NS: SMS Discontinues Common Carrier Service, Lease in NY

SMS Rail Lines of New York, LLC (SMS) submitted a verified notice of exemption for SMS to discontinue common carrier service and terminate its lease operations over approximately 15 miles of rail line owned by Norfolk Southern. The trackage is located between milepost 11.00 in Voorheesville, NY and a point 50 feet south of the centerline of the bridge at milepost 26.14 in Delanson, NY, including the use of wye track and any track leading to the Northeast Industrial Park at milepost 12.1 and 12.29, in Albany County, NY.

26.February, Albany NY – The STB Docket No. FD 36472, CSX Corporation and CSX Transportation, Inc., Control and Merger of Pan Am Systems, Inc., Pan Am Railways, Inc., etc. was filed on 25.February and while the majority of the deal relates to New England, one New York shortline will be altered by the deal.

As part of the bigger deal, SMS Rail Lines of New York, LLC (SMS) submitted a verified notice of exemption for SMS to discontinue common carrier service and terminate its lease operations over approximately 15 miles of rail line owned by Norfolk Southern.  The trackage is located between milepost 11.00 in Voorheesville, NY and a point 50 feet south of the centerline of the bridge at milepost 26.14 in Delanson, NY, including the use of wye track and any track leading to the Northeast Industrial Park at milepost 12.1 and 12.29, in Albany County, NY.

SMS acquired lease and operation authority for the Line in 2007.

According to the filing, there has been no local traffic located on the Line proposed for discontinuance for over two years and SMS certifies that the Line satisfies the criteria for discontinuance under the exemption provisions at 49 C.F.R. part 1152, subpart F.

Jeffrey L. Sutch, Managing Member for SMS Rail Lines of New York, LLC, certified that during the past two years, no local traffic has moved over the Line and any common carrier overhead traffic on the Line can be rerouted, and that no formal complaint filed by a user of rail service on the Line (or a state or local government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the line either is pending with the Board or any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of the complainant within the 2-year period.

SMS is discontinuing its common carrier local service and common carrier overhead trackage rights over the Line. However, SMS will continue to utilize overhead operating rights over the Line for the sole purpose of interchanging with NS.

This transaction is related to four sets of trackage rights being sought as related notices of exemption in Docket No. FD 36472. Collectively the trackage rights and this discontinuance are a part of series of transactions necessary to improve NS’s ability to move intermodal traffic and automotive vehicles into the greater Boston marketplace in order to create a second route for this traffic upon CSX’s acquisition of the PAR corporate family.

The proposed discontinuance will be consummated on or after April 16, 2021 (50 days after filing the Notice) or the approval date of the transaction proposed in Docket No. FD 36472, whichever is later.