On December 23, 2003, Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NSR) filed with the Board a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption from the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10903-05 to abandon a segment at the end of its line of railroad known as the old R-Line. The 1.95-mile segment extends from Milepost old R-3.00 to Milepost old R-4.95, in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, NC. The line traverses United States Postal Service ZIP Codes 28210 and 28217 and includes no stations.
In addition to an exemption from 49 U.S.C. 10903, petitioner seeks exemption from 49 U.S.C. 10904 [offer of financial assistance (OFA) procedures] and 49 U.S.C. 10905 [public use conditions]. In support, NSR states that the right-of-way has been conveyed to the City of Charlotte (City) for public purposes. As part of the transaction, NSR proposes to reclassify the track as industrial lead track, retain an easement over the reclassified track and enter into an operating agreement with the City, which will permit NSR to continue to provide rail service over the reclassified track. These requests will be addressed in the final decision.
The line does not contain Federally granted rights-of-way. Any documentation in the railroad'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 April 9, 2004.
Any OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(b)(2) will be due no later than 10 days after service of a decision granting the petition for exemption, unless the Board grants the requested exemption from the OFA process. 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. Unless the Board grants the requested exemption from the public use provisions, 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 February 2, 2004. 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-290 (Sub-No. 247X) and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) James R. Paschall, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Three Commerce Place, Norfolk, VA 23510. Replies to the petition are due on or before February 2, 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 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 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.Start Signature
Decided: January 6, 2004.
By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.
Vernon A. Williams,
[FR Doc. 04-564 Filed 1-9-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-00-P