Alaska Railroad Corporation News Release by bbp18167

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									                                                    Alaska Railroad Corporation
                                                                  News Release
DATE: September 25, 2009                                                                       CONTACT: Stephenie Wheeler, 265-2671
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


           STB completes Northern Rail Extension Final EIS
   80-mile North Pole-to-Delta Junction rail extension environmental study

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) has completed the Final Environmental Impact
Statement (FEIS) for the Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) application to construct and operate a rail line between
North Pole and Delta Junction. Known as the Northern Rail Extension (NRE), the project would offer safe freight and
passenger rail service to communities southeast of North Pole; support agricultural, mining and petrochemical industries;
and provide year-round reliable access to military training areas.


     The STB’s Record of Decision is expected by the end of October. The decision completes an environmental review
process that began in 2005 by the STB’s Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA). The STB is the federal authority over
any new or extended rail projects in the U.S. The FEIS includes a recommended route (see map on page 2) and mitigation
measures to offset impacts from construction.


     Following the final decision, ARRC can pursue final design and construction, which will likely occur in four phases,
beginning in 2010:
               Phase One – Tanana River Crossing at Salcha
               Phase Two – Rail construction from Moose Creek near North Pole to the Salcha crossing
               Phase Three – Rail construction from the Salcha crossing to the Donnelly Military Training Area
               Phase Four – Donnelly to Delta Junction


     The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funded the EIS process with grants totaling $16 million. Recent
Department of Defense appropriations provide partial funding for design and construction of Phase One. This includes
$44.2 million in 2007 and $60 million in 2008 to be used for final design, permitting, right-of-way acquisition, material
procurement and construction preparation. Construction of subsequent phases is subject to the availability of funding from
sources that could include federal appropriations and revenue bonds.


     The FEIS is on the STB web site (www.stb.dot.gov) under Environmental Issues, then Key Cases. The direct link is:
http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/WEBUNID/B251BCEF544F9AC8852576320066F351?OpenDocument.
More information is also available on the project web site: http://www.northernrailextension.com

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The ARRC is an Equal Opportunity corporation. If you need special assistance in order to participate in any ARRC service, program or activity, please
contact the Alaska Railroad at P.O. Box 107500, Anchorage, AK 99510; Attention: Ann Courtney, courtneya@akrr.com, (970) 265-2613; via Alaska
Relay Service for hearing impaired dial 7-1-1 from anywhere inside Alaska, OR dial toll free anywhere outside the state (800) 770-8973 (TTY). Upon
request, printed materials can be made available in alternative formats.
Alaska Railroad Corporation News Release
           Northern Rail Extension Final EIS – September 25, 2009
                                                      Page 2 of 2




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