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BYLINE: John D. Boyd
In a ruling that left rail executives stunned, the Surface Transportation Board rejected a plan under which Norfolk Southern Railway and the Watco short line operator planned to create a joint venture railroad called the Michigan Central.
The STB said the parties could not apply to create a short line operating in Michigan and part of Indiana under the structure they offered, creating a new entity to take over some NS tracks under Watco management but leaving NS with what the Board said would still be a controlling interest.
Even though NS said it would retain only 33 percent and Watco would have 67 percent of the short line, …