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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:57 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:04 pm
Posts: 267
The people paying lawyers in Avon might as well start a fire and throw money into it. I can't remember a single case of home owners winning a court battle against the railroads on issues concerning reactivation. Even though Union Pacific may claim land the rails are sitting on, the land still belongs to the Federal Government leased to the Union Pacific. Land that is leased with the intention of bringing in revenue. Land that hasn't been previously leased as it was understood that the line could serve as a important back up.

You might make some progress with land issues if the city or state owned the rails. But if you think you are going to take on the Federal Government, especially when it comes to something that can bring in millions of dollars in revenue, you are dreaming. Colorado though is much like California and they will probably demand environmental studies which typically takes several years and tens of millions of dollars to finish. Couple this with probably half a dozen lawsuits and it could take years before work even starts. Lets hope the line has some exemptions from these problems and the court cases get tossed out quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:42 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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Tom F wrote:
The people paying lawyers in Avon might as well start a fire and throw money into it. I can't remember a single case of home owners winning a court battle against the railroads on issues concerning reactivation. Even though Union Pacific may claim land the rails are sitting on, the land still belongs to the Federal Government leased to the Union Pacific. Land that is leased with the intention of bringing in revenue. Land that hasn't been previously leased as it was understood that the line could serve as a important back up.

You might make some progress with land issues if the city or state owned the rails. But if you think you are going to take on the Federal Government, especially when it comes to something that can bring in millions of dollars in revenue, you are dreaming. Colorado though is much like California and they will probably demand environmental studies which typically takes several years and tens of millions of dollars to finish. Couple this with probably half a dozen lawsuits and it could take years before work even starts. Lets hope the line has some exemptions from these problems and the court cases get tossed out quickly.

You're right. I remember around thirty years ago when BN reactivated the ex-NP Stampede Pass route after it was out of service for over a decade, wealthy suburbs around Seattle threw a similar fit. What they found out is that cities have virtually no say about any railroad line (speed of trains, use of whistles, etc. but also if they operate at all) that is part of the national system, only the STB has a say. They can be a nuisance however.


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:09 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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From the Trains Magazine newswire: https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... ss-revival

"Conservation group American Whitewater, joined by seven other organizations and almost 700 individuals, have asked the Surface Transportation Board to require a full Environmental Impact Statement for the resumption of rail service on Tennessee Pass. The Friday filing asks the board to reject Colorado, Midland & Pacific’s motion of exemption to begin operations on the Colorado route it will lease from Union Pacific, and to stay the effective date of the exception. The filing says “the ecological and human environments” along the route “have adapted and flourished to thrive in the absence of any rail traffic” and that “the potentially devastating impacts to the surrounding human environment are immeasurable and necessitate a complete and thorough review before any operation of the railroad can be contemplated.” Colorado, Midland & Pacific parent Rio Grande Pacific announced an agreement to lease the line on Dec. 31."

https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 301527.pdf

I assume that the money behind this filing are groups that offer rafting trips in large ten or so person rafts on the Arkansas River next to the railroad, they were there in 1995 or so when SP was running stack and taconite trains around the clock. I'm starting to warm to the RGP offer.


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:05 am
Posts: 102
Location: Glen Ellyn, IL
CMP (RGP) made a pretty remarkable filing with STB today (1/26) which can be retrieved in the "filings" section of the STB website for today's date at:

https://prod.stb.gov/search-stb-records/

The reason this filing is remarkable is because it asserts that CMP's "primary" interest in the line isn't freight - it's passenger service for local people who work at the ski resorts and also people who might ride the railroad for recreation. I wouldn't have thought this to be a particularly lucrative market. But I haven't been in the area for over 20 years so much may have changed over the years.


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:25 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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Robert Opal wrote:
CMP (RGP) made a pretty remarkable filing with STB today (1/26) which can be retrieved in the "filings" section of the STB website for today's date at:

https://prod.stb.gov/search-stb-records/

The reason this filing is remarkable is because it asserts that CMP's "primary" interest in the line isn't freight - it's passenger service for local people who work at the ski resorts and also people who might ride the railroad for recreation. I wouldn't have thought this to be a particularly lucrative market. But I haven't been in the area for over 20 years so much may have changed over the years.


"CMPR is aware of RRRR’s presence at Parkdale, however, given the nature of RRRR’s operations and the limited scope of its operations, CMPR considers it very unlikely that there will ever by any interchanges." So the line between Parkdale and Leadville or so would remain closed? Again this doesn't make economic sense.

It could be a way to smooth things over by suggesting something less likely to cause a stir than general freight including hazmat. It is true that many of the people who work at ski resorts like Copper Mountain live in Leadville. It has been talked about for as long as the resorts have been open that most of the people who work there could never afford to live there, and a lot of them hitchhike back and forth, which is obviously problematic. But I agree with you that rail passenger service making money carrying them is not plausible.


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 Post subject: STB Filing on 01/29/2021
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:51 pm
Posts: 173
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
I'm not a lawyer, so not all of this makes sense to me, but there's an STB decision that was filed on 01/29/2021.
https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... /50610.pdf

From what I've read here:

Quote:
To provide sufficient time for the Board to fully consider the verified notices and the arguments presented, including whether the verified notices should be rejected, the exemptions in Docket Nos. FD 36470 and FD 36471 will not become effective until further order of the Board. The Board also finds it appropriate to defer consideration of the motion for access pending consideration of certain issues raised by the motion to reject. Accordingly, the Board will waive the regulation at 49 C.F.R. § 1150.33(h)(3)(ii) that would otherwise require a decision on the motion for access to be issued within 30 days after the motion is filed.

