The Surface Transportation Board will hear two oral arguments on May 12, 2011 at its Washington, D.C. headquarters.
The first case concerns a challenge by Canadian National Railway Company to an arbitration award that the company says would block a planned consolidation of its Troy, Mich., and Homewood, Ill., dispatching facilities. The American Train Dispatchers Association opposes the challenge, saying the arbitrator correctly found that CN has not upgraded its dispatching system and trained its dispatchers in a way that would allow the consolidation to proceed. The case is Canadian National Railway Company, Grand Trunk Corporation, and Grand Trunk Western Railroad Incorporated—Control—Illinois Central Corporation, Illinois Central Railroad Company, Chicago, Central and Pacific Railroad Company, and Cedar River Railroad Company (Arbitration Review), Docket No. FD 33556 (Sub-No. 5).
The second case centers around the proposal by GNP Rly, Inc., to acquire the right to restore rail service over two segments of railroad right-of-way that are currently reserved for a recreational trail. GNP is asking the Board to vacate the Notice of Interim Trail Use it issued for these segments so the carrier can serve freight customers. King County, Wash., the trail sponsor, and the City of Redmond, Wash., oppose the request, saying that GNP does not own the right-of-way or have any other contractual rights to it, and so is not in a position to resume rail service. The case is GNP Rly, Inc.—Acquisition and Operation Exemption—Redmond Spur and Woodinville Subdivision, Docket No. FD 35407.
Each side in these cases will have 20 minutes to argue its position and to respond to questions from Board Members, similar to proceedings in federal appellate courts. The oral argument is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. in the hearing room at STB headquarters, 395 E Street, S.W., in Washington. Though the proceedings are open to the public, only counsel for the parties to the cases will be permitted to speak. Photo identification is necessary to enter the building.
A live video broadcast of the oral argument will be available via the Board's website at www.stb.dot.gov.