Pinsly Railroad Company-Control Exemption-Warren & Saline River Railroad Company, 56913-56914 [E9-26396]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 211 / Tuesday, November 3, 2009 / Notices By the Board, Anne K. Quinlan, Acting Secretary. Kulunie L. Cannon, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. E9–26364 Filed 11–2–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [STB Finance Docket No. 35293] Pinsly Railroad Company—Control Exemption—Warren & Saline River Railroad Company By petition filed on September 9, 2009, Pinsly Railroad Company (PRC) seeks an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323–25 to acquire control of Warren & Saline River Railroad Company (WSR) through the purchase of all WSR stock from Potlatch Land & Lumber, LLC (PLL). PRC seeks expedited action of this petition.1 The Board will grant the exemption and the request for expedited action. Background mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES PRC is a noncarrier holding company that currently controls five Class III rail carriers.2 WSR is a Class III rail carrier, and wholly-owned subsidiary of PLL, which owns and operates approximately 5 route miles of rail line extending south and west from Warren, AR. PLL is the only active shipper on the WSR line. PRC states that AKMD leases and operates a rail line that connects with WSR at Warren. PRC states that it executed a Stock Purchase Agreement with PLL on September 4, 2009, to acquire all of WSR’s stock and assume control of WSR.3 Following consummation, PRC plans to coordinate the rail operations of 1 PRC concurrently filed a verified notice of exemption in Pinsly Railroad Company—Control Exemption—The Prescott and Northwestern Railroad Company, STB Finance Docket No. 35292 (STB served Sept. 25, 2009), to obtain control of The Prescott and Northwestern Railroad Company (PNW), a Class III rail carrier, through the purchase of all PNW’s stock from PLL. That exemption became effective on October 9, 2009. 2 These carriers are: Pioneer Valley Railroad Company, Inc. (PVR), which operates in Massachusetts; Florida Central Railroad Company, Inc. (FCR), Florida Midland Railroad Company, Inc. (FMR), and Florida Northern Railroad Company, Inc. (FNR), each of which operates in Florida; and Arkansas Midland Railroad Company, Inc. (AKMD), which operates several disconnected line segments in Arkansas. 3 PRC has concurrently filed a motion for protective order pursuant to 49 CFR 1104.14(b) in STB Finance Docket No. 35292 to allow PRC to file the unredacted Stock Purchase Agreement under seal. The motion was addressed in a separate decision served on October 6, 2009. VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:15 Nov 02, 2009 Jkt 220001 WSR and AKMD, with service continuing 5 days per week as traffic warrants. PRC seeks expedited consideration of the petition so that it can concurrently finalize its acquisition of WSR and PNW no later than December 30, 2009. In support of its petition, PRC states that no shipper will lose rail service or any existing competitive options as a result of the proposed transaction. PRC also states that all WSR traffic, which currently moves over AKMD’s line out of Warren, will continue to do so after PRC assumes control of WSR. Finally, PRC states that it, along with AKMD, will provide administrative and other support for WSR’s operations when WSR and AKMD become affiliated carriers. Discussion and Conclusions The acquisition of control of a rail carrier by a person that is not a rail carrier but that controls any number of rail carriers requires prior approval by the Board under 49 U.S.C. 11323(a)(5). Under 49 U.S.C. 10502(a), however, the Board must exempt a transaction or service from regulation if it finds that: (1) Regulation is not necessary to carry out the rail transportation policy (RTP) of 49 U.S.C. 10101; and (2) either (a) the transaction or service is limited in scope; or (b) regulation is not needed to protect shippers from the abuse of market power. An exemption from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323–25 is consistent with the standards of 49 U.S.C. 10502. Detailed scrutiny of the proposed transaction through an application for review and approval under 49 U.S.C. 11323–25 is not necessary to carry out the RTP. Rather, an exemption will promote that policy by minimizing the need for Federal regulatory control over the proposed transaction, promoting a safe and efficient rail transportation system, ensuring that a sound rail transportation system will continue to meet the needs of the shipping public, and reducing regulatory barriers to entry [49 U.S.C. 10101(2), (3), (4), and (7)]. Also, by allowing PRC to integrate WSR into its existing family of Class III carriers, with attendant experience, resources, capital, and administrative support, an exemption will foster sound economic conditions in transportation, ensure effective competition and coordination between rail carriers, and encourage efficient management [49 U.S.C. 10101(5) and (9)]. Other aspects of the RTP will not be adversely affected. Regulation of this transaction is not needed to protect shippers from an abuse of market power. PRC has PO 00000 Frm 00122 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 56913 indicated that there will be no adverse impacts on rail transportation or lessening of rail competition. PRC will simply be incorporating WSR into its family of short line carriers without materially changing the operations of WSR. As a result, shippers potentially will benefit from greater efficiencies while receiving the same service. No shipper located on WSR’s line is expected to lose rail service options as a result of the control transaction. The more likely result will be enhanced rail service, as shippers will benefit from the substantial experience and resources of PRC and from the connection between WSR and the other PRC-controlled carriers. Given our finding regarding the probable effect of the transaction on market power, we need not determine whether the transaction is limited in scope. Under 49 U.S.C. 10502(g), the Board may not use its exemption authority to relieve a rail carrier of its statutory obligation to protect the interests of its employees. Section 11326(c), however, does not provide for labor protection for transactions under sections 11324 and 11325 that involve only Class III rail carriers. Accordingly, the Board may not impose labor protective conditions here because all the carriers involved are Class III rail carriers. The acquisition of control is exempt from environmental reporting requirements under 49 CFR 1105.6(c)(2)(i) because it will not result in any significant change in carrier operations. Similarly, the transaction is exempt from the historic reporting requirements under 49 CFR 1105.8(b)(3) because it will not substantially change the level of maintenance of railroad properties. In this proceeding, PRC has requested expedited handling of its petition to enable it to consummate the acquisition of control of WSR in conjunction with its acquisition of another Class III carrier, PNW, in a separate proceeding. PRC has requested that its acquisition of WSR become effective no later than December 30, 2009. PRC’s authority to acquire PNW became effective on October 9, 2009. PRC’s request is reasonable in light of the fact that the acquisition of the two Class III carriers was finalized under a single Stock Purchase Agreement. PRC’s request for expedited action will be granted. This action will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources. It is ordered: 1. Under 49 U.S.C. 10502, the Board exempts from the prior approval E:\FR\FM\03NON1.SGM 03NON1 56914 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 211 / Tuesday, November 3, 2009 / Notices requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323–25 PRC’s acquisition of control of WSR. 2. PRC’s request for expedited action is granted. 