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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:06 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
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Location: New York
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Remember, abandonment means for freight, or common carrier use, not tourist/museum use, so CMR operating the line as a tourist line may not be viewed as "use" with regard to common carrier operation.


From what I understand, CMRR operated common carrier freight until the switch to the River Line was pulled by Conrail in 1996. The STB and FRA have certain oversight over museum and tourist lines, which are outlined elsewhere.

-otto-

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Last edited by Otto Vondrak on Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:11 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
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Location: New York
wilkinsd wrote:
The STB typically doesn't deal with tourist railroads. It does deal with common carriers. Was the DURR a common carrier? Maybe, if in fact they did handle some carload freight, but under what authority? Or, was the line abandoned with the suspension of regular freight service in the 1970s, and the county is finally undertaking what it has the legal right to do, remove rails from its own property. In the end the STB will decide.


Please don't confuse DURR - Delaware & Ulster Railroad - which operates in Delaware County with CMRR - Catskill Mountain Railroad - which operates in Ulster County, and both operate former portions of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad. Also note CMRR is also not a party to this legislation, they were simply the last operator of the Ulster County line.

Currently, CMRR is the permitted operator of five miles of track in Kingston. Ulster County has taken the rest of the line out of service. A proposed railbike operation in Phoenicia was cancelled when the county did not perform required repairs to the railbed (which were woefully underestimated) in time for the 2017 tourist season.

-otto-

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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:32 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Otto Vondrak wrote:

From what I understand, CMRR operated common carrier freight until the switch to the River Line was pulled by Conrail in 1996. The STB and FRA have certain oversight over museum and tourist lines, which are outlined elsewhere.

-otto-


What oversight does the STB have over museum and tourist railroads?

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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:47 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Just something to read.

http://udrrcorp.com/wordpress/wp-conten ... 2.7.18.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
http://udrrcorp.com/wordpress/stb-faq

Quote:
Pleadings filed in opposition to abandonments are usually filed by shippers or receivers who are stationed along the line to be abandoned, but other persons may also file in opposition provided that they either challenge the railroad’s statements as filed or offer evidence to show that the shippers and receivers on the line would suffer more harm by losing the rail service than the carrier would suffer by continuing to provide the service.

Procedures are available for those who would like to purchase the line and assume the common carrier obligation to provide service (contract or non-contract) over the line, or who would like to offer the carrier a subsidy to continue to provide the service. This is called an “Offer of Financial Assistance.”

Procedures are also available for those who would like to see the rail corridor made into a public trail or who would like to put the right-of-way to another public use.”


they quote directly from the STB, hope this answers some concerns here.

The waterway has been a longtime source for NY water and the rail line has existed equally long there and there hasnt been any brazen problems with its existance. Now suddenly -its a problem- duh...why? Theres more going on here than meets the eye and I hope these meetings bring something out.


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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:19 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
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Location: New York
wilkinsd wrote:
What oversight does the STB have over museum and tourist railroads?


I meant FRA. Sorry, got caught up in the moment! I'm all giddy with excitement!

-otto-

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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:08 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh
Came across these photos of the track removal in the vicinity of Ashokan Reservoir. Looks like some fairly nice 90 ASCE rail there.

http://media.dailyfreeman.com/2018/01/1 ... reservoir/

I suspect Eric Strohmeyer is fundamentally correct in his analysis. My understanding of the Conrail Final System Plan was that any line that wasn’t included in the Plan remained the property of that railroad’s bankruptcy trustees and that they were free to dispose of it without requiring further action by any regulatory authority. Short term subsidized operation of a route not in the Plan probably didn’t change the Trustee’s rights to dispose of the line as they saw fit once that subsidized operation ended. Once the tracks were removed, the property may or may not have reverted, depending on the quality of the title the railroad held at any particular location along the route.

With respect to the portion of the line along the Ashokan Reservoir, I think the original Ulster & Delaware line was relocated when the reservoir was created. It is possible that the quality of the title the New York Central received to the property occupied by the relocated line was substantially different from the rest of the U&D route. If so, that distinction may be part of the reason for commencing track removal there.

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.


