Genesee & Wyoming Inc.-Control Exemption-Aliquippa & Ohio River Railroad Co., The Columbus and Ohio River Rail Road Company, The Mahoning Valley Railway Company, Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Ohio Central Railroad, Inc., The Pittsburgh & Ohio Central Railroad Company, Ohio Southern Railroad, Inc., Youngstown & Austintown Railroad, Inc., The Youngstown Belt Railroad Company, and The Warren & Trumbull Railroad 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 Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI), a noncarrier, to acquire control of Summit View, Inc. (Summit View), and thereby to acquire control of the 10 Class III railroads controlled by Summit View, pursuant to a Stock Purchase Agreement entered into by and between GWI and Jerry Joe Jacobson, owner of all Summit View shares. The transaction will be subject to the labor protection required by 49 U.S.C. 11326(b).
Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008
The Surface Transportation Board will hold a public hearing beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, at its headquarters in Washington, DC. The purpose of the public hearing will be allow interested persons to comment on the Board's new responsibilities in the recently passed Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-432), and thereby assist the Board in effectively implementing these important new provisions of law.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the first quarter 2009 rail cost adjustment factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The first quarter 2009 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.022. The first quarter 2009 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.467. The first quarter 2009 RCAF-5 is 0.442.
Genesee & Wyoming Inc.-Control Exemption-Georgia Southwestern Railroad, Inc.
The Board grants an exemption, under 49 U.S.C. 10502, from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323-25 for Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI), a noncarrier, to acquire indirect control of Georgia Southwestern Railroad, Inc. (GSWR), subject to labor protective conditions. Pursuant to the Stock Purchase Agreement entered into by and among GSW Acquisition Sub Inc. (GSW Sub), GWI, Terry R. Small, and David L. Smoot, GSW Sub will acquire direct control of GSWR, and because GSW Sub is a wholly owned direct subsidiary of GWI, GWI will acquire indirect control of GSWR. GWI is a holding company that directly or indirectly controls one Class II rail carrier, 28 Class III railroads,\1\ two limited liability companies, and additional railroads with two wholly owned subsidiaries that are noncarrier holding companies.
Alaska Railroad Corporation-Petition for Exemption-To Construct and Operate a Rail Line Between North Pole, Alaska and Delta Junction, AK
On July 6, 2007, Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) pursuant to 49 United States Code (U.S.C.) 10502 for the authority to construct and operate approximately 80 miles of new rail line from North Pole, Alaska, to Delta Junction, Alaska. Because construction and operation of this proposed action has the potential to result in significant environmental impacts, the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) and eight cooperating agencies prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS). The cooperating agencies include the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District; U.S. Department of Defense, Alaskan Command; U.S. Air Force 354th Fighter Wing, Eielson Air Force Base; Federal Transit Administration; Federal Railroad Administration; U.S. Coast Guard, Seventeenth District; and Alaska Department of Natural Resources. The purpose of this Notice of Availability is to notify individuals and agencies interested in or affected by the proposed action of the availability of the Draft EIS for review and comment, and of public meetings on the Draft EIS. Implementation of the proposed project would extend ARRC's existing freight and passenger rail service to the region south of the community of North Pole, and would include construction of related structures, such as a passenger facility, communications towers, and sidings. The Draft EIS analyses the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action and alternatives, including the no-action alternative. The Draft EIS addresses environmental issues and concerns identified during the scoping process. It also contains SEA's preliminary recommendations for environmental mitigation measures, ARRC's voluntary mitigation measures, and encourages mutually acceptable negotiated agreements to mitigate adverse environmental impacts should the Board approve the proposed. SEA and the cooperating agencies are also holding four public meetings on the Draft EIS during which interested parties can make oral comments in an orderly fashion before meeting participants and/or submit written comments. A court reporter will be present to record the oral comments. The dates, locations and times of the public meetings are shown below: January 12, 2009, 5-8 p.m., Pike's Waterfront Lodge, 1850 Hoselton Road, Fairbanks, AK. January 13, 2009, 5-8 p.m., City Council Chambers, 125 Snowman Lane, North Pole, AK. January 14, 2009, 5-8 p.m., Salcha Senior Center, 6062 Johnson Road, Salcha, AK. January 15, 2009, 5-8 p.m., Jarvis West Building, Milepost 1420.5 Alaska Highway, Delta Junction, AK. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources will be attending the meetings to hear public comments on the proposed project pursuant to their obligations under Alaska statute 42.40.460. SEA and the cooperating agencies will prepare a Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) that considers comments on the Draft EIS. The Board will then issue a final decision, based on all public and agency comments in the public record for this proceeding, that will address the transportation merits of the proposed project and the entire environmental record including the Draft EIS and Final EIS. That final decision will approve the proposed project, deny it, or approve it with mitigation conditions, including environmental conditions.
