• Staggers Act - A Revisit

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
While Rep Harley Staggers (D-MD2) is often noted as the first Member of Congress to blatantly "politicize" the Amtrak route map with his "insistence" upon establishing a useless Wash-Parkersburg route, how many of those critics realize how he saved the railroad industry, with his "shepherding" of the Deregulation Act through two Houses and then to President Carter, bearing his name.

I think, with our economy facing its greatest assault in modern times, the Wall Street Journal has offered an Editorial noting the significance of this Act to the economy as a whole:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-democ ... 1602628514

Fair Use:
The term “deregulation” has become polarized in Washington. But there was a time when both parties could agree on the benefit of targeted regulatory reform.

The bipartisan Staggers Rail Act of 1980, passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by President Jimmy Carter, deregulated the freight railroad industry. When Mr. Carter signed the law on Oct. 14, he said that “by stripping away needless and costly regulation in favor of marketplace forces wherever possible, this act will . . . benefit shippers throughout the country by encouraging railroads to improve their equipment and better tailor their service to shipper needs.”
Of course, some group of railroad shippers has to feel aggrieved:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/make-u-s-r ... 1603227267

Fair Use:
In “When Democrats Were Deregulators” (op-ed, Oct. 14), Association of American Railroads CEO Ian Jefferies praises the Staggers Rail Act for leading to “targeted deregulation.” Unfortunately for the businesses that rely on freight rail, the term “targeted” is code for preserving certain outdated regulatory policies that favor and protect the railroads from truly competing in the marketplace.

There is no doubt that the Staggers Act helped save the nation’s rail network from collapse. But more work is needed to realize the landmark law’s vision of a competitive rail industry.
"We report, you decide"
  by Engineer Spike
 
The article is making a political statement about deregulation. I don’t think it should be one. The real issue is about the railways efficiently delivering their service, which is transportation. Under PSR, I feel that they aren’t doing a very good job at it, unless a customer has multiple unit trains worth of freight to ship.
  by ExCon90
 
PSR really has nothing to do with the Staggers Act. No regulation prior to Staggers would have prevented a railroad from implementing PSR if it wanted to; in fact, the IC (pre-ICG, I think) did something like that, without necessarily running longer trains. Prior to Staggers railroads changed train lengths all the time according to various operating theories favored by various managements at various times. What Staggers did was enable railroads to align freight rates with costs as the floor and competitors' rates as the ceiling, raising and lowering them as necessary without having to make -- literally -- a Federal case out of it before the ICC. It also enabled railroads to consolidate interchange points without going through the lengthy litigation necessary under ICC regulation.
  by ExCon90
 
Actually, I'm inclined to think that one result of Staggers was to make the railroads profitable enough to interest Wall Street, leading to an unhealthy preoccupation with operating ratio above all else; prior to Staggers nobody bought a railroad to make money.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Rush Loving's (author of "The Men Who Loved Trains") article in December TRAINS regarding "Dereg" is definitely on my "must read", as distinct from "scan", list.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Engineer Spike wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:42 pm The article is making a political statement about deregulation.
Spike, the cited material is OPINION. Sorry if I did not make that adequately clear when presenting such.