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Rosebud Mining considering buying, extending Kiski Junction Railroad

| Friday, May 6, 2005

When Rosebud Mining Co. spent $1 million two summers ago to repair damage done to Logansport Road due to heavy coal truck traffic, company owner Cliff Forrest said the company was looking at alternative ways to move coal out of its mine there.

He might have found one.

Forrest said Thursday that his company has an option to buy the Kiski Junction Railroad and might begin moving coal by rail as early as next summer.

"Our plans are to extend the line up to our mine in Logansport," he said, adding that he hopes to conclude the deal to buy the railroad by the end of May.

Dale Berkley, owner of Berkman Rail Services Inc. in New Castle, which owns the Kiski Junction line, confirmed that Rosebud was "seriously looking" at buying the line.

Using the railroad would alleviate truck traffic along Logansport Road, which suffered extensive damage and prompted Rosebud to pay for improvements.

"We've spent over a million dollars in road maintenance," Forrest said.

The company would spend another $5 million to extend the line from Schenley, where it currently ends, up to Logansport, he said. He said he could not comment on what buying the existing line will cost.

The proposed sale will not affect the status of the passenger excursions on the line, Berkley said. The railroad announced last week that it will not be providing passenger service this year.

Both Forrest and Berkley said the option remains open to restart passenger service after the line is sold.

Forrest said he hopes the line will not only save Rosebud money in the future, but also keep the volume of trucks on the road low for people who live along it.

"They'll be happy and it should save us money," he said.

The company plans to haul 10,000 to 12,000 tons of coal a week by rail after the line is completed, Forrest said.

The Logansport mine opened in February 2002.

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