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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

STB releases draft environmental report on Hartwell Railroad's track project


The Surface Transportation Board's (STB) Office of Environmental Analysis yesterday issued a draft environmental report that assesses the potential environmental effects of Hartwell Railroad Co.'s proposal to construct about 1,360 feet of track in Elbert County, Ga.

The track would re-establish a freight-rail connection by bridging Hartwell Railroad's Toccoa-Elberton line and CSX Transportation's Abbeville Subdivision. The connecting track formerly was owned by Norfolk Southern Railway, which abandoned it in 1995. Since that time, Hartwell Railroad has interchanged traffic with NS at the other end of its line about 40 miles away to access CSX's mainlines located about 60 miles to the northeast and 37 miles to the southwest.

The proposed track would permit Hartwell to reach CSX points that NS doesn't serve and eliminate the inefficiency of involving three railroads to reach points served solely by CSX, STB officials said in the environmental report's summary. Hartwell expects to handle up to one train per day in each direction over the new connection with CSX.

The draft environmental report is the STB's first step in considering the project's environmental effects. The board is accepting comments on the draft document until July 31. The comments will be considered when the STB prepares a final environmental report on the project.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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