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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2153
Around here some clearly abandoned lines were turned into trails in some distance fashion or whatever, not completely, the rails were gone.

I think by now the operators to be already know and perhaps contacted the STB already I would bet. If any read this place they will certainly get their information and make a response.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:57 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:31 am
Posts: 99
Location: Northern Illinois
Randy Gustafson wrote:
https://www.stb.gov/filings/all.nsf/ba7f93537688b8e5852573210004b318/09ed20f3d10566c48525816f006f2f21/$FILE/244022.pdf

It's far, far stickier than what you said.


I read the above-referenced filing and it seems they are basing their case on:

1. What we're doing is consistent with good public policy;
2. There's precedent for most of what we're asking for; it only goes slightly beyond ICC/STB decisions in previous cases that were filed with similar intent; and
3. The abandonment (in 1991 by N&W) was never consummated because the Indiana RR continued to operate on the line for 12 years past the Service Discontinuance they were granted at the same time.

#3 seems a very convoluted argument to me: it appears in part based on current practice that requires a "notice of consummation" in abandonment cases, a requirement not in effect in 1991 (and of course, from N&W's perspective, the line WAS abandoned and sold); and in part because the line was sold with the track intact so the grade was never physically abandoned.

I'm not sure what the STB will say, but the petitioners' law firm in the case (Fletcher & Sippel in Chicago) is a well-respected firm in rail commerce law - they are definitely not amateurs in such matters.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:43 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2153
we have another rip the rails out issue when the bidding operators say they can still fully operate the line.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:46 am 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 6:30 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Illinois
I don't know what help this would be but I recently spoke with several ITM volunteers about all of this conflict and they said the current plan is to operate on the museum grounds with a caboose train, pulled by one of their diesel locomotives, and that should bring in enough funds to keep it going for a little while.

Thomas Dyrek

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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:05 am
Posts: 34
Location: Glen Ellyn, IL
There's now an STB proceeding involving this line. See petition filed August 1 below:

https://www.stb.gov/Filings/all.nsf/d6e ... 244022.pdf

A number of opposing comments have also been filed and are available on the STB website (under FD 36137). STB probably won't do anything substantive on this anytime soon, but we'll see.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2153
The very first reply is a good one and shows an FRA track inspection report, the track is fine.

And I agree with the comment.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:01 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:05 am
Posts: 34
Location: Glen Ellyn, IL
Of possible interest, see the Indiana Transportation Museum filing dated 9/8/17 (filed 9/15/17) available at the following address:

https://www.stb.gov/Filings/all.nsf/d6e ... 244349.pdf

I have no independent knowledge of any of the facts surrounding this case. But, based solely on the STB filings, I don't think there will be a substantive decision by STB anytime soon (although there may be a procedural decision). This is so for two reasons:

1. The ITM filing indicates there is a current court case addressing a number of issues pertinent to the dispute (among them, whether the ITM's rights to operate the line had been lawfully terminated). Contractual (and property law) issues like this aren't STB issues. STB (and the ICC before it) have a long tradition of declining to address non-regulatory issues pending before a court, and awaiting the court decision before taking any regulatory action. See, for example, STB Finance Docket No. 36107 Soo Line R. Co. - Petition for Declaratory Order, served 8/10/2017 available at the following address:

https://www.stb.gov/Decisions/readingro ... /45880.pdf)

2. The STB does not have any Trump administration members at present. To my knowledge, none have even been nominated yet. The Board appears to be deferring action on any controversial cases until the new Board members are in place.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:27 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3085
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
In light of recent developments in New York, this is something that may be pertinent.

https://www.ibj.com/articles/65732-law- ... l-corridor


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:52 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2153
has it been designated a historical site?


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:53 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3085
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I don't know if the NKP trackage is listed as historical as not, but let us recall that was not the only issue in the New York case. Ownership via easements is there, too, and that's also the case here.

Although it's been posted before, it's worth revisiting as a reminder that these things don't die. This group is fighting a rail trail with the easement issue--and it's for a railroad taken up in 1956!

https://southhillrecreationwayorg.wordp ... -corridor/


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3085
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Why do we have to come losers so often?

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/loc ... 969387001/


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5284
Location: southeastern USA
Because we are only looking inward and fighting among ourselves while failing to become vital parts of the culture of our communities.

How many of us have specifically invited our local political leaders, developers of nearby property, planners and Chambers of Commerce types etc out for a special event to let them know who we are, and find common areas in which we can pursue common goals?

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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 394
There is still a chance the STB will allow an OFA (offer of financial assistance) which the owners must accept, which would keep the track from being ripped out. Noblesville has been trying to avoid that. To paraphrase the rules, a section of abandoned track can be still be operated to serve only one customer, and if no more than one has been served over a certain period of time (seven years as I recall) then the owners are not required to accept an offer of financial assistance. Apparently however the contractor (Central Railroad of Indianapolis as I recall) surreptitiously served more than one customer in that period, and multiple witnesses can verify that. Therefore it is possible that the STB will force the owners (the county) to accept an OFA, already made by US Rail.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:22 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:17 pm
Posts: 159
PMC wrote:
There is still a chance the STB will allow an OFA (offer of financial assistance) which the owners must accept, which would keep the track from being ripped out. Noblesville has been trying to avoid that. To paraphrase the rules, a section of abandoned track can be still be operated to serve only one customer, and if no more than one has been served over a certain period of time (seven years as I recall) then the owners are not required to accept an offer of financial assistance. Apparently however the contractor (Central Railroad of Indianapolis as I recall) surreptitiously served more than one customer in that period, and multiple witnesses can verify that. Therefore it is possible that the STB will force the owners (the county) to accept an OFA, already made by US Rail.


