This is the determination of the Railroad Retirement Board concerning the status
of Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad, LLC (TOE) as an employer under the
Railroad Retirement Act (45 U.S.C. § 231 et seq.) and the Railroad Unemployment
Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. §351 et seq.). The status of TOE under the Acts has not
previously been considered.
Information about TOE was provided by Mr. Wayne
Pratt, Payroll Tax Accountant for Weyerhaeuser NR Company, and Mr. Louis E.
Gitomer, Attorney for Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad, LLC. In Surface
Transportation Board Finance Docket No. FD 35430, TOE filed a verified notice of
exemption to acquire and operate approximately 40 miles of rail line from Texas,
Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad Company, an employer under the Acts. This
transaction was related to a transaction in which Patriot Rail, LLC (a
non-covered entity) and its subsidiaries entered into an asset purchase
agreement on July 21, 2010, to acquire from Weyerhaeuser NR Company certain rail
assets and the rail assets of five of its subsidiaries.
According to the letter dated February 3, 2011, from Attorney Gitomer, TOE is
owned by Tennessee Southern Railroad Company (B.A. No. 5509) and Patriot Rail,
LLC and its subsidiaries Patriot Rail Holdings, LLC (a non-covered entity) and
Patriot Rail Corp. (B.A. No. 5406). TOE began operations on December 31, 2010,
and has 51employees who were
compensated from that date. TOE interchanges with the DeQueen and Eastern
Railroad, LLC, BNSF Railway Company, the Kiamichi Railroad Company, and the
Union Pacific Railroad. TOE will provide freight service over its lines to all
shippers. No passenger service is proposed.
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, United States
(ii) any company which is directly or indirectly owned or controlled by, or
under common control with, one or more employers as defined in paragraph (i)
of this subdivision, and which operates any equipment or facility or performs
any service (except trucking service, casual service, and the casual operation
of equipment or facilities) in connection with the transportation of
passengers or property by railroad * * *.
Sections 1(a) and 1(b) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (45 U.S.C.
§§351(a) and (b)) contain substantially similar definitions, as does section
3231 of the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (26 U.S.C. § 3231).
The evidence of record establishes that TOE is a class III rail carrier
operating in interstate commerce. Accordingly, it is determined that Texas,
Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad, LLC is an employer within the meaning of section
1(a)(1)(i) of the Railroad Retirement Act (45 U.S.C. §231(a)(1)(i)) and the
corresponding provision of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act as of
December 31, 2010, the date as of which it began operations and first
Original signed by:
||FOR THE BOARD
Martha P. Rico
Secretary to the Board
These employees include the
former employees of the Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad Company.