Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

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jaystreetcrr
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by jaystreetcrr » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:38 am

Can someone please school me on some facts regarding what I think would be the ultimate trump card to play against the train haters? Let's say their evil plot somehow progresses and they get the CMRR off the property. Won't they then have to file a petition for abandonment with whom? Some state agency? The Surface Transportation Board? The FRA? Let me know so I can be specific in my arguments.
These folks seem very cocky playing a rigged game. They know nothing about how railroads are run or regulated. Let them know early and often that before they can pry up a spike, they'll have to deal with a RAILROAD regulatory agency that doesn't care about pro-trail studies commissioned by pro-trail groups, or how many Facebook "likes" you have. Public officials who block active railroad tracks with dump trucks won't make great witnesses. Highly paid railroad lawyers who know the system can petition for years and come away empty handed so how is some local ambulance chaser going to fare?
Let them know that they could "win" their spiteful game and still be stuck with years of litigation and a trainset that no one can play with. Maybe we'll see some compromise then.

cjvrr
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by cjvrr » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:34 am

Jay,

The difference here is the railroad track, property, etc. is OWNED by the same government agency trying to currently get rid of it. The lease holder (CMRR) is trying to keep it. So if the government is able to break or end the lease, I don't think getting the Feds to sign off on abandonment will be that big a hurdle.

It would be a totally different story if the railroad owned the property.
CV the Civil E

jaystreetcrr
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by jaystreetcrr » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:57 am

Yes, I understand that. But isn't it true that railroads (owners) have many times tried to abandon unprofitable lines and services only to be denied by various regulatory agencies if there is enough community opposition? These are businesses with staff lawyers who know the ropes and have a legitimate interest in not losing money. How will Ulster County with their history of wackadoodle tactics come off in front of a railroad regulatory agency? They may own the tracks but they still have to follow the law.
Does anyone know of a similar case where an active railroad was torn up for a rail trail? And again, can someone tell me which regulatory bodies they will have to go through?

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charlie6017
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by charlie6017 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:31 am

That would be true if there were actually customers on the line that were reliant on the service.......not
so much the case here.

Charlie
~Charlie Ricker

jaystreetcrr
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by jaystreetcrr » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:57 am

So I did some research on my own and looked at some abandonment petitions from New York State to the Surface Transportation Board and I feel like my head is going to explode. Talk about that dadburn gummint and their meddling regulations! You can't touch a spike without jumping through a million hoops and one mistake and you're back at square one. Public opposition or historical value can be a dealbreaker and even if it isn't, endless documents have to be filed. Good luck Ulster County if you persist in your folly....

DogBert
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by DogBert » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:53 pm

I suspect very highly that the Daily Freeman is absolutely not going to publish this letter, so I'll leave it here...


if Ulster County succeeds in evicted and dismantling the Catskill Mountain Rail Road, I will never spend another dime in Ulster county again.

You could say I am a 'tourist', though I have vacationed in the area my entire life. I feel no less at home in Kingston than I do in NYC. You can say I'm a hiker too: living in the city, I love to get outdoors into nature. Do I like railroads & history? Yes, and yes.

Michael Hein & his acid tongued friend Shayne Gallo should resign. Politicians are supposed to bring people together for the common good, not drive them apart. Politicians are also supposed to help small businesses and not sit around conducting shady closed door meetings and engaging in smear campaigns full of lies. Maybe this vague idealist job description isn't etched in stone but it is what a true leader should strive for. Let me use that word again: Leader. Neither of these men are leaders. They are bully cowards who don't care about their constituents. They wrongly believe as many other politicians do that lying and scheming are the only ways to hang onto their offices.

The issues surrounding the railroad could have been resolved with less dramatic headlines and bizarre illegal gestures (I'm looking at you and your dump truck, Shayne) if neither of these cowards were in office. CMRR set forward a plan for a combined Railroad and trail. As a hiker, the least favorite aspect of heading out into nature is knowing that at some point, you're going to have to turn back. How else are you going to get back to your car? Hiking one way and presto - taking a train back? It makes perfect sense. For ulster county, it means not spending millions on a trail that very few (if anyone) will actually use.

