Alabama & Florida ex-Seaboard Air Line No. 1614 chop-nosed GP-9 was found in Evansville, Ind., in April 2007. The carrier is giving up everything.
WASHINGTON – Pioneer Rail Corp. told the Surface Transportation Board yesterday it wants to abandon its entire 43 miles of Alabama & Florida Railroad track. It’s all in Alabama.
In docket No. AB 1073X, it would “abandon its line... between milepost 581.3 at Andalusia, Ala., and milepost 624.2 at Geneva, Ala., a distance of 42.9 miles, in Geneva, Coffee and Covington Counties, Ala. The line constitutes A&F’s entire rail system.”
The rail line traverses Zip Codes 36340, 36420, 36421, 36453, 36467, and 36477.
A&F certified that “No local traffic has moved over the line for at least two years, and there is no overhead traffic on the line that has been, or would need to be, rerouted as a result of the proposed abandonment.”
The carrier stated “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 STB.”
A&F stated that during the past two years, there has been no local common carrier service provided over the line nor have there been any requests for common carrier service during that period, but portions of the line have been used for purposes of freight car storage.”
A&F asserted that “Movement of its empty rail cars for storage does not disqualify A&F from the use of the notice of exemption process to obtain abandonment authority for the line.”
Attorney for the railroad said A&F does not own title to the real property comprising the line’s right-of-way. The title remains with CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT).
According to A&F, when the line was sold in 1986 to an unaffiliated short line railroad predecessor of A&F (Alabama & Florida Railroad, Inc., CSXT’s predecessor, Seaboard System Railroad, Inc., conveyed to A&F Railroad the common carrier obligation associated with the line but retained for itself an ownership interest in the underlying real estate and remained as a lessor of the line’s right-of-way. A&F acquired the line from A&F Railroad subject to this arrangement with CSXT.
A&F stated that it is now seeking abandonment authority on the understanding that it is the appropriate entity to do so and that “CSXT does not need to file its own abandonment authority or otherwise join in this request.” A&F states that it believes that the ROW might be suitable for other public purposes, if CSXT is amendable to such an arrangement,” – meaning a walking and biking trail.