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3/21/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB allows electric utility's Illinois rail line proposal to proceed


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Surface Transportation Board March 21 determined that electric-power utility Midwest Generation LLC's proposal to construct a rail line in Will County, Ill., meets statutory standards required by ICC Termination Act.
The proposed 4,007-foot line would connect Midwest's Joliet generating station to nearby track owned and operated by Union Pacific Railroad and cross track owned by Illinois Central Railroad Co.
Midwest's plant, currently served by IC, burns coal that moves via UP from the Powder River Basin to a junction with IC a few hundred yards from the plant; IC then completes the move into the plant. The line, which IC opposes, would give Midwest direct access to UP's line as well as IC's.
The utility's proposal still is subject to ongoing environmental review; STB will not issue a final decision until that process is completed.
Because the proposed line would cross IC's, Midwest is seeking board authority to do so by separate request.
The project also awaits a subsequent STB decision that would determine whether the crossing unreasonably interferes with the operation of IC's track, operational conditions that would govern the crossing, and compensation Midwest would pay IC for such crossings, unless the parties agree to terms.


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