SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT
    Decision Information

Docket Number:  
AB_55_694_X

Case Title:  
CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.--ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION--IN MCMINN COUNTY, TN

Decision Type:  
Decision

Deciding Body:  
Director Of Proceedings

    Decision Summary

Decision Notes:  
DECISION GRANTED MCMINN COUNTY'S REQUEST TO EXTEND THE NOTICE OF INTERIM TRAIL USE OR ABANDONMENT NEGOTIATING PERIOD UNTIL SEPTEMBER 7, 2010, AND EXTENDED THE CONSUMMATION NOTICE FILING DEADLINE UNTIL NOVEMBER 6, 2010.

    Decision Attachments

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    Full Text of Decision

XXXXX

40636                                      SERVICE DATE – MARCH 11, 2010

DO

 

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

 

DECISION

 

STB Docket No. AB-55 (Sub-No. 694X)

 

CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.–

ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION–IN MCMINN COUNTY, TN

 

Decided:  March 10, 2010

 

CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) filed a notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1152 Subpart F—Exempt Abandonments to abandon a 6.4-mile rail line, known as the Athens Branch, on its Southern Region, Huntington-West Division, KD Subdivision between milepost OKW 327, at Englewood, and milepost OKW 333.4, at Athens, in McMinn County, TN.  Notice of the filing was served and published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2009 (74 FR 23926-27).  By decision and notice of interim trail use or abandonment (NITU) served on August 13, 2009 (August 2009 decision), the proceeding was reopened and a 180-day period was authorized for McMinn County (the County) to negotiate an interim trail use/rail banking agreement with CSXT for the right-of-way involved in this proceeding.[1]  The August 2009 decision also stated that, if consummation has not been effected by CSXT’s filing of a notice of consummation by August 13, 2010, and there are no legal or regulatory barriers to consummation, the authority to abandon will automatically expire.

 

On February 17, 2010, the County filed a request for an extension of the negotiating period for 180 days.  The County states that it is currently conducting an appraisal of the line and expects to be able to enter negotiations after the completion of the appraisal.  By letter filed on March 4, 2010, CSXT concurs with the extension request.  Additionally, CSXT seeks extension of the consummation deadline until November 6, 2010.[2]

 

Where, as here, the carrier has not consummated the abandonment at the end of the previously imposed negotiating period and has indicated its willingness to continue negotiations by agreeing to an extension, the Board retains jurisdiction and the NITU negotiating period may be extended.[3]  Accordingly, the NITU negotiating period will be extended to September 7, 2010,[4] and the consummation notice filing deadline will be extended until November 6, 2010.

 

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

 

It is ordered:

 

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

 

2.  The negotiating period under the NITU is extended until September 7, 2010.

 

3.  CSXT’s request for an extension of time to consummate the abandonment is granted.

 

4.  The authority to abandon must be exercised, and the notice of consummation must be filed, on or before November 6, 2010.

 

5.  This decision is effective on its service date.

 

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



[1]  The August 2009 decision also made the exemption subject to salvage conditions and a public use condition.  The public use condition, which is limited by statute to 180 days, expires March 11, 2010, and may not be extended.

 

[2]  Under 49 CFR 1152.29(e)(2), a railroad may, for good cause shown, file a request for an extension of time to file a notice of consummation in abandonment proceedings.

 

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

[4]  The County inadvertently calculated the 180-day extension of the NITU negotiating period as ending on September 6, 2010.  CSXT, in its agreement to continue to negotiate the NITU, requests that the negotiation period be extended through September 7, 2010 (the 180th day).