Railroad Cost of Capital-2005
The Board is instituting a proceeding to determine the railroad industry's cost of capital for 2005. The decision solicits comments on: (1) The railroads' 2005 current cost of debt capital; (2) the railroads' 2005 current cost of preferred stock equity capital (if any); (3) the railroads' 2005 cost of common stock equity capital; and (4) the 2005 capital structure mix of the railroad industry on a market value basis.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the first quarter 2006 rail cost adjustment factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The first quarter 2006 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.177. The first quarter 2006 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.564. The first quarter 2006 RCAF-5 is 0.541.
Railroad Revenue Adequacy-2004 Determination
On November 23, 2005, the Board served a decision announcing the 2004 revenue adequacy determinations for the Nation's Class I railroads. One carrier, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, is found to be revenue adequate.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) gives notice that the Board has submitted to OMB a request for review and clearance of the seven existing collections listed above, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. (PRA). For the most part, these collections continue current Board reporting requirements without revision. As described below, a minor revision has been made to Collection No.1, Class I Railroad Annual Report. OMB control numbers were obtained in the past, but have expired, for six of the seven information collections that are the subject of this request. The Board previously published a notice about these collections in the Federal Register on May 19, 2005 at 70 FR 28979. That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received. The purpose of the current notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment to satisfy the requirements of the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3507(b). Comments are requested concerning each collection as to (1) whether the particular collection of information described below is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Board's burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, when appropriate. Submitted comments will be considered by OMB prior to approval of the proposed collection.
Investigation into the Practices of the National Classification Committee
The Board is extending, by 14 days, the deadline for filing the comments requested in its decision served on October 13, 2005, and published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2005, at 70 FR 60881- 82.
The Alaska Railroad Corporation-Petition for Exemption To Construct and Operate a Rail Line Between Eielson Air Force Base (North Pole) and Fort Greely (Delta Junction), AK
On November 1, 2005, the Surface Transportation Board issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), notice of availability of a draft Scope of Study for the EIS, notice of scoping meetings, and request for comments for the subject proceeding that contained an inadvertent error (see 70 FR 65976). The due date for comments was identified as January 13, 2005. The correct date is January 13, 2006. Please revise your copies accordingly.
The Alaska Railroad Corporation-Petition for Exemption to Construct and Operate a Rail Line Between Eielson Air Force Base (North Pole) and Fort Greely (Delta Junction), Alaska
The Alaska Railroad Corporation plans to file a petition with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502 for authority to construct and operate a new rail line between Eielson Air Force Base (located south of Fairbanks) and the Delta Junction/Fort Greely area. The project would involve the construction and operation of approximately 80 miles of new main line track and could include an approximately 15-mile rail spur to the U.S. Air Force's Blair Lakes training area. Because the construction and operation of this project has the potential to result in significant environmental impacts, the Board's Section on Environmental Analysis (SEA) has determined that the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is appropriate. The purpose of this Notice of Intent is to notify individuals and agencies interested in or affected by the proposed project of the decision to require an EIS. SEA is holding public scoping meetings as part of the EIS process. Additionally, as part of the scoping process, SEA has developed a draft Scope of Study for the EIS.
James George and J&JG Holding Company, Inc.-Continuance in Control Exemption-Saginaw Bay Southern Railway Company
The Board grants an exemption, under 49 U.S.C. 10502, from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323-25 for James George and J&JG Holding Company, a noncarrier (collectively, Petitioners), to continue in control of Saginaw Bay Southern Railway Company (SBS), upon SBS's becoming a rail carrier pursuant to a related transaction involving the acquisition and operation of a line of CSX Transportation, Inc.\1\ Petitioners control a Class III carrier, Lake State Railway Company (Lake State), operating in Michigan. One of Lake State's lines connects near Bay City, MI, with the line to be acquired by SBS in the related transaction.