Rail Day 2010 Sample Letter

Please edit and change this letter to apply to your own situation! This text is only a suggestion – your story is a powerful part of the package!


May 5, 2010

Dear Senator _ :

Today, May 5, 2010, is Rail Customer Day in Washington, DC. Though our grower members were unable to fly in for this important occasion as they are neck deep in spring field work, we wanted to take the opportunity to urge your support of pending rail legislation, and stress the urgency of getting this legislation across the finish line this year.

As you know, wheat growers need a healthy, efficient railroad system to transport their crop to market, as rail is often the only cost-effective mode to transport this bulk commodity. The cost of transporting wheat can be upwards of one-third of the overall price a producer receives for his or her grain, so a competitive rail system that keeps both rates and service reasonable is vital to growers’ bottom lines.

Wheat growers recognize the need for railroads to be profitable enough to attract investment. However, growers also need and deserve reasonable rail rates and service, necessitating a strong, reformed Surface Transportation Board (STB) to oversee the sector in a balanced manner.

We believe that the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2009 (S. 2889) represents a balanced compromise that enhances competition and addresses both the needs of the shipping community and the need for railroads to attract needed investment.

If passed, this legislation will bring much-needed balance back to the STB, create a more level playing field for both railroads and shippers, and largely put to rest a long-fought battle between shippers and carriers over issues that should rightfully fall within the purview of a balanced STB.

The window is quickly narrowing for passage of this carefully crafted piece of legislation this Congress. We urge your support of S. 2889, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2009, and ask that you relay the urgency of its passage to Senate leadership this year.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.