Friday, May 12, 2017

Quotes from the GLBT Application to the STB

Haven’t had time to grab a bowl of popcorn, sit down and read the 75 pages of the Great Lakes Basin Transportation Application to the Surface Transmission Board?  Yeah, it’s Spring and planting season.  Funny how these things come out in either Spring or Fall.  Here are some quotes directly from the GLBT Application that will get your blood boiling.  Enjoy.    

Page 9 of the GLBT Application
GLBT has not yet obtained financing commitments for this entire amount and does not anticipate doing so until it receives STB authority to construct the proposed line. 
Page 10 of the GLBT Application
(c) The purpose of the proposal and explanation of why the public convenience and necessity require to permit the proposal (as explained herein, the language of 49CFR 1140.4(c) does not reflect the current statutory standard as modified by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (“ICCTA”)

Under the current public convenience and necessity statutory provision, in 49 U.S.C. 10901(c), the Board must approve a construction application unless it finds that the construction is “inconsistent with the public convenience and necessity.”  Under their prior provision in the effect before 1995, the Board’s predecessor was required to approve a construction application if it found that “present of future public convenience and necessity require(d) or permit(ted) it.  The current public convenience and necessity standard is more relaxed that the previous standard and creates “a statutory presumption that rail construction is to be approved”

Page 15 of the GLBT Application
Because GLBT has no business operations or revenue, it is not filing a current balance sheet or income statement.
Page 16 of the GLBT Application
Regardless of the final financing structure, GLBT forecasts that it will be able to effectively create positive cash flow to cover its debt service obligations, operating expenses and other pertinent costs related to the project as it builds volume and throughput across the entity during the first five years following construction.

James T Wilson GLBT Vice Chairman
Page 51 of the GLBT Application

However, CREATE does not significantly address future rail growth and capacity needs.  Its primary purpose is to adequately handle system throughput for Chicago’s current rail volumes.  Besides, the CREATE program will not be built out for many years.  Construction of GLBT is needed to assure that future traffic levels can be accommodated efficiently.

Page 52 of the GLBT Application

We understand our preferred route will cross parcels of farmland and some landowners have expressed concern about access and water drainage.  GLBT will work with all landowners to establish private crossings or alternatives to divided parcels.  Cooperating with adjoining landowners and drainage districts, we will address water management issues with culverts, drain tiles, and other appropriate measures to minimize flooding.  We have a common interest with landowners in effective water management, since flowing and ponding water can be just as damaging to roadbed and track structure as it can be a standing crop.  Our goal is to be excellent neighbors, good stewards of our land and the land around is, and a safe operator.

William Miller GLBT CCO (Chief Commercial Officer)
 Page 57 of the GLBT Application
A new by-pass railroad like the one GLBT proposes to build, providing a permanent safety valve of additional capacity…a key question is estimating how much traffic would be rerouted around the Chicago Terminal on this new railroad if it were built.  The Theoretical answer is all interchange traffic flowing through but not destined to or originating from the Chicago region, since the new railroad would provide superior speed and efficiency….While the amount of traffic which would divert and flow across the GLBT would be driven in large part by pricing, we conservatively estimate that half of the theoretical maximum, or 63 trains per day, would naturally diver to the swifter GLBT route.

Timothy Befort GLBT COO
Page 65 of the GLBT Application

Simply stated, capital spent in the city does not go nearly as far as capital spent in outlying areas.  GLBT proposes a key solution to the congestion equation without any public price tag….This would create a “win-win” for shippers, rail carriers and Chicago’s economy.

Douglas De Berg  GLBT Engineering
Page 69 of the GLBT Application

In order to accomplish this we designed the railroad to be able to operate through heavy rainfall and flooding conditions by either avoiding flood plains or mitigating potential flooding issues.  In open plains areas of the railroad where heavy snow and drifting could be an issue, we plant natural snow barriers, designed the cuts to have room to blow free and in general, grade the right of way to minimize the accumulation of drifting and blowing snow.  I have personally taken no only pride but also genuine concern in the design so that the railroad’s impact on its neighbors also will be minimized.

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