• Abandoning the former BR&P through Orchard Park

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

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  by Jeff Smith
 
News: STB Link

STB Filing

Replacement of holder of interim use certificate, I think.
BEFORE THE STB DOCKET No. AB-369 (Sub-No. 7X)
-ABANDONMENT EXEMPTION IN ERIE AND CATTARAUGUS COUNTIES, NEW YORK
JOINT PETITION OF THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF PARKS, RECREATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION & THE ERIE CATTARAUGUS RAIL TRAIL, INC FOR SUBSTITUTION OF NEW HOLDER OF INTERIM TRAIL USE/TRAIL MANAGER/RESPONSIBLE PARTY

Pursuant to 49 C.F.R 1152.29, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation ("OPRHP") and Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, Inc. ("ECRT") submit this joint petition to the Surface Transportation Board {STB) requesting that the above-captioned proceedings be reopened so that ECRT may be substituted as the Holder of the Interim Trail Use/Trail
Manager/Responsible Party for the rail line in the above captioned proceeding. In support of said petition, the OPRHP and ECRT set forth the following to wit:

1. Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad, Inc. (BPRR) filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R 1152 Subpart F- Exempt Abandonments to abandon a 27.6-mile line of railroad extending from milepost 8.4 in Orchard Park, in Erie County, NY, to milepost 36 in Ashford. In Cattaraugus County, NY. Notice of the exemption was served and published in the Federal
Register on October 6, 2008 (73 FR 58297).
2. By decision and Notice of Interim Trail Use or Abandonment (NITU) served on November 4, 2008, the proceeding was reopened and a 180-day period was authorized for the OPRHP to negotiate and interim trail use/rail banking agreement with BPRR for the right-of-way involved in this proceeding pursuant to the National Trails System Act, 16 U.S.C § 1247(d)
(Trails Act). By a series of decisions, the most recent served on April 13, 2015, the trail use negotiation period under the NITU was extended until September 30, 2015. (Said NITU attached as Exhibit A)
3. To date, the OPRHP and BPRR have not been able to negotiate a Trail Use/Rail Banking agreement. The OPRHP is no longer interested in remaining the Holder of the Interim Trail Use/Trail Manager/Responsible Party for the rail line in the above captioned proceeding. Attached as Exhibit A is the OPRHP's Petition for Abandonment signed by Deputy Commissioner Tom Alworth, indicating the same.
4. Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, Inc. is a duly incorporated New York not-for-profit corporation with a corporate address of PO Box 584, Orchard Park, NY 14127, Deborah H. Fenn, President, Telephone, (716)771-2453.
5. Attached hereto as Exhibits B ~md Care the ECRT's Statement of Willingness to Assume Financial Responsibility and a map of the corridor.
6. The date for the transition of total responsibility as the new interim trail manager to the ECRT shall be the date the STB issues their final decision. WHEREFORE, the ECRT respectfully request that the STB re-open the above captioned case,
vacate the existing NITU issued to the OPRHP, and issue an appropriate NITU to ECRT as the new holder of Interim Trail Use/Trail Manager/Responsible Party.

Respectfully submitted,
President
Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, Inc.
Date:
240288
ENTERED
Office of Proceedings
March 11, 2016
Part of Public Record
  by RussNelson
 
This is the buffalo news article: http://buffalonews.com/2016/11/17/27-mi ... ringville/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There's a new 1.8 mile multiuse trail in the village of Springville that snowshoers and cross-country skiers are welcome to use this winter.

But advocates for a much longer trail stretching from Orchard Park, south through Springville to the town of Ashford in Cattaraugus County, hope it's just the start.

Springville's "Pop Warner" Rail Trail, named after the football legend who grew up in the southern Erie County village of 4,294 residents, is the first section to open along the discontinued 27.6 mile Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad right-of-way.

"Down the road, what we hope to do is launch this on a larger scale beyond the village of Springville through five municipalities, two counties to make this 27.6 miles an interim trail that can be used by all Western New Yorkers and anybody visiting the area," said Gary Willert, co-chair of the board of Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization formed as the trail sponsor.

The trail would connect the towns of Orchard Park, Aurora, Colden, Concord and Ashford. For that to happen, Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail needs to take ownership of the corridor through a process called "railbanking." Willert said. The railroad and trail sponsor are close to negotiating an agreement, he said.

