is the determination of the Railroad Retirement
Board concerning the continuing status of Camas
Prairie RailNet, Inc. (CPR) (B.A. No. 2648)
as an employer under the Railroad Retirement
Act (45 U.S.C. § 231, et. seq.)
(RRA) and the Railroad Unemployment Insurance
Act (45 U.S.C. § 351, et. seq.) (RUIA).
CPR was determined to be an employer under
the RRA and RUIA with coverage from February
1, 1998. This is also the determination of
the Board concerning the status of Great Northwest
Railroad, Inc. (GNR). GNR has not heretofore
been ruled to be a covered employer.
Mr. William E. Glavin, Executive Vice President
of North American RailNet, a non-carrier holding
company and parent of CPR, advised that CPR
ceased railroad operations on March 2, 2004
and last compensated employees on March 31,
2004. Although CPR has not yet been dissolved
as a corporation due to 2004 employee compensation
reporting requirements, other financial matters
and certain existing railcars that still utilize
CPR's car mark, all of its railroad assets
were sold to GNR on or about February 27, 2004.
See Surface Transportation Board Finance Docket
No. 34474, decided February 20, 2004.
Section 202.11 of the Board's regulations
The employer status of any company or person
shall be terminated whenever such company or
person loses any of the characteristics essential
to the existence of an employer status.
In view of the foregoing, it is the determination
of the Railroad Retirement Board that Camas
Prairie RailNet, Inc. ceased to be an employer
covered under the RRA and RUIA on March 31,
2004, the date on which it last compensated
Mr. Craig R. Richey, legal counsel for Watco
Companies, Inc., advised that GNR began operations
and compensated its employees effective March
3, 2004. GNR is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Watco Companies, Inc., a non-carrier holding
company. Surface Transportation Board (STB)
authority for Watco to continue in control
of GNR is set forth in STB Finance Docket No.
34475, decided March 10, 2004. GNR acquired
CPR and now operates its predecessor's
rail line of approximately 179 miles located
in the states of Idaho and Washington and connects
with the Union Pacific (UP) and Burlington
Northern Santa Fe (BNSF).
Section 1(a)(1) of the Railroad Retirement
Act (45 U.S.C. § 231(a)(1), insofar as
relevant here, defines a covered employer as:
(i) any carrier by railroad subject to the
jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation
Board under Part A of subtitle IV of Title
49 [45 U.S.C. § 231(a)(1)(i)].
Section 1(a) and 1(b) of the Railroad Unemployment
Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. §§ 351(a)
and (b)) contain substantially the same definition
as does section 3231 of the Railroad Retirement
Tax Act (26 U.C.S. § 3231).
Based on the information summarized above,
it is determined that the Great Northwest Railroad,
Inc. became an employer covered under the Railroad
Retirement Act and the Railroad Unemployment
Insurance Act on March 3, 2004, the date it