Why counsel for the applicants will bother to file their responses due this Friday, the 26th of October, to the few opposition comments which have been filed with the Surface Transportation Board is a puzzlement. Does anyone really think that there is any uncertainlty how the application will be decided? All one needs to note is that the tranaction is supported by 16 Senators, 57 Representatives and the Departments of Transportation of Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kanasas, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Vermont. How GWI garnered that support, most of it even before it filed its application, is a pretty good indication of how GWI will throw its weight around upon consummation of the transaction.
It may be supported by everyone and their brother but the fact of the matter is that in California the Central Valley is one of the worst non attainment areas in the nation. If GWI wants to be in California they have to be attentive to that. They can't come in and discontinue rail service or use the accessorial charge to generate non freight revenue at the expense of shippers, communities and the state highway system. A few opposition comments? I suggest you read the 294 page "comment" submitted on behalf of the California Central Valley Rail Shippers and Receivers Association.
With all due respect, the California Centgral Valley Rail Shippers and Receivers Association is wasting its time and money in trying to have the STB attach conditions to GWI's acquisition of RailAmerica. GWI has no railroad in California, and, therefore, the Cal;ifornia railroads owned or controlled by RailAmerica, ARZC,CFNR, CORP, SDIY, SJVR and VCRR, will be unaffected by the proposed transaction. If the Association is dissatisfied with the service the RailAmerica owned or controlled railroads in California have rendered, it should have filed a complaint with the STB. The pending proceeding is the inappropriate forum for securing relief.
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