I offer myself as an example: There is no way in hell I'm going to drive 3-4 hours to Kingston to walk on a trail. There are dozens of closer trails which make for ideal day trips without spending an extra 50 bucks on gas.

When I go to Ulster County, it's to relax at a B&B or at a hotel with a pool. I'll go get dinner down at any one of the joints on E. Strand by the water. A trail on a hill on a hot humid summer day? Thanks, but no. I've never rode on the CMRR, though I suspect I will make a weekend trip out of it sometime (assuming their lease isn't wrongfully pulled).

The situation with the railroad could have been used to created a synergy between trail advocates and the railroad whose combined volunteers would maintain the right of way without one penny of taxpayer funding.

If the shear illogicality of Hein's 'trail only' position hasn't made his inability to lead crystal clear, it is certainly highlighted by his refusal to use the FEMA allocated money to repair the right of way. Where does this money go if it is not spent? Does it go back to the feds budgets, or does it disappear in some shady closed door meeting? Maybe Hein can pass the bag of cash to Gallo to drive away in his dump truck?

The absolute bottom line is that by engaging in a campaign of lies and dirty tricks, these 'leaders' have only proven they are not cut out for the job. Dividing people resolves nothing, and clearly will hurt everyone in the form of significantly increased taxes and the destruction of a viable business run by a group of volunteers that is an asset to the community.

If this happens, I will miss Kingston - but I'll keep on driving. I'm sure my money can be better spent elsewhere. I hear Lake George is beautiful this time of year.

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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by Otto Vondrak » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:01 pm

DogBert wrote:if Ulster County succeeds in evicted and dismantling the Catskill Mountain Rail Road, I will never spend another dime in Ulster county again... If this happens, I will miss Kingston - but I'll keep on driving. I'm sure my money can be better spent elsewhere. I hear Lake George is beautiful this time of year.

Haha, I love it. "I hear Lake George is nice this time of year."

North Creek, Saratoga, Thendara/Old Forge, Lake Placid... Heck even Arkville in neighboring Delaware County understand the value and clear benefits of heritage railways...

-otto-
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jmarino
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by jmarino » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:39 pm

DogBert wrote:I suspect very highly that the Daily Freeman is absolutely not going to publish this letter, so I'll leave it here...


if Ulster County succeeds in evicted and dismantling the Catskill Mountain Rail Road, I will never spend another dime in Ulster county again.

You could say I am a 'tourist', though I have vacationed in the area my entire life. I feel no less at home in Kingston than I do in NYC. You can say I'm a hiker too: living in the city, I love to get outdoors into nature. Do I like railroads & history? Yes, and yes.

Michael Hein & his acid tongued friend Shayne Gallo should resign. Politicians are supposed to bring people together for the common good, not drive them apart. Politicians are also supposed to help small businesses and not sit around conducting shady closed door meetings and engaging in smear campaigns full of lies. Maybe this vague idealist job description isn't etched in stone but it is what a true leader should strive for. Let me use that word again: Leader. Neither of these men are leaders. They are bully cowards who don't care about their constituents. They wrongly believe as many other politicians do that lying and scheming are the only ways to hang onto their offices.

The issues surrounding the railroad could have been resolved with less dramatic headlines and bizarre illegal gestures (I'm looking at you and your dump truck, Shayne) if neither of these cowards were in office. CMRR set forward a plan for a combined Railroad and trail. As a hiker, the least favorite aspect of heading out into nature is knowing that at some point, you're going to have to turn back. How else are you going to get back to your car? Hiking one way and presto - taking a train back? It makes perfect sense. For ulster county, it means not spending millions on a trail that very few (if anyone) will actually use.

I offer myself as an example: There is no way in hell I'm going to drive 3-4 hours to Kingston to walk on a trail. There are dozens of closer trails which make for ideal day trips without spending an extra 50 bucks on gas.

When I go to Ulster County, it's to relax at a B&B or at a hotel with a pool. I'll go get dinner down at any one of the joints on E. Strand by the water. A trail on a hill on a hot humid summer day? Thanks, but no. I've never rode on the CMRR, though I suspect I will make a weekend trip out of it sometime (assuming their lease isn't wrongfully pulled).

