SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT
    Decision Information

Docket Number:  
AB_565_1_X

Case Title:  
NEW YORK CENTRAL LINES, LLC--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN MIDDLESEX COUNTY, MASS.

Decision Type:  
Decision

Deciding Body:  
Director Of Proceedings

    Decision Summary

Decision Notes:  
DECISION GRANTED THE REQUEST TO EXTEND NOTICE OF INTERIM TRAIL USE OR ABANDONMENT NEGOTIATING PERIOD UNTIL APRIL 27, 2012.

    Decision Attachments

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    Full Text of Decision

41953 SERVICE DATE – OCTOBER 28, 2011

DO

 

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

 

DECISION

 

Docket No. AB 565 (Sub-No. 1X)

 

NEW YORK CENTRAL LINES, LLC—ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION—IN MIDDLESEX COUNTY, MASS.

 

Decided: October 27, 2011

 

In this decision, an extension is granted for negotiating a trail use/rail banking agreement.

By decision and notice of interim trail use or abandonment (NITU) served on October 12, 2001 (October 2001 decision), the Board, under 49 U.S.C. 10502, exempted from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10903 the abandonment by New York Central Lines, LLC (NYC), of 4.80 miles of railroad known as the Albany Division, Fitchburg Subdivision, extending from milepost QBS 0.00 at Framingham to milepost QBS 4.80 at South Sudbury, in Middlesex County, Mass., subject to trail use, public use, and standard employee protective conditions.[1] The October 2001 decision authorized the Town of Sudbury (Sudbury) to negotiate with the carrier for interim trail use/rail banking for the 1.4-mile portion of the line that extends north from the Framingham town line to the intersection of the former Penn Central Transportation Company line at milepost QBS 4.80 (Sudbury portion). By decision served December 12, 2006, the Town of Framingham (Framingham) was authorized to negotiate with the carrier for interim trail use/rail banking for the 3.4-mile portion of the right-of-way that extends from milepost QBS 0.00 at Framingham to milepost QBS 3.40 at the Framingham town line (Framingham portion). By a series of decisions, the most recent of which was served on May 31, 2011, the NITU negotiating period was extended for both the Sudbury and Framingham portions of the line until October 30, 2011.

 

By letter filed on September 7, 2011, Framingham requests a 180-day extension of the NITU negotiating period for the Framingham portion of the line. Framingham states that it is updating its appraisal of the property and continuing to negotiate with CSXT regarding the acquisition price for interim trail use/rail banking. By letter filed on September 12, 2011, CSXT agrees with the proposed 180-day extension request and supports an extension of the negotiating period for the Framingham portion of the line until April 27, 2012. Also, CSXT asks the Board to confirm that the consummation deadline for the abandonment will be June 26, 2012, if interim trail use negotiations are unsuccessful.

 

Where, as here, the carrier is willing to continue trail use negotiations, the NITU negotiating period may be extended. See Rail Abans.—Use of Rights-of-Way as Trails—Supplemental Trails Act Procedures, 4 I.C.C.2d 152, 157-58 (1987). An extension of time will promote the establishment of trails and rail banking consistent with the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. 1247(d). Accordingly, the NITU negotiating period for the Framingham portion of the line will be extended for an additional 180 days, until April 27, 2011.[2]

 

To date, no extension of the negotiation period has been sought for the Sudbury portion of the line between milepost QBS 3.40 and milepost QBS 4.80. Thus, the negotiating deadline for that portion remains October 30, 2011, and the consummation deadline, assuming no agreement is reached, remains December 29, 2011, 60 days after the expiration of that negotiating period. See 49 C.F.R.  1152.29(e)(2).

 

This action will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.

 

It is ordered:

 

1. The request to extend the NITU negotiating period is granted.

 

2. The period for CSXT and Framingham to negotiate an interim trail use/rail banking agreement under the NITU is extended to April 27, 2012, for the 3.4-mile portion of the line between milepost QBS 0.00 and milepost QBS 3.40.

3. This decision is effective on the date of service.

 

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



[1] Certain prior decisions or notices in this proceeding have embraced the related Docket No. AB 55 (Sub-No. 593X), CSX Transportation, Inc.—Discontinuance of Service Exemption―In Middlesex County, Mass. CSX Corporation (the parent company of CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT)) and Norfolk Southern Corporation jointly acquired control of Conrail Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail). As a result of that acquisition, certain assets of Conrail were assigned to NYC, which at the time was a wholly owned subsidiary of Conrail, to be exclusively operated by CSXT pursuant to an operating agreement. The line authorized for abandonment in this proceeding is included among the property operated by CSXT pursuant to the NYC operating agreement. CSXT is the successor to NYC. See CSX Corp. et al.—Control—Conrail Inc. et al., FD 33388 (Sub-No. 94) (Supplemental Transaction) (STB served Nov. 7, 2003).

[2] If a legal or regulatory barrier to consummation exists at the end of time period for consummation, the railroad is required to file its notice of consummation within 60 days after removal or expiration of that legal or regulatory barrier. 49 C.F.R.  1152.29(e)(2). Because extension of the NITU negotiating period is such a barrier, CSXT’s deadline for filing its notice of consummation for the Framingham portion of the line will be June 26, 2012, if trail use negotiations are unsuccessful.