Rail Day 2010

Show your support for passage of rail reform legislation in 2010! Even if you can’t make it physically to Washington, D.C., write or call your Member of Congress to tell your story.


Rail Customer Day
Washington, D.C. and Around the U.S.
May 5, 2010


The National Association of Wheat Growers supports passage of currently pending rail legislation including S. 2889, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2009, which passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee in December 2009 and can move to enactment in 2010.

Now is our opportunity to highlight the importance of this legislation to wheat growers who are captive rail customers, and the need to move these pieces of legislation this year.

Key Points

Key points NAWG and other rail reform advocates will be stressing include (download complete briefer here):

  • Wheat producers rely on an effective railroad system to stay in business. For many, rail shipment is the only cost-effective transportation mode available.
  • Producers recognize the need for railroads to attract investment. Producers 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.
  • 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.
  • This legislation will bring much-needed balance back to the STB, and create a more level playing field for both railroads and shippers.
  • We have a narrow window to put this issue to rest this year with the passage of S. 2889. We urge Members to cosponsor S. 2889, and relay the importance of passage to Senate leadership.
  • NAWG also supports passage of pending rail antitrust bills (S. 146/H.R. 233). We urge Senators Rockefeller and Kohl to come to an agreement on a single, comprehensive rail bill that can be voted on and passed in the Senate this year.


The Current Situation

Want to know more about the most up-to-date status of the rail issue and pending rail legislation? Download here a complete briefer from NAWG staff, prepared especially for Rail Day 2010. Download a “leave behind” – or briefer appropriate for passing out to Members or staff – here.

Writing or Calling Congress

Click here to access sample text for a letter to your Member here. 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!

Please focus calls on your Senators, particularly if you aren’t sure of their support. Senate phone numbers are available here.

Learning More from Rail Coalitions

For much more about this issue, please visit the following websites:

Ag Transportation Study

USDA recently released a comprehensive study of agriculture transportation as requested in the 2008 Farm Bill. A few key findings related to wheat included:

  • From 2000 to 2006, wheat accounted for 15 percent of all grain movements.
  • The major wheat production region is in the Plains States, where rail is the dominant mode of transportation.
  • Most classes of wheat are produced in areas where barge transportation is not accessible, so rail is the leading provider of transportation for both the domestic and export market.

The full report and individual chapters are available here.