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12/27/2012



Rail News: BNSF Railway

Berkshire sells second short line to meet STB divestiture obligation


In a letter sent to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) on Dec. 18, BNSF Railway Co. Executive Vice President of Law and Secretary Roger Nober informed the board that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary Marmon Transportation Services L.L.C. had sold the White City Terminal Union Railway L.L.C. (WCTU) to RVTR Rail Holdings L.L.C.

In September, the STB notified Berkshire Hathaway and BNSF officials that they had failed to properly acknowledge Berkshire's ownership of the WCTU and CBEC Railway Inc. when the company acquired BNSF in 2010, and were in non-compliance with railroad control requirements.

Although the two short lines combined operate 18 miles of track and are two small holdings among the nearly 2,000 subsidiaries within Berkshire's operating business groups, BNSF officials argued that the oversight was technically out of compliance with STB regulations and voluntarily committed to sell the two railroads by year's end.

In November, Berkshire subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Co. sold its interest in the CBEC Railway to the Central Iowa Power Cooperative and Corn Belt Power Cooperative. The closing of the WCTU sale completed the divestiture obligation to the STB, Nober wrote in the letter.


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