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2/15/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB to more-closely scrutinize Michigan intermodal project


Surface Transportation Board Feb. 15 determined that more study is needed concerning Riverview Trenton Railroad Co.'s (RTR) proposal to build an intermodal facility and begin rail operations along the Detroit River in Wayne County, Mich.
Through a notice of exemption filed with STB in December 2000, RTR sought to provide service over a 1.5-mile track section within a 76-acre parcel it acquired from an affiliate, and over track within an adjacent 195.45-acre industrial site owned by non-affiliate Detroit Steel Center Ltd.
Wayne County, and the cities of Riverview and Trenton, later filed petitions asking STB to revoke the exemption, contending that RTR was trying to avoid condemnation of its property by local governmental authorities through invoking the board's jurisdiction. Grand Trunk Western Railroad Inc. also opposed RTR's exemption.
With its proposed use of the class exemption challenged, RTR in May 2001 filed a petition with STB seeking a specific exemption to cover the proposed transaction.
Because of substantial public opposition to RTR's proposal, and the factual and legal issues associated with it, STB determined that using the class exemption, which normally is reserved for routine transactions, is not appropriate.
Therefore, STB revoked the exemption, asking RTR to provide supplemental information that would enable the board to give the proposal more-detailed scrutiny before reaching a final decision.


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