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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB dishes out seven decisions at first open-voting conference


On Jan. 31, Surface Transportation Board made the following rulings at the board's first open-voting conference under new Chairman Roger Nober:

• the board voted 3-0 to approve Cedar America Rail Holdings Inc.'s application to control Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad Corp. (formerly I&M Rail Link);

• STB members unanimously agreed that Amtrak satisfactorily rehabilitated a 78-mile line on Guilford Rail System between Plaistow, N.H. and Portland, Maine, meeting terms of the board's 1999 decision;

• the board unanimously approved plans to issue a notice proposing a new class exemption under which railroads could obtain authority for trackage-rights agreements that automatically would expire on a certain date (STB's authorization currently extends indefinitely until trackage-rights operations are terminated);

• the board denied SF&L Railway Inc.'s petition to reopen and reconsider an October 2002 decision that revoked the railway's exemptions to acquire a 72-mile LaHarpe, Ill., line from Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway Corp.;

• STB denied Union Pacific Railroad's petition to revoke Yolo Shortline Railroad Co.'s authority to use a 3.1-mile line in West Sacramento, Calif.;

• the board denied Burlington Northern Santa Fe's motion stating that the Class I doesn't require STB authorization to obtain overhead trackage rights to a line BNSF leased to Portland & Western Railroad Inc.; and

• STB unanimously agreed to allow CSX Transportation to abandon and discontinue service on a three-mile line in Lake County, Ohio.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/3/2003