WASHINGTON — The Federal Surface Transportation Board has directed Canadian National Railway Co. to come before the Board and explain the significant differences between information on street-crossing blockages in the Chicago area that the railroad has provided to the Board and the results of an independent audit conducted by the Board.
WASHINGTON — The federal Surface Transportation Board announced it will hold a public hearing in Presque Isle, Maine, on May 10 to allow citizens and stakeholders to provide testimony on the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway’s application to abandon 233 miles of rail line in Aroostook and Penobscot counties. The hearing will be held at the District Courthouse located at 27 Riverside Drive in Presque Isle. The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. The courthouse will open at 8 a.m. All speakers and attendees must present valid government-issued identification and pass security screening to gain entry to the hearing.
WASHINGTON — The Section of Environmental Analysis at the Surface Transportation Board issued a draft environmental assessment on the proposed abandonment of 233 miles of rail line in the northern Maine counties of Aroostook and Penobscot. The draft review found that the abandonment of this line could divert onto Maine’s highways as many as an additional 73,344 truck trips per year, consuming an additional 3.3 million gallons of fuel per year. However, the draft review, which estimated it would take four trucks to replace every rail car, found that the diversion of rail traffic onto trucks would appear to be
WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board announced it has granted the request of the Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARRC, a state-owned railroad) to construct and operate a new, 80-mile railroad line—the Northern Rail Extension—in the State of Alaska, subject to extensive environmental-mitigation conditions. After considering the entire public record before it, including both the transportation aspects of ARRC’s proposal and potential environmental issues, the Board was satisfied that the proposed line would provide reliable, year-round freight and passenger service to the region south of North Pole, Alaska; access to training areas used by the United States military; and an alternative to
WASHINGTON — Surface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel R. Elliott, III announced that the agency designated Board Member Francis P. Mulvey as its Vice Chairman. He succeeds former Board Chairman Charles D. Nottingham, who most recently served as Vice Chairman from March 13, 2009 to Jan. 4, and continues to serve as a Board Member. The Board’s Vice Chairmanship rotates among the Members on an annual basis. Vice Chairman Mulvey, the eighth Member since the Board’s creation in 1996, was nominated to the agency by President George W. Bush on November 17, 2003, and was confirmed by the Senate on May
WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board announced an update to its regulations that eliminates the vacant position of Secretary and removes other incorrect or obsolete references. In recent years, most of the tasks and staff of the Secretary’s Office have been reassigned to other Board offices.
WASHINGTON — Surface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III announced that the Board will begin holding public oral arguments in major cases. The oral arguments will give parties an opportunity to directly address the Board and allow Board members a chance to ask questions before making a decision. The format will be similar to oral arguments held in federal appellate courts. While the proceedings will be open to the public, only counsel for the parties will be allowed to present argument. “This is another way to demystify the process,” said Elliott, who has made bringing additional openness and transparency
WASHINGTON — The Surface Transportation Board announced it has issued its decision calculating the railroad industry’s cost of capital for 2008. In Railroad Cost of Capital — 2008, STB Ex Parte No. 558 (Sub-No. 12), the Board found that the rail industry’s after-tax cost of capital for 2008 was 11.75 percent. Last year, the cost-of-capital was 11.33 percent. The Board uses the cost of capital figure in evaluating the adequacy of individual railroads’ revenues each year. It also uses the figure when determining the reasonableness of a challenged rail rate, considering a proposal to abandon a rail line or valuing