Digest: STB receives more filings on Del Mar Bluffs, Pennsylvania short line disputes

News Wire Digest second section for Nov. 6: Agency also approves end of service by Pacific Sun Railroad
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The City of Del Mar has asked the Surface Transportation Board to ignore a filing by the North County Transportation District, while calling the district's request for a ruling on activity along the Del Mar Bluffs a "dangerous proposition."
TRAINS: David Lassen

Friday morning rail news from the Surface Transportation Board:

Del Mar's latest filing asks STB to disregard documents from North County Transportation District
The City of Del Mar, Calif., has asked the Surface Transportation Board to disregard the North County Transportation District’s latest filing in the transit agency’s request for a ruling on its maintenance and safety-fence plans along the Del Mar Bluffs, saying in a letter that the NCTD filing violates board rules prohibiting a reply to a reply. In late October, the district filed a document including plans for the proposed fence, including a risk study by its consultant, as well as details of its bluff stabilization program, characterizing it as supplemental information. [see “Digest: Metra adjusts schedules …,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 28, 2020]. In the event the STB is willing consider that NCTD filing, Del Mar offers its own short rebuttal, saying the district has yet to show that coastal use and railroad regulations cannot coexist, and that the district’s “open-ended request for blanket preemption protection is a dangerous proposition that the board should strongly resist.”

R.J. Corman asks board to stay out of junction dispute, saying it's a contract matter
Responding to the Reading & Northern’s request for Surface Transportation Board intervention in a dispute over a junction in Pittston, Pa., R.J. Corman Railroad Co. says the agency should reject the Reading & Northern request “to involve the board in a purely contract issue.” In a letter filed Thursday, R.J. Corman — which is assuming operation of the Luzerne & Susquehanna, which joins the R&N in Pittston — says the Reading & Northern is seek to change the terms of the existing agreement, rather than maintain the status quo, as it indicated in its letter to the board [see “Digest: Long Island Rail Road, NJ Transit announce commuter schedule changes,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 5, 2020]. Specifically, R.J. Corman says the terms proposed by the Reading & Northern would significantly change the termination clause, and that the R&N is involving the board “to obtain an advantage in its contract dispute.”

Board okays Pacific Sun's discontinuation of service
The Surface Transportation Board on Thursday approved the Pacific Sun Railroad’s request to discontinue operations in San Diego County, Calif., over lines leased from BNSF Railway, as well as its trackage rights on BNSF, effective Dec. 5. BNSF will resume operations on the lines that had been operated by Pacific Sun, a Watco short line that began operations in October 2008 [See “Digest: BNSF to take over route operated by California short line,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 4, 2020].

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