Indiana Rail Road Company-Petition for Declaratory Order
In response to a petition filed by Indiana Rail Road Company (INRD) on October 7, 2008, the Board is instituting a declaratory order proceeding under 49 U.S.C. 721 and 5 U.S.C. 554(e). The Board seeks to determine whether a track INRD proposes to construct from its east-west main line at Dugger, IN, to a new coal operation south of that main line will be a spur track exempt from Board approval under 49 U.S.C. 10906 or a line of railroad subject to the Board's jurisdiction and requiring Board approval under 49 U.S.C. 10901. The Board seeks public comment on this matter.
Simplified Standards for Rail Rate Cases-Taxes in Revenue Shortfall Allocation Method
The Board corrected an error created in Simplified Standards For Rail Rate Cases, STB Ex Parte No. 646 (Sub-No. 1) (STB served Sept. 5, 2007), by adjusting the revenue shortfall (or overage) to pre-tax dollars to conform with other elements of the Revenue Shortfall Allocation Method.
Delivery Acquisition, Inc.-Purchase-Transportation Management Systems, LLC and East West Resort Transportation, LCC
This document contains a correction to a decision served and published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2008 (73 FR 41401-02). That decision tentatively approved the acquisition of control through purchase of Transportation Management Systems, LLC, f/k/a TMS, Inc. (TMS) and East West Resort Transportation, LLC (EWRT) by Delivery Acquisition, Inc. (Delivery), unless opposing comments were filed by September 2, 2008. No comments were subsequently filed with the Board and the Board's decision approving the proposed acquisition of control thus became effective on September 2, 2008. After the period for filing comments ended, the Board received notification from the applicants in this proceeding that references they had made in the application approved by the Board to operating rights issued by the former Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in Docket No. MC-169714 were incorrect, and that the correct number is MC-169174. Accordingly, the July 18 decision is being corrected to reflect the actual docket number of MC-169174, rather than MC-169714.
Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Pan Am Railways Inc., et al.-Joint Control and Operating/Pooling Agreements-Pan Am Southern LLC
On May 30, 2008, Norfolk Southern Railway Company (Norfolk Southern), Pan Am Railways, Inc. (PARI), Boston and Maine Corporation (B&M) and Springfield terminal Railway company (Springfield Terminal) (collectively, Applicants) filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) seeking Board approval under 49 U.S.C. 11322 and 11323 of (1) the acquisition by Norfolk Southern and B&M of joint control and ownership of Pan Am Southern, LLC (PAS), a new rail carrier to be formed; and (2) the agreements by which Springfield Terminal would operate the lines of PAS and establish rates for PAS. The agreements for which approval and authorization are being sought by the application and the related filings will be referred to collectively as the Transaction. The Board, through its Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA), is the lead agency responsible for the preparation of the Environmental Assessment (EA). If the Transaction is approved, PAS would own or operate over (through trackage rights) approximately 437 miles of existing rail lines (referred to in the application as the PAS Lines), comprised of approximately 238.4 miles of existing rail lines to be owned by PAS and approximately 198.4 miles of existing track over which PAS would have trackage rights. Norfolk Southern would contribute capital to PAS which would go into improving infrastructure by creating a new intermodal and automotive facility in Mechanicville, NY (the Mechanicville Facility), creating a new automotive facility in Ayer, MA (San Vel Automotive Facility), making minor improvements at an existing intermodal facility at Ayer (Ayer Intermodal), and enhancing other infrastructure along the existing east-west main line. The Transaction also includes acquisition and/or operation by PAS of six other existing rail yards in addition to the three facilities at which some construction would occur. The Transaction does not contemplate any yard improvements or changes in activity at any of these six rail yards. Based on the information provided from all sources to date and its independent analysis, SEA preliminarily concludes that construction and operation of the two proposed new rail facilities and improvements to an existing rail facility and existing rail lines would not have significant environmental impacts if the Board imposes and Applicants implement the recommended mitigation measures set forth in the EA. Copies of the EA have been served on all interested parties and will be made available to additional parties upon request. The entire EA is also available for review on the Board's Web site (http:// www.stb.dot.gov) by going to ``E-LIBRARY,'' clicking on the ``Decisions and Notices'' link, and then searching by the Service Date (November 14, 2008) or Docket Number (FD 35147). SEA will consider all comments received in making its final recommendations to the Board. The Board will then consider SEA's final recommendations and the complete environmental record in making its final decision in this proceeding.
