Rail (1 - 5 of 5 items) in Past 6 Months
Freight Rail Pricing: Contracts Provide Shippers and Railroads Flexibility, but High Rates Concern Some Shippers
GAO-17-166: Published: Dec 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2016.
While rail contracts and tariffs are similar, contracts offer the flexibility to customize rates and terms to a specific shipper, according to selected stakeholders GAO interviewed. Both contract and tariff rates are based on market factors, such as competition, according to representatives from the four largest U.S. freight railroads. However, they noted that in developing contract rates, a railr...
Hazardous Materials Rail Shipments: A Review of Emergency Response Information in Selected Train Documents
GAO-17-130: Published: Dec 2, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2016.
To help emergency responders safely handle rail accidents involving hazardous materials, selected railroads transporting hazardous materials typically carry two sources of information: the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Emergency Response Guidebook ( ERG ) and information in the trains' documents. Federal Hazardous Material Regulations require railroads and other hazardous material transpo...
Hazardous Materials Rail Shipments: Emergency Responders Receive Support, but DOT Could Improve Oversight of Information Sharing
GAO-17-91: Published: Nov 17, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 2016.
Emergency planners from most of the 25 selected counties in 17 states that GAO surveyed reported that training for responders and information about rail shipments of hazardous materials affect preparedness. Emergency planners from almost all of the selected counties reported that a majority of the emergency response personnel, such as fire fighters, who arrive first at an accident receive basic tr...
West Coast Ports: Better Supply Chain Information Could Improve DOT's Freight Efforts
GAO-17-23: Published: Oct 31, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 2016.
Some infrastructure and operations at major West Coast ports are strained in the face of recent changes in global shipping, but port stakeholders are attempting to address these constraints. For example, as the shipping industry deploys larger vessels capable of delivering more cargo, some port terminals lack big enough cranes, or other infrastructure, needed to handle these vessels. All major Wes...
Train Braking: DOT's Rulemaking on Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes Could Benefit from Additional Data and Transparency
GAO-17-122: Published: Oct 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 2016.
DOT based estimates of the business benefits of electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes on limited data, in part, because railroads that have used ECP brakes to date have shared limited data on their use. ECP brakes provide an electronic brake signal instantaneously throughout the train, allowing train cars to brake faster than with conventional air brakes. In supporting the May 2015 rule...