2016-03-30 / Front Page

CSX wants track closed


NO RAIL SERVICE — This stretch of rail line serving the Sapphire Preparation plant at Camp Branch was abandoned several months ago by Sapphire owner United Coal Company. Now, CSX Transportation will file an application seeking to discontinue service for an additional 1.17-mile segment of the rail line that serves the plant this time suspending service between Polly and the junction of KY 7 and KY 931 near Colson. NO RAIL SERVICE — This stretch of rail line serving the Sapphire Preparation plant at Camp Branch was abandoned several months ago by Sapphire owner United Coal Company. Now, CSX Transportation will file an application seeking to discontinue service for an additional 1.17-mile segment of the rail line that serves the plant this time suspending service between Polly and the junction of KY 7 and KY 931 near Colson. CSX Transportation Inc. will ask the federal government next week for permission to discontinue service on a 1.17-mile rail line between the junction of KY 7 North and KY 931 near Colson and a rail crossing at Sugar Run Road at Polly near Camp Branch.

“CSXT is planning to file with the (federal) Surface Transportation Board a Notice of Exemption to Discontinue Service over the line,” said Melanie Yasbin, who is assisting CSX in completing its required legal work. “It is not proposing an abandonment of the line. CSXT will retain the line in case the coal reserves become active. The line is located in Camp Branch. There has been no rail traffic on the line for at least two years.”

The stretch of track begins at mile post 280.39 at KY 7 and ends at milepost 281.32 at the junction of Pit Lane and Sugar Run Road.

The closing means there is now no rail service between United Coal’s Sapphire Preparation plant at the mouth of Camp Branch and KY 7, a stretch of rail line that for many years served South-East Coal Company’s old Polly Mine and Marlowe Coal Company’s Camp Branch mine.

The application is expected to be filed April 5 in Washington, D.C. Laura Phipps, manager of media relations for CSX, said this about the proposed service interruption.

“CSX is constantly evaluating its resources to match its network with business demand in order to keep the company strong and deliver efficient, safe service for customers. We have filed with the Surface Transportation Board to discontinue regular service along 1.2 miles in Letcher County. There has been no traffic on the line for more than two years.”

Added Phipps: If the STB approves CSX’s filing, CSX will cease regular service in that area and close three road crossings – State Road 7, Graystone Road, and Sugar Run Road. We will leave the remaining infrastructure in place to preserve the corridor for potential future business. CSX remains committed to serving its customers in Kentucky and throughout the region, and will keep the community updated if business conditions change.”

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