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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Just took another look at the two petitions, Catskill Mountain Railroad at 1,702, the trail people at 1,244. They were at 1,680 and 1,225 less than 24 hours ago.

Interesting that both petitions are at the "liberal" site, MoveOn.

Also, what's with both petitions needing a goal of 2,000 signatures?


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
robertmacdowell wrote:
So no, not even the decider can safely declare "no". Hence I say it's all naysaying.


Short and to the point:

People signing an online petition, or creating BringBackNSSteam.org, didn't get Conrail bought and split up by two competing railroads, one of which had a past history of using steam as a PR tool. Nor are they going to replace a business-only CEO and management team with a more PR-savvy executive. Nor are they going to effect changes in traffic over a whole railroad that will give them the margin or slot they need to run a public excursion.

Because that's basically the cumulative total of what it took to get steam on the Curve, and elsewhere, on NS in 2012-13. What you call "naysaying" was concrete fact at the time. And the multitude of reasons presented for not operating a restored GG1 on the Corridor or parking 4876 at Union Station remain in effect. The reality you choose to observe or believe is still irrelevant--it's still THEIR reality and railroad(s).

And I somewhat seriously doubt that a few petition signers are going to rally enough embarrassment for the current city administration of Kingston, NY to lead to their defeat at the polls in some upcoming election, or get some network news magazine showing up with reporter and camera making the Mayor look bad.

Petition signers from afar are somewhat akin to the guy who shows up at the Grand Canyon Railway and tells them "you should be running steam all the time, and I'm not gonna ride until you do!", or someone "telling" UP to fix up 3985, or telling Steamtown they HAVE to fix up NKP 759 and run it down to the Delaware Water Gap just like the "good ol' days." There happen to exist some pretty good reasons why they're going to ignore us.

Once again, THEIR "reality" is all that matters--even if, as it appears to be with Kingston's mayor, it doesn't mesh with the reality as others know it.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
J3a-614 wrote:
Just took another look at the two petitions, Catskill Mountain Railroad at 1,702, the trail people at 1,244. They were at 1,680 and 1,225 less than 24 hours ago.

Interesting that both petitions are at the "liberal" site, MoveOn.

Also, what's with both petitions needing a goal of 2,000 signatures?


Maybe at 2,000 signatures, the President of MoveOn.org or his staff is required to respond to them as promised? <:-)


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:31 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:31 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Petitions have their place. It demonstrates an organized movement of people supporting a cause and quantifies it. The press eats that stuff up. Any chance a railroad preservation organization such as this one can get even the smallest ammunition for an appeal of public support, it should be of some worthy value. I value preserving our industrial heritage, so I signed the petition.

Unfortunately, all the “warm fuzzies” from signing the petition are cooling off due to the toid (which I’ve read recently is a homonym for crap) moveon.org is emailing me now.

Yes it's a simple unsubscribe click away, but unfortunately it’s clear moveon.org’s petitions are little more than a front to get on their email list. Oportotrolley516, I'm not against your intentions and it may be too late for you. I respectfully suggest that those of you who feel compelled to do this in the future find other avenues for gathering signatures for petitions.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:43 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Well, one thing it DOES do is give you a litmus test of public support. (unless you're trying to tell me that rail guys are oh so much better at publicity.) Take a look. Rail > Trail.

Seems likely that when you lay the 3 options on the table side by side:
1) Rail
2) Rail and Trail
3) Trail by Murdering Rail

the public sentiment pretty strongly favors 1 or 2. Now the trick is to do something with that.

In those things posted by the opposition, I certainly recognize the "Hard line" messaging which only comes when they're vulnerable and they know it. They know the public will not support option #3 if it's laid out to them in those terms.

(and yes, the whole reason moveon.org runs random surveys for anyone is to harvest your email address so they can "legally" spam you. However, this is a level playing field, the bikers suffer it too so it deters them equally.)


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:58 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:11 am
Posts: 141
Location: North Carolina USA
I think at the root of this controversy is a mayor who is more focused on divisiveness than building bridges and finding a consensus and so the petitions are simply evidence that the issue is not so simple or clear cut as he portrays it.
I don't think anyone thinks petitions alone will save the day for either side.
In fact, it looks nearly like a wash but that documentation of a "split decision" opens rather than closes the door for discussion between the parties and the mayor if he has any brain cells left can take advantage and close the issue by bringing the parties together and "save the day"
Frankly, his actions are kind of a big fish in a small town perspective, dare I say of a political bumpkin?
This little town is a microcosm of the political narcissism that has infected all points of the political map, and I suspect he will not avail himself of this opportunity as he thinks he will be seen as back pedaling.
His personal pride and public image are more important to him that resolving a problem, which is why he was elected in the first place.
Sound familiar?
I suspect that outside of partisan bicyclists the general consensus is he is daft in his very obvious inability to manage the lack of consensus by the nutty actions he has taken, as a sort of self promoting goofball that will ill serve him in the long run. I get the impression that when he looks in the mirror, he sees the greater public good.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:37 pm
Posts: 435
Location: Missoula MT
Nah, I think the Mayor is looking at the State funding (for the "corridor") and the FEMA money and thinking of a project that has nothing to do with the railroad or trails.

