Rail Capacity and Infrastructure Requirements
The Surface Transportation Board will hold a public hearing beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, 2007, at its new offices in Washington, DC. The purpose of the public hearing will be to examine issues related to rail traffic forecasts and infrastructure requirements. Persons wishing to speak at the hearing should notify the Board in writing.
BNSF Railway Company-Lease and Operation Exemption-Interlocker Plant of the Illinois Central Railroad Company
Under 49 U.S.C. 10502, the Board is granting a petition for exemption from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323 et seq., for BNSF Railway Company, a Class I rail carrier, to lease and operate an interlocker plant and underlying land owned by the Illinois Central Railroad Company (CN), a Class I rail carrier. The interlocker plant, which is situated at or near BNSF's Corwith Yard in the City of Chicago, Cook County, IL, includes all signal appliances and structures thereon and the tower facility, but excludes the tracks, track appurtenances, turnouts and derails of CN and BNSF. The interlocker plant is bounded by: (i) The opposing home signals on the BNSF Joliet, IL-Chicago main line; (ii) the opposing home signals on the CN Joliet- Chicago main line; and (iii) the opposing home signals on the BNSF Joliet-Chicago main line and the BNSF Wye.
Surface Transportation Board-2007 Office Relocation Business Plan
The Surface Transportation Board is scheduled to relocate over the period of February 28-March 4, 2007. The Board is giving notice of pre-relocation and post-relocation procedures. The Board's new address will be: Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001.
Notice and Request for Comments
The Surface Transportation Board (Board), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. (PRA), has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of approval for the currently approved collection of the Waybill Compliance Survey. The Board previously published a notice about these collections in the Federal Register on December 18, 2006, at 71 FR 75811. That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received. The Waybill Compliance Survey is described in detail below. Comments may now be submitted to OMB 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.
Norfolk Southern Corporation and Norfolk Southern Railway Company-Control and Consolidation Exemption-Algers, Winslow and Western Railway Company
The Board grants an exemption, under 49 U.S.C. 10502, from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323, et seq., for Norfolk Southern Corporation and Norfolk Southern Railway Company (collectively, NS), to acquire control of Algers, Winslow and Western Railway Company (AWW) and to consolidate AWW into NS following the acquisition. The exemption is granted subject to the employee protective conditions in New York Dock Ry.ControlBrooklyn Eastern Dist., 360 I.C.C. 60 (1979), and the condition that NS adhere to its pledge to preserve the Oakland City, IN interchange and honor existing contracts involving AWW.
Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment
The Surface Transportation Board proposes to adopt 1.017 (1.7%) as the measure of average change in railroad productivity for the 2001-2005 (5-year) averaging period. This value is a decline of 0.2 of a percentage point from the current measure of 1.9% that was developed for the 2000-2004 period.
Rail Fuel Surcharges
In conjunction with the Surface Transportation Board's decision in Rail Fuel Surcharges, STB Ex Parte No. 661 (STB served Jan. 26, 2007), the Board has proposed to require all large (Class I) railroads to submit a monthly report containing the following information: total monthly fuel cost; gallons of fuel consumed during the month; increased or decreased cost of fuel over the previous month; and total monthly revenue from fuel surcharges.
BNSF Railway Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Oklahoma County, OK; Stillwater Central Railroad, Inc.-Discontinuance of Service Exemption-in Oklahoma County, OK
Under 49 U.S.C. 10502(a), on its own motion, the Board is granting an individual exemption from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10903 for Stillwater Central Railroad, Inc. (SLWC) to discontinue service over approximately 0.95 miles of railroad in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, OK. A petition to reject the notice of exemption filed by SLWC is granted. The Board is affirming BNSF Railway Company's (BNSF) use of the class exemption to abandon 2.95 miles of the line and denying a petition to reject the notice of exemption filed by BNSF.
Norfolk Southern Railway Company-Discontinuance Exemption-in Mercer County, NJ; CSX Transportation, Inc.-Discontinuance Exemption-in Mercer County, NJ
The Board, on its own motion, in a decision served on January 26, 2007, is exempting Norfolk Southern Railway Company and CSX Transportation, Inc. from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10903 to discontinue service over a line of railroad known as the Robbinsville Industrial Track, subject to the employee protective conditions in Oregon Short Line R. Co.AbandonmentGoshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). The line extends between milepost 32.20 and milepost 37.90 in the cities of Hamilton Township and Washington Township, Mercer County, NJ, a distance of approximately 5.7 miles. The decision also grants a petition for reconsideration filed by Mr. James Riffin in a related docket, STB Docket No. AB-167 (Sub-No. 1185X), a proceeding in which Consolidated Rail Corporation filed a notice of exemption to abandon the instant line.
Methodology To Be Employed in Determining the Railroad Industry's Cost of Capital
The Surface Transportation Board will hold a public hearing beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 15, 2007, at its offices in Washington, DC. The purpose of the hearing will be for members of the public to present their views to assist the Board in its examination of the appropriate methodology to be employed in determining the railroad industry's estimated cost of capital to be used in future annual cost-of-capital determinations. Persons wishing to speak at the hearing should notify the Board in writing.