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(Source: CNN, September 20, 2022)

The fact that there is not a freight railroad strike happening this week is a huge win for the US economy and its still struggling supply chain. But that doesn’t mean that the freight railroads are providing good service to their customers. Many of the problems tangling up the supply chain, driving up prices and slowing the economy can be traced to the steady decline in freight rail service in recent years. Many business groups are on record complaining about the poor service, including longer transit times and fewer trips by the railroads to pick up freight or return empty cars to the businesses the serve. The problems date back to well before the pandemic. Statistics show rail service is much worse than it was at the start of this century, and has gotten particularly bad during the last five years. That is one reason that a number of business groups are pushing for tighter regulation and penalties to be placed on the railroads that cause delays or service problems.

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