STB Rate Cases

Disputes between rail carriers and shippers regarding freight rates are often resolved in a formal proceeding before the STB known as a Rate Case. RLBA provides assistance on rate cases on behalf of clients from all facets of the industry, employing a comprehensive approach tailored to each individual case. Combining industry standard metrics with unmatched project experience, RLBA offers analysis on service and operating plans, maintenance-of-way costs and agreements, and track capacity and congestion.

Select Project Descriptions:


On behalf of Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (AEPCO), RLBA incorporated railroad configuration, traffic and operating inputs provided by various other expert witnesses into the Rail Traffic Controller, a computerized, railroad operations simulation model employed to support AEPCO’s request to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) that it secure relief from excessive coal transportation rates to its Apache Generating Station in Cochise, AZ. RLBA’s mission was to investigate, using the simulation model, the extent to which the proposed stand-alone railroad would meet the needs of shippers and be more cost efficient than the service currently provided by BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad, thereby assisting in the justification of lower AEPCO transportation rates sought. The STB found in favor of AEPCO ruling that the transportation rates were excessive. Reparations, estimated at $4.5 million were made for the past excessive rates and limits will be put on what can be charged going forward to 2018, estimated to be a reduction of $63 million.


On behalf of Consumers Energy, RLBA was tasked with providing expert witness testimony concerning the development of a maintenance-of-way (MOW) plan, staffing and costs associated Consumers Energy’s request to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) that it secure relief from excessive coal transportation rates to its J.H. Campbell Generating Complex in West Olive, MI. The MOW work addressed both routine and program maintenance along the entire 130-mile long, hypothetical railroad. Program maintenance comprehends the periodic, project and/or emergency replacement of track and bridge components, either partially or entirely, such as switch timbers, ties, rail, ballast and bridges, to renew the track structure plus the relatively lesser ratio of labor necessary to install the rail, tie and ballast components.


RLBA provided expert litigation assistance to Total Petrochemical Inc. supporting the company’s stand-alone rate case against CSX Transportation. RLBA’s scope of work included assisting in the evaluation and construction of methodologies rebutting CSX’s reply evidence pertaining to yard dwell times and drafting text presented to the Surface Transportation Board discussing various assumptions made by CSX to artificially increase dwell times and thus, associated cost, on a hypothetical stand-alone Total Petrochemical Railway.