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Basic text required to file for railbanking

From the Rails to Trails Conservancy

The following letter requests both a public use condition and railbanking. The items in [brackets] are to be completed by the prospective trail agency or group. See how this text is used in an actual letter requesting public use condition and railbanking.

[Date]

Mr. Vernon A. Williams
Secretary
Surface Transportation Board
1925 K St., NW, Rm 711
Washington, DC 20423

Re: [Name of Railroad Company]-Abandonment-[Name of County and State] AB-xx xx xx xx xx (Sub-no. yy yy yy yy yy)[STB Docket Number]

Dear Mr. Williams:

This comment should be treated as a protest or a petition for reconsideration in the above-captioned proceeding. This comment is filed on behalf of [Agency Name] which is a [political subdivision or government agency interested in transportation and/or natural resources, private public interest organization interested in conservation and/or recreation, etc.], which is hereinafter referred to as 'Commenter'.

While not taking a position on the merits of this abandonment, Commenter requests issuance of a Public Use Condition as well as a Certificate or Notice of Interim Trail Use rather than an outright abandonment authorization between [endpoint a] and [endpoint b].

A. Public Use Condition

Commenter requests the STB to find that this property is suitable for other public use, specifically trail use, and to place the following conditions on the abandonment:

1. An order prohibiting the carrier from disposing of the corridor, other than the tracks, ties and signal equipment, except of public use on reasonable terms. The justification for this condition is that [example: the rail corridor in question is along a scenic river and will connect a public park to a major major residential area. The corridor would make an excellent recreational trail and conversion of the properrty to trail use is in accordance with local plans. In addition, the corridor provides important wildlife habitat and greenspace and its preservation as a recreational trail is consistent with that end.] The time period sought is 180 days from the effective date of the abandonment authorization. Commenter needs this much time because [example: we have not had an opportunity to assemble or to review title information, complete a trail plan or commence negotiations with the car mation, complete a trail plan or commence negotiations with the car mation, complete a trail plan or commence negotiations with the carrier.]

2. An order barring removal or destruction of potential trail-related structures such as bridges, trestles, culverts and tunnels. The justification for this condition is that these structures have considerable value for recreational trail purposes. The time period requested is 180 days from the effective date of the abandonment authorization for the same reason as indicated above.

B. Interim Trail Use

The railroad right-of-way in this proceeding is suitable for railbanking. In addition to the public use conditions sought above,

Commenter also makes the following request:

STATEMENT OF WILLINGNESS TO ASSUME FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

In order to establish interim trail use and rail banking under section 8(d) of the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C. §1247(d),

and 49 C.F.R. §1152.29, [Agency Name] is willing to assume full responsibility for management of, for any legal liability arising

out of the transfer or use of (unless the user is immune from liability, in which case it need only indemnify the railroad against any potential liability), and for the payment of any and all taxes that may be levied or assessed against the right-of-way owned by [Name of Railroad Company] and operated by _____.

The property, known as the _____ extends from railroad milepost ___ near [endpoint a] to railroad milepost ___ near [endpoint b] a distance of ___ miles in ______________ County, _____. The right-of-way is part of a line of railroad proposed for abandonment in STB Docket No. AB-xx (Sub-no. yy).

A map depicting the right-of-way is attached.

[Agency Name] acknowledges that use of the right-of-way is subject to the user's continuing to meet its responsibilities described above and subject to possible future reconstruction and reactivation of the right-of-way for rail service.

By my signature below, I certify service upon [Railroad Company and address], by U.S. Mail, postage prepaid, first class, this ___ day of 20____.

Respectfully submitted,

______________________________________

Name

on behalf of: __________________________

* See how this text is used in an actual letter requesting public use condition and railbanking.

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