Railroad Cost of Capital-2006
The Board is instituting a proceeding to determine the railroad industry's cost of capital for 2006. The decision solicits comments on: (1) The railroads' 2006 current cost of debt capital; (2) the railroads' 2006 current cost of preferred stock equity capital (if any); (3) the railroads' 2006 cost of common stock equity capital; and (4) the 2006 capital structure mix of the railroad industry on a market value basis.
Notice and Request for Comments
As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice of its intent to seek from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an approval for the currently existing collection of Waybill Sample data. This information collection is described in detail below. Comments are requested concerning: (1) The accuracy of the Board's burden estimates; (2) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (3) 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; and (4) whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility. Submitted comments will be summarized and included in the Board's request for OMB approval.
Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection With Licensing and Related Services-2007 Update
The Board adopts its 2007 User Fee Update and revises its fee schedule to recover the costs associated with the January 2007 Government salary increases and to reflect changes in overhead costs to the Board.
Firstgroup PLC-Acquisition-Laidlaw International, Inc.
On March 8, 2007, FirstGroup plc (FirstGroup), a noncarrier in control of one or more motor carriers of passengers, filed an application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 to acquire Laidlaw International, Inc. (Laidlaw), a noncarrier in control of one or more motor carriers of passengers.\1\ Persons wishing to oppose this application must follow the rules at 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8. The Board has tentatively approved the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely filed, this notice will be the final Board action.
Interpretation of the Term “Contract” in 49 U.S.C. 10709
The Surface Transportation Board seeks public comments on a proposal to interpret the term ``contract'' in 49 U.S.C. 10709 as embracing any bilateral agreement between a carrier and a shipper for rail transportation in which the railroad agrees to a specific rate for a specific period of time in exchange for consideration from the shipper, such as a commitment to tender a specific amount of freight during a specific period or to make specific investments in rail facilities.
New England Transrail, LLC, D/B/A Wilmington & Woburn Terminal Railway-Construction, Acquisition and Operation Exemption-in Wilmington and Woburn, MA
The Surface Transportation Board will hold an oral argument on Thursday, April 19, 2007, at 10 a.m., at its offices in Washington, DC. The argument will explore what planned activities by the above- referenced petitioner would be part of rail transportation subject to the Board's jurisdiction. All current parties of record may participate, and New England Transrail, LLC (NET) is directed to participate.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the second quarter 2007 rail cost adjustment factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The second quarter 2007 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.147. The second quarter 2007 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.537. The second quarter 2007 RCAF-5 is 0.511.
Establishment of the Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee
The Surface Transportation Board seeks public comment on the desirability of establishing, pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), a Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee, to provide independent advice and policy suggestions to the Board on issues related to the reliability of rail transportation of resources critical to the nation's energy supply, including, but not necessarily limited to, the rail transportation of coal and ethanol. Specifically, the Board seeks the views of interested persons on the utility of establishing such a committee, and, if established, the appropriate scope and the optimum size and composition of such a committee so as to reflect an appropriate and balanced cross-section of interested and affected stakeholders.
Union Pacific Railroad Company-Temporary Trackage Rights Exemption-BNSF Railway Company
The Board, under 49 U.S.C. 10502, revokes the class exemption as it pertains to the modified trackage rights described in STB Finance Docket No. 34554 (Sub-No. 6) \1\ to permit the trackage rights to expire on or about December 31, 2007, in accordance with the agreement of the parties,\2\ subject to the employee protective conditions set forth in Oregon Short Line R. Co.AbandonmentGoshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979).
Portland & Western Railroad, Inc.-Trackage Rights Exemption-BNSF Railway Company
The Board, under 49 U.S.C. 10502, exempts the trackage rights described in Portland & Western Railroad, Inc.Trackage Rights ExemptionBNSF Railway Company, STB Finance Docket No. 34951 (STB served Nov. 22, 2006) \1\ to permit them to expire on May 30, 2016, in accordance with the agreement of the parties, subject to the employee protective conditions set forth in Oregon Short Line R. Co. AbandonmentGoshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979).