Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. UPR-R-10-01

October 1, 2010

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712


Union Pacific seeks to abandon portion of Nampa rail line


The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will conduct a public hearing in Nampa on October 13 regarding Union Pacific Railroad’s request to abandon nearly a mile of rail line.


The section proposed for abandonment begins near the intersection of 16th Avenue South and Front Street in Nampa and extends nearly a mile to the south near East Florida Avenue.


The commission will conduct its hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Nampa City Hall, 411 Third Street South.


The authority to grant or deny rail abandonment rests with the federal Surface Transportation Board and is governed by federal law. However, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission is required to conduct a public hearing before the proposed abandonment is considered at the federal level.


The commission’s role is to determine if the abandonment 1) adversely affects the area being served, 2) impairs the access of Idaho shippers to vital goods and markets, and 3) whether the rail line has the potential for profitability.


If the commission determines the proposed abandonment is not in the public interest, it files comments and represents the state before the Surface Transportation Board. If there are no objections, the commission will not file comments.


Under the exemption procedure, the Surface Transportation Board will publish a notice in the Federal Register within 20 days after the petition for exemption is filed. Thirty days after the notice is published, the railroad is permitted to abandon the rail line unless the STB stays the abandonment.


A copy of Union Pacific’s notice is available on the commission’s Web site at Click on the rail icon, then on “Open Rail Cases,” and select Case No. UPR-R-10-01.