STB Schedules Second Series of Oral Arguments

WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board has scheduled a second series of oral arguments for Nov. 23 at the STB’s Washington headquarters.

Board members will hear from parties in San Benito Railroad LLC–Acquisition Exemption–Certain Assets of Union Pacific Railroad Co. and U.S. Magnesium v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.

In the San Benito case, a non-carrier wishes to purchase 12.43 miles of rail line from Union Pacific Railroad in a transaction that would allow it to purchase the physical assets of the rail line without incurring common-carrier obligations.  San Benito Railroad cites the Interstate Commerce Commission’s decision in an earlier case involving the state of Maine.

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division/IBT and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen oppose the transaction and contend that State of Maine was wrongly decided.

In the second case to be argued, U.S. Magnesium is challenging the rates charged by Union Pacific for transporting chlorine from Rowley, Utah, to Eloy, Ariz., and Rowley to Sahuarita, Ariz.

U.S. Magnesium is seeking relief under one of the STB’s simplified standards called the “Three-Benchmark” method, under which the total available rate relief is limited to $1 million over a 5-year period.

Each side in each case will have 20 minutes to argue their side and take questions from Board members, similar to proceedings in federal appellate courts.