And what I've read in associated news articles, it looks like the STB stopped the COLORADO, MIDLAND & PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY lease / line reactivation process from having to be approved after 30 days.

Am I reading that right?

Sounds like a lot of lawyers are going to make things very messy!

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 Post subject: Re: STB Filing on 01/29/2021
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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jrevans wrote:
And what I've read in associated news articles, it looks like the STB stopped the COLORADO, MIDLAND & PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY lease / line reactivation process from having to be approved after 30 days.

Am I reading that right?

Sounds like a lot of lawyers are going to make things very messy!

Here is an interesting editorial from a few weeks back, arguing that the CP offer is the most realistic, which is my opinion also. I still believe the CM&P group is a stalking horse for abandonment and scrapping, it just isn't rational to build a business plan on passenger service, much less in the unpopulated high elevations. https://www.rtands.com/track-maintenanc ... TSchannel=


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 Post subject: Interesting article on Realvail.com
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:17 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:51 pm
Posts: 173
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
I found this interesting article on realvail.com :
http://www.realvail.com/is-sage-to-park ... ss/a10113/

The writer brings up many good points about the service restoration, and what communities could gain from it. I found it to be a very balanced article.

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 Post subject: Colorado Midland Pacific seeks STB restriction
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:10 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:51 pm
Posts: 173
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
In a seemingly odd turn of events, CMPR (the railroad that UP has the lease deal with) filed with the STB to restrict the line to not transport certain types of goods. Here's the quote from the STB filing:

Quote:
In order to dispel these unwarranted concerns, CMPR respectfully requests that the Board restrict the proposed lease of the Line against the transportation of crude oil, coal and hazardous commodities. In so doing, CMPR will be authorized only to transport passengers and general commodities, except crude oil, coal and hazardous commodities over the Line.

I guess that they are trying to appease the environmental prudes in the area, but it's probably not going to win over their approval (only a trail replacing the tracks would), and I personally think it would be a poor business decision to lock yourself out of future business opportunities. If the Tennessee Pass line reopens and there's a problem on the Moffat line, you have limited yourself.

And is coal really considered a hazardous commodity? Bizarre to me that it would be included in the list.

Railwaye Age has an article about it too:
https://www.railwayage.com/freight/shor ... ass-lease/

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Midland Pacific seeks STB restriction
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:16 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
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Location: B'more Maryland
jrevans wrote:
And is coal really considered a hazardous commodity? Bizarre to me that it would be included in the list.

Railwaye Age has an article about it too:
https://www.railwayage.com/freight/shor ... ass-lease/


Coal dust has been shown to pose some problems.

https://energynews.us/2013/02/20/resear ... -exposure/

To the point that CP has installed a dust containment sprayer on one of their lines:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La6nQwY10A8

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Midland Pacific seeks STB restriction
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:15 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:51 pm
Posts: 173
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
jrevans wrote:
And is coal really considered a hazardous commodity? Bizarre to me that it would be included in the list.


Coal dust has been shown to pose some problems.

https://energynews.us/2013/02/20/resear ... -exposure/

To the point that CP has installed a dust containment sprayer on one of their lines:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La6nQwY10A8


Thanks for the articles. Being from Western Pennsylvania, I'm very aware of "black lung" with coal miners, but that has more do to with the extraction process as I understand.

Now that I think about it, I do recall reading how coal dust was causing ballast fouling problems on the Powder River rail lines out West.

I still wouldn't lump coal in with hazardous materials though.

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Midland Pacific seeks STB restriction
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:46 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:38 pm
Posts: 42
jrevans wrote:
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
jrevans wrote:
And is coal really considered a hazardous commodity? Bizarre to me that it would be included in the list.


Coal dust has been shown to pose some problems.

https://energynews.us/2013/02/20/resear ... -exposure/

To the point that CP has installed a dust containment sprayer on one of their lines:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La6nQwY10A8


Thanks for the articles. Being from Western Pennsylvania, I'm very aware of "black lung" with coal miners, but that has more do to with the extraction process as I understand.

Now that I think about it, I do recall reading how coal dust was causing ballast fouling problems on the Powder River rail lines out West.

I still wouldn't lump coal in with hazardous materials though.


I would say that transportation of coal is non-hazardous however combustion of coal does release radiation. https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1002/ML100280691.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Midland Pacific seeks STB restriction
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 4:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 695
Location: B'more Maryland
jrevans wrote:
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
jrevans wrote:
And is coal really considered a hazardous commodity? Bizarre to me that it would be included in the list.


Coal dust has been shown to pose some problems.

https://energynews.us/2013/02/20/resear ... -exposure/

To the point that CP has installed a dust containment sprayer on one of their lines:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La6nQwY10A8


Thanks for the articles. Being from Western Pennsylvania, I'm very aware of "black lung" with coal miners, but that has more do to with the extraction process as I understand.

Now that I think about it, I do recall reading how coal dust was causing ballast fouling problems on the Powder River rail lines out West.

I still wouldn't lump coal in with hazardous materials though.


Eh. Milk is also technically a hazardous material. If it gets into an ecosystem it can mess stuff up. All sorts of things are quite a bit worse than we might think at first blush.

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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:31 pm
Posts: 34
https://coloradosun.com/2021/03/25/surf ... ssee-pass/

Looks like the tree huggers one a round!


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 970
Al P. wrote:
https://coloradosun.com/2021/03/25/surface-transportation-board-kills-colorado-midland-pacific-tennessee-pass/

Looks like the tree huggers one a round!


“Look at the trouble we can cause when we are all united” - wow. If that’s their attitude.


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