CSX Transportation, Inc.-Joint Use-Louisville & Indiana Railroad Company, Inc.
On July 2, 2013, Applicants, CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) and Louisville & Indiana Railroad Company, Inc. (L&I), filed an application with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) pursuant to 49 United States Code (U.S.C.) 11323 and 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 1180. Applicants seek Board authority for CSXT to acquire from and jointly use with the L&I a perpetual, non-exclusive railroad operating easement over L&I's rail line. The subject L&I rail line extends from a connection with CSXT in Indianapolis, Indiana at milepost (MP) 4.0, to a connection with CSXT in Louisville, Kentucky at MP 110.5 (L&I Line). The joint use and easement acquisition are referred to as the Proposed Transaction. Both CSXT and L&I would continue to use the L&I Line. CSXT would pay L&I $10 million dollars for the operating easement and would spend between $70 and $90 million to improve the rail line to allow CSXT to move longer, faster, and heavier trains. Currently, the L&I Line carries two to seven trains per day on the various sections of the line. Under the Proposed Transaction, CSXT would reroute some of its trains from current CSXT routes in the Indiana-Ohio-Kentucky region to a new route that includes the L&I Line in Indiana. The rerouting of these CSXT trains would add 13 to 15 trains per day over the various sections of the L&I Line. In August 2013, the Board's Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) issued a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) that focused on the potential impacts of the proposed operational changes on the L&I Line, and also considered potential construction impacts associated with the extension of several rail line sidings and replacement of the Flatrock River Bridge, all on the L&I Line. During the public review and comment period on the Draft EA, OEA received comments that raised environmental issues that it had not addressed in the document. As a result, OEA decided to prepare a Supplemental EA focusing on the new environmental issues. Today, OEA has issued the Supplemental EA, which is available on the Board's Web site, www.stb.dot.gov, by clicking ``Decisions'' under ``Quick Links,'' and locating the document under the service date of 10/31/2014. The Supplemental EA analyzes the potential operational impacts of CSXT moving additional trains on the following three CSXT rail lines: Indianapolis Terminal SubdivisionLouisville Secondary Branch, Indianapolis Line Subdivision, and Louisville Connection. The Supplemental EA also quantifies potential impacts to wetlands, floodplains, and forested areas that could result from extending rail line sidings and replacing the Flatrock River Bridge on the L&I Line, and includes a review of potential changes in wildlife strikes that could occur under the Proposed Transaction. Additionally, the Indiana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and OEA concur that (1) replacement of the Flatrock River Bridge would constitute an adverse effect on a historic property considered eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places; (2) avoidance of the adverse effect is not feasible if the L&I Line is to safely accommodate the modern rail traffic under the Proposed Transaction; (3) there appears to be no feasible alternative to bridge replacement and that documentation prior to removal would be an appropriate mitigation measure; (4) documentation completed by Applicants meets SHPO's standards; and (5) a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) would memorialize the mitigation measures (i.e., documentation) and resolve adverse effects of the undertaking. OEA prepared a draft MOA that SHPO indicates it would sign as currently drafted. The draft MOA is located in Appendix I of the Supplemental EA and interested parties are invited to comment.
Notice and Request for Comments
As part of its continuing effort to streamline the process to seek feedback from the public on agency service delivery, and 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 that it is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of generic clearance for the collection of qualitative feedback on agency service delivery. The Board previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal Register on July 28, 2014, at 79 FR 43820. That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received. Comments may now be submitted to OMB 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 the 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 considered and also included in the Board's request for OMB approval.
Academy Express, L.L.C.-Acquisition of the Properties of Go Bus LLC and Its Affiliate, MCIZ Corp.
Academy Express, L.L.C. (Academy Express), a motor carrier of passengers, has filed an application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 to acquire properties of Go Bus LLC (Go Bus) and its affiliate, MCIZ Corp. (MCIZ), both motor carriers of passengers.\1\ The Board is tentatively approving and authorizing 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.
Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor
The Board has approved the fourth quarter 2014 Rail Cost Adjustment Factor (RCAF) and cost index filed by the Association of American Railroads. The fourth quarter 2014 RCAF (Unadjusted) is 0.977. The fourth quarter 2014 RCAF (Adjusted) is 0.420. The fourth quarter 2014 RCAF-5 is 0.396.
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 the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. app. 2 Sec. 10(a)(2).
National Grain Car Council Meeting
Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Grain Car Council (NGCC), pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C., app. 2 section 10(a)(2).
Railroad Revenue Adequacy-2013 Determination
On September 2, 2014, the Board served a decision announcing the 2013 revenue adequacy determinations for the Nation's Class I railroads. Five carriers, BNSF Railway Company, Grand Trunk Corporation, Norfolk Southern Combined Railroad Subsidiaries, Soo Line Corporation and Union Pacific Railroad Company, were found to be revenue adequate.
Grainbelt Corporation-Trackage Rights Exemption-BNSF Railway Company and Stillwater Central Railroad, LLC
Under 49 U.S.C. 10502, the Board partially revokes the class exemption as it pertains to the trackage rights described in Docket No. FD 35831 \1\ to permit the trackage rights to expire on February 1, 2023, in accordance with the agreements of the parties, subject to the employee protective conditions set forth in Oregon Short Line RailroadAbandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979).