The situation with the railroad could have been used to created a synergy between trail advocates and the railroad whose combined volunteers would maintain the right of way without one penny of taxpayer funding.

If the shear illogicality of Hein's 'trail only' position hasn't made his inability to lead crystal clear, it is certainly highlighted by his refusal to use the FEMA allocated money to repair the right of way. Where does this money go if it is not spent? Does it go back to the feds budgets, or does it disappear in some shady closed door meeting? Maybe Hein can pass the bag of cash to Gallo to drive away in his dump truck?

The absolute bottom line is that by engaging in a campaign of lies and dirty tricks, these 'leaders' have only proven they are not cut out for the job. Dividing people resolves nothing, and clearly will hurt everyone in the form of significantly increased taxes and the destruction of a viable business run by a group of volunteers that is an asset to the community.

If this happens, I will miss Kingston - but I'll keep on driving. I'm sure my money can be better spent elsewhere. I hear Lake George is beautiful this time of year.
Dogbert

Your letter should be published its your opinion and in the former constitution you were allowed that , You should send it in !!! YOU REALLY SHOULD !!

jmarino
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by jmarino » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:45 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:
DogBert wrote:if Ulster County succeeds in evicted and dismantling the Catskill Mountain Rail Road, I will never spend another dime in Ulster county again... If this happens, I will miss Kingston - but I'll keep on driving. I'm sure my money can be better spent elsewhere. I hear Lake George is beautiful this time of year.

Haha, I love it. "I hear Lake George is nice this time of year."

North Creek, Saratoga, Thendara/Old Forge, Lake Placid... Heck even Arkville in neighboring Delaware County understand the value and clear benefits of heritage railways...

-otto-
Otto , I posted this a couple of days ago , why don't the d&u and the CMRR more supportive of each other and ever made the effort to connect the two ever happened ?

lvrr325
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by lvrr325 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:55 pm

Would cost a few million to repair washed out ROW and rehab enough track to connect the two.

airman00
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by airman00 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:26 pm

lvrr325 wrote:Would cost a few million to repair washed out ROW and rehab enough track to connect the two.
Yeah well the county isn't above spending millions for the trail.

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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by scoostraw » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:21 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:Heck even Arkville in neighboring Delaware County understand the value and clear benefits of heritage railways...-otto-
That's the irony of it all. Right under Ulster County's noses is an example of what can be done with a rail line when there is SUPPORT for it.

jaystreetcrr
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by jaystreetcrr » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:42 pm

More online research reveals that Ulster County is petitioning the Surface Transportation Board for abandonment, or "railbanking". I learned this from Senator Chuck Schumer's website as he has drunk the trail-only Koolade and is carrying their water in DC. Everyone here should contact Schumer and let him know he is being bamboozled and is working with some shady characters.
Same with the STB.

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RussNelson
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by RussNelson » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:18 pm

jaystreetcrr wrote:More online research reveals that Ulster County is petitioning the Surface Transportation Board for abandonment, or "railbanking".
Abandonment and railbanking are not the same thing. If the ROW was created by easements, then once it is abandoned, the easements are extinguished. If a line is railbanked, then it remains in use as a transportation corridor, and any railroad that wants to rebuild the tracks has priority over the trail. If, on the other hand, the land is owned "in fee simple", then the difference is minimal.

You would have to look very carefully at the deeds written over a hundred years ago to find out the difference.

jaystreetcrr
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Re: Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) Discussion - 2013

Post by jaystreetcrr » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:22 am

Russ,

You are correct and I am learning to be more careful with my legal terms by the hour. According to a press release dated 2/19/13 on Chuck Schumer's website, the county of Ulster is on the verge of filing for railbanking with the STB. I checked the STB website from that date until today and did not see such a document or anything else related to the CMRR. I could have missed it though.
It is vital to be aware when any such notices are filed and to contest them at every turn. Any good railroad lawyers out there who want to do a little pro bono work?

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