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12-02-2004, 03:02 PM
The following is an excerpt of a notice in today's Federal Register as a proposal to abandon the railroad. Final decision in March.

[Federal Register: December 2, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 231)]
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Surface Transportation Board
[STB Docket No. AB-512X and STB Docket No. AB-880X]

Sierra Pacific Industries-Abandonment Exemption Sierra Pine--Discontinuance Exemption--in Amador County, CA

On November 12, 2004, Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) and
SierraPine (collectively, petitioners) jointly filed with the Surface
Transportation Board a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption
from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10903. SPI seeks to abandon and
SierraPine seeks to discontinue service over a line of railroad
extending from milepost 0.0 at Ione, CA, to the end of the line at
milepost 12.0 at Martell, CA. The line traverses United States Postal
Service ZIP Codes 95640 and 95654 in Amador County, CA, and includes
stations at Ione and Martell.
The line does not contain federally granted rights-of-way. Any
documentation in SPI's or SierraPine's possession will be made
available promptly to those requesting it.
The line to be abandoned and discontinued constitutes the entire
line of railroad of SierraPine and the entire line of railroad of SPI
operated pursuant to Board authority.\1\ When issuing discontinuance or
abandonment authority for railroad lines that constitute the carrier's
entire system, the Board does not impose labor protections, except
under the circumstances listed in Northampton and Bath R. Co.--
Abandonment, 354 I.C.C. 784, 785-86 (1978) (Northampton).\2\ Therefore,
if the Board grants the petition for exemption, in the absence of a
showing that one or more of the exceptions articulated in Northampton
are present, no labor protective conditions will be imposed.
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\1\ The petitioners state that SPI operates two other lines of
railroad, both in California, as a private and contract carrier, not
as a common carrier: a 3-mile line in Plumas County, CA, serving an
SPI lumber mill in Quincy, CA, and a 25-mile line between Susanville
and Wendel in Lassen County, CA, leased from the Union Pacific
Railroad Company, which provides private carriage to an SPI mill in
Susanville and contract carriage to a millwork plant in Susanville
operated by Jeld-Wen.
\2\ See New York and Eastern Railway, LLC--Discontinuance
Exemption--in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY, STB Docket No.
873X, et al. (STB served July 19, 2004), and A & R Line, Inc.-
Abandonment Exemption-in Cass and Pulaski Counties, IN, STB Docket
No. AB-855 (Sub-No. 1X), et al. (STB served Aug. 20, 2003).
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By issuance of this notice, the Board is instituting an exemption
proceeding pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502(b). A final decision will be
issued by March 2, 2005.
Any offer of financial assistance (OFA) under 49 CFR 1152.27(b)(2)
will be due no later than 10 days after service of a decision granting
the exemption. Each OFA must be accompanied by a $1,200 filing fee. See
49 CFR 1002.2(f)(27).
All interested persons should be aware that, following abandonment
of rail service and salvage of the line, the line may be suitable for
other public use, including interim trail use. Any request for a public
use condition under 49 CFR 1152.28 or for trail use/rail banking under
49 CFR 1152.29 will be due no later than December 22, 2004. Each trail
use request must be accompanied by a $200 filing fee. See 49 CFR
1002.2(f)(27).
All filings in response to this notice must refer to STB Docket
Nos. AB-512X and AB-880X and must be sent to: (1) Surface
Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001;
and (2) Scott M. Zimmerman, Zuckert Scoutt & Rasenberger, 888
Seventeenth Street, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20006. Replies to
the petition are due on or before December 22, 2004.
Persons seeking further information concerning abandonment
procedures may contact the Board's Office of Public Services at (202)
565-1592 or refer to the full abandonment or discontinuance regulations
at 49 CFR part 1152. Questions concerning the environmental issues may
be directed to the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) at
(202) 565-1539. (Assistance for the hearing impaired is available
through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-
8339.)
An environmental assessment (EA) (or environmental impact statement
(EIS), if necessary), prepared by SEA, will be served upon all parties
of record and upon any agencies or other persons who commented during
its preparation. Other interested persons may contact SEA to obtain a
copy of the EA (or EIS). EAs in these abandonment proceedings normally
will be available within 60 days of the filing of the petition. The
deadline for submission of comments on the EA will generally be within
30 days of its service.
Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at http://www.stb.dot.gov
Decided: November 23, 2004.

By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.

Vernon A. Williams,
Secretary.