Surface Transportation Board

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) is the regulatory body governing U.S. railroads, with oversight and judgement authority over rail-related disputes. With experience assisting clients on all sides of STB cases and hearings, RLBA is considered an authority within the rail regulatory field. RLBA provides comprehensive assistance on rail valuations, corridor negotiations, real estate, service and grade crossing issues and other rail-related regulatory matters.

Select Project Descriptions:


RLBA was engaged by counsel to Kansas City Southern (KCS) to consider the operational impacts to that carrier that might result from the potential introduction of BNSF direct service into a jointly-owned (KCS and UP) and operated segment of railroad. To support those efforts, RLBA staff conducted a four-day, on-site, inspection of the KCS and UP facilities in the Lake Charles area. While on-site, RLBA staff observed operations on KCS, UP and BNSF, as well as conducted interviews with local KCS and UP Operating Department managers. The final deliverable was a Verified Statement submitted to the Surface Transportation Board describing the significant negative impacts on the safety and fluidity of existing operations that would flow from granting BNSF’s request to obtain Terminal Trackage Rights.


RLBA was retained by Stinson Leonard Street, LLP on behalf of Delaware and Hudson Rail Company and Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) to provide expert witness testimony before the Surface Transportation Board on the matter of tariff rate issues regarding the movement of empty railcars to and from shop facilities. The written testimony delivered to CP consisted of an extensive analysis of the issue, background on related incidents, an explanation of car movement rules, a definition of what is considered revenue car movement vs. non-revenue car movement and a recommendation containing RLBA’s conclusion on the matter. RLBA deemed that CP was correct to charge its client for empty movements when transporting cars to service facilities to conduct necessary maintenance.


RLBA was engaged to prepare a Verified Statement (VS) and present its findings before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) outlining the steps RLBA took in providing going concern, net liquidation and value in place (VIP) valuations of New England Central Railroad (NECR) rail and land assets. Specifically, RLBA performed appraisals of the following three segments of the NECR, totaling 72.8 miles:

  1. a 48.8-mile segment between Windsor and Brattleboro, VT;
  2. a 10.6-mile segment between Brattleboro, VT and East Northfield, MA; and
  3. a 13.4-mile segment between Windsor and White River Junction, VT.

In the VIP, RLBA examined both rail assets and fixed infrastructure, providing a “value in place” estimate of rail and other track materials, ballast, bridges and tunnels, signals and highway crossings.