Statement on the Senate Approval of Fuchs, Schultz for STB
April 26, 2018
Senator Wicker’s Concern Over Freight Train Interference Well Founded
For Immediate Release (17-30)
Contact: Xenophon Strategies - (202) 289-4001
The Rail Passengers Association applauds the Senate Commerce Committee approval of Patrick J. Fuchs and Michelle Schultz for the Surface Transportation Board, and calls upon the Senate to swiftly vote to confirm.
“Our association has had the pleasure of working with Patrick closely during his time as a senior staff member of the Senate Commerce Committee, and we cannot speak highly enough of his commitment to improving America’s rail network and the depth of experience and knowledge he brings to his work,” said Rail Passengers Association President Jim Mathews. “No one knows better the intent behind the passenger rail protections included in the FAST Act, and I know Patrick will be fair and judicious in the rail matters brought before the STB.”
“During Schultz’s tenure as associate general counsel for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, she developed a reputation for diligence and competence among our Pennsylvanian members, and I believe she will bring the same aptitude to her work at the STB,” said Mathews.
Critically, during the April 25th nomination hearing, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) discussed the delays plaguing rail passengers and highlighted the freight train interference that is causing this problem.
“Amtrak has preference over freight transportation in using a rail line,” said Senator Wicker. “[But] in reality freight railroads have consistently denied such preference to Amtrak, in fact only 47% of long distance trains were on-time at stations in FY 2017 and this is largely attributable to freight’s refusing to provide preference to passenger rail.”
Rail Passengers has the utmost confidence that these two nominees will help the STB to expeditiously and fairly remedy bad actions taken by host railroads. For more information, refer to Amtrak’s Host Railroad Report Card.
About the Rail Passengers Association
The Rail Passengers Association is the oldest and largest national organization speaking for the nearly 40 million users of passenger trains and rail transit. We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. Our work is supported by more than 28,000 individual members nationwide.
"The COVID Pandemic has been and continues to be the biggest challenge faced by Americans as it has taken a deadly toll on the world and on the world’s economies. During COVID Locomotive Engineers at Amtrak and other Passenger and Freight Railroads have embodied the definition of essential workers. This dedication by our members is not new. We applaud the Rail Passenger’s Association for recognizing the vital contributions of our members and their hard work moving Americans and freight during the COVID pandemic."
Dennis Pierce, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) National President
December 21, 2021, on the Association awarding its 2021 Golden Spike Award to the Frontline Amtrak Employees.