To jump-start the project, Springville secured a right-of-entry agreement with the railroad to allow development this year of the "Pop Warner" trail, which cuts a diagonal line across the village and officially opened last month. No longer will hikers and dog walkers be trespassing on a private right-of-way. Snowmobiling, however, is still prohibited.

A $12,000 grant from the Springville Griffith Institute Community Education Foundation allowed the village to give the trail from Waverly Street to West Main Street a park-like setting, including a surface of asphalt millings, landscaping, picnic tables and benches.

The trail imagined outside Springville could also stimulate some economic development in the rural Southtowns it passes through, said Deborah Fenn, another board co-chair.

"There's not a lot of opportunity in some of these smaller communities for economic development that's appropriate," she said. "I think this trail really brings the opportunity for quiet economic development in a very appropriate way for these communities."

A rails to trails project would preserve the corridor's historical significance of over 100 years of rail use, from the village of Orchard Park's depot south through rolling hills and across a high trestle bridge spanning the county borders at Cattaraugus Creek, Fenn said.

The railroad carried coal beginning in the 1880s from Pennsylvania to Buffalo and Rochester. Passenger service began in 1883 and brought tourists on excursions to the Southern Tier and scenic Cattaraugus Creek gorge. Rail passenger service to Springville ended in 1955 and all rail service ended in 1996.

In 2008, the railroad notified the federal Surface Transportation Board of its desire to abandon the corridor. Rail ties and tracks were removed two years later.

Momentum is gaining on the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail just as a similar path opened this summer in the Tonawandas along a discontinued NFTA right-of-way to great acclaim.

Trail advocates hope to rally support among residents of the towns, and through an online petition that has 6,259 supporters.

"Once we have in our hands the ownership of the entire corridor, we can move forward and it would be absolutely fabulous to get the support of all the municipalities along the corridor but it's not absolutely necessary," said Fenn.
  by chrisfabs
 
"Once we have in our hands the ownership of the entire corridor, we can move forward and it would be absolutely fabulous to get the support of all the municipalities along the corridor but it's not absolutely necessary,"

THAT'S IT, RAM IT DOWN THE LOCAL PROPERTY OWNERS AND TAXPAYERS THROATS, EVEN IF THEY DON'T WANT IT. Great way to make friends with the locals! My beautiful and unique property borders this proposed trail and is certain to lure trail users. I walk the rail bed nearly every day and have for 24 years. There are two sides to every argument, I don't want to hear anybody out there crying "troll" because I don't support it...
  by RussNelson
 
chrisfabs wrote:THAT'S IT, RAM IT DOWN THE LOCAL PROPERTY OWNERS AND TAXPAYERS THROATS, EVEN IF THEY DON'T WANT IT. Great way to make friends with the locals! My beautiful and unique property borders this proposed trail and is certain to lure trail users. I walk the rail bed nearly every day and have for 24 years. There are two sides to every argument, I don't want to hear anybody out there crying "troll" because I don't support it...
For better or worse, that's how the railroads were created in the first place. One of the first railroad-specific laws in NY said that railroads would have the right of eminent domain. If you didn't want to give the railroad a right of way, they could sell your land, give you the money, write an easement into the deed, and then sell the land.

If you're concerned about people trespassing on your land, ask the rail-trail group to build a fence along your property line.
  by Aji-tater
 
chrisfabs wrote:
THAT'S IT, RAM IT DOWN THE LOCAL PROPERTY OWNERS AND TAXPAYERS THROATS, EVEN IF THEY DON'T WANT IT. Great way to make friends with the locals! My beautiful and unique property borders this proposed trail and is certain to lure trail users. I walk the rail bed nearly every day and have for 24 years. There are two sides to every argument, I don't want to hear anybody out there crying "troll" because I don't support it...
You're hysterically funny! You are very worried about luring trail users - reading between the lines I gather you are worried about them trespassing on your property. Yet if you have been walking the railroad for 24 years, back then it was an operating railroad and YOU were trespassing on the railroad's property. I guess it's a one-way street, huh! Actually I think we have way more trails than we need and have spent far too many taxpayer dollars on the things. If you want to walk, we have roads, sidewalks, parks and countless other opportunities. But your concern for your own property when you have no respect for the property of others speaks volumes about you and gives you about zero credibility.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
chrisfabs wrote:THAT'S IT, RAM IT DOWN THE LOCAL PROPERTY OWNERS AND TAXPAYERS THROATS, EVEN IF THEY DON'T WANT IT. Great way to make friends with the locals! My beautiful and unique property borders this proposed trail and is certain to lure trail users. I walk the rail bed nearly every day and have for 24 years. There are two sides to every argument, I don't want to hear anybody out there crying "troll" because I don't support it...
You are admitting that you trespassed on private property, but now have an issue with the ROW becoming public property? Holy double standard, Batman!

