Contact: Dennis Watson
05/09/2003 (Friday)
(202) 565-1596
No. 03-22
FIRS 1 (800) 877-8339

Surface Transportation Board Votes To Authorize "Riverview Trenton" Project, Subject To 3-Year Board Oversight

Surface Transportation Board (Board) Chairman Roger Nober announced that the Board, at its open voting conference held today, voted to authorize the Riverview Trenton Railroad Company (RTR) to undertake a railroad project in Wayne County, Michigan, subject to continuing Board oversight for three years.

The Board's approval will permit RTR to acquire and begin operation over track located on the site of a former steel mill in the towns of Riverview and Trenton in Wayne County. RTR plans to establish an intermodal facility on the site that will divert truck traffic onto the rail system, and also transport rail traffic for the Detroit Steel Center, a steel mini-mill operating on an adjacent site. The proposal has been opposed by parties who would like to see the property put to other uses.

In its vote today to approve the proposal, the Board recognized that it was statutorily limited to evaluating only the transportation merits of the project, rather than the best use of the land. Evaluating those merits, the Board found that RTR has invested substantial resources in preparation to rehabilitate the line and to construct additional track for the intermodal facility, and that it has submitted statements from shippers supporting its project. The Board further determined that the planned intermodal facility is feasible, will have important transportation benefits, and will provide a competitive alternative to other intermodal facilities.

However, in light of concerns expressed by the communities that would be affected by this proposal, the Board imposed conditions on its approval. First, the Board imposed on RTR a three-year monitoring and reporting condition designed to address opponents' concerns that RTR did not intend to perform regulated railroad services. Second, it required RTR to designate a community liaison to be a point of contact with local communities. Third, the Board adopted the EA and imposed conditions to mitigate any environmental impacts as recommended within it.

The Board's decision in this case, entitled Riverview Trenton Railroad Company-- Petition for Exemption from 49 U.S.C. 10901 to Acquire and Operate a Rail Line in Wayne County, MI, STB Finance Docket No. 34040, will be forthcoming. Commissioner Morgan commented. Printed copies will be available for a fee by contacting D~ 2 D~ Legal Copy Service, Suite 405, 1925 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006, telephone (202) 293-7776, or via The decisions also will be available for viewing and downloading under "Decisions & Notices" on the Board's website at