Railway Preservation News

Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
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Author:  eehiv [ Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017

Thursday March 30th

Jim Bruck, Marcia Roosa and Pat Smalley worked to take down side Polar decorations in the Kingston coaches.

Saturday, April 1st

Crew consisted of John Marino, Mark Glaser, Tom Whyte, Peter Fluchere Dave Hillard and Vince Guido. Track inspection was done and four trees removed from the ROW. Installed four ties in the O&W siding.

Sunday, April 2nd

Hunter Downie and Dave Hilliard cleaned out coach 2962 and 2940.

Monday, April 3rd

Marcia Roosa and Pat Smalley worked on the second coach and purchased additional decorations to finish the second and possibly the third coach.

Tuesday, April 4th

Today, Tuesday, Marcia Roosa and Pat Smalley finished the two coaches. They will be meeting again on Thursday to complete the third coach and the flat.

Ernie Hunt
Volunteer Coordinator

Author:  eehiv [ Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  CMRR Work Report - 4/5 to 4/9

Wednesday April 5th

Jim Bruck worked on the 50 foot flat car.

Thursday April 6th

Pay Smalley and Marcia Roosa continued work on the coaches.

Friday April 7th

The train crew assembled the train, consisting of Earl Pardini, Mark Glaser, John Marino, Vince Guido, and Karl Wick. Afterwards, John Marino, Mark Glaser and Karl Wick removed a tree from the ROW.

Greg Vaughn and Vince Guido did electrical work on coach 1727.

Saturday April 8th

Saturday we ran five Easter trains and carried 1076 people.

Earl Pardini was the Engineer. Karl Wick was the Conductor. John Marino was the Brakeman. The flaggers were Tom Whyte, Russ Hallock, Mark Glaser and Bruce Devorkin. The crew in the bunny patch was Linda Marino, Marcia Roosa, Karen Vogel and Pat Smalley. Ticket Agent was Peter Fluchere. Dave Hilliard assisted during the day as well as many others.

Dave Hilliard was interviewed by Spectrum News. Here is a link to the news clip:


Congrats to all who made this a great event, especially Pat Smalley who was the event coordinator.

In Long Island, Joe Wolff and Harrison Balduf removed 2X seats from a P72 car there.

Sunday April 9th.

Joe Wolff unloaded P72 seats in Phoenicia, and began cleaning the side dump.

Ernie Hunt
Volunteer Coordinator

Author:  eehiv [ Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017

NYS I Love NY Video on our West End Operation:


Published on November 3, 2016, a few days after our operation on the west end shut down forever.


Author:  eehiv [ Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017

CMRR Annual Results published:

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-new ... ip-in-2016


Author:  eehiv [ Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  CMRR Work Report - 4/14 to 4/15

Friday, April 14th

Mark Glaser and John Marino did a track inspection, serviced the 209 crossing and prepared the Easter Egg site.

Saturday, April 15th

Yesterday the CMRR carried 1203 riders on the Easter Bunny Express - up from 1094 the previous weekend. This was the most successful Easter Bunny Express ever.

May thanks to all including John Marino, Earl Pardini, Ray Farrell, Tom Whyte, Karl Wick, Mark Glaser, Steve Stanton, Bruce Devorkin, Fred Rasmussen, Joe Wolff, Karin Vogel, Hunter Downie, Alex Sorenson, Tyler Carelli, Martin Elbrecht, and new volunteer Fred Ehren.

In the Easter Egg field many thanks to Pat Smalley, Marcia Roosa, Linda Marino, and others. Peter Fluchere was ticket agent.

Joe Wolff also painted the roof on the 42 in between runs.

Ernie Hunt
Volunteer Coordinator

Author:  eehiv [ Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:27 pm ]
Post subject:  CMRR Work Report - 4/21 to 4/23

Friday, April 21st

On Friday, Pat Smalley, Marcia Roosa and Elissa Hilliard removed the Easter decorations from the coaches.

Saturday, April 22nd

A track crew consisting of Earl Pardini, John Marino, Hunter Downie, Tom Whyte and Vince Guardino replaced a switch timber at the O&W switch, switched out the work train and did a line inspection from MP 6.2 to 7.0.

Joe Wolf primed the box car at PA and Al Johnson worked on the clerestory windows.

Sunday, April 23rd

Annual rules test was done Sunday and the following passed: Vince Guido, Art Vogel, Kathy Isabelle, Neil Isablle, Ernie Klopping, Todd Syska, Tony Bocchino, John Prestopino, Joe Wolff, Tyler Carelli, Russ Hallock, John Marino, Earl Pardini, Dave Hilliard, Fred Ehren.

Ernie Hunt
Volunteer Coordinator

Author:  eehiv [ Mon May 15, 2017 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  CMRR Work Report - 4/27 and 4/29

Saturday April 27th

Earl Pardini, John Marino and Vince Guido did a line inspection from Westbrook lane to MP 6.55.