Alot of trails border on a scenic property. As Russ suggested, requesting a fence is a good idea. If the trail organizers won't do that, posting no trespassing signs will discourage most of the potential trespassers.

There is no guarantee the ROW will revert to you and other property owners adjoining it. In some cases, there is an easement so the land will revert to adjacent property owners. However, there are also plenty of cases where the RR purchased the land outright so it remains RR property even after abandonment. As an example of the latter, CSX retains ownership of the former NYC Falls Branch from Brockport to Gates, which Conrail abandoned back in 1994. If that holds true for the B&P, do you expect them to retain the property and pay taxes on something they no longer use?

If you are walking on the ROW now, the chances are high that other people are doing the exact same thing. I doubt your property has been violated, and your fear is unmerited.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
I'd also be interested in seeing how many local residents oppose the trail. I suspect the number is probably low- just a few NIMBYs and extreme fiscal hawks.
  by RussNelson
 
Matt Langworthy wrote:If you are walking on the ROW now, the chances are high that other people are doing the exact same thing.
Not so many. Every bridge has a chain-link fence on both ends. I'm sure the lawyer said "Dump the ROW or keep people off the bridges." And there are a lot of bridges on that line. There are13 on the rail-trail portion and 31 on the entire line.
  by Railroaded
 
One other thing that drives me nuts when people complain about rail trails is the fact that before development, the line is in an obvious state of abandonment- disused by the railroad, overgrown, & being used by people for all sorts of shady activities from drugs to illegal dumping & scavenging scrap. When a railtrail is developed, the brush is cut, the rough ground is smoothed out, pavement installed, lighting is usualy set up near parking areas or trail acess points, good lines of sight are created without the heavy overgrowth, & last but not least LAW ENFORCEMENT BEGINS PATROLING THE TRAILS. I have personally seen, multiple times, police officers on bikes riding the trails! Yes, more people will come, it goes without saying, but they're walking their dog, taking the kids for a bike ride, things like that. The same activities you see on the streets & sidewalks in front of your home. Not the creepers that come sneaking around doing drugs at some local hide out back there, or looking to break in to someone's house, or salvage old tie plates to go buy heroin. The neighborhood wouldn't tolerate that kind of thing & the weirdos will get jacked up by the law because the rail trail will flush them out.
  by Fireman43
 
Reading back through this thread I remembered the head-on in 1987 near Colden on this line. Finally found it : viewtopic.php?f=128&t=69439&p=774158&hi ... NY#p774158" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Reading the NTSB report on the perfect storm of mistakes leading up to this tragedy was done in disbelief.
On another note, was there a derailment of cars on the 240 crossing near the end of the abandonment that kinda spelled the last hurrah?
  by thebigham
 
^Yes, a broken rail or the rail rolled over underneath the train.

Most of it was BR&P 1922-dated rail according to a recent post on Facebook.
  by ctclark1
 
I thought there was a failed bridge near Colden or Springville that took the line out for good?
  by thebigham
 
^The big bridge over Cattaraugus Creek would have needed millions of dollars to upgrade.

The line also had a lot of quicksand. The grade was always sinking in numerous places.

It was just easier to rebuild the connection at Machias Junction with the former PRR Buffalo line.
  by fredmcain
 
I was wondering if this thread could be updated? Has there been any new developments in this corridor since 2016? What future plans, if any, does the State of New York have for this former line?

There was a video posted on YouTube of the Springville Trestle and in some of the comments that followed, the suggestion was made that the State was possibly looking at the restoration of rail service. Is there any truth to that at all or is this simply another “railfan rumor”?
Here is the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjSzLaTUeVk

Regards,
Fred M. Cain
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