3. Notice will be published in the Federal Register on November 3, 2009. 4. This exemption will be effective on December 3, 2009. Petitions to stay must be filed by November 13, 2009. Petitions to reopen must be filed by November 23, 2009. By the Board, Chairman Elliot, Vice Chairman Nottingham, and Commissioner Mulvey. Jeffrey Herzig, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. E9–26396 Filed 11–2–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration [FHWA Docket No. FHWA–2009–0106] Express Lanes Demonstration Program—Performance Goals for the Texas Department of Transportation Express Lanes IH–30 and IH–35E Express Lanes Projects AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES VerDate Nov<24>2008 18:15 Nov 02, 2009 Jkt 220001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about this notice, contact Mr. Wayne Berman, Office of Operations, (202) 366–4069, (Wayne.Berman@dot.gov); for legal questions contact Mr. Michael Harkins, Attorney Advisor, Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366–4928, (Michael.Harkins@dot.gov). The FHWA is located at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access Section 1604(b)(7) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) (Pub. L. 109–59; Aug. 10, 2005), authorizes the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to develop and publish performance goals for each express lane project accepted under the Express Lanes Demonstration Program. This notice lists the Performance Goals, Monitoring and Reporting Program requirements for the IH–30 (the Tom Landry Freeway) Express Lanes project and IH–35E Express Lanes project in Dallas in the State of Texas. DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 3, 2009. ADDRESSES: Mail or hand deliver comments to: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, or submit electronically at http:// www.regulations.gov, or fax comments to (202) 493–2251. All comments should include the docket number that appears in the heading of this document. All comments received will be available for examination and copying at the above address from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Those desiring notification of SUMMARY: receipt of comments must include a selfaddressed, stamped postcard or may print the acknowledgment page that appears after submitting comments electronically. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments in any one of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, or labor union). You may review the DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70, Pages 19477–78), or you may visit http:// DocketsInfo.dot.gov. An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the Federal Register’s home page at: http:// www.archives.gov and the Government Printing Office’s database at: http:// www.access.gpo.gov/nara. Background Section 1604(b) of SAFETEA–LU, established the Express Lanes Demonstration Program (ELDP). Under the ELDP, the Secretary must carry out 15 demonstration projects during the period of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 to permit States to collect a toll from motor vehicles at eligible facilities. On May 28, 2009, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) submitted applications to the FHWA for tolling authority under the ELDP for the IH–30 (Tom Landry Freeway) Express Lanes project and the IH–35E Express Lanes Project, both in the Dallas metropolitan region. After review and analysis, both applications were approved on July 1, 2009. The IH–30 Express Lanes project corridor is comprised of the segments of I–30W from the Tarrant County line (to Bairds Farm Road/Legends Way) to the Dallas Central Business District (to I– 35E). The project includes mobility improvements on approximately 17 miles and will ultimately feature reversible managed lanes for the entire PO 00000 Frm 00123 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 length of the Corridor. The existing IH– 30 is an intermittent three-to-five-lane section of operating freeway with segments that include additional complementary auxiliary lane sections to improve operations. The fully reconstructed Corridor will retain at least the same number of existing continuous toll-free general purpose lanes, will add tolled managed lanes along certain segments, and will provide additional mobility improvements. The managed lanes will allow an alternate choice for users to select a priced option to minimize and guarantee their trip time along the corridor. The IH–35E Express Lanes Project corridor is comprised of three segments of I–35E from I–635 in Dallas County to north of US 380 in Denton County. The project includes mobility improvements on just over 28 miles and will feature two to four managed lanes (one to two lanes each way) for the entire corridor length. The project corridor will retain the same number of toll-free general purpose lanes that currently exist and will add tolled managed lanes. The managed lanes will allow an alternate choice for users to select a priced option to minimize and guarantee their trip time along the corridor. Pursuant to section 1604(b)(7) of SAFETEA–LU, the Secretary, in cooperation with the State, public authority, private entity, and other program participants must develop performance goals for each project and publish such goals for public comment. This notice lists, and solicits public comment on, the Performance Goals, Monitoring and Reporting Programs for the IH–30 and the IH–35E Express Lanes Projects. Performance Goals, Monitoring and Reporting Program The following describes the agreed upon ELDP’s Performance Goals, Monitoring and Reporting Program for the IH–30 and the IH–35E Express Lanes Projects. This program has been developed cooperatively between TxDOT and FHWA. A. Performance Goals The FHWA and TxDOT have identified the following four Performance Goals for the project. These Performance Goals reflect the priorities for the project at the State and local levels. The Performance Goals also reflect the goals of the Express Lanes Demonstration Project set forth in Federal law at SAFETEA–LU section 1604(b). I. Effects on travel, traffic, and air quality. E:\FR\FM\03NON1.SGM 03NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 211 (Tuesday, November 3, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56913-56914]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-26396]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Surface Transportation Board

