North America’s freight railroads will hold a customer service forum September 21 in St. Louis to review their ongoing transportation plans and answer customer questions.

The forum will last from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and will be held at the Renaissance St. Louis Hotel. Customers wishing to attend are asked to register on line by going to the AAR’s web site,

“We held a similar forum last September in Kansas City and it was tremendously successful,” said Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads.

“Before the forum, there were predictions that railroads wouldn’t be able to handle the volumes of freight that would develop from an expanding economy,” he said. “Those predictions were flat out wrong, as railroads handled record volumes of freight last fall and maintained a fluid system. One of the reasons was that we kept open lines of communications between railroads and rail customers. This allowed both to make plans that minimized shipping disruptions.”

During the forum senior marketing and/or operations officers from each of the Class I railroads will make presentations to rail customers, as will Richard F. Timmons, president of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association. Afterwards, AAR President Hamberger will moderate a question and answer session with questions submitted by those in attendance.

Surface Transportation Board Chairman Roger Nober will also make remarks at the meeting.

Last year railroads handled record freight volumes, with total traffic up 7.2% and intermodal volume up 10.4%. So far this year, traffic is moving ahead of last year’s record pace, with total volume up 2.6% and intermodal up 6.4%.