Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Maine rail abandonment goes into mediation

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The threatened abandonment of 231 miles of the Montreal,Maine & Atlantic Railway in Maine's Aroostook and Penobscot counties is going into confidential mediation under the auspices of the Surface Transportation Board. The board said it will postpone action on theabandonment application to give the state and the railroad “time to arrive atmediated solution.”

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Maine officials contend that that the abandonmentwould hurt the economy of northern Maine and cost jobs.

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The Surface Transportation Board said it will “suspend any formal action on the matter for three weeks and will postpone a public hearing scheduled for May 10 in Presque Isle, Maine.” 

“We are pleased that the parties in the case have decided to take advantage of the Board's mediation services,” said STB Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III. “Agreements resulting from folks sitting down and negotiating are almost always better than decisions imposed from Washington.”