Now, CSX and NS run the real risk of having to cut freight service under orders of the STB.
That's how it would work in China. Here, it's still an illegal order.
Congress has made clear in 49 U.S.C. § 24308 that the Board may only order freight railroads to accept additional Amtrak trains if those new passenger trains would not “impair unreasonably freight transportation.”
I'd think cutting 20% of freight service to accommodate Amtrak would be a clear unreasonable burden in any courtroom.
In the end, STB has an obligation to avoid negatively impacting the property owner from being able to maintain status quo use of their property. In this case, STB can't lawfully allow freight service to be degraded.
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