On June 15, 2001, the Boston and Maine Corporation (B&M) filed with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) an application for permission to abandon and discontinue service on a line of railroad known as the Manchester and Lawrence Branch extending from milepost 1.4 in Lawrence, MA, to milepost 4.4 in Salem, NH, a distance of 3 miles, in Essex County, MA, and Rockingham County, NH. The line traverses U.S. Postal Service ZIP Codes 01840, 01841, 01843, 01844 and 03079. Applicant has indicated that there are no agency stations located on the line.
The line does not contain federally granted rights-of-way. Any documentation in B&M's possession will be made available promptly to those requesting it. The applicant's entire case for abandonment (case-in-chief) was filed with the application.
The line of railroad has appeared on B&M's system diagram map or has been included in its narrative in category 1 since December 27, 2000.
The interest of railroad employees will be protected by the conditions set forth in Oregon Short Line R. Co.—Abandonment—Goshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979).
Any interested person may file with the Board written comments concerning the proposed abandonment or protests (including the protestant's entire opposition case), by July 30, 2001. All interested persons should be aware that, following any 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 U.S.C. 10905 (49 CFR 1152.28) or for a trail use condition under 16 U.S.C. 1247(d) (49 CFR 1152.29) must be filed by July 30, 2001. Each trail use request must be accompanied by a $150 filing fee. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(27). Applicant's reply to any opposition statements and its response to trail use requests must be filed by August 14, 2001. See 49 CFR 1152.26(a).
Persons opposing the abandonment who wish to participate actively and fully in the process should file a protest. Persons who may oppose the abandonment but who do not wish to participate fully in the process by submitting verified statements of witnesses containing detailed evidence should file comments. Persons seeking information concerning the filing of protests should refer to 49 CFR 1152.25. Persons interested only in seeking public use or trail use conditions should also file comments.
In addition, a commenting party or protestant may provide:
(i) An offer of financial assistance (OFA) for continued rail service under 49 U.S.C. 10904 (due 120 days after the application is filed or 10 days after the application is granted by the Board, whichever occurs sooner);
(ii) Recommended provisions for protection of the interests of employees;
(iii) A request for a public use condition under 49 U.S.C. 10905; and (iv) A statement pertaining to prospective use of the right-of-way for interim trail use and rail banking under 16 U.S.C. 1247(d) and 49 CFR 1152.29.
All filings in response to this notice must refer to STB Docket No. AB-32 (Sub-No. 90) and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation Board, Office of the Secretary, Case Control Unit, 1925 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) Robert B. Culliford, Iron Horse Park, North Billerica, MA 10862. The original and 10 copies of all comments or protests shall be filed with the Board with a certificate of service. Except as otherwise set forth in part 1152, every document filed with the Board must be served on all parties to the abandonment proceeding. 49 CFR 1104.12(a).
The line sought to be abandoned will be available for subsidy or sale for continued rail use, if the Board decides to permit the abandonment, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations (49 U.S.C. 10904 and 49 CFR 1152.27). Each OFA must be accompanied by a $1,000 filing fee. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25). No subsidy arrangement approved under 49 U.S.C. 10904 shall remain in effect for more than 1 year unless otherwise mutually agreed by the parties (49 U.S.C. 10904(f)(4)(B)). Applicant will promptly provide upon request to each interested party an estimate of the subsidy and minimum purchase price required to keep the line in operation. The carrier's representative to whom inquiries may be made concerning sale or subsidy terms is set forth above.
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 environmental issues may be directed to the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) at (202) 565-1545. [TDD for the hearing impaired is available 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 abandonment proceedings normally will Start Printed Page 35509be made available within 33 days of the filing of the application. The deadline for submission of comments on the EA will generally be within 30 days of its service. The comments received will be addressed in the Board's decision. A supplemental EA or EIS may be issued where appropriate.
Board decisions and notices are available on our website at “WWW.STB.DOT.GOV.Start Signature
Decided: June 27, 2001.
By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.
Vernon A. Williams,
1. Applicant notes that a portion of the line from milepost 1.4 to approximately milepost 3.72 is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, an agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that B&M provides service over this portion pursuant to an exclusive freight easement.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 01-16695 Filed 7-3-01; 8:45 am]
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