Contact: Janie Sheng (202) 245-0221
03/12/1998 (Thursday)
No. 98-14

FedRelay 1 (800) 877-8339


Thursday, March 12, 1998
No. 98-14
Contact: Dennis Watson
(202) 565-1596
TDD (202) 565-1695


Surface Transportation Board (Board) Chairman Linda J. Morgan today provided details regarding the oral argument to be held on June 4, 1998, in the case concerning the proposed “CSX-Norfolk Southern-Conrail” railroad merger [FOOTNOTE 1: CSX Corporation and CSX Transportation, Inc. are referred to collectively as “CSX.” Norfolk Southern Corporation and Norfolk Southern Railway Company are referred to collectively as “NS.” Conrail Inc. and Consolidated Rail Corporation are referred to collectively as “Conrail.” The proceeding is entitled CSX Corporation and CSX Transportation, Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation and Norfolk Southern Railway Company--Control and Operating Leases/Agreements--Conrail Inc. and Consolidated Rail Corporation, STB Finance Docket No. 33388.], and announced a decision requesting information from parties to the proceeding wishing to participate.

Oral argument before the Board will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 4, 1998, in the Hearing Room, Room 760, 7th Floor, Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, N.W. (Mercury Building), in Washington, D.C. The Board anticipates that the amount of time set for oral argument will be five hours. Of that time, the “primary applicants,” CSX, NS, and Conrail, will be allotted two hours to be shared among them. The remaining three hours will be allotted to all other participants in the merger case. The Board noted that the five hours’ time--which is comparable to the amount set for oral argument in the most recent major rail merger case, that of the “Union Pacific” and “Southern Pacific” railroads in 1996--is necessary in light of the voluminous public record and the large number of parties actively involved in the case.

Parties interested in participating in the oral argument must indicate: (1) the issue or issues they will address; (2) whether they support or oppose the primary application [FOOTNOTE 2: The primary application also includes, for example, requests by the primary applicants for rail line abandonment and new line construction.], the responsive applications [FOOTNOTE 3: Applications by parties, other than the primary applicants, seeking to lessen perceived anticompetitive effects through trackage rights, etc.], or the various requests for conditions [FOOTNOTE 4: To be applied to the merger by the Board, should it approve the transaction.]; and (3) how much speaking time they require. Parties must provide this information by letter (an original and 25 copies) to the Board’s Office of the Secretary no later than Friday, April 10, 1998, at the following address:

Case Control Unit
Office of the Secretary
Surface Transportation Board
1925 K St., NW
Washington, DC 20423-0001

Re: STB Finance Docket No. 33388 Oral Argument

After the Board receives requests for participation and analyzes them, it will issue a decision establishing a precise oral argument schedule and specifying any particular issues the Board wants participants to address within their oral presentations. Parties are encouraged to consolidate and coordinate their presentations. While the public is invited to attend the oral argument, no public participation will be allowed, except for those parties whose formal requests to present oral arguments have been granted and scheduled for presentation before the Board. The Board added that, because Hearing Room seating space is limited, it will provide additional seating in an overflow room, the Brick Room, on the Mercury Building’s first floor, that will be linked to the Hearing Room by a live, closed-circuit telecast of the entire oral argument.

Members of the media wishing to observe the oral argument in the Hearing Room will be advised--through a Board news release to be issued later--of requirements that must be met for their attendance.

The Board provided details about the June 4 oral argument and requested information from interested parties in Decision No. 70 issued to the public today, March 12, 1998, in STB Finance Docket No. 33388. [STOP]