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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 3:09 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:28 pm
Posts: 171
Location: Northern WV
Didn't this railbike company operate for a while last year on the Wilmington & Western Railroad in Delaware? Was the trial unsuccessful? There is a larger population base in the area from which to draw riders.

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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 4:13 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 603
Location: Bucks County, PA
WVNorthern wrote:
Didn't this railbike company operate for a while last year on the Wilmington & Western Railroad in Delaware? Was the trial unsuccessful? There is a larger population base in the area from which to draw riders.


I don't speak for the railroad, but after asking the Rail Explorers people directly (via Facebook), it appears as though one of the property owners along the line (a very influential one) had some form of issue with the railbikes (even though nobody gets off on their property) and they were not able to come to an agreement to run this year. It's sad, because I did the trip last year and absolutely loved it - and most trips were either sold out or mostly sold out, from what I understand. I definitely would have done it again this year as well if it was offered in at the W&W.

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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 4:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 661
Location: Philadelphia Pa
bigjim4life wrote:
WVNorthern wrote:
Didn't this railbike company operate for a while last year on the Wilmington & Western Railroad in Delaware? Was the trial unsuccessful? There is a larger population base in the area from which to draw riders.


I don't speak for the railroad, but after asking the Rail Explorers people directly (via Facebook), it appears as though one of the property owners along the line (a very influential one) had some form of issue with the railbikes (even though nobody gets off on their property) and they were not able to come to an agreement to run this year. It's sad, because I did the trip last year and absolutely loved it - and most trips were either sold out or mostly sold out, from what I understand. I definitely would have done it again this year as well if it was offered in at the W&W.


....if its the property owner I am thinking of, its not an owner ALONG the right of way but rather an owner of whose property the Railroad bisects via an easement and I don't think the Railroad would be willing to risk losing access to several miles of their line or having to go to court over it (fighting a big name with plenty of financial backing), for the railbikes - as welcome as the railbikes were by the railroad.


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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 4:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 686
Location: Warren, PA
One of the key assumptions by trail promoters in general is that adjacent property owners will prefer a trail over a railroad track, railbikes, or anything else.

The truth is that property owners prefer neither, and that in the case of a 15-mph tourist train vs a 24/7 trail, are just as likely to back either one. There's just as much Nimbyism against trails as tracks, misinformation, fear, and obstructionism. The only difference is that a railroad carries weight of law, carefully applied.

I've met plenty of property owners, that given the choice of the status-quo and an infrequently-used, slow moving excursion train vs. a trail, will openly support the railroad if it is clearly one option or the other.

You shouldn't be surprised at all if the property owners raise torches and pitchforks over trail conversions, either. If you want to look at a battle gone nuclear with tremendous cost to finish a trail ($33 million settlement to property owners), follow the STB story of the Port Royal Railroad in Beaufort Co. SC., where well-armed and well-funded adjacent property owners revolted and got a settlement for continued presence of the trail after forced conversion. That's now the Spanish Moss Trail, a beautiful trail but also would have made an exquisite excursion operation had it been allowed to remain.

That enormous legal settlement also pricked up the ears of a lot of lawyers looking to establish class action suits on similar trail activity, so I wouldn't expect this to be a one-time event.

I'll even admit I'm surprised by the hostility against the railbike operation, apparently significant groups of individuals are truly enraged by the sounds of others enjoying themselves unnecessarily. Having grown up by a river with heavy recreational canoe traffic in the summer season, I appear to be desensitized to the 'problem'.


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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 10:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2080
These people need to visit Chicago, the railroad mecca of the world then when 4014 is restored, get them a ride on it. Then go visit the Museum of Science and Industry to see the HO layout there, then visit my basement to see my newly acquired HO scale UP Big Blow Turbine which is all the noise you want in an engine. Ever go to a steam threshers reunion? The one that happenned around Ft Wayne years ago was a steam sound mecca of Steam traction engines and get ready for the noon whistle blow which could be heard for miles.

These people are having a hard time finding fun in their adjacent railroad.