[STB Finance Docket No. 35293]


Pinsly Railroad Company--Control Exemption--Warren & Saline River 
Railroad Company

    By petition filed on September 9, 2009, Pinsly Railroad Company 
(PRC) seeks an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval 
requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323-25 to acquire control of Warren & 
Saline River Railroad Company (WSR) through the purchase of all WSR 
stock from Potlatch Land & Lumber, LLC (PLL). PRC seeks expedited 
action of this petition.\1\ The Board will grant the exemption and the 
request for expedited action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ PRC concurrently filed a verified notice of exemption in 
Pinsly Railroad Company--Control Exemption--The Prescott and 
Northwestern Railroad Company, STB Finance Docket No. 35292 (STB 
served Sept. 25, 2009), to obtain control of The Prescott and 
Northwestern Railroad Company (PNW), a Class III rail carrier, 
through the purchase of all PNW's stock from PLL. That exemption 
became effective on October 9, 2009.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Background

    PRC is a noncarrier holding company that currently controls five 
Class III rail carriers.\2\ WSR is a Class III rail carrier, and 
wholly-owned subsidiary of PLL, which owns and operates approximately 5 
route miles of rail line extending south and west from Warren, AR. PLL 
is the only active shipper on the WSR line. PRC states that AKMD leases 
and operates a rail line that connects with WSR at Warren.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ These carriers are: Pioneer Valley Railroad Company, Inc. 
(PVR), which operates in Massachusetts; Florida Central Railroad 
Company, Inc. (FCR), Florida Midland Railroad Company, Inc. (FMR), 
and Florida Northern Railroad Company, Inc. (FNR), each of which 
operates in Florida; and Arkansas Midland Railroad Company, Inc. 
(AKMD), which operates several disconnected line segments in 
Arkansas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PRC states that it executed a Stock Purchase Agreement with PLL on 
September 4, 2009, to acquire all of WSR's stock and assume control of 
WSR.\3\ Following consummation, PRC plans to coordinate the rail 
operations of WSR and AKMD, with service continuing 5 days per week as 
traffic warrants. PRC seeks expedited consideration of the petition so 
that it can concurrently finalize its acquisition of WSR and PNW no 
later than December 30, 2009.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ PRC has concurrently filed a motion for protective order 
pursuant to 49 CFR 1104.14(b) in STB Finance Docket No. 35292 to 
allow PRC to file the unredacted Stock Purchase Agreement under 
seal. The motion was addressed in a separate decision served on 
October 6, 2009.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In support of its petition, PRC states that no shipper will lose 
rail service or any existing competitive options as a result of the 
proposed transaction. PRC also states that all WSR traffic, which 
currently moves over AKMD's line out of Warren, will continue to do so 
after PRC assumes control of WSR. Finally, PRC states that it, along 
with AKMD, will provide administrative and other support for WSR's 
operations when WSR and AKMD become affiliated carriers.

