Soo Line Railroad Company-Discontinuance of Trackage Rights Exemption-in Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, Livingston, Ingham, Clinton, Eaton, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Ottawa, Allegan, Van Buren, and Berrien Counties, MI, LaPorte, Porter, and Lake Counties, IN, and Cook County, IL
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- 3519 (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 two existing collections described below concerning rail fuel surcharges and rail ``waybills.''
Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) publishes the names of the Persons selected to serve on its Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board (PRB).
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the third quarter 2010 rail cost adjustment factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The third quarter 2010 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.068. The third quarter 2010 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.479. The third quarter 2010 RCAF-5 is 0.454.
Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment; Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Surface Transportation Board seeks comments on a request from the Association of American Railroads that the Board restate the previously published productivity adjustment for the 2003-2007 averaging period (2007 productivity adjustment) so that it tracks the 2007 productivity adjustment figure used in the Board's March 26, 2010 calculation of the modified 2008 productivity adjustment, and restate any quarterly RCAF (Adjusted) and RCAF-5 calculations that would be affected by a restatement of the 2007 productivity adjustment.
Removal of Delegations of Authority to Secretary
The Surface Transportation Board (Board or STB) published final rules in this proceeding on October 15, 2009, in the Federal Register. The rule amended STB regulations by eliminating the Secretary of the Board and reassigning the delegations of authority from the Secretary to other Offices of the Board. As published, the final regulations contained errors where information was inadvertently added, deleted, or duplicated. This document sets forth corrections to the final regulations to eliminate confusion in interpretation of the regulations.
CSX Transportation, Inc. and Delaware and Hudson Railway Company, Inc.-Joint Use Agreement
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) is accepting for consideration the application filed on April 27, 2010, by CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT), and Delaware and Hudson Railway Company, Inc. (D&H). The application seeks Board approval under 49 U.S.C. 11321- 26 for CSXT and D&H to commence operations pursuant to an agreement between CSXT and D&H, known as the New York Joint Use Agreement (Joint Use Agreement). This proposal is referred to as the transaction, and CSXT and D&H are referred to collectively as Applicants.
Notice and Request for Comments; Waybill Compliance Survey
As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3519 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice of its intent to seek from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an extension of approval for the currently approved Waybill Compliance Survey. 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.
Carolina Coastal Railway, Inc.-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Morehead & South Fork Railroad Co.
This document corrects a notice served and published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2010 (75 FR 2580), titled ``Carolina Coastal Railway, Inc.Acquisition and Operation ExemptionNorth Carolina State Ports Authority'' to reflect a correction submitted by Carolina Coastal Railway, Inc. (CLNA). CLNA filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.41 to acquire, by assignment, the lease of Morehead & South Fork Railroad Co., Inc. (MHSF) with North Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA) and to operate approximately 0.87 miles of SPA's rail line. After the effective date of the exemption, CLNA filed a letter on February 16, 2010, notifying the Board that MHSF's counsel has advised CLNA that MHSF is not a party to any lease agreement with SPA and therefore was not assigning a lease to CLNA. Instead, MHSF assigned a freight easement and operating agreement to CNLA.\1\ This notice correctly identifies MHSF, instead of SPA, as the regulated party to the transaction, corrects the title, and clarifies what was conveyed. Accordingly, the correct title should read, ``Carolina Coastal Railway, Inc.Acquisition and Operation ExemptionMorehead & South Fork Railroad Co.''
Canadian National Railway Company and Grand Trunk Corporation-Control-EJ&E West Company 1
The Surface Transportation Board will hold a public hearing beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, in the Hearing Room on the first floor of the Board's headquarters in Washington, DC. The purpose of the hearing is for Canadian National Railway Company (CN) to explain why CN's submissions to the Board on crossing blockages of 10 minutes or more differ from data automatically reported in its own crossing gates, and why CN did not disclose that it had such information. The meeting will be open for public observation but not public participation.
Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, Ltd.-Discontinuance of Service and Abandonment-in Aroostook and Penobscot Counties, ME
The Surface Transportation will hold a public hearing concerning the abandonment application filed in this docket. The purpose of the hearing will be to allow interested persons to comment on the application.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the second quarter 2010 Rail Cost Adjustment Factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The second quarter 2010 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 1.060. The second quarter 2010 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.477. The second quarter 2010 RCAF-5 is 0.452. As part of its March 30, 2010 submission, AAR asks the Board to ``correct the productivity calculation for the period 2003-2007,'' and requests that the Board recalculate earlier RCAF (Adjusted) and RCAF-5 values that were determined with the 2003-2007 productivity adjustment factor. AAR's additional request will be considered in a separate proceeding.
Railroad Cost of Capital-2009
The Board is instituting a proceeding to determine the railroad industry's cost of capital for 2009. The decision solicits comments on the following narrow issues: (1) The railroads' 2009 current cost of debt capital; (2) the railroads' 2009 current cost of preferred equity capital (if any); (3) the railroads' 2009 cost of common equity capital; (4) how the change in BNSF Railway Company's (BNSF's) share prices from November 2009 through December 2009, following the announcement of BNSF's acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., should be considered in calculating the 2009 cost of common equity capital; and (5) the 2009 capital structure mix of the railroad industry on a market value basis. Comments should focus on the various cost of capital components listed above using the same methodology followed in Railroad Cost of Capital2008, Ex Parte No. 558 (Sub-No. 12) (STB served Sept. 25, 2009).
Waybill Data Released in Three-Benchmark Rail Rate Proceedings
The Board proposes to amend its rules with respect to the Three-Benchmark methodology used to adjudicate rate complaints. The proposed rule would provide for the release to the parties of the unmasked Waybill Sample data of the defendant carrier for the 4 years that correspond with the most recently published Revenue Shortfall Allocation Method (RSAM) figures. The parties would then use the released Waybill Sample data in any configuration they see fit to form their comparison groups. The Board seeks comments concerning the amount of data that would be available under the proposed rule and the proposal that the parties could draw from all 4 years of waybill data to form their comparison groups.
Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity Adjustment
By decision served on February 1, 2010, the Board proposed to adopt 1.010 (1.0% per year) as the 2008 productivity adjustment, as measured by the average change in railroad productivity for the years 2004 through 2008. The February 1, 2010 decision provided an opportunity to file comments regarding any perceived data and computational errors in the Board's calculation. The Board's decision also stated that the proposed productivity adjustment would become effective on March 1, 2010, unless the Board issued a further order postponing the effective date.
Alaska Railroad Corporation-Construction and Operation Exemption-A Rail Line Extension to Port Mackenzie, AK
On December 5, 2008, Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) pursuant to 49 United States Code (U.S.C.) 10502 and 10901 for the authority to construct and operate approximately 30 to 45 miles of new rail line. The proposed rail line would connect the Port MacKenzie District in Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB) to a point on the existing ARRC main line between Wasilla and just north of Willow, Alaska. Implementation of the proposed rail line would extend ARRC's existing freight rail service to the Port MacKenzie area, and would include construction of related structures, such as communications towers and sidings. Because construction and operation of this proposed rail line has the potential to result in significant environmental impacts, the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) and three cooperating agencies prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS). The cooperating agencies include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District; Federal Railroad Administration; and U.S. Coast Guard, Seventeenth District.
Union Pacific Railroad Company-Temporary Trackage Rights Exemption-BNSF Railway Company
Under 49 U.S.C. 10502, the Board revokes the class exemption as it pertains to the trackage rights described in STB Finance Docket No. 34554 (Sub-No. 12) \1\ to permit the trackage rights to expire on or about December 18, 2010, 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).
Grainbelt Corporation-Trackage Rights Exemption-BNSF Railway Company and Stillwater Central Railroad Company
Under 49 U.S.C. 10502, the Board is partially revoking a class exemption as it pertains to supplemental trackage rights granted to Grainbelt Corporation (GNBC) by BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) and Stillwater Central Railroad Company (SLWC) to permit the trackage rights to expire on October 16, 2019 and November 1, 2019, respectively, subject to the statutorily mandated employee protective conditions set forth in Oregon Short Line R. Co.AbandonmentGoshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979).