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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 1:13 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3036
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Randy Gustafson wrote:
I'll even admit I'm surprised by the hostility against the railbike operation, apparently significant groups of individuals are truly enraged by the sounds of others enjoying themselves unnecessarily.


dinwitty wrote:
These people need to visit Chicago, the railroad mecca of the world then when 4014 is restored, get them a ride on it. Then go visit the Museum of Science and Industry to see the HO layout there, then visit my basement to see my newly acquired HO scale UP Big Blow Turbine which is all the noise you want in an engine. Ever go to a steam threshers reunion? The one that happenned around Ft Wayne years ago was a steam sound mecca of Steam traction engines and get ready for the noon whistle blow which could be heard for miles.

These people are having a hard time finding fun in their adjacent railroad.


I've mentioned this before, but it seems worth mentioning again.

It's a sorry thing to say, but America suffers badly from what a friend of mine calls ABR syndrome. . .Anything But Rail

It's not limited to the Catskills or the Adirondacks. There are other roads in New York and elsewhere that the trail crowd is envious of. These include a line in Indiana and at least two in California (one of them being in the Santa Cruz area.) The friend I mentioned above did a tally on railroads that have this problem, and he came up with something like 18 lines either facing threats or which have faced threats in the past (one of them being Western Maryland Scenic).

The anti-rail people at Santa Cruz have alternately suggested a trail only option (the proposal in place there now is for rail and trail, and has been for years), or have suggested trail and PRT (Personal Rapid Transit, or peoplemovers), or even a dedicated busway and trail. Anything but rail!

It's not limited to heritage railroads. If you want to promote commuter or additional intercity (Amtrak) service, you get told people prefer to drive, or fly, and that roads pay for themselves, and we just have to build more roads and run more airplanes and buses are good enough, or even go futuristic with PRT or even an auto transporter that runs in tunnels under a large city (Elon Musk's newest scheme). Anything but rail!

You get the same thing if you are promoting high speed service such as California or Texas, or higher speed rail which the FEC is working on, with the restoration of a second track that was taken out in 1968. You get told the FEC or the Texas Central will go bust, you get told trains are 200 years old, you are told we need more highways, or more air service, or a monorail, or a maglev, or that vacuum tube thing called Hyperloop. . .Anything but rail!

Some people fighting the FEC have commented that railroads are dangerous dinosaurs and should be outlawed. The FEC should be bought out and made to use trucks, and the railroad turned into a bike path. Anything but rail!

It's clearly a cultural problem. I have no idea on how to go against it.

A contact I have with the Adirondack said of this, " RRs have made this bed for themselves. For decades they operated in a manner that betrayed a disregard for neighborhoods and their inhabitants. . . .The DoTs of most states are peopled with highway engineers -- since RRs build and maintain their own ROWs there is no love lost and little interaction or understanding of the symbiotic relationship that benefits both parties."

Thankfully, according to my contact, the Adirondack has been working to correct much of that, with outreach to local businesses and such, but it's still an uphill fight.


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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:35 am 

Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:33 am
Posts: 93
Randy Gustafson wrote:
You shouldn't be surprised at all if the property owners raise torches and pitchforks over trail conversions, either. If you want to look at a battle gone nuclear with tremendous cost to finish a trail ($33 million settlement to property owners), follow the STB story of the Port Royal Railroad in Beaufort Co. SC., where well-armed and well-funded adjacent property owners revolted and got a settlement for continued presence of the trail after forced conversion. That's now the Spanish Moss Trail, a beautiful trail but also would have made an exquisite excursion operation had it been allowed to remain.


I actually got to hyrail that line with the South Carolina Railroad Museum, with a crew to video tape and take lots of pictures to document the line before it was ripped up. I agree, it would have been an amazing tourist line, and it was still in very good condition. (excluding the swing bridge over the intercostal waterway- it needed some help) A real shame and apparently a costly endeavor to rip it up and make a trail.

https://youtu.be/l3g5NorP2OQ

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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 8:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1202
To all:

In our research we found that generally 80% of trail users are local and 20% from out of town. Our own records show 80% of our riders are from out of town and 20% local.

That means that the local businesses that benefit from the railroad have to vocally support the railroad and lobby for it to continue, and that support must be as strong or stronger than the politically connected locals who want the trail as a local amenity.

EH


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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 10:37 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2080
People are coming to the train as a getaway. Fun time. The businesses need to look at that and see how the railroad and businesses can be cooperative for each other.

