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6/18/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Oregon county to obtain, operate Idaho Northern's line


Wallowa County, Ore., recently filed an acquisition and operation exemption with Surface Transportation Board to obtain from Idaho Northern & Pacific Railroad Co. (INPR) a 62.58-mile line between Elgin and Joseph, Ore.
The county and 156-mile short line recently reached an agreement, under which INPR would operate the line for 90 days after full payment of the purchase price or until the county finds a new operator. (The county has a residual common-carrier obligation to operate the line and plans to hire an operator.)
Although INPR in 1997 received STB approval to abandon 60.58 miles of the line, county officials believe no new board authority is needed for INPR to operate the line because the short line never abandoned nor discontinued service over the line portion.


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