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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

STB allows alternative service on Oklahoma rail line


The Surface Transportation Board (STB) on March 1 approved the Oklahoma Department of Transportation's request to allow the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad LLC (Rock Island) to provide temporary rail service over a rail line owned by the state and Blackwell Industrial Authority (BIA).

The STB decision allows the Rock Island to operate freight trains for 30 days along about 37 miles of rail line that Blackwell Northern Gateway Railroad (BNGR) had operated until the short line was shut down last month due to violations of federal rail safety regulations.

The line extends from Blackwell, Oklahoma, to Wellington, Kansas, where BNGR interchanged with BNSF Railway Co.

The Oklahoma DOT and BIA asked the STB to OK their request so that the Rock Island can serve shippers that have been without rail service since the Federal Railroad Administration's emergency order against the BNGR.

In its decision, the STB said that if the state and BIA want the Rock Island to provide rail service for more than 30 days, they should file their request with the board well before the 30 days expire. 

The board's entire decision can be read here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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