Johnson Introduces Bill to Ease Railway Supply Chain Delays

August 5, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C.–South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson has introduced the Freights First Act to ease the supply chain-related gridlock and delays by prioritizing the movement of goods by freight rail.

Currently, Amtrak has a statutory right of track preference over freight railroads when it comes to use of a rail. Unfortunately, Amtrak’s right of track preference has the potential to slow down the movement of freight railroads, worsening the supply chain crunch.

“The supply chain backlogs that began at our ports has trickled down to our freight rail networks,” said Johnson. “An efficient and effective supply chain is necessary to bolster our economy. Recent economic reports show that our demand has outpaced supply for too long. This bill will get us on the right track to fix our supply chain crisis.”

Delays have disrupted our country’s freight rail networks, adding new complications for shippers and retailers and creating a domino effect on the supply chain.

The Freights First Act removes supply chain-related gridlock and delays by removing Amtrak’s track preference within 50 miles of a port or rail yard, thus freeing up the movement of goods via freight rail.

This change lasts for five years and can thereafter be extended or ended by the Secretary of Transportation.