[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 248 (Monday, December 28, 1998)]
[Pages 71537-71538]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-33571]



Surface Transportation Board
[STB Docket No. AB-437 (Sub-No. 2X)]

Kansas Southwestern Railway, L.L.C.--Abandonment Exemption--in 
Reno, Pratt and Stafford Counties, KS

    Kansas Southwestern Railway, L.L.C. (KSW) has filed a notice of 
exemption under 49 CFR part 1152 subpart F--Exempt Abandonments to 
abandon an approximately 64.27-mile line of railroad on the Iuka Branch 
between milepost 609.97, at Olcott and milepost 630.13 at Iuka, and the 
portion of its Stafford Branch between milepost 610.0, at Olcott and 
milepost 654.11 at Radium, in Reno, Pratt and Stafford Counties, KS. 
The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Codes 67121, 67583, 
67578, 67545, 67577, 67571, 67569 and 67066.
    KSW has certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the 
line for at least 2 years; (2) there has been no overhead traffic 
handled on the line during that period; (3) no formal complaint filed 
by a user of rail service on the line (or by a state or local 
government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of 
service over the line either is pending with the Surface Transportation 
Board (Board) or with any U.S. District Court or has been decided in 
favor of complainant within the 2-year period; and (4) the requirements 
at 49 CFR 1105.7 (environmental reports), 49 CFR 1105.8 (historic 
reports), 49 CFR 1105.11 (transmittal letter), 49 CFR 1105.12 
(newspaper publication), and 49 CFR 1152.50(d)(1) (notice to 
governmental agencies) have been met.
    As a condition to this exemption, any employee adversely affected 
by the abandonment shall be protected under Oregon Short Line R. Co.--
Abandonment--Goshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). To address whether this 
condition adequately protects affected employees, a petition for 
partial revocation under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) must be filed. Provided no 
formal expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance 
(OFA) has been received, this exemption will be effective on January 
27, 1999, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that 
do not involve environmental issues,1 formal expressions of 
intent to file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2),2 and trail 
use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by January 
7, 1999. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions 
under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by January 19, 1999, with: Surface 
Transportation Board, Office of the Secretary, Case Control Unit, 1925 
K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20423.

    \1\ The Board will grant a stay if an informed decision on 
environmental issues (whether raised by a party or by the Board's 
Section of Environmental Analysis in its independent investigation) 
cannot be made before the exemption's effective date. See Exemption 
of Out-of-Service Rail Lines, 5 I.C.C.2d 377 (1989). Any request for 
a stay should be filed as soon as possible so that the Board may 
take appropriate action before the exemption's effective date.
    \2\ Each offer of financial assistance must be accompanied by 
the filing fee, which currently is set at $1000. See 49 CFR 

    A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to 
applicant's representative: Karl Morell, Ball Janik LLP, 1455 F St., 
NW., Suite 225, Washington, DC 20005. If the verified notice contains 
false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.
    KSW has filed an environmental report which addresses the 
abandonment's effects, if any, on the environment and historic 
resources. The Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) will issue an 
environmental assessment (EA) by December 31, 1998. Interested persons 
may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to SEA (Room 500, Surface 
Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423) or by calling SEA, at (202) 
565-1545. Comments on environmental and historic preservation matters 
must be filed within 15 days

[[Page 71538]]

after the EA becomes available to the public.
    Environmental, historic preservation, public use, or trail use/rail 
banking conditions will be imposed, where appropriate, in a subsequent 
    Pursuant to the provisions of 49 CFR 1152.29(e)(2), KSW shall file 
a notice of consummation with the Board to signify that it has 
exercised the authority granted and fully abandoned the line. If 
consummation has not been effected by KSW's filing of a notice of 
consummation by December 28, 1999, and there are no legal or regulatory 
barriers to consummation, the authority to abandon will automatically 
    Board decisions and notices are available on our website at 

    Decided: December 14, 1998.

    By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of 
Vernon A. Williams,
[FR Doc. 98-33571 Filed 12-24-98; 8:45 am]