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Tongue River Railroad urges regulators not to terminate review of coal rail line

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Tongue River Railroad urges regulators not to terminate review of coal rail line

urgedfederal transportation regulators to reject a bid by Northern Plains Resource Council and Rocker Six Cattle Co.to terminate its proposed Montana-based rail line on the basis that the Otter Creekmine project, which it will serve, has been abandoned.

The proposed42-mile line would connect Arch CoalInc.'s Otter Creek mine in the Powder River Basin with a track, facilitatingshipments to domestic buyers or overseas customers via terminals on the West Coast.

On March10, TRRC filed a supplement related to its November 2015 petition to its permittingefforts for the construction of the rail line project, amid delays in the approvalof mining permits for the Otter Creek mine. The supplement advised the board thatArch is putting on holdits efforts in developing the Montana coal project.

In arecent filing to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, TRRC said it was not abandoningthe project and that the permitting efforts were being paused. "TRRC seeksleave to set the record straight that Arch has merely suspended its permitting effortsfor a variety of reasonsand has not abandoned the Otter Creek project, contrary to NPRC's contentions,"TRRC wrote.

"TRRCwill also address NPRC's latest contentions as to why this proceeding should notbe terminated by the Board," it added.

Duringits January 2011 presentation,Arch reported an annual 20 million tons of coal production potential of the OtterCreek mine and touted 300 jobs.