Study of Competition in the Freight Railroad Industry
The Surface Transportation Board seeks written public comments on the independent study prepared by Christensen Associates, Inc., entitled, A Study of Competition in the U.S. Freight Railroad Industry and Analysis of Proposals That Might Enhance Competition.
Canadian National Railway Company and Grand Trunk Corporation-Control-EJ&E West Company
The Board will hold a meeting on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, to receive a briefing from and discuss with the Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) staff the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) being prepared in STB Finance Docket No. 35087. The meeting will be open for public observation but not public participation.
The Board is adopting a final rule to require all carriers that submit carload-waybill-sample information (Waybill Sample) under 49 CFR 1244 to report fuel surcharge revenue in a separate waybill field created by the Board for that purpose, commencing with the Waybill Sample filed for January 2009. The Board will revise the waybill-file-record layout to reflect this change.
Port of Moses Lake-Construction Exemption-Moses Lake, WA [STB Finance Docket No. 34936 (Sub-No. 1)]; Port of Moses Lake-Acquisition Exemption-Moses Lake, WA
By petition filed on August 28, 2008, the Port of Moses Lake (Port) seeks an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 to construct rail lines in Grant County, Washington. In the same petition, the Port also seeks an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 to acquire an existing segment of rail line from Columbia Basin Railroad Company, Inc. (CBRW). The Board, through its Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA), and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) are co-lead agencies responsible for the environmental review of the proposed rail project and the preparation of the Environmental Assessment (EA). The proposed project, known as the Northern Columbia Basin Railroad Project, includes the construction of two new rail line segments and the acquisition and refurbishment of an existing rail segment to provide rail access to land designated and zoned for industrial uses along Wheeler Road (Road 3 NE) and at the Grant County International Airport (GCIA). The entire proposed route would extend approximately 11.5 miles. For Segment 1, the Port proposes to construct a rail line that would allow trains to bypass downtown Moses Lake and would provide access to the industrial areas along Wheeler Road (Road 3 NE), including one of two alternatives for a bridge crossing at Parker Horn or Crab Creek. For Segment 2, the Port proposes to extend the existing track (Segment 3), which currently terminates just south of the GCIA, to the industrial lands located east of the GCIA. For Segment 3, the Port proposes to acquire and rehabilitate an existing rail line that is currently owned by CBRW. Goods to be shipped would vary depending on the specific industries that may locate along the route, but would likely consist of steel, manufactured parts, and specialty chemicals. The proposed rail route would accommodate a maximum of two trains (one round trip) per day for the foreseeable future. Copies of the EA have been served on all interested parties and will be made available to additional parties upon request. The entire EA is also available for review on the Board's Web site (http:// www.stb.dot.gov) by going to ``E-LIBRARY,'' clicking on the ``Decisions and Notices'' link, and then searching by the Service Date (November 7, 2008) or Docket Number (FD 34936). SEA, working with WSDOT, will consider all comments received in making its final recommendations to the Board. The Board will then consider SEA's final recommendations and the complete environmental record in making its final decision in this proceeding.
United States Department of Energy-Rail Construction and Operation-Caliente Rail Line in Lincoln, Nye, and Esmeralda Counties, NV
The Surface Transportation Board will hold a public hearing concerning the application the Department of Energy (DOE) filed in the above docket. The purpose of the hearing will be to allow interested persons to comment on the application.
Stagecoach Group PLC and Coach USA, Inc., et al.-Acquisition of Control-New Today Bus Corp. and New Today Bus, Inc.
Stagecoach Group PLC (Stagecoach), a noncarrier, its noncarrier intermediate subsidiaries (Stagecoach Transport Holdings plc, SCUSI Ltd., Coach USA Administration, Inc.), Coach USA, Inc. (Coach USA), and ASTI, Inc. d/b/a Coach USA (ASTI), a motor passenger carrier (MC-252353) controlled by Coach USA (collectively, applicants), have filed an application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 for acquisition and operation of certain assets of New Today Bus Corp. (MC- 651183) and New Today Bus, Inc. (MC-657415) (collectively, New Today). Upon acquisition, New Today will cease operations and ASTI will assume such operations. The Board has tentatively approved the transaction, and if no opposing comments are timely filed, this notice will be the final Board action. Persons wishing to oppose the application must follow the rules under 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8.