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Notice

The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Jefferson, Gage, and Pawnee Counties, NE

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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On November 12, 2003, The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF), 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 to abandon a line of railroad extending between milepost 57.80, near Pawnee, and milepost 117.03, near Endicott, a distance of approximately 59.23 miles in Jefferson, Gage, and Pawnee Counties, NE. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 68420, 68323, 68381, 68466, 68310, 68415, 68432, 68352, and 68350, and includes the following stations: Burchard, Liberty, Wymore, Krider, Odell, and Diller.

The line does not contain federally granted rights-of-way. Any documentation in BNSF's possession will be made available promptly to those requesting it.

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).

By issuing 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 1, 2004.

Any offer of financial assistance (OFA) will be due no later than 10 days after service of a decision granting the petition for exemption. See 49 CFR 1152.27(b)(2). Each OFA must be accompanied by a $1,100 filing fee. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25).

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, 2003. Each trail use request must be accompanied by a $150 filing fee. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(27).

All filings in response to this notice must refer to STB Docket No. AB-6 (Sub-No. 405X) and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) Michael Smith, 311 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 3000, Chicago, IL 60606-6677. Replies to the BNSF petition are due on or before December 22, 2003.

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) 565-1539. 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 made available within 60 days after 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 website at http://www.stb.dot.gov.

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Decided: November 21, 2003.

By the Board, Joseph H. Dettmar, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings.

Vernon A. Williams,

Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 03-29711 Filed 12-1-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-00-P