Resolution on Railroad Line Sales Exposed

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The Resolution on Railroad Line Sales does not included adoption or approval information, but was included in the 1995 ALEC Sourcebook of American State Legislation. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

ALEC Bill Text


ALEC’s model Resolution on Railroad Line Sales encourages Congress to oppose legislation that will regulate line sales, or impose labor protection on line sales. The Resolution also encourages the avoidance of other impediments that may delay the sale of railroad lines.

Model Resolution

WHEREAS, partial deregulation under the Staggers Act has helped restore financial stability to the railroad industry and has made investment in rail operations more attractive, to the benefit of the railroads, as well as the shippers and communities that they serve; and WHEREAS, the period since Staggers has seen the formation of many new companies for the purpose of purchasing and operating rail lines that were previously operated at a loss or at marginal profitability by larger carriers; and

WHEREAS, because these new companies have been able to operate small lines more efficiently than the large railroads, many probable line abandonments have been averted, and rail service has been improved or preserved for many small shippers and communities; and

WHEREAS, the policy implemented by the Interstate Commerce Commission of exempting line sales to new carriers from regulation, including the imposition of onerous labor protection, has greatly facilitated the sale of, and continuation of service over, small lines; and

WHEREAS, there have been attempts, both through legislation and litigation, to impose labor protection conditions, including severance pay and other benefits, as well as other regulatory requirements, on carriers participating in line sale transactions; and

WHEREAS, imposition of labor protection in line sales will most assuredly render many of these transactions financially infeasible and inhibit their consummation; and

WHEREAS, this would lead to a deterioration of service, an increase in abandonments, a long-term decline in railroad employment and the loss of rail service to many small shippers and communities;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Legislature of (state) memorialize Congress to oppose any legislation seeking to regulate line sales or impose labor protection on line sales, and to enact legislation giving the Interstate Commerce Commission the authority, upon approval of a line sale transaction, to override any other laws that would impede or delay the transaction, including any laws that would force the parties to the sale to provide labor protection in conjunction with the transaction; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Clerk of the (House of Representatives and Senate) transmit copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to the President of the United States Senate, to the Secretary of Transportation of the United States and to each member of the Congress of the United States.