumers seeing the impact on their pocketbooks," said Senator Baldwin. "In order to build a strong Made in America economy and also lower costs for consumers, we need to ensure our agriculture, energy, and manufacturing businesses have reliable rail service."

The bill would help American-made products get to market more dependably by defining the 'common carrier obligation,' which is a longtime requirement that rail carriers serve the wider shipping public on reasonable request.

Baldwin says the issue came up after a report from Transportation Research Board found that the the common carrier service obligation remains poorly defined. She says failure to define this principle has contributed to insufficient rail services and exorbitant costs for American products to get to market.

The legislation is supported by dozens of state and national farm organizations.

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