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Florida West Coast Railroad Company, Inc.-Abandonment and Discontinuance of Service Exemption-in Alachua and Gilchrist Counties, FL

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On February 25, 2004, Florida West Coast Railroad Company, Inc. (FWCR), 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 and discontinue service over an approximately 13-mile line of railroad extending from milepost 734.0, in Trenton, to milepost 721.0, in Newberry, in Alachua and Gilchrist Counties, FL. The line traverses United States Postal Service ZIP Codes 32669 and 32693, and includes no stations.

The line does not contain federally granted rights-of-way. Any documentation in FWCR'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 June 14, 2004.[1]

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 petition for exemption. 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 April 5, 2004. Each Start Printed Page 12393trail 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-347 (Sub-No. 3X) and must be sent to: (1) Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001; and (2) David H. Anderson, Law Office of David H. Anderson, 288 Littleton Road, Suite 21, Westford, MA 01886. Replies to the FWCR petition are due on or before April 5, 2004.

Persons seeking further information concerning abandonment and discontinuance 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 Web site at

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Decided: March 11, 2004.

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

Vernon A. Williams,


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1.  FWCR initially proposed a consummation date of April 15, 2004. FWCR's representative has subsequently acknowledged that, if its petition is granted, consummation cannot occur before the Board has authorized the proposed abandonment and discontinuance.

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[FR Doc. 04-5889 Filed 3-15-04; 8:45 am]