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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:53 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:11 am
Posts: 141
Location: North Carolina USA
As I said before it appears to be a comedy of errors on both sides, were reasonable efforts on both sides to negotiate or resolve issues are missing.The liability insurance issue is one that would be easily resolved by fax, if the claimed lapse of coverage was a red herring, or misunderstanding..All of this tells me that neither side has made reasonable efforts to communicate, hence the snowball effect of issues piling up with the trigger being the bicyclists. If it is true CMRR has not come to the table, then they are in some form of denial. There is no chance of this blowing over. The making of false claims opens up a whole world of miserable legalisms..to be continued. While I hope CMRR untangles itself, just a quick glance at the third hand documents on the terms of the lease, whomever agreed to those terms on the part of CMRR, was certainly ambitious, perhaps too much so.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:06 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
robertmacdowell wrote:
Railfans as a breed seem to be drawn to "bunker mentality", with "go away, leave us alone, get off our tracks, we're the damn railroad, OUR sandbox". So we see them frantically doing business as usual as if this will all magically go away. Same behaviors we saw in Pemberton and Creede, perceiving themselves as all-powerful because they're the railroad. Same effect: they are gobsmacked when the other guys turn up the heat.



I think there is a lot of truth in that. Running a railroad at least somewhat as a hobby can lead to the fantasy adoption of the “robber-baron style railroad power” business personality. You could see it in the fan reaction to the dump truck parked on the CMRR tracks incident.

Personally attacking the county officials by name in a published article is a recipe for disaster. I don’t see how CM is going to win a legal contest with the County. The only way CM is going to win this is have the public on their side. The trail movement has a lot of public prestige, and it is also part of culture that rules nearly all levels of local government.

What would happen if the CMRR were to accept the County’s offer to leave part of the right of way for a trail, and operate the railroad on the remaining portion? What would be the mileage of each segment? What would CM lose in that deal?


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:18 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 30
It's not about resolving issues the county wants them OUT for the rail trail only.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:11 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:11 am
Posts: 141
Location: North Carolina USA
It is about resolving issues and the fact that the county availed itself of outstanding issues, needs to be resolved, if the point of the exercise is to preserve the rail line, then it is reductionist to say, simply that "the county wants them out." It doesn't read so didactic to me, black and white..there are shades of grey on both sides. If it isn't about resolution, then whats it about? Why bother with a petition? Mind reading what the others issues are versus talking on either side is what brought this mess to crisis mode.The "county" in my read means everyone in the county not just pols. So to say the county wants them out is an assumption and an oversimplification that will not lead to constructive talks.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:16 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 145
Location: Southwest Virginia
While I am in full support of the CMRR, I can't help but wonder why in the world they brought in another passenger car last week. To me, as an outsider, it's looking pretty bleak and that's one more thing that will need to be moved quickly or face the torch.

Mike Stillwell
Buena Vista, VA.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:35 pm
Posts: 312
Location: NJ
Something I posted on another board and thought it also would be beneficial here. I am all for the CMRR and hope they can resolve this issue. However;

The County has much deeper coffers for legal advice and counsel than the railroad has. So even though the railroad may be "right" what will be the cost of proving it?

The lease is up in 2016....3 years from now. What is the likelyhood the County would re-up the lease to continue a railroad use? Even if the railroad had met all the conditions of the 1991 lease, would the County re-new a lease?

I hope a plan "B" is being worked on by the CMRR. Even if its to accept the County's offer of keeping a portion of the line for rail use. Perhaps they would entertain converting from a lease to outright ownership of that section of property.

Goes without saying and has been stated on this board many time....OWN your property!

_________________
cv the civil E in NJ


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:11 pm
Posts: 371
The critical, fatal factor in the lease is the failure to reopen one mile of track each year. The mechanism in the past was for the railroad to ask for a waiver and the County rail authority would grant it for the year, but that mile would be due the next year, meaning at the end of year 2 they had to have reopened 2 miles, year 3 for 3 miles, etc. Well when the year comes and they don't give you the waiver and now you are due to give them 15 miles (or whatever it is), you have a real problem. I understand that there has been a change in political parties from the early days of the lease in Ulster County until now. Much of upstate New York, once solidly "Red State" has been steadily turning "blue" - surely no love lost for a lease enforced leniently under one party now being strongly enforced by the other party.

