Central Maine & Quebec Railway U.S. Inc. (CMQR),
a noncarrier, has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.31 to acquire and operate certain rail lines in the United States currently owned and operated by Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, Ltd. (MMA).
MMA and MMA's Canadian affiliate, Montreal Maine & Atlantic Canada Co. (MMA Canada) filed bankruptcy petitions with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine and the Superior Court for the Province of Quebec, District of Montreal, respectively, on August 7, 2013, following a rail accident in Lac Mégantic, Que., on July 6, 2013. Since that time, the rail business of MMA and MMA Canada has been operated under the oversight of Robert J. Keach, the Chapter 11 Trustee in the MMA bankruptcy proceeding.
On December 12, 2013, RAH entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement (Agreement) with Trustee Keach, MMA, and MMA Canada, pursuant to which RAH agreed to purchase certain rail assets of both MMA and MMA Canada. Thereafter, both the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the Quebec Superior Court issued final orders approving the sale of the rail assets of MMA and MMA Canada to RAH.
The purpose of the proposed transaction is to restore and preserve rail service on and over the rail lines of the bankrupt MMA located in Maine and Vermont. Although MMA has continued to provide certain rail services while in bankruptcy, east-west through service between points in Quebec and points in Maine has not been available to shippers since the Lac Mégantic disaster. CMQR and CMQR Canada will provide rail service over the entire pre-bankruptcy rail network of MMA and MMA Canada.
This transaction is related to a concurrently filed verified notice of exemption in Fortress Investment Group LLC—Continuance in Control Exemption—Florida East Coast Railway, L.L.C. and Central Maine & Quebec Railway U.S. Inc., Docket No. FD 35806, wherein Fortress Investment seeks Board approval under 49 CFR 1180.2(d)(2) to continue in control of Florida East Coast Railway, L.L.C., and CMQR upon CMQR's becoming a carrier.
CMQR has certified that its projected annual revenues as a result of this transaction will not result in CMQR's becoming a Class II or Class I rail carrier, but that its projected annual revenues will exceed $5 million. Accordingly, CMQR is required, at least Start Printed Page 1149860 days before this exemption is to become effective, to send notice of the transaction to the national offices of the labor unions with employees on the affected lines, post a copy of the notice at the workplace of the employees on the affected lines, and certify to the Board that it has done so. 49 CFR 1150.32(e). CMQR, concurrently with its notice of exemption, filed a petition for waiver of the 60-day advance labor notice period. CMQR's waiver request will be addressed in a separate decision.
CMQR states that it intends to consummate the transaction as soon as practicable after the effective date of this exemption. The Board will establish in a separate decision on the waiver request the earliest date that this transaction may be consummated.
If the 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 effectiveness of the exemption. Petitions for stay must be filed no later than March 7, 2014.
An original and 10 copies of all pleadings, referring to Docket No. FD 35805 must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001. In addition, one copy of each pleading must be served on Robert J. Keach, Esq. (as Trustee for MMA), c/o Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, P.A., 100 Middle Street, Portland, ME 04104-5029, and on Terence M. Hynes, Sidley Austin LLP, 1501 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005.
Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at www.stb.dot.gov.
Decided: February 25, 2014.
By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings.
[FR Doc. 2014-04460 Filed 2-27-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P