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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:05 am
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Location: Glen Ellyn, IL
Let me say right off the bat that I have absolutely NO independent knowledge of ANY of the facts involved in this matter. Whatever I know about it comes from the STB filings made to date and the various posts I’ve seen. But I do have a lot of experience handling railroad abandonments (Mr. Heffner, the author of the U&D Petition, will probably recognize me). So let me make a few observations for what (if anything) they may be worth:

The key issue in this matter seems to be whether the underlying line has been “abandoned” as a common carrier line of railroad. The line was clearly AUTHORIZED for abandonment as part of the “final system plan” procedure under the so-called “3R Act” (which created Con Rail). The question is whether the line was ACTUALLY abandoned (i.e., whether the abandonment was ever “consummated”, to use STB/ICC terminology)

> As other posters have mentioned, prior to 1997, the ICC/STB did not have specific requirements for abandonment “consummation”. At one time, the ICC routinely imposed a 1-year consummation requirement as a condition in specific abandonments, but this practice wasn’t required by ICC’s governing statute or ICC rules and fell out of use by the 1990’s. In the absence of such a condition, the question of whether an abandonment had actually been “consummated” was fact based, as discussed in the STB Beaufort RR decision mentioned in an earlier post. (As an aside, I always filed a “notice of consummation” in the abandonments I handled to avoid later questions about whether the abandonment had occurred, but that’s not relevant to the matter at hand).

> Apparently, no one has been able to find anything in writing to show whether this abandonment was formally “consummated”. That could be because nothing was ever filed. But it could also be that some form of notice was filed, but can no longer be found at STB (lots of ICC materials were lost when the ICC became the STB in 1996). Or it could be that PC or Con Rail filed some kind of “global” notice covering multiple lines not included in the final system plan, which didn’t find its way into the files for individual lines.

So where does that leave us? Well, if this were a “normal” pre-1997 abandonment not subject to a specific ICC “consummation” condition, the issue would be whether the abandonment had been consummated based on the criteria discussed in the Beaufort RR STB decision.

But this isn’t a “normal” abandonment. It’s an abandonment under the 3R Act. Under 45 USC 744(b), an abandonment under the 3R Act required “30 days’ notice in writing to any person (including an government entity) required to received notice under subsection (a)(1()(c) of this section”. The “persons required to receive notice” included the ICC, political subdivisions of each state in with the rail properties were located and each shipper who had used the line in the preceding 12 months. This is a statutory requirement. So, if this notice wasn’t given, it would seem that the line wasn’t properly abandoned under the 3R Act.

So, the issue that the STB will have to decide (assuming no one can locate a 3R Act notice of abandonment) is whether the line should be treated as an “unabandoned” line, or whether STB will use its pre-1997 abandonment criteria as the best evidence of record as to whether the line was actually abandonment as a common carrier railroad. We shall see.

That leaves the “Trails Act” issue (i.e., the National Trails System Act amendments dealing with rail-trails). If the line were fully abandoned prior to 1983 (the year the Trails Act was enacted), then the Trails Act isn’t available. Ditto if the line was fully abandoned after 1983 (since the Trails Act isn’t available for fully abandoned lines). On the other hand, if the STB were to determine that the line is unabandoned, then the Trails Act would be available. But such a determination would also make available the statutory provisions for entities to acquire lines for continued rail service (the so-called “offer of financial assistance” provisions) which could trump trail use.

Ah, the joys of railroad regulatory law.


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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Robert Opal wrote:
Ah, the joys of railroad regulatory law.


And--and please note I say this with a degree of droll sarcasm--THIS is how anti-regulatory "conservatives"/Republicans are created............


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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:42 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
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It sounds like the abandonment issue whether its STB or ICC etc still deals with various concerns about use of the railroad whether it is still useful or if abandonment will cause issues with a shipper/passenger operations etc, it is there to protect it regardless of owner. The track removal is still dodgy, the STB has put them on notice for a meeting with the Rivitalization Corp, the back of my brain is thinking there may be something else why this has to be regulated and it isnt about just freight traffic or passenger etc use. It seems the Revitalization Corp is the only body that could challenge the track removal and its a nick of time action on them.


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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 678
Location: Philadelphia Pa
wilkinsd wrote:
dinwitty wrote:
The STB should have records on this, the fact rails have been pulled alerted the Revitalization Corp their interest in the rail operation, so this has created the circumstance for the Revitalization Corp and the Counties to meet up and have a talk I presume.
Perhaps various legalities and concerns will be brought up and the requirement of the track returned.


