Waybill Change Would List All TIH Rail Movements

Large freight railroads have submitted random samples of as little as 1 percent of their carloads on waybills sent to the Surface Transportation Board, but the board proposes that all cargoes designated as Toxic Inhalation Hazard be reported.

Large freight railroads must submit samples of carload waybills to the Surface Transportation Board. These data -- a waybill identifies the originating and terminating freight stations, railroads participating in the movement, the points of all railroad interchanges, the number of cars, the car's initial and number, weight of the movement, the commodity, and the freight revenue -- come from railroads that terminated at least 4,500 revenue carloads in any of the three preceding years or terminated at least 5 percent of their revenue carloads in a single state in any of the three preceding years.

But one class of cargo, toxic inhalation hazard (TIH), soon won't be reported this way. A proposed rule by the board means railroads that must report the data would have to submit all TIH movements starting with the January 2011 Waybill Sample.

Waybill Sample is the board's primary source of information about freight rail shipments terminating in the United States. The proposal says the expanded data would allow the board to assess TIH traffic in the United States more accurately and help the board more accurately measure the costs of handling the traffic.

For more information, contact Paul Aguiar at 202-245-0323 or visit www.stb.dot.gov.

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