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September 1986 - Page 4


S P Extra 9264 West at Promontory Point, Utah, on May 1 9 , 1986, shows the level of the Great Salt Lake was high even before the big stonn that covered 1 1 miles of SP track three weeks later. SP trains are de touring over fonner WP trackage (now UP) on the south edge of the lake. -KEN MEEKER

Globe Branch Abandonment Denied by ICC Judge
An ICC administrative judge ruled on June 1 3 that Southern Pacific may not abandon the 1 34-mile Globe, Ariz., branch. Administrative Law Judge Frederick M. Dolan said abandonment would cripple Inspiration Consolidated Copper Co . , which provides 98% o f Globe Branch traf fic with its mining, smelting and process ing operations in the area. In reply to SP's contention that it suf fered financial losses from operations, the judge scolded the railroad for failing to maintain a branch line accounting system (a system used to collect data critical to financial aspects of abandonment propos als), reported Traffic World, a trade journal. He said that the record showed a profit for operations over the line in the base year (July 1 984 to June 1 985). The judge ruled abandonment would harm Inspiration Copper more than con tinued service would harm SP. "This 1 34-mile line generated 3,350 carloads, weighing 3 1 6,026 tons in the base year," he

California Lumber Shortline Shuts Down
O perations on the Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe Railroad ceased in mid-June, with the last group of empty cars brought down from the mill to Placerville. Even in quitting the business, things were not com pletely smooth, as the SP interchange was blocked on the scheduled June 1 7 last run, and the delivery of outgoing cars to con necting Southern Pacific was not com pleted for a couple of more days. Owner Michigan-California Lumber Co. has filed with the California PUC to aban don the seven-mile, 82-year-old line. There is some talk of a tourist operation using the old line, which sits in an area rich with tourist potential (see photo p. 33). (Don

said. "It is a vital link to a major copper producer in Arizona. . . . Elimination of SP's crucial access to its main line and gateways beyond would add $3.5 million to IC's costs, consisting of capital costs for converting its extensive facilities to truck . . . ." If the line was abandoned and IC switched to trucks, 1 77 additional trucks would travel area highways daily.

Santa Fe-SP Merger Denied by ICC Vote
By a 4 to 1 vote, the Interstate Commerce Commission on July 24 ruled against the proposed merger of the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads; Chairman Gradison cast the lone affirmative vote. Further, the ICC instructed Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corp. to submit a plan to divest its ownership of Southern Pacific Transportation Co. SPT continues to oper ate as a separate carrier. A written opinion was to be forthcoming in a matter of weeks, but an immediate reaction is that preservation of competition was a major factor in this decision.

Bain, Ken Meekel)
4 . SEPTEMBER 1986

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