ACWR seeks to acquire NS’s Piedmont subdivision | So Good News


Written by

Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor

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Class III rail carrier Aberdeen Carolina and Western Railway Company (ACWR) has submitted a verified notice of exemption to acquire from Norfolk Southern (NS) the approximately 104-mile Piedmont Subdivision, which, pursuant to a lease and option purchase agreement, ACWR has operated since 1989, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced on December 1.

The certified notice, which was filed under 49 CFR 1150.42, says ACWR and NS have “negotiated a purchase and sale agreement and expect to close on or shortly after the effective date of the waiver.”

According to the STB archive, ACWR confirms the proposed acquisition of the rail line, which is located between milepost 282.63 at Gulf, Chatham County, and milepost 386.91 at Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and runs through Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Stanly, Montgomery and Chatham Counties in North Carolina “does not involve any provision or agreement that would restrict future interchange with a third-party affiliated carrier,” adding that ACWR further certifies that its anticipated revenues, as a result of this transaction, “will not result in the creation of a Class II or Class In rail carrier.”

According to the filing, “pursuant to 49 CFR 1150.42(e), if a carrier’s estimated annual revenues will exceed $5 million, it must, at least 60 days before the exemption takes effect, post a notice of its intent to implement the proposed the transaction at the workplace of the employees on the affected lines, send a copy of the notice to the national offices of the trade unions with employees on the affected lines, and confirm to the board that it has done so.” However, according to the filing, ACWR’s confirmed notice includes a request for a waiver, which will be addressed in a separate decision, of the 60-day advance notice requirements. The board will determine the effective date for the exception in its own decision on the waiver request.

If the verified message contains false or misleading information, the exception is “null and void ab initio,” according to the STB archive. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 USC 10502(d) may be filed at any time. Filing a petition for revocation will not automatically maintain the effectiveness of the exemption. Requests for residence must be submitted by 8 December at the latest.

All pleadings referencing Document No. FD 36648 should be filed with the STB either via e-filing on the Board’s website or in writing addressed to 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423-0001. In addition, one copy of each pleading must be served on ACWR’s representative, Suzanne L. Silverman, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP, 1634 I (Eye) Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006.

According to ACWR, this action is “categorically excluded from environmental assessment under 49 CFR 1105.6(c) and from historical reporting requirements under 49 CFR 1105.8(b).”


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