One thing Amtrak does in its cross country chicago to LA train is they stop in Phoenix for about an hour and the local indians or whomever vendors have displays of wares for sale on the station platform, the passengers can get off, stretch their legs, browse the vendors, buy something, and reboard the train.

As far as people rather drive cars/ go to airplanes, I've heard otherwise that there are people who do not want to keep paying for cars, pay insurance, pay for its upkeep and rather dump them and jump on the public transit.


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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:12 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Baltimore, MD
dinwitty wrote:
One thing Amtrak does in its cross country chicago to LA train is they stop in Phoenix for about an hour and the local indians or whomever vendors have displays of wares for sale on the station platform, the passengers can get off, stretch their legs, browse the vendors, buy something, and reboard the train.


Phoenix remains the largest city in the U.S. bypassed by direct Amtrak service.

I believe you mean Albuquerque, NM, and this stop is not made out of the kindness of treating passengers to a shopping trip, a burrito truck, or an extended smoking break. It's done because the train is midway through its long journey and needs a full fuel, water, and servicing stop, even to the extent of washing the windows on the Superliner observation before/after Glorieta and Raton Passes.


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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 5:17 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
dinwitty wrote:
One thing Amtrak does in its cross country chicago to LA train is they stop in Phoenix for about an hour and the local indians or whomever vendors have displays of wares for sale on the station platform, the passengers can get off, stretch their legs, browse the vendors, buy something, and reboard the train.


Phoenix remains the largest city in the U.S. bypassed by direct Amtrak service.

I believe you mean Albuquerque, NM, and this stop is not made out of the kindness of treating passengers to a shopping trip, a burrito truck, or an extended smoking break. It's done because the train is midway through its long journey and needs a full fuel, water, and servicing stop, even to the extent of washing the windows on the Superliner observation before/after Glorieta and Raton Passes.


It's not just the Superliner observation windows that are washed there at Albuquerque. Here is a photo taken this past February of the windows on our sleeping car being cleaned.

Les


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 Post subject: CMRR Work Report - 5/20 to 5/21
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 2:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1202
Saturday May 20th

Earl Pardini lead the CMRR track crew which included John Marino, Tom Whyte, Martin Elbrecht, Vince Guido and newcomer Shawn.
They loaded rail and took it to C9 to be used as replacement guard rail and installed it on the bridge.

Al Johnson worked on coach 701 and 702 in Phoenicia.


Sunday, May 21st

Joe Wolf continued work on painting the side dump in Phoenicia.

Ernie Klopping installed a battery box cover on the 2911.



Ernie Hunt
Volunteer Coordinator


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 Post subject: Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2017
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:46 pm
Posts: 244
The Phoenicia town sign even has the CMRR passenger train on it, but trains are not currently running.


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 Post subject: CMRR Work Report - 5/26 to 5/28
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:28 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1202
Friday, May 26th

Ear Pardini, Tom Whyte, Vince Guido and Mark Glaser, did track work Friday.

Jim Bruck and John Prestopino worked on putting the roof on the 50 foot flat.

Joe Wolff painted the work flat in Kingston and the signal box.


Saturday May 27th

We ran three trains and had about 300 passengers. John Marino was Engineer, Karl Wick was Brakeman, and Fred Ehren and Russ Hallock were flaggers. Peter Fluchere was ticket agent and Dave Hilliard assisted.

Joe Wolff worked on painting the side dump in Phoenicia.

Al Johnson and Bill Kaba worked on the loading ramp in Phoenicia.


Sunday May 28th

Joe Wolff worked on painting the side dump in Phoenicia.


Ernie Hunt
Volunteer Coordinator
CMRR


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 Post subject: CMRR Work Report - 6/3, 6/4
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:31 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1202
Saturday June 3rd

On Saturday, John Marino was engineer, Neil Isabelle was conductor, Martin Elbrecht was brakeman, and Tom Whyte was flagger. Earl Pardini assisted. Peter Fluchere was ticket agent.

Joe Wolff weed-wacked the yard in Phoenicia.


Sunday, June 4th

Ernie Klopping worked on the scarifier.

Joe Wolff painted the work flat and container in Kingston.

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=238236


Ernie Hunt
Volunteer Coordinator
CMRR


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