Posted: March 24, 2022 12:01 AM
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It is well known that Joe Biden – who regularly boarded the Amtrak train between Wilmington and Washington as a senator and between his 2021 presidential debates – likes trains, always talking about their environmental efficiency and value in the US economy. Yet the Biden White House was markedly hostile to a variety of trains that played a much larger role in American life than passenger trains: freight trains. Crony poisons the formulation of special interest policy and sows uncertainty among investors. In particular, the presidential team of the so-called independent U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) has concluded a two-day hearing on a controversial regulatory proposal. The idea would force private railways to subsidize their own competitors and ignore their property rights through a drastic regulatory change known as mandatory “reciprocal switching” – the practice of allowing one carrier to access another’s infrastructure and customers. Mutual switching already happens voluntarily Through private contracts between railways. Now, the administration wants to give Washington bureaucrats more power to force open these privately owned networks for use by competitors, and to offer lower-market rates …
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