|SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT|
|MONTREAL, MAINE & ATLANTIC RAILWAY, LTD.--DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE AND ABANDONMENT--IN AROOSTOOK AND PENOBSCOT COUNTIES, ME|
|Director Of Proceedings|
|DECISION GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART THE STATE OF MAINE'S MOTION TO EXTEND THE DUE DATES FOR COMMENTS, PROTESTS, AND OTHER FILINGS RELATED TO THE APPLICATION IN THIS PROCEEDING AND FOR MONTREAL, MAINE & ATLANTIC RAILWAY, LTD. TO FILE ITS REPLY.|
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|Full Text of Decision|
40703 SERVICE DATE – LATE RELEASE APRIL 5, 2010
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
STB Docket No. AB-1043 (Sub-No. 1)
MONTREAL, MAINE &
ATLANTIC RAILWAY, LTD.—DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE AND ABANDONMENT—IN AROOSTOOK
Decided: April 5, 2010
25, 2010, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, Ltd. (MMA) filed an
application under 49 U.S.C. 10903 for authority to discontinue service over and
abandon approximately 233 miles of line in Aroostook and
On March 24, 2010, the State of Maine (Maine), by and through its Department of Transportation, filed a motion asking that the Board extend the due dates for comments, protests, and other filings related to the application and for MMA’s reply. The State explains that the railroad has made the lines available for the State’s inspection between April 5 and April 7. The State is concerned that the proximity of these inspection dates to the April 12 due date for comments and protests will not leave it enough time to complete its evaluation and prepare its comments or protest. The State also desires additional time to engage in discovery, because it had delayed formal discovery while it was negotiating with the railroad.
asks that the Board delay the deadlines for submission of comments and
protests, requests for public use and interim trail use conditions,
and applicant’s responses by 21 days.
Granting this request would result in comments, protests, and related
filings being due on May 3 and replies from the railroad being due by May
17. The State notes that certain
MMA filed a reply opposing the State's extension request on March 26, 2010. MMA notes that the schedule governing the proceeding conforms to the one set forth in the Board’s regulations. It also asserts that it has provided information to those who have sought it, and that the State could have pursued discovery while it was pursuing negotiations. The railroad lastly claims that the inspection will be more useful for anyone interested in filing an offer of financial assistance to continue rail service under 49 U.S.C. § 10904 than in verifying the cost evidence underlying its application.
Also on March 26, the State filed a reply to MMA's opposition, reasserting that an extension is warranted. It notes that, not only is the inspection important to the OFA process, but it is also important for examining cost data, calculating opportunity cost, and evaluating the need for the line’s rehabilitation.
will grant the State’s request in part, by providing a 9-day extension of the
relevant deadlines. A 9-day extension will
give the State sufficient time to analyze what it learns from the inspection
and engage in discovery while still allowing the Board sufficient time to
adequately analyze the submissions. Moreover, the Board, by order served March 12,
2010, announced that a public hearing in
The due date is advanced for all parties. Accordingly, comments on the application, protests, interim trail use requests, and public use requests must be filed by April 21, 2010. A rebuttal from the railroad is now due by May 5, 2010. The Board continues to urge the parties to work together to resolve the issues raised in this proceeding by mutual agreement.
It is ordered:
1. The State’s motion is granted in part and denied in part as discussed above.
2. The due dates for this proceeding are adjusted as discussed above.
3. This decision is effective on its date of service.
By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.
 MMA seeks discontinuance and abandonment authority for the following: (1) the Madawaska Subdivision, consisting of approximately 151 miles of line between milepost 109 near Millinocket and milepost 260 near Madawaska in Penobscot and Aroostook Counties; (2) the Presque Isle Subdivision, consisting of approximately 25.3 miles of line between milepost 0.0 near Squa Pan and milepost 25.3 near Presque Isle in Aroostook County; (3) the Fort Fairfield Subdivision, consisting of approximately 10 miles of line between milepost 0.0 near Presque Isle and milepost 10.0 near Easton in Aroostook County; (4) the Limestone Subdivision, consisting of approximately 29.85 miles of line between milepost 0.0 near Presque Isle and milepost 29.85 near Limestone in Aroostook County; and (5) the Houlton Subdivision, consisting of approximately 16.9 miles of line between milepost 0.0 near Oakfield and milepost 16.9 near Houlton in Aroostook County.