Laramie, Wy – The federal Surface Transportation Board
has denied a request to abandon a railway spur in Carbon County.
The Wyoming and Colorado Railroad Company had filed a request
with the Surface Transportation Board to abandon the 24-mile line,
which long provided the main means of transporting lumber produced
at the Saratoga sawmill.
The sawmill was closed in January 2003, but its new owners say
they intend to reopen it if the railway is working. The state
protested the abandonment petition on behalf of the sawmill.
Among the arguments in the state's protest was that the sawmill
employed a significant portion of the workforce in Saratoga and
Carbon County and was a major player in the area's economic
The Surface Transportation Board's decision does not prohibit
the railroad owners from attempting to abandon the line through a
more formal and drawn-out administrative process. However, Wyoming
officials hope that the board's recognition of the importance of
the rail line will result the Saratoga mill reopening as soon as