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Notice

The Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Rail Lines of Columbiana County Port Authority in Mahoning and Columbiana Counties, OH, and Beaver County, PA

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The Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad (O&P), a Class III rail carrier, has filed a notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.41 to acquire (by lease) approximately 36 miles of rail line owned by the Columbiana County Port Authority (CCPA), between milepost 0.0 at or near Youngstown, OH, and milepost 35.7 at or near Darlington, PA.

The Central Columbiana and Pennsylvania Railway Company (CCPR) currently serves as the line's operator pursuant to a track lease and operating agreement with CCPA. On June 14, 2004, CCPR filed for bankruptcy protection before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Little Rock Division (Case No. 4:04-bk-16887 M, Chapter 11) (bankruptcy court). Pursuant to an agreement between CCPA, O&P, and the bankruptcy trustee for CCPR, O&P will acquire and operate the line by assuming CCPR's rights, duties, and obligations under CCPR's track lease and operating agreement with CCPA (including CCPR's option to purchase the line in March 2006). The agreement is pending final approval from the bankruptcy court, which O&P expects will be granted before December 31, 2004.[1]

The transaction is scheduled to be consummated on or after December 15, 2004. O&P certifies that its projected revenues as a result of the transaction will not exceed those that would qualify it as a Class III rail carrier.

This transaction is related to STB Docket No. AB-556 (Sub-No. 2X), Railroad Ventures, Inc.—Abanondment Exemption—Between Youngstown, OH, and Darlington, PA, in Mahoning and Columbiana Counties, OH, and Beaver County, PA, which involves the purchase of the line by CCPA pursuant to the offer of financial assistance provisions of 49 U.S.C. 10904 and 49 CFR 1152.27.

If this notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the transaction.

An original and 10 copies of all pleadings, referring to STB Finance Docket No. 34632, must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on Kelvin J. Dowd, Slover & Loftus, 1224 Seventeenth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20036.

Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at http://www.stb.dot.gov.

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Decided: December 14, 2004.

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

Vernon A. Williams,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  To ensure the continued availability of rail service to shippers on the line, the bankruptcy court, by a December 3, 2004 order, has approved an interim agreement between O&P and CCPR's bankruptcy trustee, which would allow O&P to assume immediate operational control of the line.

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[FR Doc. 04-27858 Filed 12-20-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-01-P