Railway Preservation News

Adirondack Scenic RR under attack
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Author:  Sloan [ Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:23 am ]
Post subject:  Adirondack Scenic RR under attack

http://blogs.northcountrypublicradio.or ... in-debate/

Author:  J3a-614 [ Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack Scenic RR under attack

Here we go again. . .

Did anybody read the comments that followed the story? I can tell you the Adirondack is going to have to deal with some mean people up there. (I found this out tossing in some comments on keeping the road in an electronic forum some time back; among other things, I was told I was some fat guy from West Virginia who should get some hiking in.) Fortunately, I understand they have some friends in high places, including a representative who likes the train, partially because his children do. That's a fragile thing to rely on, though.

I've also have been told the road does cover its operating expenses with something over, but you wonder if that will be enough.

A question for the Adirondack people--how old is your opposition? It has been my observation that the people who are so against rail, at least in terms of reviving it for modern transit services, or an expanded Amtrak or high-speed service, tend to be on the old and grey side--but not too much older than 90, while the younger crowd--under 60 or so--can be quite pro-rail.

For those who haven't seen my earlier comments about generations, this seems to tie in with when people came of age, and their views of things crystallized. Old-timers--over 70 some 20 years ago when I was promoting a light rail line, and over 90 now--grew up in an era before cars became so dominant, and recall a time when the trolley and the streamliner and the local were part of the landscape. The group in the middle--40 to 70 before, 60 to 90 now, with birth dates ranging from the late 1920s to the early or middle 1950s--came of age when cars were very ascendant, and trains were supposed to go away, like the stagecoach. The younger group--under 40 before, and under 60 now--came of age after the first oil embargo (and gas lines) in the early 1970s, is environmentally conscious, and sees cars as so common as to be nothing special (which I understand is driving some of their older relatives nuts, who can't understand why someone wouldn't want to drive).

Anyway, what this amounts to is that the opposition to modern rail projects tends to have grey hair. I was just wondering if this seemed to apply in the Adirondack's territory. The "voices" speaking against it in that comments section sound just like the guys who don't want to see light rail lines and bullet trains in California, even to calling the Adirondack a "boondoggle."

Author:  Sloan [ Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack Scenic RR under attack

........And on a positive note:

http://adirondackdailyenterprise.com/pa ... l?nav=5008

Author:  PaulWWoodring [ Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack Scenic RR under attack

Selfish trail people never met a rail line they didn't want to rip up, bain of my existence. Perhaps someone should send them a link to the CVSR site and show them how the train and hikers/bikers can co-exist with a tourist RR in a park. The CVSR bike-aboard program is a resounding success, so much so that all of the bikes going on-off the train can delay it up to an hour by the end of the day during the peak Fall season.

I had a chance to ride both ways on the ASRR 15 years ago and really enjoyed the place - nice scenery, great people. I hope they can work it out.

Author:  Rob Gardner [ Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack Scenic RR under attack

The biggest factor in favor of ASRR's future is that NYSDOT controls the corridor. Now that a significant amount of money has been invested in the track, I highly doubt the operation is in any real jeopardy but they will have to take on and win in the court of public opinion how valuable this service really is. The whole high speed rail discussion is just another scare tactic on the part of the trail people. This line offers absolutely no practical use in this capacity. Personally, I think they need to reinvent their image to take on this latest onslaught. It's also just too bad that the snowmobilers would have to be careful to not hit a switch point or signpost in the dead of winter, too, while tearing up down their favorite rail corridor.

Author:  J3a-614 [ Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack Scenic RR under attack

Commentary on this by a site that is normally about modern transportation, including high-speed service and walkability:

http://pedestrianobservations.wordpress ... mment-2036

Author:  robertmacdowell [ Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack Scenic RR under attack

Jeff Lisowski wrote:
The article brings up a good question for me to the forum; what are the legalities on returning the land (right of way) back to the owners adjacent to it?

There is no pat answer. It completely depends on the deed/easement agreements. You go to the county and pull the deeds. (by way of the tax assessor's office, since you will need the tax parcel IDs; railroad property doesn't have street addresses.)

Usually the tax parcel IDs are on a computer overlaid on top of satellite photos. Most counties even have this online, and in most, you can click on a parcel and it will name the party billed for the property tax. Which is unreliable. The deeds, however, are canonical.

Do this for any property you care about. Even if you think you know the ownership. The Register of Deeds is full of surprises you need to know. I've seen a couple of legal cases that were won by the guy who had done the best research.

Generally, it won't revert unless the railroad is built on an easement and the easement calls for reversion. However, it's modified by "Rails to Trails" laws which prevent reversion - they are designed to keep rights-of-way intact for future use to protect vital national interests. (not to build silly bicycle trails; that's merely the pretense to assure public support of such a long-run visionary scheme.) Look we don't know what's coming down the pike. What if we need to change transportation modes? We've done it three times so far in American history. What if the new transport mode needs a RoW? Haggle with 10,000 landowners? Take people's houses? No thanks, save the railroad RoW.

One more thing. If you're a Railroad, you have the power of eminent domain. Want a parcel? Take it. In practice, this is your "big stick" and it is most important that you "speak softly". Because the vast majority of eminent domain cases end in voluntary sale, and that is much much cheaper for everyone. If you cheese off the landowner, he can really make it hard. This is what railroads have to offer trail groups. A trail group alone, asking for land, has no power. A trail group with a railroad behind it - has a big stick. They cannot get that big stick from government so easily - they have to convince the government to back them unequivocally, and governments hate to take sides.

By the way, eminent domain blocks ANY scheme from taking your land, if you could hypothetically retake that land via eminent domain. This has limits, and the canonical case on that is highly informative on the subject in general.: City of Creede vs. Rio Grande Foundation. This is a town with dozens of hopeless real estate tangles where people had built now-historic buildings upon railroad property lines 100 years ago. Three successive Class I railroad legal departments rolled into town swinging sticks around, and accomplished nothing but billable hours. Up comes a nonprofit who tried the same (rather than work with folks), and got run out of town off a rail.

Author:  Sloan [ Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack Scenic RR under attack

http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/ ... dirondacks

Hiking/biking trails alongside a railroad right-of-way have coexisted successfully on the Northern Central, Cayahoga Valley?, and the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, why not here?


Author:  J3a-614 [ Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack Scenic RR under attack

Originally posted in Flimsies, it looks like we may have a counterattack under way:

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/a ... -Railroad/


Alon Levy (of the Pedestrian Observations post above) was of the opinion that this was something of a scam. Looks like someone at Next Stop Tupper Lake thinks the same way:

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.co ... l?nav=5041

If this is true, it suggests, among other things, some pretty stupid ideas from the naturalist crowd. Who says wolves and trains don't get along? Wildlife in general is less impacted by a railroad than just about anything else.

I seem to recall a Welsh two-footer--was it the Ffestinog?--once had an advertisement for their line, with copy along the lines of "If God meant for people to see (wilderness area, don't recall the name, it's been decades since I've seen the ad), He would have given them flanged wheels."

Author:  J3a-614 [ Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack Scenic RR under attack

Oh, this can be funny--I put this info about the Adirondack Scenic on that California high-speed site, and a chap there recalled the ad correctly. Found an obituary for the writer:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2006/mar ... obituaries

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