If trails were "important" then why do two other major trail systems have major gaps in them? This failure of support should raise doubt among the trail advocates, and they should be petitioning for completion of existing projects before expecting/demanding more.

Follow the money. I suspect some locals might have an idea of what the Mayor and his cohorts would really like to do.

Michael Seitz
Missoula MT


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 30
-It seems like they are trying to pit the trail advocates against the rail advocates.
I am a contractor in business over 25 years, I know we can have BOTH! The trail
does not have to go next to the rail where it would not be feasible, it can diverge
from the route and rejoin where it makes sense. Rail needs a fairly level grade, trail
does not. Won't having both draw the most users?

-Why not release the fema funds being held by the county (federal funds) to CMRR
and give these guys a chance to see what they can do. If anybody can stretch
those dollars it will be them.

-Does someone have a factual cost estimate of what the scrap rail value would be
per mile? It seems this may have something to do with the situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 30
[quote="robertmacdowell"]
Trail by Murdering Rail


Well put!


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 30
Please contact the local govenment officials by phone, and/or email, here is the link to the list on the C.M.R.R. website.

http://catskillmtrailroad.com/support-us.php

Please politely let them know it benefits everyone to keep the historical Catskill Mountain Railroad and add a trail not kill one to have the other. You don't have to be a local, we all have "tourist dollars" to spend.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
It's been years and years since I had a conversation with someone in the West Virginia State Park department on this, and so my memory may be totally off, but. . .

One of the things West Virginia found out, at least for here, was that the conversion of a railroad into a trail runs into more money than most people realize. The experience with the former Greenbriar Division revealed that you couldn't just take up track and lay down some new gravel. All those years of ties in the ground, all those years of trains running on those ties, corrugated the ground. You would smooth out the ballast, even add new stone, and in a few years or even less you would be riding a bike on a trail that still felt like the ties had been left behind. You essentially had to scrape the ballast away and really smooth things out, then put it back. It was almost as expensive as making a road out of the railroad, and I seem to recall a figure that came close to a million dollars per mile.

I actually saw some of this corrugation or shadow tie effect on a road in Ohio. This was near Maynard, in former B&O-W&LE territory. There was a long abandoned spur to a mine there that the locals started using for a driveway. I can still recall the long, shallow (maybe an inch or so at the most) ditches running across this driveway, the same shape, size, and spacing of ties, and how they all filled with water after a storm. You can imagine what it would be like to drive on such a surface. That line had been abandoned and reused for years, motor vehicles had been using it for years, and those shadows from the ties were still there.

On top of that, there is continuing maintenance. Just because the track is gone doesn't mean you don't have to worry about ditches and drainage. Weeds and grass try to clog your ditches, and floating debris will clog your culverts. Neglect those and you get washouts. Trees try to grow into any open space to receive light and air; on a trail, you don't have trains to keep them back. Bridges still need painting and inspection, a tunnel on the line still needs inspection and occasional work. All of this is essentially the same for a railroad or a road or a well engineered trail, which is what a rail trail is.

It seems to me the trail people rarely--if ever!--mention these things, or where the money will come from to pay for this work.

Oh, in the case of the Greenbriar Division, the scrap rail didn't pay for much. Scrap prices were low then, and some of the track material remained piled up for two or three years before it could finally be disposed of.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Oh, just checked the signature counts. Rail is at 1,720, trail at 1,250 as of 10:36 PM Eastern Time. Rail signature 1,714 is from a former RyPN contributor, Bob Yarger.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:35 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:04 pm
Posts: 63
In an earlier post on this topic (in another thread), I recommended the Officers of CMRR go to the print and electronic media about their plight. The City of Kingston has already done so for thier position (see RYPN news), and will continue to exploit the issue.

Kingston lies between the New York City and Albany media markets. By CMRR getting their side of the story out (jobs, tourism dollars brought to an already depressed mid-Hudson region), the klieg lights will be brought to bear on the Mayor and County Executive for their persecution tactics. Silence will not be CMRR's ally.

Media attention will also get the local State Assemblyman and State Senator on the radar for a possible political solution.

And, while a petition for the CMRR is altruistic and a good deed, unless those who signed show up at a hearing (and are at least Kingston area or Ulster County residents)and publicly testify, the crafty Mayor will dismiss the petition as "stacking the deck".


Last edited by East of Eden on Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:01 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:11 am
Posts: 141
Location: North Carolina USA
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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:19 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:35 pm
Posts: 312
Location: NJ
Isn't the FEMA funding to be used to repair / replace one of the rail bridges taken out during the most recent floods? Even if a trail were to eventually be constructed, that use would also need a bridge in that location. Don't understand why at least that portion of the FEMA money is being held up when either use will need that bridge.

Very short sighted thinking on the part of the politicos.

_________________
cv the civil E in NJ


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