Keokuk Junction Railway can skip environmental assessment to acquire Illinois line, STB says (12/30/2003)


On Dec. 29, Surface Transportation Board determined Keokuk Junction Railway Co. (KJRY) will not need to complete the environmental impact statement process to acquire a 76-mile line from Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway Corp. (TP&W).

In April, KJRY reached an agreement with TP&W to acquire and operate the line — which has been in place since the late 1860s — running from La Harpe, Ill., to a Union Pacific Railroad interchange at Hollis, Ill.

In January 2001, TP&W temporarily sold the line and diverted traffic to other lines. Owned and operated by RailAmerica Inc., the 290-mile short line hasn't moved any traffic on the 76-mile segment since October 2002.

KJRY plans to operate trains over the entire line and restore traffic to pre-January 2001 levels, or about 7,500 carloads annually. Owned and operated by Pioneer Railcorp, the 38-mile short line also expects to begin moving freight currently shipped by truck — especially grain.

STB is accepting comments on its environmental-assessment decision until Jan. 16. The board expects to make a final decision on the transaction in early 2004.

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News