Slover & Loftus LLP
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(202) 347-7170
(202) 347-3619

Practice Focus

Kelvin J. Dowd’s practice focuses on strategic counseling, negotiation and litigation on behalf of corporations, cooperatives, states and municipalities in rail transportation, utility fuel supply, infrastructure, and logistics matters. He is an experienced and expert practitioner in state and federal courts, and before administrative agencies, state commissions and arbitration panels. With his guidance, clients have successfully negotiated utility fuel supply and transportation contracts, established new short line and regional railroads, constructed, purchased, and sold new or expanded transportation infrastructure, and protected their rights and interests in commercial disputes.

In the specific area of rail transportation, Mr. Dowd has represented clients in rail rate and service litigation, railroad merger and acquisition approval proceedings, antitrust litigation, and labor-related disputes. He has been representing major consumers of rail transportation service as a member of Slover & Loftus LLP since 1981.

Representative Legal Matters

Represented the State of New York in proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board related to the acquisition and division of Conrail in 1998, successfully securing competitive freight rail service into New York City.

Represented utility coal shippers in numerous proceedings that resulted in substantial reductions in their fuel transportation costs, including Consumers Energy Company v. CSX Transportation, Inc. (STB Decision served January 11, 2018); Texas Municipal Power Agency v. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway, 6 S.T.B. 573 (2003); West Texas Utilities Company v. Burlington Northern Railroad, 1 S.T.B. 638 (1996), aff’d, sub nom, Burlington Northern Railroad Company v. STB, 114 F.3d 206 (D.C. Cir. 1997); and Seminole Electric Cooperative v. CSX Transportation, Inc., STB Docket No. 42110 (settled in 2010).

Acted as lead counsel in proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board and the U.S. Courts of Appeals which defined the nature of the relationship between new regional railroads and their current and predecessors’ employees, including Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen v. I.C.C., 63 F. 3d 638 (7th Cir. 1995).

Represented an electric cooperative in arbitration proceedings involving rights to terminate uneconomic supply and services contracts, assert contractual rights to force majeure relief under fuel supply contracts, and pursue remedies for defective contractor services.

Successfully represented numerous electric utilities in the development and implementation of customized strategies to negotiate favorable contracts for the supply and transportation of essential coal fuels.

Represented plaintiffs in a federal antitrust suit challenging an alleged railroad conspiracy to frustrate the development of a competitive coal pipeline transportation system, securing settlements valued in the tens of millions of dollars in reduced transportation costs for each company.

Represented property owners and developers in successfully defending state property rights against railroad claims of federal preemption.

Assisted electric utility clients in the development of innovative pricing methodologies to respond to changing prices of alternative generation fuels and fluctuating electric power market prices.

Advised municipalities and other public owners of rail infrastructure on matters related to the development of new or expanded terminal and transload facilities, including commercial terms and environmental impact analyses.


United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Numerous United States District Courts

District of Columbia Bar


Washington College of Law, American University (J.D. 1981)

University at Albany, Albany, N.Y. (B.A., cum laude, 1978)

Presentations and Publications

"The Captive Coal Shipper in 2018: Regulation and the Market," National Coal Transportation Association, Palm Coast, FL, 2018

“The Clean Power Plan: Implications For Railroad Contracts, Rates And Services,” Western Coal Traffic League, Phoenix, AZ, 2016

“The Future of Railroad Economic Regulation: Revenue Adequacy/Rate Reasonableness/Competitive Switching,” Association of Transportation Law Professionals Fall Forum, Washington, D.C., 2015

“CSAPR Revisited: A Windfall for Coal Suppliers?” Western Coal Traffic League, Phoenix, AZ, 2015

“Jurisdiction and Authority Issues,” Association of Transportation Law Professionals Fall Forum, Washington, D.C., 2014

“Railroad Revenue Adequacy: What It Is, Why It Matters,” National Coal Transportation Association Fall Meeting & Conference, Denver, CO, 2014

“Issues and Strategic Challenges in Coal Transportation and Supply Contracts,” International Energy Credit Association Spring Education Conference, Summerlin, NV, 2013

“CSPAR the Not So Friendly Ghost,” Western Coal Traffic League, Phoenix, AZ, 2012

“The Dawn of Railroad Revenue Adequacy,” Western Coal Traffic League, Phoenix, AZ, 2011

“Congress and the Railroads, Version 20.10,” Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, Captiva, FL, 2010

“Cooperative Purchasing Arrangements,” Rail Transportation Forum, Tampa, FL, 2007

“Perspectives on the Guidelines for Major Rate Cases,” Association of Transportation Law Professionals, Washington, D.C., 2006

“Transitions in Captive Coal Rate Regulation,” National Coal Transportation Association, Denver, CO, 2003