A coalition of more than 35 ag groups and cooperatives have sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation urging action to strengthen competition in the U.S. rail transportation market. East River Electric along with National Farmers Union is among coalition members urging the action. East River’s Assistant General Manager of member services Scott Parsley says it’s difficult to get railroads to even negotiate rates given the current monopolistic control they have.
Parsley says because it’ll be difficult to get the committee to agree to that, they’re asking for legislation to help remedy the problem.
He says when the railroads were de regulated there were 15 to 20 railroads in operation, today there’s only 4. He says their rates are much more higher than either trucking rates or inflation. Parsley says there’s only one railroad presently serving South Dakota.