Assume the County does get their dream and tears up the railroad they will have one long section where this will backfire. There is a significant portion of currently out of service track that runs through land that is part of the City of New York's reservoir system. Since the railroad was there first it had to be allowed to remain. My understanding is if it is torn up that the right of way would then become reservoir property and promptly be off limits - thus immediately severing this new trail in two with a multi-mile gap in the middle.

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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:20 pm 

Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 10:27 am
Posts: 167
Location: New Haven Ct area
I asked before here but no real comments from anyone about it, has any serious business plan and or study ever taken place about the idea of making this into a first rate ski train? I have never seen a more picturesque better opportunity for a passenger line than this one, and just can't get out of my mind the idea of people by day going from the hotels to the slopes and by night taking the ride into the town and back to the hotels. Seems to me that the skiers are the real high value proposition in the area as opposed to fall time leaf tourists. On the other hand unlike a trail the railroad can service both! Hard to see how a bike trail could ever compete with that in terms of bringing revenue into the area.

I realize that it takes real money to upgrade the operation to such a level, but has the business case/research ever taken place on this? There is a passenger yard already at the base of Bellayre mountain! How many other railroads in the country have such a great draw for tourists in such close proximity to the largest population of high worth individuals who don't own cars. Besides Hunter mountain as far as I know has always drawn far more NYC folk as I understand it than Bellayre. On the other hand if you have rail service from Kingston to Bellayre and back perhaps that convenience could change the equation while tying Kingston into part of a revenue stream that probably likely currently passes right by on a tour bus.

Seems to me the mayor would quickly ditch the trail group in favor of real revenue for this! Has the study been done?


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3031
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
As of June 15 at 9:15PM Eastern time, rail is at 1,774, trail is at 1,331.

From reading other comments here, and a lack of mention elsewhere, I suspect the prospect of winter service was never looked at. Perhaps no one thought of it, or perhaps there were the questions of how to arrange for a connecting service out of New York City, especially given the somewhat anti-passenger stance of connecting road CSX.

Even if it had been done, the words and actions of the political people involved indicate their minds have been made up, and they will not change them.

I will grant the idea that someone hasn't proposed this, that the spokespeople for the railroad have come out somewhat wanting, and especially that the railroad hasn't been able to meet its contractual obligation of bringing a mile a line into service per year all suggest the railroad's management leaves something to be desired. The last item should have been a cause of concern for some time now, considering the lease only has another three years to run. This isn't necessarily to knock the difficulty of what the road has been trying to do, or their efforts, but there should have been an alarm going off before now.

What would be the best suggestion? Assuming the county isn't hell-bent to take out the railroad (which it unfortunately seems to be), and assuming the other charges against the railroad (i.e., the insurance question) are bogus and can be proven so, then the best option, as I see it at least, would be to hold the county to its contract, which still has three years to run. If you can get over that hurdle, then you get on fire and rebuild the rest of that track, and now! Figure out how to do it, figure out how to get the money, but do it now! Heck the UP laid 10 miles of track in one day in 1869 with a bunch of Chinese and Irish guys, an extra 30 or so in a year or two should be possible, provided the manpower and materials and tools are available, and it looks like this road has a decent start on all that.

While at it, talk with trail people, talk with bicycle people, work on building that trail with the railroad, or even work at making it a bicycle railroad (see the rail cycle links I have in an earlier post). And yes, start exploring that possible ski service. Even if that doesn't work out as well, you might be something of a warm weather attraction to patrons of those same resorts, and it wouldn't hurt to have the resorts as allies in a fight like this.

