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Rail News Home M&A

9/3/2003



Rail News: M&A

STB: Wheeling & Lake Erie's line acquisition won't affect employees



Surface Transportation Board recently granted Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. (W&LE) a waiver from a requirement that a railroad give "possibly affected" employees 60 days' notice of a planned line acquisition.

W&LE plans to acquire 18 track miles between Canton and Krumroy, Ohio, from line owner Metro Regional Transit Authority (METRO).
The track comprises a southern segment from Canton to Aultman, and middle segment from Aultman to Krumroy.

In 1992, W&LE leased the southern segment from CSX Transportation. In 2000, CSXT sold the southern and middle segments, and a third portion from Krumroy to Akron, to METRO.

CSXT retained an exclusive freight easement over all three segments — subject to W&LE's pre-existing southern-segment lease — and agreed to transfer the freight easement over the southern and middle segments to METRO. The authority recently agreed to provide W&LE the freight easement over the southern and middle segments.

In July, W&LE and CSXT reached an agreement enabling the 680-mile regional to acquire the Class I's easement over the two segments. W&LE has no current plans to provide service over the middle segment, over which CSXT discontinued service in 1993, but might choose to do so in the future.

In its waiver petition, W&LE argued that the purpose of the notice requirement is to give employees advance notice of a new owner or line operator, and to enable workers to consider employment with the new owner or operator. The transaction would not adversely affect any employees, W&LE officials believe.



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