Notice and Request for Comments
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), the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice that it has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of approval without change of a currently approved collection: Application to Open a Billing Account. The Board previously published a notice about these collections in the Federal Register on June 16, 2008, at 73 FR 34068. That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received. 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.
Study of Competition in the Freight Railroad Industry
The Board will meet with Christensen Associates at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 6, 2008, in the Hearing Room on the first floor of the Board's headquarters in Washington, DC. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss Christensen Associates' independent study entitled Report to the U.S. STB on Competition and Related Issues in the U.S. Freight Railroad Industry. The report assesses the current state of competition in the United States freight railroad industry. The meeting will be open for public observation but not public participation.
Notice of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee Meeting
Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC), pursuant to section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law No. 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C., App. 2).
BNSF Railway Company-Petition for Declaratory Order
In response to a petition filed by BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) on July 15, 2008, the Board is instituting a declaratory order proceeding under 49 U.S.C. 721 and 5 U.S.C. 554(e) to determine whether what BNSF characterizes as two track relocation projects in Oklahoma City, OK, are subject to the Board's jurisdiction and require prior Board approval. One reply in opposition to the petition and three letters in support of the petition have been filed. The Board seeks public comments on this matter.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the fourth quarter 2008 rail cost adjustment factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The fourth quarter 2008 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.199. The fourth quarter 2008 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.550. The fourth quarter 2008 RCAF-5 is 0.520.
Springfield Terminal Railway Company-Discontinuance of Service Exemption-Cumberland and Oxford Counties, ME
Under 49 U.S.C. 10502, the Board, on its own motion, is exempting a discontinuance from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10903 for Springfield Terminal Railway Company to discontinue its operations over an approximately 43.81-mile rail line extending from milepost 7.3 to milepost 51.11 in Cumberland and Oxford Counties, ME. This exemption is subject to employee protective conditions.
Stagecoach Group PLC and Coach USA, Inc., et al.-Acquisition of Control-Eastern Travel & Tour, 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 KILT Trans, Inc. (KILT), a motor passenger carrier (MC-115432) controlled by Coach USA (collectively, applicants), have filed an application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 for acquisition and operation of certain assets of Eastern Travel & Tour, Inc. (Eastern), a motor passenger carrier (MC-429551). Upon acquisition, Eastern will cease operations and KILT 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.
Itasca County Regional Rail Authority-Petition for Exemption-Construction of a Line of Railroad in Itasca County, MN
By petition filed on March 9, 2007, the Itasca County Regional Rail Authority, a noncarrier, seeks an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 to construct a 9-mile rail line from a connection with an existing rail line at Taconite, MN, to the site of a new steel mill to be built by Minnesota Steel Industries LLC at Nashwauk, MN, all located in Itasca County. The Board's decision served in this proceeding on September 8, 2008, grants the requested exemption and authorizes the construction, subject to environmental mitigation measures recommended in the Post Environmental Assessment (Post EA).
Use of a Multi-Stage Discounted Cash Flow Model in Determining the Railroad Industry's Cost of Capital
The Board proposes to use a multi-stage Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model to complement its use of the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) in determining the cost-of-equity component of the railroad industry's cost of capital.
60-Day Notice and Request for Comments
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), the Surface Transportation Board (Board) gives notice of its intent to request from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval without change of the seven existing collections described below. Comments are requested concerning each collection as to (1) Whether the particular collection of information 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 included and/ or summarized in the Board's request for OMB approval.
Oregon International Port of Coos Bay-Feeder Line Application-Coos Bay Line of the Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad, Inc.
The Surface Transportation Board has accepted for consideration the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay's (the Port's) feeder line application under 49 U.S.C. 10907, and has set the procedural schedule for the proceeding. The Port seeks to acquire approximately 111.016 miles of Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad, Inc.'s (CORP's) Coos Bay Line (the Line) between milepost 763.130, near Cordes, OR, and milepost 652.114, near Danebo, OR.
Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad, Inc.-Abandonment and Discontinuance of Service-in Coos, Douglas, and Lane Counties, OR; Oregon International Port of Coos Bay-Feeder Line Application-Coos Bay Line of the Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad, Inc.
The Surface Transportation Board will hold a public hearing concerning the abandonment and feeder line applications in the respective above-titled dockets. The purpose of the hearing will be to allow interested persons to comment on the applications. On the same day, immediately prior to the hearing, Board staff will hold a public information session concerning the Board's procedures for adjudicating abandonment and feeder line cases. Date/Location: The public hearing will take place on August 21, 2008, beginning at 9:30 a.m., at the Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse, 405 East Eighth Avenue, Eugene, Oregon, in Room 2200 (the Jury Assembly Room). Any person wishing to speak at the hearing must file with the Board a written notice of intent to participate, identifying (1) the party represented, (2) the proposed speaker, and (3) the number of minutes requested. Notices of intent to participate should be filed as soon as possible, but no later than August 11, 2008. Following receipt of notices of intent, the Board will release a schedule of speakers for the hearing. The public information session will be held on August 21, 2008 from 8:15-9:15 a.m., in Room 1702 (the GSA Conference Room) of the Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse, 405 East Eighth Avenue, Eugene, Oregon. At that session, Board staff will discuss, and be available to answer questions regarding, the procedures the Board uses in processing abandonment and feeder line cases. No notice of intent to participate in the public information session is necessary. The Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All visitors must present a valid form of government-issued photo identification and pass screening before being granted access into the building. Cameras are not permitted in the building. Visitors will have access to public areas only.
Notice of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee Meeting
Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC), pursuant to section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C., App. 2).