SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT
    Decision Information

Docket Number:  
AB_290_323_X

Case Title:  
THE ALABAMA GREAT SOUTHERN RAILROAD COMPANY--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN SAINT BERNARD PARISH, LA.

Decision Type:  
Notice Of Exemption

Deciding Body:  
Director Of Proceedings

    Decision Summary

Decision Notes:  
PROVIDED NOTICE THAT THE ALABAMA GREAT SOUTHERN RAILROAD COMPANY FILED A NOTICE OF EXEMPTION TO ABANDON A 3.50-MILE RAIL LINE IN SAINT BERNARD PARISH, LA.

    Decision Attachments

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    Full Text of Decision

40928

41512 SERVICE DATE – APRIL 7, 2011

DO

FR-4915-01-P

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Surface Transportation Board

[Docket No. AB 290 (Sub-No. 323X)]

The Alabama Great Southern Railroad Company—Abandonment Exemption—in Saint Bernard Parish, La.

The Alabama Great Southern Railroad Company (AGS),[1] filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. pt. 1152 subpart F–Exempt Abandonments to abandon a 3.50-mile rail line between mileposts 1.00-PT and 4.50-PT, near Toca, in Saint Bernard Parish, La.[2] The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Code 70085.

AGS has certified that: (1) no local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) no overhead traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years, and that overhead traffic, if there were any, could be rerouted over other lines; (3) no formal complaint filed by a user of rail service on the line (or by a state or local government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the line either is pending with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) or with any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of complainant within the 2-year period; and (4) the requirements at 49 C.F.R.  1105.7(c) (environmental report), 49 C.F.R.  1105.11 (transmittal letter), 49 C.F.R.  1105.12 (newspaper publication), and 49 C.F.R.  1152.50(d)(1) (notice to governmental agencies) have been met.

As a condition to this exemption, any employee adversely affected by the abandonment shall be protected under Oregon Short Line Railroad—Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). To address whether this condition adequately protects affected employees, a petition for partial revocation under 49 U.S.C.  10502(d) must be filed.

Provided no formal expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance (OFA) has been received, this exemption will be effective on May 7, 2011, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues,[3] formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 C.F.R.  1152.27(c)(2),[4] and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 C.F.R.  1152.29 must be filed by April 18, 2011. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 C.F.R.  1152.28 must be filed by April 27, 2011, with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20423-0001.

A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to AGS’s representative: Greg E. Summy, Three Commercial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510.

If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.

AGS has filed a combined environmental and historic report which addresses the effects, if any, of the abandonment on the environment and historic resources. OEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by April 12, 2011. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to OEA (Room 1100, Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423-0001) or by calling OEA, at (202) 245-0305. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1 800-877-8339. Comments on environmental and historic preservation matters must be filed within 15 days after the EA becomes available to the public.

Environmental, historic preservation, public use, or trail use/rail banking conditions will be imposed, where appropriate, in a subsequent decision.

Pursuant to the provisions of 49 C.F.R.  1152.29(e)(2), AGS shall file a notice of consummation with the Board to signify that it has exercised the authority granted and fully abandoned the line. If consummation has not been effected by AGS’s filing of a notice of consummation by April 7, 2012, and there are no legal or regulatory barriers to consummation, the authority to abandon will automatically expire.

Board decisions and notices are available on our website at “WWW.STB.DOT.GOV.”

Decided: April 1, 2011.

By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.



[1] AGS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norfolk Southern Railway Company.

[2] Service on the line (plus an additional segment between mileposts 0.00-PT and 1.00-PT) was discontinued in 2006 pursuant to Board authorization in Alabama Great Southern Railroad—Discontinuance of Service Exemption—in Saint Bernard Parish, La., Docket No. AB 290 (Sub-No. 273X) (served July 18, 2006).

[3] The Board will grant a stay if an informed decision on environmental issues (whether raised by a party or by the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) in its independent investigation) cannot be made before the exemption’s effective date. See Exemption of Out-of-Serv. Rail Lines, 5 I.C.C.2d 377 (1989). Any request for a stay should be filed as soon as possible so that the Board may take appropriate action before the exemption’s effective date.

[4] Each OFA must be accompanied by the filing fee, which is currently set at $1,500. See 49 C.F.R.  1002.2(f)(25).