The Surface Transportation Board denied on Aug. 1 the request by Ballard Terminal Railroad Company to block rail removal along the Cross Kirkland Corridor.
“We are delighted in and grateful for this decision,” said Kirkland City Manager Kurt Triplett. “We were confident in the merits of our case. And we are appreciative that the Surface Transportation Board recognized those merits.”
The city has already contacted the rail removal contractor to begin removing the rails in the near future. The rail bed, however, will remain in place.
In its seven-page decision, the Surface Transportation Board said the harm to the public interest of leaving the tracks in place outweighed Ballard Terminal’s reasons for keeping them there.
“Ballard’s request for an injunction will be denied,” the board wrote. “Ballard has failed to demonstrate, based on the current record, that it will likely succeed on the merits because it appears to have insufficient financial resources and there is insufficient evidence of current shipper need. Given this weak showing, any harm to Ballard resulting from its inability to pay for or recover the cost of installing track is insufficient to warrant an injunction.”
Ballard Terminal filed a motion in April with the Surface Transportation Board to reactivate the rail line. The following month it requested injunctive relief, which resulted in Kirkland suspending its contract with A & K Railroad Materials, Inc. to begin rail removal.