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Rail News: M&A

STB conditionally approves Buckingham Branch's plan to lease CSXT line, sublease NS line in Virginia


On Nov. 5, the Surface Transportation Board approved — subject to labor protection conditions — the Buckingham Branch Railroad Co.'s (BBRR) plan to lease CSX Transportation's 199.7-mile "C&O" line between Clifton Forge and Richmond, Va., and sublease Norfolk Southern Railway's 9.1-mile "Orange" line between Gordonsville and Orange, Va.

The 40-mile short line owns and operates a 17-mile line that connects with CSXT in Bremo, Va. Under a lease agreement, BBRR will operate CSXT's C&O line for 20 years and retain a five-year extension option. The short line also will maintain the C&O and Orange lines.

CSXT will interchange with BBRR and retain limited overhead trackage rights to return empty westbound hopper cars — including empty coal unit trains — to their origins. CSXT also will retain local trackage rights to move aggregate unit trains from Martin Marietta's Verdon quarry to points near Newport News, and return empty unit trains to the quarry.

BBRR officials estimate the agreement will increase annual carloads to about 11,700, comprising 6,200 units of local traffic, 4,500 units of non-revenue CSXT traffic, and 1,000 units of interchange traffic with NS and the Eastern Shore Railroad Inc. CSXT officials expect to move about 156,000 empty westbound cars and 7,900 revenue carloads for Martin Marietta on the line annually.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/9/2004