NM Scraps Deal For Rail Purchase

Mar 16, 2013

Credit Office of the Governor

Gov. Susana Martinez says her administration has reached an agreement for the BNSF Railway Co. to refund $5 million and New Mexico to scrap the purchase of about 180 miles of track.

The governor made the announcement early Saturday after the Legislature approved a proposed locomotive fuel tax break for BNSF, providing it with the same tax treatment as the Union Pacific Corp.

The state doesn't want track from Lamy to the Colorado border. Former Gov. Bill Richardson's administration paid for the line in 2008 as part of a larger deal to start the Rail Runner Express commuter service between Santa Fe and Belen.

The governor said BNSF also will release $50 million in state transportation money that's in escrow in case of an accident involving the commuter rail operation.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.