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RAILROAD - GNP's Application Granted

Published:09/07/2008 Local
RAILROAD - GNP's Application Granted    Print Snohomish Times    

On July 14, 2008, GNP Rly Inc. (GNP) filed an application for a modified certificate of public convenience and necessity under 49 CFR 1150, Subpart C, Modified Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (modified certificate), to lease and operate a segment of a line of railroad in the City of Snohomish, Snohomish County (County), WA.  The segment is owned by the County and extends from milepost 39.1 to milepost 39.3, a distance of approximately 0.2 miles.  On August 7, 2008, Mayor Randy Hamlin, on behalf of the City of Snohomish (City), filed a letter in response to GNP's application.

The segment is part of a line of railroad authorized to be abandoned pursuant to a decision issued by the Boards predecessor agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission, in Burlington Northern Railroad Company "Exemption" Abandonment in Snohomish County, WA, Docket No. AB-6 (Sub-No. 280X) (ICC served Mar. 12, 1986). GNP states that the County acquired the segment on October 20, 1992. 

The County leased the segment to GNP by agreement dated May 23, 2008.  GNP states that it will lease the segment for an initial term beginning January 1, 2008, and ending December 31, 2039, with a 31-year renewal term. GNP states that the segment will be used for the reconstruction of 350 yards of sidings and service tracks for storage and maintenance of locomotives and cars and as a base of operations for trains, motive power, and rolling stock to be operated by GNP.  GNP states that it will also provide commuter rail service and common carrier freight rail service over the segment as provided in its agreement with the County. GNP states that the segment at issue here is the first small piece of a larger segment that GNP hopes to operate.


The main worry of local residents is of the premature deal between GNP and the Snohomish County Council lead by Democrat chair Dave Somers. Complete disregard for input by the city and the potential obligation to GNP for 62 years no matter who gets the running rights. Mayor Randy Hamlin asked the STB to deny the application on grounds that not enough was being discussed about safety to Snohomish residents among other council concerns.

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