Great Lakes Basin railroad application denied by Surface Transpo - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Great Lakes Basin railroad application denied by Surface Transportation Board

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) -

The plan for a 261-mile multi-state rail line that would potentially cut through Winnebago, Ogle and Lee counties has been denied by the Surface Transportation Board.

In a decision issued Thursday, the board cites a failure by Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc. to "provide the Board with accurate financial information" and that its financial information is "fundamentally flawed." 

According to GLBT, the proposed rail line would extend around Chicago and pass through counties in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.

In its decision, the board concedes that construction projects up for consideration do not need to be fully-funded at the time of application, but cited concerns with GLBT's current assets, saying the are "so clearly deficient for purposes of constructing a 261-mile rail line."

The board concluded its decision by saying it would be rejecting the application and discontinuing the environmental review associated with the project.

Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney said he expected this result from the Surface Transportation Board.

"I wasn't surprised," Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney said. "The concerns I had was that I never fully understood how it added up financially and with the route going through environmentally protected lands it conflicted with local plans."

We will continue to follow this story throughout the day and have a full report tonight on 13 News at 5 & 6.

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