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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB OKs BNSF's Texas line to captive chemical shipper


Surface Transportation Board Jan. 28 granted Burlington Northern Santa Fe final approval to construct and operate a seven-mile line between Seadrift and
Kamey, Texas, to connect with a Union Carbide Corp. (UCC) plant and a Union Pacific Railroad line between Placedo and Port Lavaca, Texas.
The UCC plant, now served solely by UP, annually produces several billion pounds of chemicals and plastics, which are shipped to other U.S. UCC facilities or to various U.S. customers.
In the late 1980s, UCC determined that a line from its plant to the former Southern Pacific Railroad line would provide the company an alternative to exclusive rail service.
SP at the time agreed with UCC's proposal, prompting UCC to acquire necessary rights-of-way for the line, which was never built because UCC didn’t reach a full commercial agreement with SP.
During the UP/SP merger proceeding, STB granted a condition sought by UCC that preserved its proposal to access service from a second railroad. That
condition provided for a grant of trackage rights to BNSF over SP's line in connection with the right of BNSF to serve UCC via a new line.
BNSF plans to pursue a trackage rights agreement with UP, as provided by the board in the merger proceeding, to access the line.
The railroad expects to begin building the line in the first quarter and complete the project next year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/28/2002