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6/23/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB issues six decisions during first open voting conference as a three-member board



After welcoming commissioners W. Douglas Buttrey and Francis Mulvey, Surface Transportation Board Chairman Roger Nober got down to business with his new partners at the board's open voting conference yesterday in Washington, D.C.

During the conference, STB members:
• voted to unanimously accept the application of Buckingham Branch Railroad Co. and consider the company's plan to lease 191 track miles from CSX Transportation between Clifton Forge and Richmond, Va.;
• determined that the railroad industry's 2003 after-tax cost of capital was 9.4 percent;
• unanimously denied a request from five New Jersey municipalities to reopen a July 2002 decision permitting Morristown & Erie Railway Inc. to reactivate certain lines in the state;
• voted unanimously to clarify that a previously imposed condition to an abandonment authorization requiring Central Michigan Railway Co. to provide a per-car rebate on future shipments should be limited;
• unanimously denied a petition filed by the city of Creede, Colo.,
seeking to overturn a May 1999 decision allowing the acquisition, through the board's "offer of financial assistance" procedures, of a line proposed for abandonment; and
• unanimously dismissed a notice filed by the city of Venice, Ill., to obtain authority to abandon a two-mile line between St. Louis and McKinley Junction, Ill.


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