Discover Your Eligibility for Reciprocal Switching the STB’s Newly Proposed Regulation
The recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) under EP 711
(Sub-No. 2) signals a significant shift for rail shippers. This proposed regulation aims to enable
shippers to request an alternative switching railroad if their primary service provider doesn’t meet
certain service standards. For more details about this proposal, visit the STB website here.
What is Reciprocal Switching?
Reciprocal switching refers to a type of rail carrier service or access where a customer that is
exclusively served by one railroad company now has access to an alternative second railroad. It involves
a railroad with direct access to a shipper's facility handling rail traffic for another railroad without
such access, in exchange for a fee.
Benefits of Reciprocal Switching
Gaining alternative railroad access to a plant via reciprocal switching offers a great low-cost
solution for shippers who have limited access rail carriers or may be locked to just one carrier.
Such an arrangement provides shippers with expanded direct rail routes, enhanced railroad to
railroad competition, leading to expanded flexibility for a shipper’s rail logistics. Some of the
more specific benefits of reciprocal switching for shippers include:
Increased Route Options: Access to an additional carrier opens new direct and
through route possibilities for their shipment.
Lower Costs: Increased competition may lead to more favorable pricing for
Potential Enhanced Rail Service: Shippers are not limited to a single carrier,
thus improving the consistency and reliability of rail service. Shippers may gain more leverage
with their service schedules and routes.
Am I Eligible?
Eligibility under this proposed regulation requires a shipper’s plant be in a terminal
area (1), with
current rail service by only one Class I railroad (2), and the current rail
provider’s service levels
need to fall below certain standards (3). While the third item, minimum rail service
standards, will be
discussed extensively by the STB, Railroads, Shippers and all other stakeholders until a final form of
these standards is implemented, our tool is focused on identifying which shippers would be eligible to
request reciprocal switching given conditions (1) and (2) above. Our free tool is designed to aid your
research by identifying locations that meet these specific STB rule criteria.
Insight into Our List of Shippers Eligible for Reciprocal Switching under STB EP 711
Our tool analyzes and identifies shippers by examining their current service status and location. By
ensuring that shippers are single served by one Class railroad and situated within a terminal area, our
tool provides a simplified way for shippers to discover their potential eligibility for reciprocal
switching under the new STB regulation.
How to Use Our Lookup Tool
Search Specific Shippers: Input the name, address, or rail station of the shipper.
Examine the Results: Review the detailed results to understand the eligibility status of the
plants or facilities.
Next Steps for Eligible Shippers: If eligible, make sure to follow the STB proceeding on this
regulation, including submitting your own comments for the STB to consider. Once a final rule has
been voted on, obtain further information on the STB website on how to apply for reciprocal
Within minutes, we will send you an answer! Our tool is the first and most comprehensive database of
rail shippers that are eligible to apply for reciprocal switching under the new STB Rules.
Free Reciprocal Switching Lookup
While our tool and the data provided serves as a robust tool for preliminary guidance and insight,
important for shippers to conduct independent verification and stay updated with the STB for the
current information as the proposed regulation progresses.
Reciprocal Switching Eligibility: Does it apply to my plant?