Are you not reading the case I posted the link to? It appears that there are several cases where there are no records of abandonment, especially on lines, like the DURR that were not part of the Conrail Final System Plan.

The STB typically doesn't deal with tourist railroads. It does deal with common carriers. Was the DURR a common carrier? Maybe, if in fact they did handle some carload freight, but under what authority? Or, was the line abandoned with the suspension of regular freight service in the 1970s, and the county is finally undertaking what it has the legal right to do, remove rails from its own property. In the end the STB will decide.

The real fact of the matter is that this is a property owner, the County, trying to do what it wants with its property, the former DURR. This is not a problem of rails vs trails or common carrier regulation by the STB. It's a political issue.

Like I said, this isn't my speciality of legal practice. I'm more than willing to be proven wrong by a practitioner familiar with the law, and I would certainly listen to such arguments. Arguments by those in this group who are looking for some magic bullet, pie-in-the-sky remedy to magically return the rails and things to as they were before is not a realistic or serious way of looking at things.


The DURR or Delaware and Ulster Railroad is a tourist operation much like the CMRR or Catskill Mountain Rairlaod is. The Ulster and Delaware Railroad or U&D is the original 1875 name to the 129 mile line and also the name taken by the revitalization group. There needs to be some conscious clarity as to who and what is being discussed here as lines are being crossed between 3 different CURRENT organizations.


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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 197
Location: New York
Larry Lovejoy wrote:
Came across these photos of the track removal in the vicinity of Ashokan Reservoir. Looks like some fairly nice 90 ASCE rail there.

http://media.dailyfreeman.com/2018/01/1 ... reservoir/


The county is scrapping the rail, CMRR cannot purchase it, all joint bars were cut and broken, tie plates cut up, too. So there goes your supply of 90-lb. relay and OTM.

-otto-

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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
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Location: Thomaston & White Plains
"...all joint bars were cut and broken, tie plates cut up, too..."

What scrapper in their right mind spends resources (labor time and cutting gas) to cut up OTM? Anything made smaller than 4-foot pieces is simply a waste of resources. Unless, in this situation, the County is paying the scrapper to do so.

I thought scrapping the track would "pay for the trail"? No real scrap operator would be doing that to the OTM without being paid to do so. The County should be the recipient of a certain percent of the scrap proceeds, at $XXX per ton, from the scrapper.

Sounds fishy to me. Like so much else about this whole sad caper.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:08 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 197
Location: New York
Howard P. wrote:
"...all joint bars were cut and broken, tie plates cut up, too..."

What scrapper in their right mind spends resources (labor time and cutting gas) to cut up OTM? Anything made smaller than 4-foot pieces is simply a waste of resources. Unless, in this situation, the County is paying the scrapper to do so.


Ryan Lennox photo attached. All joint bars cut through at county direction. I was told OTM was rendered unusable for relay.

-otto-


Attachments:
File comment: Scrappers were directed to cut through joint bars when scrapping rail through the Ashokan Reservoir easement, Jan. 2018. Ryan Lennox photo
ashokan-cut-joint-bars.jpg
ashokan-cut-joint-bars.jpg [ 205.85 KiB | Viewed 678 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: ULSTER & DELAWARE REVITALIZATION CORP.--PETITION FOR DEC
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:34 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
While I have no proverbial dog in this fight, it occurs/appears to me that the rail in the photo is quite reusable as is, and worth more as railroad material than scrap.

I have personally witnessed rail preservationists send trucks hundreds of miles to pay good money for good rail that fits their parameters, and more than scrap value. The Baltimore Streetcar Museum sold some donated stick rail to another rail museum 150+miles to the north for their new sidings.

There are even willing customers for rails not in the railroad field, from people wanting bridge girders for a driveway bridge to people who make jewelry anvils from them.

If someone wants to expose the county officials as operating illogically or unreasonably out of spite or with a vendetta, they should round up a real dealer or railroad willing to say "I would have paid $XXXX for those rails and joints intact had I been given the chance. Why wasn't I allowed to make an offer?" and then run to the media.

One last note: The right joint bar in Lennox's photo is quite plainly fractured, not torched. I see that all the time when Baltimore City crews roughly pull streetcar girder rail out of the streets to repair what's underneath.


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