United States Rail Service Issues and United States Rail Service Issues-Grain
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) will hold a public field hearing on September 4, 2014, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo, N.D., to provide interested persons the opportunity to report on service problems in the United States rail network, to hear from rail industry executives on their efforts to address service problems, and to discuss additional options to improve service.
CSX Transportation, Inc., The Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad Company, and Norfolk Southern Railway Company-Joint Relocation Project Exemption-Gary-Chicago International Airport Authority
The Board is granting an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323-25 for CSX Transportation, Inc., to obtain trackage rights from Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) over a 1.7-mile portion of NSR's Gary Branch between approximately milepost TC 244.90 and milepost TC 246.60.\1\
California High-Speed Rail Authority-Construction Exemption-in Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern Counties, Cal
The Board is granting an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10901 for the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) to construct an approximately 114-mile high-speed passenger rail line between Fresno and Bakersfield, California (the Line). The Line would be the second section of the statewide California High-Speed Train System. This exemption is subject to environmental mitigation conditions and the condition that the Authority build the route designated as environmentally preferable.
Notice of Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee Vacancy
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) hereby gives notice of one vacancy on its Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC) for a representative of a coal producer. The Board is soliciting suggestions from the public for a candidate to fill this vacancy.
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 (STB or Board) gives notice that it is requesting from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the information collection resulting from the Board's annual request that Class I carriers and rail carriers that are members of the American Shortline and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) provide the Board with information about the plans and preparations that these rail carriers have made in anticipation of the increased demand for rail service during the fall peak demand season. The Board previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal Register on June 24, 2013, at 78 FR 37882 (60-day notice). That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received. Comments may now be submitted to OMB 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 the 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 considered and also included in the Board's request for OMB approval.
Notice and Request for Comments
The Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public to take this opportunity to comment on the ``Extension of Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery'' for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3519 (PRA). This collection was developed as part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process for seeking feedback from the public on the Board's service delivery. This notice announces our intent to submit this collection to OMB for approval and solicits comments on specific aspects for the proposed information collection. Comments are requested concerning: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. Submitted comments will be summarized and included in the Board's request for OMB approval.
Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection With Licensing and Related Services-2014 Update
The Board updates for 2014 the fees that the public must pay to file certain cases and pleadings with the Board. The update will increase 13 fees by $50 or less, decrease 39 fees by $100 or less, decrease 27 fees by more than $100, and keep the remaining 46 fees at their existing level. The Board also clarifies its fee-rounding regulation to reflect existing policy.
Texas Bus and Limo Acquisition Corp.-Control-GBJ, Inc.; Echo Tours and Charters L.P.; Roadrunner Charters, Inc.; Star Shuttle, Inc.; Tri-City Charters of Bossier, Inc.
Texas Bus and Limo Acquisition Corp. (TBL), GBJ, Inc. (GBJ), Echo Tours and Charters L.P. (Echo), Roadrunner Charters, Inc. (Roadrunner), and Star Shuttle, Inc. (Star) (collectively, Applicants) have filed an application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 for Echo to acquire control of Tri-City Charters of Bossier, Inc. (Tri-City), and for TBL thereafter to acquire control of GBJ, Echo, Roadrunner, and Star. The Board is tentatively approving and authorizing 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 at 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8.
Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Surface Transportation Board has obtained OMB approval for the collection of information adopted by the Board in Demurrage Liability, STB Ex Parte No. 707 (STB served April 14, 2014).
Hartwell Railroad Company-Construction of Connecting Track Exemption-in Elbert County, GA
The Surface Transportation Board's (Board) Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) in response to a verified notice of exemption filed on May 27, 2014 by the Hartwell Railroad Company (Hartwell). Hartwell seeks to construct approximately 1,360 feet of connecting railroad track, pursuant to 49 CFR 1150.36. The proposal would allow Hartwell's existing Toccoa-Elberton Line to connect with CSX Transportation's, Inc. (CSXT) existing Abbeville Subdivision in Elbert County, GA. The proposal would re-establish a prior rail connection formerly owned by the Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) and occur on land within existing railroad rights-of-way either owned by Hartwell or CSXT. The prior connection, which allowed Hartwell to indirectly interchange its rail traffic with CSXT, was formally abandoned by NSR in 1995. Since then, Hartwell has been required to interchange its traffic solely with NSR at the other end of its line (some 40-miles northwest of the Proposed Action) in order to access the mainlines of CSXT approximately 60 miles to the northeast and about 37 miles to the southwest. The proposed rail line construction would permit Hartwell to reach points served by CSXT that NSR does not serve and eliminate the inefficiency that would otherwise involve three carriers (Hartwell-NSR- CSXT) instead of two (Hartwell-CSXT) to reach points served solely by CSXT. Hartwell expects to handle up to one train per day in each direction over the new connection with CSXT. The EA identifies the natural and man-made resources in the area of the proposed rail line and analyzes the potential impacts of the proposal on these resources. Based on the information provided from all sources to date and its independent analysis, OEA preliminarily concludes that construction of the proposed rail line connection would have no significant environmental impacts if the Board imposes and Hartwell implements 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 on the Board's Web site (www.stb.dot.gov) by clicking on the ``Decisions & Notices'' button that appears in the drop down menu for ``E-LIBRARY,'' and searching by Service Date (July 1, 2014) or Docket Number (FD 35756). OEA will consider all comments received when making its final environmental recommendations to the Board. The Board will then consider OEA's final recommendations and the complete environmental record in making its final decision in this proceeding.