Saturday April 29th.

On Saturday, Al Johnson continued worked in Phoenicia on the celestory windows in the 701 and 702. Al continues to work on keeping those coaches in operating condition for when they are returned to Duty.

Saturday the track crew consisted of Earl Pardini, Vince Guido, Mark Glaser and Russ Hallock, John Prestopino and John Marino They inserted 7 ties plated and spiked just east of O&W switch and replaced 1 joint bar at 6.15 and graded the O&W site. They also cleaned the work flat.

Ernie Hunt
Volunter Coordinator

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Sat May 20, 2017 6:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017

In other news:

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-new ... -of-ulster

The familiar red caboose used as an Ulster County tourism information center was removed from its longtime home on Washington Avenue midday Friday to make room for a shopping plaza planned for the site.

The caboose was loaded onto a flatbed truck and taken to the Ulster County Department of Public Works site on Shamrock Lane in Kingston, near Dietz Stadium.

It has yet to be decided whether the caboose will be moved to a new location for tourism promotion or be retired.

Caboose in question is former NYC wooden offset-cupola one.

Author:  eehiv [ Sat May 20, 2017 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  CMRR Work Report - 5/6, 5/7

May 6th and 7th 2017

Joe Wolff worked by himself this weekend painting our equipment in Phoenicia. He started priming the side dump, started a finish coat on the 703, and painted the LV box car into CMRR colors:


Ernie Hunt
Volunteer Coordinator

Author:  eehiv [ Sat May 20, 2017 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  CMRR Work Report - 5/12 to 5/14

Friday, May 12th

Jim Bruck and John Prestopino worked on the 50 foot flat in Kingston.

John Marino and Mark Glaser did work at Westbrook Lane and 209.

Saturday, May 13th

We ran two charters Saturday that went well. Engineer was Tom Whyte, Conductor was Tyler Carelli, Brakeman was Karl Wick, Flaggers were Fred Rasmussen, Fred Ehren, and were assisted by Peter Fluchere.

Sunday, May 14th

Joe Wolff continued work on painting the cars at Phoenicia:


Ernie Hunt
Volunteer Coordinator

Author:  thebigham [ Sun May 21, 2017 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/opinion/201 ... ail-trails

LETTER: Bicyclists aren’t much interested in rail trails
POSTED: 05/20/17, 12:50 PM EDT

Dear Editor,

As a frequent visitor to this area and an avid cyclist, I have been following the controversy regarding the existing train Ulster & Delaware railroad tracks and their potential removal.

Like many cyclists, I log each and every ride I take with Strava, the number one cycling app. Strava allows riders to see where they rode, make plans for future rides, and to see where others are riding.

Strava data indicates that very few cyclists ride on rail trails. In the Westchester County region, The Old Putnam Rail Trail is minimally used by cyclists and is frankly boring. Cyclists enjoy challenging climbs, exhilarating descents, open vistas, and the chance to explore new areas. Rail trails offer none of these opportunities. A straight, flat, tree-tunnel trail is not a destination attraction for either road cyclists or mountain bikers...

Author:  thebigham [ Mon May 22, 2017 10:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017

Rail Explorers has been canceled for 2017. CMRR trains will not be operating. Tourists will not buy tickets and spend money at local businesses. It's "lose lose" situation for Ulster County!

https://hudsonvalleyone.com/2017/05/21/ ... n-storage/

Shandaken planners again delay decision on Catskill Mountain Railroad train storage
by Violet Snow/May 21, 2017

On May 10, the Shandaken planning board considered the long-awaited letter from town attorney Richard J. Olson regarding granting of a permit to Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) for storage of trains on its Phoenicia property. Board members questioned aspects of the letter’s content, which asserts that no action can be taken by the board at the present, and said they would ask Olson to attend the next planning board workshop meeting on Wednesday, May 31, at 7 p.m.

Harry Jameson noted, “The process has been stalled primarily by Shandaken’s professional obstructionist who is the former Chairperson of the Ulster County Trail Committee, who is working in concert with the Ulster County Executive’s office to destroy the Catskill Mountain Railroad Company so the tracks can be ripped up to construct a hiking trail. As well, she has used a neighbor located on Lower High Street who cannot physically see the proposed project area from her house as a tool to maintain opposition.”

He was referring to the former trail committee chair Kathy Nolan, now regional director for Catskill Mountainkeeper, who was at the meeting, along with Phoenicia resident Anique Taylor, who has led the opposition to the storage of trains in the neighborhood....

Author:  dinwitty [ Mon May 22, 2017 12:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017

This is about like you build an airport in an open area then the surrounding area is built up with homes, then the neighbors complain about the noise. Then you have developers build homes in an ancient flood plain only to learn the recent big storms prove that flood plain -aint- so ancient.

