Railroad Cost of Capital-2010
The Board is instituting a proceeding to determine the railroad industry's cost of capital for 2010. The decision solicits comments on the following issues: (1) The railroads' 2010 current cost of debt capital; (2) the railroads' 2010 current cost of preferred equity capital (if any); (3) the railroads' 2010 cost of common equity capital; and (4) the 2010 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 Capital2009, EP 558 (Sub-No. 13) (STB served Oct. 29, 2010).
Regulations Governing Fees for Services
The Board proposes to amend the regulations governing user fees for services. The proposed amendment would set the fee for certain formal complaints at $350.
National Trails System Act and Railroad Rights-of-Way
The Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) has instituted a proceeding to clarify, update, and seek public comments on proposed changes to its existing regulations and procedures regarding the use of railroad rights-of-way for railbanking and interim trail use under the National Trails System Act (Trails Act).
Reporting Requirements for Positive Train Control Expenses and Investments
In a decision served on February 10, 2011, the Board granted a petition by the Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) to institute a rulemaking proceeding to explore whether the Board should require Class I railroads to report separately how much each railroad is spending on the development, installation, and maintenance of Positive Train Control, a federally mandated safety system that will automatically stop or slow a train before an accident can occur. Several parties filed comments in reply to UP's petition. The Board will address the arguments and issues raised in those filings in a subsequent decision. The Board's decision makes no determination on the merits of UP's specific proposal.
San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad-Petition for a Declaratory Order
Staff members of the Surface Transportation Board will hold a public meeting concerning the declaratory order proceeding in the above-titled docket. The purpose of the meeting is to allow interested persons to comment on the issues raised in the proceeding. Date/Location: The public meeting will take place on Thursday, February 17, 2011, beginning at 10 a.m. (local time), in Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Hall, 6631 County Road 13, Conejos, Colorado 81129.
Tongue River Railroad Company, Inc.-Construction and Operation-Western Alignment
The Surface Transportation Board's (Board's) Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) (formerly the Section of Environmental Analysis or SEA) prepared a Programmatic Agreement (PA) as the final step in the Section 106 process under the National Historic Preservation Act for Tongue River Railroad Company's (TRRC) application to construct and operate a rail line in southeastern Montana. A final decision authorizing TRRC's construction and operation was issued in October, 2007. The PA was prepared in consultation with the Section 106 signatory and concurring parties and was executed in November, 2005. The PA expired on November 1, 2010, after an initial term of five years. An Amendment to the PA has been executed by all signatory parties extending the existing PA through September 1, 2011, to allow time to update and revise it. The revision would take into consideration the designation of the Wolf Mountain Battlefield as a National Historic Landmark on October 26, 2008. Several Federally recognized Tribes have notified the Board of their interest in being included in the consultation process. The Tribes are concerned about impacts related to the rail line construction and operation on Wolf Mountain Battlefield. The alignment approved by the Board in its October 2007 decision runs through the eastern portion of that site. OEA has recently invited the United States Department of the Interior (National Historic Landmarks Program) and additional Tribes that may have an interest in the project area to participate in the PA consultation process. With this notice, we now invite any other interested parties to participate in the PA consultation process. The updated PA must be executed by September 1, 2011. OEA proposes the following timeline: