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STB extends TTX's flat-car pooling authority, approves KCS' petition to reconsider Mexrail purchase

Yesterday, the Surface Transportation Board announced three decisions, which were made at an Aug. 31 conference.

After evaluating evidence submitted in a reopened proceeding, board members unanimously ruled that PPL Montana L.L.C.'s rate case against Burlington Northern Santa Fe relied on an impermissible cross-subsidy and will be dismissed. PPL challenged BNSF's rates to move coal from 17 Powder River Basin mines to an electricity generating plant in Billings, Mont.

Members also approved a 10-year extension of TTX Co.'s authority
to pool flat cars. In January, TTX and its 10 owner railroads filed an application with STB to extend TTX's flat-car pooling authority until 2019. In 1974, board predecessor the Interstate Commerce Commission originally granted the authority, which was extended in 1989 and 1994. TTX's current pooling authority expires on Oct. 1.

Finally, board members unanimously approved Kansas City Southern's application to reconsider its acquisition of Mexrail Inc. and Mexrail subsidiary The Texas Mexican Railway Co. KCS recently reached a new agreement with Grupo TMM to acquire TFM S.A. de C.V's 51 percent ownership stake in Mexrail for $32.7 million. Last year, KCS submitted a similar application to the STB, but the board suspended the petition following TFM's repurchase of the Mexrail shares from KCS per an April 2003 agreement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/2/2004