The Surface Transportation Board says it will hold public hearings on April 26 and 27 on recent rail service problems and recovery efforts involving several Class One carriers. The Board plans to direct several executive-level officials from many major railways to appear during the hearing. Rail network reliability is essential to the nation’s economy and is a big priority of the Board. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and other stakeholders have filed reports about the serious impact of the service trends on rail users, especially those who ship agricultural and energy products. “During my time on the Board, I’ve been concerned about the priority that Class One railroads have placed on cutting costs and satisfying shareholders even at the cost of consumers,” says Board Chair Martin Oberman. “That strategy has led to collectively reducing their workforce by 29 percent.” He also says the Board will ask the executives what they’ll do to fix the issues.