Ballard Terminal Railroad Company, L.L.C.-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Woodinville Subdivision
On April 2, 2013, Ballard Terminal Railroad Company, L.L.C. (Ballard), a Class III rail carrier, filed a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10902 to acquire the residual common carrier rights and obligations, including the right to reinstitute rail service, and the physical trackage assets on a line of railroad currently owned by the City of Kirkland (City) and the Port of Seattle (Port) in King County, Wash. (the Line), and currently subject to railbanking/interim trail use under the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. 1247(d). Ballard also seeks the right to provide common carrier rail service over the Line, and requests that the Board order the transfer of all the rail materials to Ballard at their net liquidation value. Ballard states that it has no objection to shared use of the right-of-way as both a rail line and a trail. The Line consists of a portion of the former BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) Woodinville Subdivision extending between milepost 23.8 at Woodinville, Wash., and milepost 12.6 at Bellevue, Wash.\1\ The petition for exemption was filed concurrently with a Ballard petition to partially vacate the NITU issued in Docket No. AB 6 (Sub-No. 465X) for the Woodinville Subdivision (extending from milepost 23.8 to milepost 11.25). That NITU permitted railbanking/interim trail use negotiations under 16 U.S.C. 1247(d).\2\ The Board seeks comments from interested persons on Ballard's request to resume rail service and partially vacate the NITU.