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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:15 am
Posts: 537
It will be interesting to see what responses I get, I posted the following in the comments section. (text between ---)

While I don't have a dog in this fight, other than as a tourist for the with rail option, I know from previous experience when trying to salvage rails for a railroad museum I volunteer at. Not sure if this was a CT rule or a STB rule, but rails could not be removed until permission of every property owner served or crossed (beyond the area to be removed) approved their removal, even if the line was disconnected from active rails.

The case in point, I am referring to, was disconnected from active rails in the 60's, and had 4 properties beyond the one that asked us if we wanted to salvage the rails, all others had buried their rails under driveways, unkempt weeds and equipment. The company at the far end would not give permission, thus we couldn't salvage the rails and they still sit there 15 years later.

Since there are still property ownership issues on this line, this would apply, especially since some of the uncovered titles specifically stated `for railroad use', which infers when the rail gets pulled the ownership reverts to landowners, thus state would have to purchase or eminent domain those sections before anything can happen.


Anyone know if the rule I mention is a Connecticut or STB rule? (permission must be granted by everyone beyond section to be removed)

Rich C.

 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
Supporters said the conversion of the now-unused former Ulster & Delaware tracks into a walkway will create not only a recreational trail, but also provide a safe route for people who don’t have vehicles to reach Kingston’s major supermarket, Hannaford, which is in the plaza.


There is trickstering going on here.

I never heard of the U&D till this situation, but it looks like they are on the gun to keep the tracks. Their web logo shows a streetcar/LRV with 3rd rail shoes, thats not practical for the reservoir track, but the politicals seem concerned about a diesel engine wrecking and spilling oil into the reservoir, electric streetcars eliminate that concern. I had found some official studies on the reservoir contamination and spilled fuel from a locomotive has a very minimal effect on the reservoir, they are concerned about water filtration and treatment downstream before consumption by New York City wanting the freshest water possible, the issue is, major weather storms will pump more erratta into the reservoir than any locomotive can, and NYC seems to be not wanting to pay more for more filtration, the issue is they HAVE to treat that water for safe drinking and use anyways, the water is open water, fish thrive in it, biology is active in it and you have to treat it, ANYWAYS.
Its more fearmongering that we see here and somebody somewheres is leading some political hack and smash against the railroad.

I'll read U&D's site a little more later, sounds good what they want to persue.

 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:46 pm
Posts: 261 ... ar-ashokan

Group fighting removal of railroad tracks near Ashokan
By Paul Brooks
Times Herald-Record
Posted Jan 17, 2018 at 5:56 PM

KINGSTON — A local nonprofit has filed a petition with a federal railroad oversight board to keep Ulster County from removing railroad tracks near the Ashokan Reservoir.

The group titles itself the U&D Railway Revitalization Corp. and is based in Phoenicia, it says in a press release. On Tuesday it filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board, part of the federal Department of Transportation.

In the petition, lawyers for the group ask the federal board to order a period of public comment on the county’s actions. Further, if the federal board determines the railroad line in question was not abandoned, the group wants the board to stop the county’s removal of the track.

The group also says it intends to take the county to court to get a temporary restraining order, though it had not yet done that, and wants to use the decision by the board as part of that effort.

At the center of the dispute is the rail line that runs from Kingston to the Ashokan Reservoir and on to Delaware County. The county has allowed the Catskill Mountain Railroad tourist operation to use the Kingston end of the line. But, the section near the Ashokan falls in the domain of New York City and its Department of Environmental Protection, the watchdog of the city’s source of drinking water.

The Ulster County Legislature and County Executive Mike Hein hammered out a deal with New York City to convert the Ashokan portion of the railroad into a trail. Under that deal, a contractor started this month to pull up the railroad tracks.

Enter the nonprofit. The county, it says, has not gotten the approvals for abandonment of the rail line or clear ownership.

“This means Ulster County may have taken a number of actions which put the entire project in legal and financial jeopardy. ... We believe the current and future interests of the region are best served by a restored rail corridor with compatible trail development.”

It is unclear how the Surface Transportation Board will proceed and how long it will take. Ulster County officials declined comment.

 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:46 pm
Posts: 261 ... -reservoir

Railway group seeks to stop Ulster County’s track removal at Ashokan Reservoir
By Patricia R. Doxsey, Daily Freeman
POSTED: 01/17/18

KINGSTON, N.Y. >> The U&D Railway Revitalization Corp. has filed a petition with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board that seeks to stop Ulster County from removing railroad tracks alongside the Ashokan Reservoir.

In its filing, the nonprofit organization asks the federal agency to determine whether the county has the right, under federal railroad law, to remove the tracks for the creation of a recreational trail.

The group claims the county failed to have the railroad line deemed abandoned by the federal government and therefore cannot remove any tracks along the former Ulster & Delaware corridor, which the county owns.

It also claims that work currently being done to remove the tracks along an 11.5-mile stretch of the corridor next to the Ashokan violates not only federal requirements but the county’s agreement with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, which owns and operates the reservoir.

“Our understanding to date is the county’s plans … are based on fundamentally flawed assumptions,” said Larry Roth, a spokesman for the U&D Railway Revitalization Corp. “We believe the county has acted in a manner that has exposed its taxpayers to millions of dollars in remediation work.”

After four years of debate and discussion over the future of the roughly 38-mile corridor, the county Legislature in late 2016 adopted a policy that provides for tourist related train opportunities on two sections of the railroad right-of-way and for a recreational trail along the north rim of the reservoir.

In response to objections from rail supporters, County Executive Michael Hein negotiated a deal with the Department of Environmental Protection that Hein said preserves the railroad right-of-way at the reservoir while allowing for the construction of the recreational trail. The Department of Environmental Protection has stated, however, that it will allow either train access or a trail, but not both.

Earlier this month, Taylor-Montgomery, a firm hired by the county, began removing track along the reservoir. That work is being funded with a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Roth said the agency filed the petition now because it learned only within the last several weeks that the county might not be in compliance with Surface Transportation Board regulations.

County Attorney Bea Havranek declined to comment Wednesday on U&D Railway’s challenge because the matter is in litigation.

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