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MONESSEN SOUTHWESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (04/24/84)

decided: April 24, 1984.

MONESSEN SOUTHWESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of In Re: Application of Monessen Southwestern Railway Company for a Certificate of Public Convenience, under Section 1102(a)(2) of the Public Utility Code, authorizing it to abandon all its railway tracks located in the City of Monessen and Township of Rostraver in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and to cease operation as a common carrier thereon and thereover, No. A-00102422.

COUNSEL

David J. Armstrong, with him Richard S. Dorfzaun and Stephen M. Houghton, Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C., of Counsel, Joe W. Fleming, II, for petitioner.

Barry J. Grossman, Assistant Counsel, with him John B. Wilson, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Charles F. Hoffman, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Stephen Dittman, with him T. P. Shearer, for intervenors.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Craig, MacPhail, Doyle and Barry. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Doyle dissents.

Author: Crumlish

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 15]

Monessen Southwestern Railway Company (Monessen) petitions the Court for review of an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission at A-00102422 which denied Monessen's application for a certificate of public convenience under Section 1102(a)(2) of the Public Utility Code (Code), 66 Pa. C.S. ยง 1102(a)(2), authorizing it to cease operations as a common carrier.*fn1 We reverse and remand.

Monessen operates a railroad over thirty-eight miles of track, twenty-three miles of which are owned by itself. The balance is owned by Monessen's parent corporation, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation.*fn2 The railroad runs upon tracks within the Wheeling-Pittsburgh

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 16]

    steel plant, then south along the Monongohela River to a storage area for Wheeling-Pittsburgh. It then travels to an interchange with Norfolk and Western Railway, then doubles back to the slag processing plant of the Heckett Division of Harsco Corporation. A portion of Monessen's service to its parent consists of delivering slag provided in the steel plant to the slag dumps. Duquesne Slag and Heckett maintain facilities at the Wheeling-Pittsburgh dumps, pursuant to contracts entered into with Wheeling-Pittsburgh, to process the slag.

On September 4, 1980, Monessen filed an application for a certificate of public convenience with the Commission for authorization to abandon its common carrier rights. The application alleged that services rendered by Monessen are no longer necessary or proper for service, accommodation or convenience of the public.*fn3 A protest to the application was filed by the United Transportation Union and the United Steelworkers of America.*fn4 Hearings were held before an administrative law judge who, determining that it was necessary for Monessen to continue to operate as a common carrier, denied its application.

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 17]

It is from the Commission's affirmance of this decision that ...


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