SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT
    Decision Information

Docket Number:  
AB_312_4_X

Case Title:  
SOUTH CAROLINA CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY, LLC - ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION - IN TERRELL COUNTY, GA.

Decision Type:  
Notice Of Exemption

Deciding Body:  
Director Of Proceedings

    Decision Summary

Decision Notes:  
PROVIDED NOTICE THAT SOUTH CAROLINA CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY, LLC (SCRF), AND GEORGIA SOUTHWESTERN RAILROAD, INC. (GSWR) JOINTLY FILED A NOTICE OF EXEMPTION FOR SCRF TO ABANDON, AND FOR GSWR TO DISCONTINUE SERVICE OVER, APPROXIMATELY 1,350 FEET OF RAIL LINE IN TERRELL COUNTY, GA.

    Embraced Cases

Docket Number

AB_1000_4_X - Georgia Southwestern Railroad, Inc. - Discontinuance Exemption - In Terrell County, Ga.


    Decision Attachments

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    Full Text of Decision

36970

46820 SERVICE DATE – FEBRUARY 22, 2019

DO

FR-4915-01-P

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

[Docket No. AB 312 (Sub-No. 4X)]

South Carolina Central Railroad Company, LLC—Abandonment Exemption—in Terrell County, Ga.

[Docket No. AB 1000 (Sub-No. 4X)]

Georgia Southwestern Railroad, Inc.—Discontinuance Exemption—in Terrell County, Ga.

South Carolina Central Railroad Company, LLC (SCRF), and Georgia Southwestern Railroad, Inc. (GSWR) (collectively, Applicants), have jointly filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. pt. 1152 subpart F—Exempt Abandonments and Discontinuances of Service for SCRF to abandon, and for GSWR to discontinue service over, approximately 1,350 feet of rail line between milepost 72.88 and milepost 72.63 in the Town of Sasser, Terrell County, Ga. (the Line). The Line traverses U.S. Postal Service Zip Code 39885.

Applicants have certified that: (1) no local or overhead traffic has moved over the Line for at least two years; (2) because the Line is not a “through line,” there is no overhead traffic on the Line; (3) no formal complaint filed by a user of rail service on the Line (or by a state or local government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the Line either is pending with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) or with any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of complainant within the two-year period; and (4) the requirements at 49 C.F.R. 1105.7(c) (environmental report), 49 C.F.R. 1105.12 (newspaper publication), and 49 C.F.R.  1152.50(d)(1) (notice to governmental agencies) have been met.

As a condition to these exemptions, any employee adversely affected by the abandonment and discontinuance of service shall be protected under Oregon Short Line Railroad—Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). To address whether this condition adequately protects affected employees, a petition for partial revocation under 49 U.S.C.  10502(d) must be filed.

Provided no formal expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance (OFA)[1] has been received, these exemptions will be effective on March 26, 2019, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues,[2] formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 C.F.R.  1152.27(c)(2),[3] and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 C.F.R. 1152.29 must be filed by March 4, 2019. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 C.F.R. 1152.28 must be filed by March 14, 2019, with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20423-0001.

A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to Eric M. Hocky, Clark Hill, PLC, One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, Suite 1000, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemptions are void ab initio.

Applicants have filed a combined environmental and historic report that addresses the effects, if any, of the abandonment on the environment and historic resources. OEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by March 1, 2019. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to OEA (Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423-0001) or by calling OEA at (202) 245-0305. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1‑800-877-8339. Comments on environmental and historic preservation matters must be filed within 15 days after the EA becomes available to the public.

Environmental, historic preservation, public use, or trail use/rail banking conditions will be imposed, where appropriate, in a subsequent decision.

Pursuant to the provisions of 49 C.F.R. 1152.29(e)(2), SCRF shall file a notice of consummation with the Board to signify that it has exercised the authority granted and fully abandoned the Line. If consummation has not been effected by SCRF’s filing of a notice of consummation by February 22, 2020, and there are no legal or regulatory barriers to consummation, the authority to abandon will automatically expire.

Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov.

Decided: February 15, 2019.

By the Board, Allison C. Davis, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings.



[1] The Board modified its OFA procedures effective July 29, 2017. Among other things, the OFA process now requires potential offerors, in their formal expression of intent, to make a preliminary financial responsibility showing based on a calculation using information contained in the carrier’s filing and publicly available information. See Offers of Financial Assistance, EP 729 (STB served June 29, 2017); 82 Fed. Reg. 30,997 (July 5, 2017).

[2] The Board will grant a stay if an informed decision on environmental issues (whether raised by a party or by the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) in its independent investigation) cannot be made before the exemptions’ effective date. See Exemption of Out-of-Serv. Rail Lines, 5 I.C.C.2d 377 (1989). Any request for a stay should be filed as soon as possible so that the Board may take appropriate action before the exemptions’ effective date.

[3] Each OFA must be accompanied by the filing fee, which is currently set at $1,800. See 49 C.F.R. 1002.2(f)(25).