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 Post subject: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:02 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:12 am
Posts: 464
Location: Somewhere off the coast of New England
The sap is clearly running but I have never thought of Baltimore in terms of sugar maples.

While I shake my head in disbelief and give the gentlemen credit for at least never quitting, does anybody at the Baltimore Trolley Museum have any comment?

Brother Mitchell?

(For the benefit of anyone who is unaware of the connection – CNJ Rail is nothing more than Somerset Terminal with a new name and the rotting cars cars are still in Boonton)

GME

From Mr. Riffin:
http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... 218454.PDF

http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... 218455.PDF

http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... 218439.PDF


And then we have the gentleman from New Jersey:

http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... 218430.pdf

http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... 218431.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:18 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 800
Location: NJ
I could do some pretty serious Alco restoration with the money these two spend on lawyers and filings. Why don't they to purchase an existing, marginally profitable shortline and try their management magic there? Why bring things back from the long dead?

Northern Central? Robbinsville? Whats next, strings of 50 ton HMs loaded with coal over the Lackawanna Cutoff?

I just took another look at the link to Mr. Riffin's first filing. He is listed as dba Northern Central, a class III carrier. What is a class III carrier? Just what does he operate? (In 1:1 scale?) We know about the "Jersey guy".


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 1114
Location: Northeastern US
Oliver Stone could make a terrific movie about this ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 3:45 pm
Posts: 362
Stephen King could probably do a little bit better!!


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 Post subject: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:25 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:27 pm
Posts: 303
Location: Texas
[quote="Trainlawyer"](For the benefit of anyone who is unaware of the connection – CNJ Rail is nothing more than Somerset Terminal with a new name and the rotting cars cars are still in Boonton) [/quote]

So Riffin wants to get his (still rotting) equipment to his diggins' which the incumbent operator declined to do? And CNJ/ST wants to step in and do it, all on track now owned by MTA, yes?


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1442
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
EDM wrote:
What is a class III carrier?
The U.S. Government classifies railroads by annual revenue, the smallest are Class III. The cutoff points are adjusted every year for inflation.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 800
Location: NJ
I've always understood classifying carriers by revenue, but I still have to ask, is this guy really a carrier? What exactly does he operate? Just because he has made some filings makes him an operator, and therefore no revenues that I am aware of makes him a Class III? Something simply doesn't add up here-

A small clarification, the Boonton cars (with Boonton NJ as a location, not to be confused with Lackawanna Boonton/Wyatt Earp cars) are allegedly owned by CNJ/Somerset/ERIC, not by Mr. Riffin.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:11 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:12 am
Posts: 464
Location: Somewhere off the coast of New England
Unless I am terribly mistaken in my knowledge of Baltimore's geography, Mr. Riffin has now acquired common carrier rights either over the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, in Falls Road, or maybe both. Fortunately, the Surface Transportation Board has made clear in other cases, including one involving Mr. Riffin, that the exemption process such as he used here does not convey any property rights whatsoever.

In response to EDM's comment about spending money on lawyers -

These two do most of their own work.

The gentleman from New Jersey stiffed one of my brother barristers on fees I believe were in the six figures and his next lawyer was paid for by a third party with an interest in the matter. Since then, with the exception of his initial filing in the attempt to obtain the Delaware and Hudson's rights on the Southern Tier, he seems to have done all of of his own work. It is also germain to note that the last two times he stated to the board that he either had or was obtaining counsel, none appeared.

I do not believe that Mr. Riffin has ever been represented by counsel at the STB with the exception of the substitution of purchaser filings for WMS, which were done in part by the prior purchaser's counsel.

The economic problem comes when these two attempt to use the exemption process to create for themselves rights which are properly held by others or to circumvent various types of regulation and then the other parties end up incurring substantial fees which sometimes get into six figures.

Mr. Riffin has withdrawn his other filing, for a project at the north end of the Light Rail. As to why the gentlemen from New jersey believes he has standing in that or whether that is the projected new home for the rotting cars in Boonton, I do not have the foggiest.