First of all, the Central Railroad of Indianapolis never operated the rail line south of Tipton, Indiana which is the subject line. The Indiana Railroad was the operator and was the last operator to move any freight over this line. The last freight moved, was coal to a power plant and that was more than seven years ago. I doubt that the special movement of a passenger car will qualify.

Second, the filing by the cities and Hamilton County is for a "Partial Revocation of Exemption". This is an attempt to by-pass the abandonment filing, which would bring about a possible filing of an "OFA". There has not been any formal filing for an abandonment on this rail line since it's current owners have owned it.

Third, The joint filing by U S Rail and the ITM was not an "OFA" filing, but a filing in opposition of the owner's filing for the "Petition for Partial Revocation of Exemption".

Should the STB rule against the filing by the owners, which I think that they should, because it goes against the established normal procedure for abandonment, "OFA" and railbanking process, then there are ways for the owners to still stop an "OFA". They can just simply allow a ruling against them to stand and leave the rail in place, thereby having NO railbanking and NO new trail. And since no filing for "abandonment exemption" was filed, NO "OFA".

In order for an "OFA" to be filed, they have to file for abandonment of the line or a piece of the line. Should they then decide, to just file to abandon the section of the line where they want the trail, then they can do the same thing that Conrail did a lot of and file for the abandonment of the short section in the middle of the line and hope that no one steps forward to purchase that short piece, that is a little over 9 miles long.

Then, with a new operator, already having signed a lease to operate on the northern end of the line, with possible operation to Noblesville, will someone step up and do an "OFA" on just that 9 mile section in the middle? Gaining or forcing a sale of only the 9 mile section in the middle, is not going to force the owners to then allow you to operate on the rest of the line. Just owning this 9 mile section in the middle, will not get you to the state fairgrounds to restore the popular fair train or into downtown Indianapolis. It could just leave you stuck on the middle 9 mile section.

Now, also, along with the filing of an "OFA" is the requirement that you operate that section of the railroad you purchased and serve a freight customer for atleast 2 years. So, now you are in the middle with no connection to the outside world, so how do you serve a customer?

There is another way to get this line saved, but it will take a lot of money. It will also be harder to do with a new operator on the northern section. That is to use a process called an "adverse abandonment". This is used when a party owns a section of track and refuses to provide rail service to willing customers.

I doubt that the ITM could use this process, just to run excursions. Now, if they had someone that was truly willing to pay for freight service and not just give lip service and say they will, then freight service would be a key to this process. This process can also go on for years and be very costly.

Also, remember that this line has no connection to the national rail system. Just restoring that will be a costly endeavor. You can not just go up and think that you can force CSX or the NS to restore your connections, remember, it was the negligence of the powers to be { the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority } that stood by and let them be removed without a whimper.

This problem has been in the making for many years and will not be solved overnight, way too many "Bullheaded" people involved.

The only side I am taking here is on the side of stopping any of the rail from being removed. When it started, I wrote a lengthy letter to both mayors and when the filing with the STB was made, I filed a letter of protest and included both of my letters to the mayors.

The ITM has dug this hole over many years. The only problem with the hole they dug for themselves, is they forgot to use a trench box to keep it from caving in on them and it has done just that.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 394
Here is a post made by someone named "Alco Guy" (is that you?) on another board:

"INRD very much served other customers, and i have plenty of photos to prove it. They went by the house every morning around 8am with either CF7 #200 or 201, sometimes GP9 #300 if it was regular freight, and the coal drags would use the six axle power. 3 lumber yards were served, Crown Tech, the power plant, the aggregate place down at 56th St ( which recently filed in opposition to the trail with the surf board, as did Crown) to name a few, and 84 lumber just south of 96th St was switched most every day. The line was MORE ACTIVE as far as freight goes than when NS last ran it. When the power plant switched to nat gas, INRD "lost interest" in serving the remaining customers and that was that....they wanted service and were refused........"

It was in response to this post by another person:

"So, if our interpretation is correct, in the INRD on NKP example, they could only be contracted to serve Duke. They could take Duke coal, transformer, pole - doesn't matter. HOWEVER, they would settle freight charges from origin to NKP property line as normal common carrier, and invoice the NKP's pwners for services rendered from interchange point to Duke. So if Duke is only customer to use line and INRD billed correctly, then there is no common carrier obligation - it died when ICC approved abandonment. Even if INRD billed Duke rather than NKP owner, that's probably a minor enough detail that the STB would excuse. But if you can PROVE that INRD ever served any other customers, IN MY OPINION (I am not a lawyer but am involved in this kind of stuff), that very well could/should open the door to allow STB jurisdiction over this line."

That is what I am basing my opinion upon.


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