Discussion and Conclusions

    The acquisition of control of a rail carrier by a person that is 
not a rail carrier but that controls any number of rail carriers 
requires prior approval by the Board under 49 U.S.C. 11323(a)(5). Under 
49 U.S.C. 10502(a), however, the Board must exempt a transaction or 
service from regulation if it finds that: (1) Regulation is not 
necessary to carry out the rail transportation policy (RTP) of 49 
U.S.C. 10101; and (2) either (a) the transaction or service is limited 
in scope; or (b) regulation is not needed to protect shippers from the 
abuse of market power.
    An exemption from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 
11323-25 is consistent with the standards of 49 U.S.C. 10502. Detailed 
scrutiny of the proposed transaction through an application for review 
and approval under 49 U.S.C. 11323-25 is not necessary to carry out the 
RTP. Rather, an exemption will promote that policy by minimizing the 
need for Federal regulatory control over the proposed transaction, 
promoting a safe and efficient rail transportation system, ensuring 
that a sound rail transportation system will continue to meet the needs 
of the shipping public, and reducing regulatory barriers to entry [49 
U.S.C. 10101(2), (3), (4), and (7)]. Also, by allowing PRC to integrate 
WSR into its existing family of Class III carriers, with attendant 
experience, resources, capital, and administrative support, an 
exemption will foster sound economic conditions in transportation, 
ensure effective competition and coordination between rail carriers, 
and encourage efficient management [49 U.S.C. 10101(5) and (9)]. Other 
aspects of the RTP will not be adversely affected.
    Regulation of this transaction is not needed to protect shippers 
from an abuse of market power. PRC has indicated that there will be no 
adverse impacts on rail transportation or lessening of rail 
competition. PRC will simply be incorporating WSR into its family of 
short line carriers without materially changing the operations of WSR. 
As a result, shippers potentially will benefit from greater 
efficiencies while receiving the same service. No shipper located on 
WSR's line is expected to lose rail service options as a result of the 
control transaction. The more likely result will be enhanced rail 
service, as shippers will benefit from the substantial experience and 
resources of PRC and from the connection between WSR and the other PRC-
controlled carriers. Given our finding regarding the probable effect of 
the transaction on market power, we need not determine whether the 
transaction is limited in scope.
    Under 49 U.S.C. 10502(g), the Board may not use its exemption 
authority to relieve a rail carrier of its statutory obligation to 
protect the interests of its employees. Section 11326(c), however, does 
not provide for labor protection for transactions under sections 11324 
and 11325 that involve only Class III rail carriers. Accordingly, the 
Board may not impose labor protective conditions here because all the 
carriers involved are Class III rail carriers.
    The acquisition of control is exempt from environmental reporting 
requirements under 49 CFR 1105.6(c)(2)(i) because it will not result in 
any significant change in carrier operations. Similarly, the 
transaction is exempt from the historic reporting requirements under 49 
CFR 1105.8(b)(3) because it will not substantially change the level of 
maintenance of railroad properties.
    In this proceeding, PRC has requested expedited handling of its 
petition to enable it to consummate the acquisition of control of WSR 
in conjunction with its acquisition of another Class III carrier, PNW, 
in a separate proceeding. PRC has requested that its acquisition of WSR 
become effective no later than December 30, 2009. PRC's authority to 
acquire PNW became effective on October 9, 2009. PRC's request is 
reasonable in light of the fact that the acquisition of the two Class 
III carriers was finalized under a single Stock Purchase Agreement. 
PRC's request for expedited action will be granted.
    This action will not significantly affect either the quality of the 
human environment or the conservation of energy resources.
    It is ordered:
    1. Under 49 U.S.C. 10502, the Board exempts from the prior approval

[[Page 56914]]

requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323-25 PRC's acquisition of control of WSR.
    2. PRC's request for expedited action is granted.
    3. Notice will be published in the Federal Register on November 3, 
2009.
    4. This exemption will be effective on December 3, 2009. Petitions 
to stay must be filed by November 13, 2009. Petitions to reopen must be 
filed by November 23, 2009.

    By the Board, Chairman Elliot, Vice Chairman Nottingham, and 
Commissioner Mulvey.
Jeffrey Herzig,
Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. E9-26396 Filed 11-2-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P