Great Lakes Basin Railroad Application Denied by Surface Transportation Board

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In a decision made Wednesday, the Surface Transportation Board denied an application filed by Great Lakes Basin Transportation (GLBT) to build a rail line in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.

The proposal for the railroad had the rail line running through parts of Winnebago County. It would allow rail traffic to bypass the Chicago area, connecting six railroads serving Chicago with six regional railroads. According to GLBT, that would allow existing rail infrastructure to move freight and passenger trains more efficiently and reliably.

The Surface Transportation Board says it denied the proposal due to GLBT failing to provide accurate financial information with which the Board would have relied on to make a determination on the merits of the project. The Board called GLBT’s financial information provided in their application “fundamentally flawed.”

The main point of contention appears to be a line item for “net income” provided by GLBT in the application which amounted to negative $1,203,545. The Board said it appeared to account for a “substantial difference between its assets and its liabilities and stockholders’ equity.”

The Board said it considered the application incomplete and therefore rejected it.

It is unclear if GLBT will resubmit a different application in the future. As for now, the future for the proposed rail line in Winnebago County and the surrounding area seems in doubt.

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