SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT
    Decision Information

Docket Number:  
AB_850_0_X

Case Title:  
ST. CROIX VALLEY RAILROAD COMPANY--ABANDONMENT AND DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE EXEMPTION--IN PINE AND KANABEC COUNTIES, MN

Decision Type:  
Decision

Deciding Body:  
Director Of Proceedings

    Decision Summary

Decision Notes:  
DECISION GRANTED KANABEC COUNTY REGIONAL RAIL AUTHORITY'S REQUEST TO EXTEND THE NOTICE OF INTERIM TRAIL USE OR ABANDONMENT NEGOTIATING PERIOD UNTIL JULY 6, 2009, FOR THE SEGMENT OF THE LINE IN THIS PROCEEDING BETWEEN MILEPOST 55.8 AND MILEPOST 47.0.

    Decision Attachments

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    Full Text of Decision

XXXXX

39691                     SERVICE DATE – LATE RELEASE FEBRUARY 13, 2009

DO

 

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

 

DECISION

 

STB Docket No. AB-850X

 

ST. CROIX VALLEY RAILROAD COMPANY—ABANDONMENT AND

DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE EXEMPTION—IN PINE AND KANABEC

COUNTIES, MN

 

Decided:  February 13, 2009

 

By decision served on July 7, 2003 (July 2003 decision), the Board granted St. Croix Valley Railroad Company (SCXY) an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10903 to:  (1) abandon its rail easement over a line of The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) between milepost 58.3 at Mora Junction (Brook Park) and milepost 47.6 at Mora, a distance of 10.7 miles,[1] and (2) discontinue rail service pursuant to overhead trackage rights over a rail line of BNSF between Hinckley and Mora Junction (Brook Park), a distance of 8.2 miles, in Pine and Kanabec Counties, MN, subject to environmental and standard employee protective conditions.

 

By decision and notice of interim trail use or abandonment NITU) served on July 11, 2008, the proceeding was reopened and the July 2003 decision was modified to implement interim trail use/rail banking, under the National Trails System Act (Trails Act), 16 U.S.C. 1247(d), and 49 CFR 1152.29, thereby providing a 180-day period, until January 7, 2009, for the Kanabec County Regional Rail Authority (Rail Authority) to negotiate with SCXY regarding the portion of the line between milepost 55.8 and milepost 47.0 in Kanabec County.[2] 

 

On January 12, 2009, the Rail Authority filed a request for an extension of the negotiating period for 180 days for the segment between mileposts 55.8 and 47.0.  The Rail Authority states that, because of extenuating circumstances beyond the parties’ control, the parties were unable to consummate the rail banking agreement at an earlier date.  The Rail Authority indicates that it is authorized to state that SCXY consents to this request.

 

Where, as here, the carrier has not consummated the abandonment at the end of the previously imposed negotiating period and is willing to continue trail use negotiations, the Board retains jurisdiction, and the NITU negotiating period may be extended.[3]  Under the circumstances, further extension of the negotiating period is warranted.  See Birt v. STB, 90 F.3d 580, 588-90 (D.C. Cir. 1996); Grantwood Village v. Missouri Pac. R.R. Co., 95 F.3d 654, 659 (8th Cir. 1996).  Accordingly, the NITU negotiating period will be extended until July 6, 2009.

 

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

 

It is ordered:

 

1.  The Rail Authority’s request to extend the NITU negotiating period for the segment of the line between milepost 55.8 and milepost 47.0 is granted.

 

            2.  The negotiating period under the NITU is extended until July 6, 2009, for the segment of the line between milepost 55.8 and milepost 47.0.

 

            3.  This decision is effective on its service date.

 

By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                    Anne K. Quinlan

                                                                                    Acting Secretary



[1]  At the request of SCXY, in a decision served on March 30, 2007, milepost 47.6 was corrected to milepost 47.0 to indicate the actual milepost that corresponds to Mora.  The length of the line is thus approximately 11.3 miles.

[2]  By NITU served on August 6, 2003 (August 2003 decision), the proceeding was reopened and the July 2003 decision was modified to implement interim trail use/rail banking, under the Trails Act, for the 2.5-mile segment of the right-of-way in Pine County, between milepost 58.3 at Mora Junction (Brook Park) and the Pine County/Kanabec County Line.  The August 2003 decision also included a now-expired public use condition for that segment, under 49 U.S.C. 10905 and 49 CFR 1152.28.  The Rail Authority’s request does not concern that 2.5‑mile segment.

[3]  See Rail Abandonments–Supplemental Trails Act Procedures, 4 I.C.C.2d 152, 157-58 (1987).