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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:34 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:17 pm
Posts: 139
For any of you that think this may be a joke, I invite you to go to www.stb.gov and look at today's filing by the attorney for the City of Noblesville, City of Fishers and the Hamilton County Commissioners.

They just approved turning the railroad in to a trail yesterday morning at 8:15a.m.

There are no attorneys that work this fast to draw up what has been filed today. This has been in the works for some time.

They want to claim that the STB has nothing to say in this matter, but they are requesting that the STB make a parcel ruling on their behalf.

They claim that the railroad was never officially abandon and as such, their purchase of the railroad is outside of the STB jurisdiction and that they can do as they want with the railroad, in order to stop any one from stepping in and filing an "OFA" if they file for abandonment.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:20 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2050
Right now all I see in the STB is a petition to the STB from the Fischers group. Give me a direct link that you see a fully done deal. All the "newsy stuff" is not working for me.

I am more concerned that ITM may have seen this coming and decided on the Logansport expansion. I am disapointed the Fischers group had not looked harder into making a transit operation from this line. They are working themselves into a hole.

I tend to think whats happening now is a bit of anger reaction to ITM.

Whomever is the new operator needs connections with ITM if they intend to move out they need rail connections to move equipment out as its been isolated.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Posts: 22
I believe that Tom Hoback is part of the group which has found favor with the politicans. Tom is a quiet spoken, intelligent railroader who I think has the right attitude to bring all parties to the table and give each one a portion of what they want. I also believe with his leadership that a Class 1 connection will be re-established for movement of equipment and material on and off the line.

No matter that the line with hardly any potential freight traffic will be shrunk, 8 miles or so is more than most museum groups can handle.

exprail


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:14 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2050
I would like to see all these bidders team up and buy the line outright from the counties.

East Troy still operates freight, it might be one or 2 businesses but still runs the freight. The operating line is about 7 miles.

The STB submission is what they will review, it will not be a slam bang decision.
I think the other operators in question have the right to review the application and give their concerns and rights. This announcement looks like a slamboree decision trying to pull a quick one.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:49 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 677
Location: Warren, PA
https://www.stb.gov/filings/all.nsf/ba7 ... 244022.pdf

It's far, far stickier than what you said. Not only are they looking to have the STB agree with them that they have no further regulatory concern here, but they also want the STB to go along with them on putting the line in interim trail use to save it for future common carrier freight service.

Which is laughable because they threw out any proposals that even suggested freight use, and stated it publicly as the reason.

AND give them the authority that would normally be given to an operator, as they have no operator. Pay no attention to the fact that five applied including ITM, give the status to the towns that would normally be given the operating entity.

So apparently the only way they can gain title to the ROW is by putting it in interim trail use status (obviously there are reversionary deeds) and by seeing if they can sneak this one past the STB with this filing.

And notice it is the ENTIRE line to Tipton, governed by Fishers and Noblesville, so if Hoback thinks he's safe on the northern end, that's not what the filing says. They want authority on the line in the absence of an operator.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:13 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Posts: 22
Randy, thanks for your insight and clarity in helping to understand this mess.

exprail


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:29 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:17 pm
Posts: 139
I live here in Noblesville, Indiana and have for over 20 years, and have lived in Indiana all my life.

I have watched this line for many years and what has happened to it since it became owned by the local government and run by the port authority is a crying shame.

I am not an advocate for the ITM in any way, shape or form. They have a lot to shoulder for what has happened here, but the main blame goes to the port authority. They have not been good stewards of the public's property, that they are charged with overseeing.

I was shocked to see the filing with the STB so quickly. There were others saying that it would never be filed with them because they are not connected to the national rail network and no freight is moved on the line. But, on the other hand, they fall under the FRA regulations, so why not under the STB.

Randy Gustafson has a good grasp on what is going on.

What they are trying to do, is pull a quick one on everyone. They say the STB has no jurisdiction, but yet they want the STB to rule in their favor.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 677
Location: Warren, PA
Remember that the National trails Act as amended for this situation went in much later than PC and Conrail abandonments and the USRA final system plan. There was a big time gap in there when lines were abandoned, picked up by entities, some run as common carrier, some saved as tourist railroads... some just left to rot. Whether or not formal abandonment was consummated, or resumption of common-carrier service without notice effectively reversed that...well, that gets messy.

