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Keokuk Junction Railway can skip environmental assessment to acquire Illinois line, STB says

On Dec. 29, Surface Transportation Board determined Keokuk Junction Railway Co. (KJRY) will not need to complete the environmental impact statement process to acquire a 76-mile line from Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway Corp. (TP&W).

In April, KJRY reached an agreement with TP&W to acquire and
operate the line — which has been in place since the late 1860s — running from La Harpe, Ill., to a Union Pacific Railroad interchange at Hollis, Ill.

In January 2001, TP&W temporarily sold the line and diverted traffic to other lines. Owned and operated by RailAmerica Inc., the 290-mile short line hasn't moved any traffic on the 76-mile segment since October 2002.

KJRY plans to operate trains over the entire line and restore traffic to pre-January 2001 levels, or about 7,500 carloads annually. Owned and operated by Pioneer Railcorp, the 38-mile short line also expects to begin moving freight currently shipped by truck — especially grain.

STB is accepting comments on its environmental-assessment decision until Jan. 16. The board expects to make a final decision on the transaction in early 2004.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/30/2003