- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A federal transportation panel has dismissed a proposal for a $400 million railroad that would have hauled coal from a mine near the Montana-Wyoming border.

Tuesday’s action by the Surface Transportation Board comes five months after the backers of the Tongue River Railroad suspended their application for the 42-mile line.

The board also turned down a request from southeastern Montana landowners who wanted to permanently block the railroad from re-applying for a permit.

Plans for the coal mine the railroad would have served were shelved in March, by bankrupt Arch Coal, Inc.

The company cited weak coal markets, a shortage of cash and an uncertain permitting outlook.

The Tongue River Railroad was sponsored by Arch, BNSF Railway and TRRC Financing.

It was first proposed more than three decades ago.

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