If something gets abandoned now - by an operating railroad - the process is relatively straightforward for the entire process from expedited abandonment (aka no traffic and no hope of it) to OFA to asset removal to interim trail use status. But if you look in the rear view mirror at a lot of lines out there, it's a legal and regulatory tar pit. This is one of them. What you're seeing is an attempt to retroactively clean up the mess and fast-forward it into trail designation. What's really ugly is when a corridor that does have some common-carrier potential gets swept up in this process. But it's not the first time I've seen this happen, either, and most of the time there are some local financial interests that simply don't want a railroad track in their neighborhood, and they leverage themselves into a political situation.

I can name at least a couple where the financial interests that drove a railroad out also failed to deliver on their own vision, leaving big empty holes in a community with no railroad, no business, no development, and no plan. Even if everybody involved pays with their job or elected office, it's the community that suffers.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:11 pm
Posts: 17
dinwitty wrote:
East Troy still operates freight, it might be one or 2 businesses but still runs the freight. The operating line is about 7 miles.


More than a decade has passed since the last freight move on the line.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:17 pm
Posts: 139
One of the things that they conveniently left out of their filing, is that they had an "RFP" process to find a new operator.

Five parties responded, for a railroad that has no outside connection. At least 3 of the 5 want to work toward building a freight operation.

I guess, only tell the STB that part, that you want to tell them.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:31 am
Posts: 96
Location: Northern Illinois
It might help understand the decision reached by Noblesville and Fishers when you look at the success of the nearby "Monon Trail"; the community leaders in Noblesville have apparently contracted a serious case of "trail envy" based on what has happened in nearby Carmel. They are trying to duplicate the Monon model on the NKP line, and based on what I've seen in my annual visits to Indianapolis for the Big 10 basketball tournaments, it's a very successful model.

They do still want a tourist train operation north of Noblesville, as far as I can tell from their public statements.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:51 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2050
reading into the submission they said something they wanted to do "what they wanted".

We have talked and talked about rail/trail here.

Regardless, East Troy -did- run freight.

on a side note the Hoosier Traction Meet will be the week after labor day in Indianapolis.

http://www.hoosiertractionmeet.com/

maybe they will talk about all this there.

I think they are missing some opportunity here. They should have never pulled the plug on ITM, but they will look for a new future for sure. They are looking beyond the current situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Posts: 22
This situation goes along with the similar situation in NY with the Adirondack Scenic Railroad where the government which has taught us to trust them for everything in life is now choosing to only help their political allies. What happened to a "hand shake" agreement and a man's word being his bond?

The only difference I can see is that the Indiana lines runs through a lot of residential areas which can be composed of many NIMBYs where the NY line is in beautiful wilderness with less people but more of them wanting a trail and not willing to share space.

Very sad in both instances.

exprail


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:47 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8301
Location: Baltimore, MD
AlcoC420 wrote:
One of the things that they conveniently left out of their filing, is that they had an "RFP" process to find a new operator.

Five parties responded, for a railroad that has no outside connection. At least 3 of the 5 want to work toward building a freight operation.

I guess, only tell the STB that part, that you want to tell them.


Isn't part of the process allowing those who wish to challenge abandonment proceedings to do so and present conflicting data with the STB before the decision is made?

I mean, a certain "vexatious litigant" did that repeatedly with the STB for lines which he really had no cause or reason to operate.............


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 Post subject: Re: Nickel Plate Trail
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 112
Location: Orrville, OH
I haven't chimed in on any of these rail vs. trail battles since I'm not plugged in locally where they're taking place and don't know all the nitty-gritty details. But this one bothers me most. Maybe I missed it, but was there ever an independent study by an outside consultant for the best use of the corridor? I'd rather have some tax revenue coming in from rail operations rather than spending money to build/maintain a trail. Show me the cost/benefit analysis. I could be way off base, but it kinda makes me wonder who's pockets are going to get a little thicker with either dollars or favors. Not to spark a political debate, but from the outside, it looks like blatant governing all for the benefit of a few. Not a very good look....

Chiming back out.

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