GME

Baltimore:
http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/51d7c65c6f78e79385256541007f0580/b883fa43adfe75ab8525726b0078a355?OpenDocument


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:38 am
Posts: 53
Location: Parkton, MD
All I can say is WOW.

The Ma & Pa used to have an interchange track with the PRR on the river side of Falls Road - across the street from its actual mainline. There were several street crossings from this interchange track to the Ma & Pa mainline, the northernmost one almost directly under the 29th Street Bridge.

During the construction of the Jones Falls Scenic Hike/Bike Trail, the area between Falls Road and the Jones Falls was landscaped and all traces of the old interchange track were obliterated - except for directly across the street from the Baltimore Streetcar Museum's car house. The rail is still there, although very little is anywhere close to in gauge anymore.

The actual trackage under the North Avenue bridge for this interchange track to connect with the Northeast Corridor has been long gone; Amtrak cleaned it all up since it is also their access road in to that end of the station interlocking as well as the access road up the Northen Central interchange track.

The 0.8 mile switchback from the Ma & Pa up to the CSX will take a lot of re-construction. The grade has been obliterated along the B&O mainline, while the lower end has been excavated for additional parking spaces for the City of Baltimore's dump trucks.

Considering that the Ma & Pa former Baltimore Terminus is now city park property, with BSM renting the buildings for a nominal fee each year, can this person actually try to re-claim this property by claiming to be a railroad?

Just my two cents' worth.

Dave Crow


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8401
Location: Baltimore, MD
Comments from another BSM person (who didn't want to post here, but we both know him, Dave):

Quote:
First - Amtrak would not be about putting in a switch to cross their property and through their maintenance buildings to get to Falls Road.

Second - Baltimore City is unlikely to take up their trail and or violate the BSM lease to let this guy cross the City-owned property.

Third - How likely is CSX to allow a switch to be installed on its main to allow a connection.

Fourth - Where does the Jones Falls Valley Trail fit into this man's thinking?

What can this person achieve with this paperwork? It seems to me - nothing. Show me the proposed contracts (leases) with Amtrak, the City of Baltimore, Norfolk Southern (which only has trackage rights on the Amtrak Corridor), and CSX. Otherwise - go away.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:12 am
Posts: 464
Location: Somewhere off the coast of New England
A question for one you gentlemen at BSM - is the museum track laid to Standard Guage or to the Baltimore streetcar system's wide guage (alledged to be 5'4.5")?



GME


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:38 am
Posts: 53
Location: Parkton, MD
BSM's trackage is all laid to 5 feet, 4-1/2 inches. Any non-Baltimore cars on the property will need to be re-gauged to run on the Baltimore gauge.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:53 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:12 am
Posts: 464
Location: Somewhere off the coast of New England
Thank you Dave;

That is what I suspected. It should prove interesting if Mr. Riffin were to actually attempt to utilize his common carrier authority without obtaining the right to use the property and placing a third rail.

On a more serious note, I am surprised that I have not yet seen any comments filed by the city or the museum as Mr. Riffin has tried in the past to claim that his status as a railroad allows him to obtain public property (such as the Light Rail Line and the Northern Central Trail) by eminent domain.

(Addendum: If either the museum or the city is planning to take any action please do not telegraph it here. Please wait until after it is filed. Colloquy on specific legal actions, especially by me, should remain after the fact.)

GME


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8401
Location: Baltimore, MD
Strictly on a speculative note:

It would be intriguing if:
1) the BSM, etc. turns this over to the City of Baltimore for action;
2) Baltimore City counters with appropriate legal filings that expose this nonsense for what it is; and
3) Baltimore City then files suit against Riffin/etc. to recoup legal costs of these actions as a "frivolous" filing.

I'm just saying, is all. Is there a precedent for suing to recover legal costs in obviously trivial/frivolous/fantasy ICC/STB filings?


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Central Fantasy Railroad - Again
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8401
Location: Baltimore, MD
Just a note that I have received word that the Baltimore Streetcar Museum is planning to file an official response with the STB.

That;s all I'm gonna say. For now.


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