Rail Explorers has been canceled for 2017. CMRR trains will not be operating. Tourists will not buy tickets and spend money at local businesses.

need more verified information about this or its just opinion.

Author:  thebigham [ Mon May 22, 2017 12:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017

^Did you read the article at the link? Rail Explorers has been delayed until 2018.

From March:

https://hudsonvalleyone.com/2017/03/16/ ... ike-tours/

Olive residents upset about use of tracks for rail bike tours
by Violet Snow/March 16, 2017/

Residents of the Town of Olive are up in arms about Rail Explorers, the company whose contract with Ulster County will allow them to run tours of rail bikes down the Ulster & Delaware tracks alongside 39 homes on Cold Brook Road, near Boiceville, beginning in August or September. Cold Brook Road residents say their research shows Rail Explorers came into conflict with homeowners over their past two years of operation in the Adirondacks due to the noise of the bikes and issues with the large quantity of tourists passing by their properties. Rail Explorers moved out of the Adirondacks at the end of last year’s season.

On March 8, a meeting at the Olive Library quickly grew tense as Olive residents presented their concerns to Chris White, Deputy Director of the Ulster County Planning Department, and Rail Explorers CEO Mary Joy Lu and Managing Director Alex Catchpoole. Lu and Catchpoole defended their operation as positive and uplifting for riders, while White insisted the bikes would be more environmentally friendly and economically beneficial than the excursion trains of Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR), which Rail Explorers is displacing between Phoenicia and Boiceville.

When CMRR’s lease on the county-owned railroad tracks was due to expire last May, the county legislature voted to turn the Ashokan Reservoir portion of the rail corridor into a rail trail and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for operation on the two sections of track where CMRR has conducted tourist rides. CMRR was allowed to retain its Kingston excursions, and Rail Explorers was chosen last summer to operate during the 2017 season in the Phoenicia area.

“Rail Explorers offered what we thought was a better value in terms of how many people they would employ and visitors they would bring to area,” said White at the March 8 meeting. “We like that they’re not operating heavy diesel trains.” He cited the county’s disappointment with the CMRR for their 25-year failure to maintain the tracks along much of the corridor, environmental offenses such as discarding old creosote-soaked ties on county property, and last fall’s derailment of a train due to faulty track conditions, among other issues.

Lu explained that she and Catchpoole, her husband, started Rail Explorers in 2015 with six rail bikes, quickly doubled the number to 12, then added another 10. “We have four- and two-seaters,” she said. “Over two seasons, we had close to 40,000 riders from July to October.” The company expects to employ about 22 local people with wages starting at $15 per hour. The positions of general manager and operations manager will be higher-paid full-time jobs. The company earned nearly 1200 customer reviews on the Trip Advisor website, many of the writers bursting with enthusiasm over the pleasure of pedaling with ease through the countryside...

Author:  thebigham [ Mon May 22, 2017 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-new ... -reservoir

Neighbor complaints delay rail bike operation on tracks west of Ashokan Reservoir
By Patricia R. Doxsey, Daily Freeman
POSTED: 05/03/17,

KINGSTON, N.Y. >> Rail bikes will not be rolling this year on tracks formerly used by the Catskill Mountain Railroad.

Chris White, deputy director of the Ulster County Planning Department, said Wednesday that Rail Explorers Corp. has delayed the start-up of its rail bike operation between Boiceville and Phoenicia due to an outcry from residents at the Boiceville end who are concerned about the effect the tourist attraction will have on their neighborhood.

Rail Explorers Corp. was awarded a five-year contract by the county last year to run the rail bike operation on the western portion of the county-owned Ulster & Delaware rail corridor beginning this year. But the plan for riders to dismount from the rail bikes near Cold Brook Road in Boiceville and be taken by shuttle bus back to Phoenicia drew some heat from residents upset about the shuttle bus traffic on Cold Brook Road.

“Neighbors are concerned about regular buses coming down their road, the turning radius they would need, and quite frankly traffic on a road that hasn’t seen that traffic in a number of years,” White said.

“I don’t think it was on anybody’s radar that this activity — which would create less noise, less emissions and it seems would be less impactful on the environment and community [than a train] — ... would cause this kind of controversy,” he said.

White said rather than start a new endeavor with a business model that upsets the community, Rail Explorers Corp. decided to have the ride terminate at milepost 23.3, near Cold Brook Road, and install a turntable that will turn the bikes around and allow riders to pedal back to Mount Tremper,where they will dismount and board a shuttle bus.

But because the ride from mile post 23.3 to Mount Tremper has an uphill grade, White said, Rail Explorers must work with the bike manufacturer to have an electric-assist system installed “to give a little extra power behind the pedaling to enable a person of any ability to operate them.”

White said that retrofit is going to take both time and capital investment, which is going to preclude Rail Explorers from operating at all in 2017. As a result, he said, the county has agreed not to charge the firm the $20,000 rental fee for 2017...

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