|SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT|
|JAMES RIFFIN--ACQUISITION AND OPERATION--VENEER SPUR-IN BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD.|
|Director Of Proceedings|
|DECISION DISMISSED JAMES RIFFIN'S APPLICATION TO ACQUIRE AND OPERATE THE VENEER SPUR IN THIS PROCEEDING.|
| 11 KB|
|Approximate download time at 28.8 kb: 20 Seconds|
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|Full Text of Decision|
40870 SERVICE DATE – AUGUST 19, 2010
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
Docket No. FD 35246
RIFFIN—ACQUISITION AND OPERATION—VENEER SPUR—IN
Decided: August 18, 2010
On May 6,
2009, James Riffin filed an application to acquire and operate, under 49 U.S.C.
§ 10902, approximately 400 feet of track formerly known as the Veneer Mfg. Co.
Spur (Veneer Spur) located at milepost 15.05 on the Cockeysville Industrial
Track (CIT), in Cockeysville, Baltimore County, Md. On the same date, Riffin filed a petition for
declaratory order posing the following questions: (1) did Riffin become a common carrier by
rail when the Board authorized him to acquire a line of railroad in
By decision served May 29, 2009, this proceeding was held in abeyance pending resolution of the questions before the Board in FD 35245. In a decision served September 15, 2009, in that docket, the Board found that: (1) Riffin is not a rail carrier because he lacks the ability to provide rail service on the Allegany Line, and (2) because Riffin is not a rail carrier and does not operate any rail line, his proposal to operate the Veneer Spur does not qualify as the operation of an “extended or additional rail line” under 49 U.S.C. § 10902.
5, 2009, Riffin filed a motion asking the Board to postpone rendering a further
decision in this proceeding on the basis of its ruling in FD 35245 until: (1) the United States Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit ruled on a pending Riffin appeal that could affect
his status as a carrier, and (2) the Board resolved the status of Riffin’s
offer of financial assistance (OFA) to acquire and operate a portion of rail
line under 49 U.S.C. § 10904, in Consolidated Rail Corp.—Aban. Exemption—In
case and AB 167 (Sub-No. 1190X) have now been resolved in a manner adverse to
Riffin’s position that he is a carrier.
In an unpublished decision issued January 22, 2010, in James Riffin
v. Surface Transportation Board and United States of America, U.S.C.A.,
D.C. Cir., No. 08-1208, the court upheld a prior Board decision refusing to
compel CSX Transportation, Inc., to reissue the deed to the Allegany Line to Riffin, which, had the Board granted Riffin’s
request, could have made him a carrier. In a decision served May 17, 2010 in AB 167
(Sub-No. 1190X), the Board exempted the entire Lehigh Valley Line from the OFA
provisions of 49 U.S.C. § 10904.
Therefore, Riffin will not become a carrier on the
As a result
of these decisions, there is no longer any reason to hold this proceeding in
abeyance. The application will be
dismissed. First, Riffin has sought to
acquire the Veneer Spur under 49 U.S.C. § 10902, which applies only to Class II
or III carriers, and the Board has determined that Riffin is not a rail
carrier. Second, assuming the Veneer
Spur was connected to the CIT (and thus the national rail system) when Riffin
filed his application, it no longer is. In
a decision served April 5, 2010, the Board authorized Norfolk Southern Railway
Company (NSR) to abandon the freight operating rights on a portion of the CIT
that included milepost 15.05.
This action will not significantly affect either the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.
It is ordered:
1. Riffin’s application to acquire and operate the Veneer Spur is dismissed for the reasons discussed above.
2. This decision is effective on its service date.
By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.
 By decision
served on August 18, 2006, the Board permitted Riffin to substitute for his
then-corporate affiliate, WMS, LLC, as the prospective purchaser of the
8.54-mile Allegany Line. CSX Transp.