SURFACE Transportation Board Chairman Roger Nober sent a letter on June 10 to each US Class I railway asking for a report on its plans to handle the expected increase in traffic in the autumn. Nober said he recognised that railways were already carrying an extraordinary volume of freight while still attempting to upgrade customer service, were improving co-ordination and co-operation and were developing ’new service offerings’.

However, he expressed concern about the ability of the railways to handle rising demand as the peak season approaches. Although Union Pacific is never mentioned, the chairman apparently fears that congestion experienced by the railway in recent months may spread to other carriers. Thus, he requested that the Class Is provide STB with details of ’the steps each railroad is taking to prepare for the fall shipping season and of how each railroad will share its plans with its customers.’