I'll close with a final comment about business management we sometimes get. Our field is too damn small and weak to afford jackasses in our management. If you think you can force people into having their buildings cut apart because they built on a predecessor road's property years ago, if you think you have condemnation rights like a common carrier that's 10,000 miles long and valued in the billions, if you think keeping accident risks away involves directing foul language at kids on bikes on your property, and especially if said foul language is in earshot of passengers, if you have any sort of bullying tendencies at all, GET OUT. Leave that nonsense to your opposition, let them be the ones to look dumb. You won't always win, but you just might have at least an easier fight.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:48 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3031
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Not that it will matter much, but the current count as of 12:46AM on June 18 is 1,808 rail, 1,369 trail.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:41 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:04 pm
Posts: 63
Up to this point, I have been reluctant to post an additional recommendation to the "Friends" of CMRR, but seeing no electronic media attention on the subject (missing out on the news cycle), and the fact CMRR lead officers and advisors appear to have chosen the option of silence, here goes:

At the end of every municipal government meeting, there is a "public comment" period where citizens have the opportunity to speak directly to Mayors, County Executives, and their respective Boards, etc. on issues that affect them. The City of Kingston and Ulster County government surely have this too. Usually, there are reporters attending from local newspapers. If you can speak well, dress well, and get to the point in a minimum amount of time, you will be noticed. Your comments will be transcribed and be part of the official meeting record. If you bring twenty similar people with the same motive, the politicians will be thinking, "Uh oh, we miscalculated on CMRR and have a problem". Since CMRR management allegedly has not been able to meet with the County on their issues, this would be a great forum to do so. Actually living in Ulster County and speaking is a plus.

On the other hand, if you come with dirty T shirts, denim overalls, a baseball cap with a fallen flag, and a condescending manner and tone, you will validate many opinions by politicians on why CMRR should be shut down.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:38 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
Speaking up at the town meetings is a good way to have an effect. Another good way is to write letters to the editor for publication in local papers. The only way to win a contest with local government is to have other voters on your side. The key is to convince your neighbors.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:33 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3031
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Current petition count as of 6:30AM, Eastern Time, is 1,505 trail, 1,853 rail. Both seem to be slowing a bit, rail perhaps a little more than trail.

Is everyone in Ulster County getting tired, on both sides?


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:22 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3031
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Petition counts as of 7:19 AM Eastern time, 1,899 rail, 1,512 trail.

One of the interesting things I've noted about this and about other rail projects (i.e., modern light rail lines, high speed rail in California) is the passion that's generated. Judging from just the sheer number of comments, a lot of people have a considerable and strong interest in railroad matters; very certainly some are quite, quite vocal about it (and that has to include me).

Darn, there should be some way to really tap into this.


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 Post subject: Re: Please sign the petition to help save the CMRR
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:00 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:46 pm
Posts: 244
East of Eden wrote:
Up to this point, I have been reluctant to post an additional recommendation to the "Friends" of CMRR, but seeing no electronic media attention on the subject (missing out on the news cycle), and the fact CMRR lead officers and advisors appear to have chosen the option of silence, here goes:

At the end of every municipal government meeting, there is a "public comment" period where citizens have the opportunity to speak directly to Mayors, County Executives, and their respective Boards, etc. on issues that affect them. The City of Kingston and Ulster County government surely have this too. Usually, there are reporters attending from local newspapers. If you can speak well, dress well, and get to the point in a minimum amount of time, you will be noticed. Your comments will be transcribed and be part of the official meeting record. If you bring twenty similar people with the same motive, the politicians will be thinking, "Uh oh, we miscalculated on CMRR and have a problem". Since CMRR management allegedly has not been able to meet with the County on their issues, this would be a great forum to do so. Actually living in Ulster County and speaking is a plus.

On the other hand, if you come with dirty T shirts, denim overalls, a baseball cap with a fallen flag, and a condescending manner and tone, you will validate many opinions by politicians on why CMRR should be shut down.


The CMRR has sent out many emails to members telling them about the public comments section of the meeting.

I know at one meeting, 3 trail people spoke and 18 pro-CMRR people spoke.


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