by Henry Netherland
Mail Staff Writer
The Surface Transportation Board refused Kansas grain producer KCVN’s request to force Union Pacific to sell its Tennessee Pass line.
While the ruling denies KCVN’s request, it was dismissed “without prejudice,” meaning KCVN could make another request if it comes up with additional information.
KCVN officials said they want to buy Tennessee Pass to create a more direct route to West Coast markets and ports.
Their offer of $8.8 million is competing with another offer, reportedly from Rio Grande Pacific. Rio Grande wants to make the line part of a system that hauls crude oil from Utah’s Uintah Basin to Gulf Coast refineries.
The Surface Transportation Board originally refused to reveal who Union Pacific’s “other parties” were, but that information was revealed accidentally after an uncensored filing appeared briefly on the board’s website before being quickly removed, according to Trains News Wire.
KCVN originally offered Union Pacific $10 million for the 229-mile line in November, but UP declined it in late December.
When KCVN requested the forced sale, its offer dropped to $8.8 million.
KCVN said in its filing that it would cost $278 million to rehabilitate the line. The Tennessee Pass line runs from Pueblo, over Tennessee Pass and down through Vail Valley to Dotsero.
The line has been dormant since the mid-1990s when Union Pacific merged with Southern Pacific.