- Union Pacific and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) have agreed to hold weekly calls during the former's transition to precision scheduled railroading over the next year and a half.
- The news follows a series of letters exchanged between the two parties. "We are well aware of UP's service challenges this year, and believe it is essential that all carriers strive to provide efficient and reliable rail service to their customers," stated the first letter, dated Sept. 20, before the regulator requested the calls.
- "We are taking a thoughtful and deliberate approach to phasing in the roll out, and we will be transparent as we do so," Union Pacific's letter in reply said. "As such, we are more than happy to accommodate the request of weekly calls."
If it has not hit you how transformational Union Pacific's transition to precision scheduled railroading will be, this news is a hint: A regulator scheduled weekly calls with a company just to make sure service is not disrupted.
"As you know, CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX) implemented precision scheduled railroading across its network last year, which resulted in serious service disruptions not only for its customers, but also other railroads," the regulators reminded Union Pacific in its letter.
Now that Union Pacific has announced it intends to do the same for the West, the STB is not taking chances.
"In light of those events (with CSX), we trust that UP will work in a transparent manner to avoid similar disruptions to the nation's rail system," the letter said.
The railroad said its transition would be different. For example, it pledged to communicate with "all stakeholders," including STB, in its response. It also said it had no immediate plans for yard closures during statements last week, and would "phase in" the new system into segments of its rail operations.