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8/30/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NS settles fiber-optic cable suit


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U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Indiana Aug. 29 approved a class-action suit settlement between Norfolk Southern Corp. and 50,000 landowners in 15 states.

Under settlement terms, NS subsidiary Thoroughbred Technology and Telecommunication obtains easement rights enabling the company to install 2,500 miles of fiber-optic cable along railroad rights of way, and the landowners receive cash and a share of future fiber-optic revenues — which could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

The landowners also would assume ownership of a newly created telecommunications company, tentatively named Class Corridor LLC.

The company at no cost would obtain up to 16 strands of fiber or, as an alternative, acquire conduits enabling the installation of additional fiber in 15 states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The landowners had filed the class action suit against NS seeking compensation for their easement rights.


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