USDA Grain Transportation Report (1/12): GAO Publishes Report on Precision Scheduled Railroading

According to today's USDA Grain Transportation Report, on December 23, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report, Freight Rail: Information on Precision-Scheduled Railroading (PSR).

This report describes stakeholder views of the effects of PSR on freight rail safety and service. While observing there is no single definition of PSR, GAO characterizes it as an operating approach with fewer railroad workers, fewer and longer trains, and fewer assets (e.g., railcars, locomotives, and facilities) than traditional railroad operations.

Railroads emphasize the necessity of PSR for increasing “efficiency and reliability” of rail service, but shippers cite “reduced frequency and reliability.”

According to the Freight Rail report, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) maintains that the effects of PSR-associated changes are unclear, and the report highlights STB’s various efforts to address concerns regarding poor rail service.