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7/2/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF, Seattle port agree to postpone corridor acquisition deadline


BNSF Railway Co. and the Port of Seattle recently agreed to extend the deadline for the port’s proposed acquisition of the 42-mile Eastside Rail Corridor through year’s end.

The extension is necessary due to continued uncertainty in credit markets and the recession’s effects on port finances, the port said. In December, the port was slated to acquire the corridor from BNSF for $107 million, but the transaction was postponed after global credit markets collapsed.

In addition, the Surface Transportation Board has yet to complete its review of the proposed sale, the port said.

“We continue to believe that the rail corridor should be in public ownership,” said Port of Seattle Chief Executive Officer Tay Yoshitani in a prepared statement. “It is an invaluable asset for the region.”

The port plans to lease the corridor to King County to develop a public-access trail on its southern portion. Freight would continue to be hauled on a section of the corridor from Woodinville to Snohomish, Wash.


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