• Amtrak service temporarily suspended west of Albany

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by rcthompson04
 
Safetee wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:34 am The reprieve such as it is, is wonderful. But, that building is a mess and, it won't be resolved any time soon.

it might be a very good time for amtrak to scout out developing and constructing a viable northwest passage without a huge failing building waiting to fall track side.
I presume it would be easier for Amtrak to tear down.
  by Greg Moore
 
Can't quote all the above, but some good stuff.

Yes, the city of Albany has already to my knowledge repossessed the building at least once and is in proceedings to do so again. (there's an interested local developer with an actual reputation for getting shit done waiting in the wings. It's one reason I suspect a lot of kerfuffle is more tha simply coincidence).

Yes, if the tracks to Troy and either continuing north or crossing at the Green Island Bridge still existed that would be an option for the Ethan Allen (and if/when it returns the Adirondack) but alas... never going to happen.

As for any other crossing, again, not going to happen. The only real crossing north of here was the Green Island Bridge and that has no real way of getting west from there.

And of course anything else south of there misses the Albany-Rensselaer station.

There's no good answer short of demolition or actual work done on the building.

I still don't get what the current owner's game is. They've had their chance. They've done nothing. Give up the building and move on.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I noted this over at another site, so here goes here.

I would think the prudent way to ensure safety will be to build a shed over the tracks and with sensors so that if any debris penetrates the shed, the Amtrak Train Dispatcher immediately knows.
  by NYCRRson
 
"I presume it would be easier for Amtrak to tear down."

Amtrak does not own this building and has no legal right to "tear it down". Anymore than I can tear down the addition on your house because it "might" fall into my yard.

The building owner is responsible to maintain the building according to building codes so it does not present a danger to adjacent property owners...

But if the "property owner" defaults on the taxes the building belongs to the gubermint....

I doubt the City of Albany wants to "own" this building.... Thus the "the owner must make these repairs / demolish the building" dance....

All the owner has to do is default on the tax payments and let the building become "Property of the City of Albany"...

There are other rules for "toxic wastes" that require the original owners to pay for remediation, but I do not think those apply to structural failures (not a lawyer, just speculation on my part).

UPDATE; Residential properties right around the area of that warehouse are selling for about $250K for a ~1/4 acre lot. So if the lot under that warehouse is 1 or 2 acres the value of the lot under the warehouse is about 16x to 32x $250k. So an empty lot (totally free of any toxic stuff; lead, asbestos , ammonia, etc) the size of that warehouse is worth maybe $ 8 million....

Anybody think that building can be demolished safely and all debris hauled away for $ 8 Million or less ????
Last edited by NYCRRson on Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by rcthompson04
 
NYCRRson wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:13 pm "I presume it would be easier for Amtrak to tear down."

Amtrak does not own this building and has no legal right to "tear it down". Anymore than I can tear down the addition on your house because it "might" fall into my yard.
Amtrak could use eminent domain. Condemn the property and demolish.
  by NYCRRson
 
"Amtrak could use eminent domain. Condemn the property and demolish."

As far as I know Amtrak does not have the authority to invoke "eminent domain".

Eminent Domain is an authority granted to the Federal and State Gubermints only.

Amtrak is a "corporation" under the Federal Gubermint, it has no law making / eminent domain powers.
  by Greg Moore
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:11 pm I noted this over at another site, so here goes here.

I would think the prudent way to ensure safety will be to build a shed over the tracks and with sensors so that if any debris penetrates the shed, the Amtrak Train Dispatcher immediately knows.
I don't think that solves the real concern. As it is, a slow order is sufficient to detect any debris on the tracks.
I think the real concern is that the entire 7 story wall collapses without warning just as a train is going by and if the claim that trains are causing vibrations is true, this is the time it would e more likely to occur.

I don't think there's any practical way (at least at a reasonable cost) to build a shelter that could survive the entire wall collapsing on to the tracks.
  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
NYCRRson wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:50 pm "Amtrak could use eminent domain. Condemn the property and demolish."

As far as I know Amtrak does not have the authority to invoke "eminent domain".

Eminent Domain is an authority granted to the Federal and State Gubermints only.

Amtrak is a "corporation" under the Federal Gubermint, it has no law making / eminent domain powers.
It most certainly does. Most states grant railroads and pipeline companies eminent domain powers. Amtrak has indeed invoked its eminent domain powers and even took a rail line from its owner and gave it to a new owner that would treat it more favorably and perform needed upgrades. It's presently trying to use its eminent domain powers to assume control over the lease on Washington Union Station to perform upgrades.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/49/24311
  by Allouette
 
The line that passes the Central Warehouse is owned by CSX and leased by Amtrak in the deal that gave Amtrak total control from Poughkeepsie to Hoffmans (jct. with line to Selkirk yard). Eminent domain might still be a tough sell, but the City of Albany taking possession for overdue taxes is a real possibility.
  by rcthompson04
 
Allouette wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:02 am The line that passes the Central Warehouse is owned by CSX and leased by Amtrak in the deal that gave Amtrak total control from Poughkeepsie to Hoffmans (jct. with line to Selkirk yard). Eminent domain might still be a tough sell, but the City of Albany taking possession for overdue taxes is a real possibility.
CSX would have condemnation rights under NY law and Amtrak under Federal law. New York State could condemn as well.
  by Ken W2KB
 
NYCRRson wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:50 pm "Amtrak could use eminent domain. Condemn the property and demolish."

As far as I know Amtrak does not have the authority to invoke "eminent domain".

Eminent Domain is an authority granted to the Federal and State Gubermints only.

Amtrak is a "corporation" under the Federal Gubermint, it has no law making / eminent domain powers.
That is incorrect. Amtrak by its enabling legislation has eminent domain authority. There are completely non-government related corporate entities, primarily in the transportation business, that have eminent domain authority, such as interstate natural gas pipelines and electric transmission and distribution utilities. As to Amtrak exercising such authority in this instance, that would cause many millions of dollars of expense for Amtrak to demolish this structure, money better spent on other Amtrak asset improvements, and leave the demolition cost to the local or state government.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Allouette, I must wonder if the City of Albany would have "first crack" at a civil seizure of the property. That could well inure to the County or other jurisdiction.

We could be looking at "lawyers lawyering" as to who has that jurisdiction. After all, government agencies are no different than any other parties in interest - possession is 9/10ths of the law.

All told, no party will have a valid civil proceeding in place tomorrow; my point is simply there will not be crews demolishing that hulk, by hand, tomorrow. Amtrak had best continue to Rules Qualify their crews over Alfred Holland and have a bus company ready to provide the Hudson-Albany "busteetoot", as there is no assurance as to how long that hulk will remain stable.
  by Railjunkie
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:47 pm Mr. Allouette, I must wonder if the City of Albany would have "first crack" at a civil seizure of the property. That could well inure to the County or other jurisdiction.

We could be looking at "lawyers lawyering" as to who has that jurisdiction. After all, government agencies are no different than any other parties in interest - possession is 9/10ths of the law.

All told, no party will have a valid civil proceeding in place tomorrow; my point is simply there will not be crews demolishing that hulk, by hand, tomorrow. Amtrak had best continue to Rules Qualify their crews over Alfred Holland and have a bus company ready to provide the Hudson-Albany "busteetoot", as there is no assurance as to how long that hulk will remain stable.
Negative on the qualifying B&A CP187/Selkirk Sub/CP169 ended as of Tuesday. Business as usual across LAB and by the warehouse. Pretty sure there is a temporary speed in place at this time, 15mph.

Once again Mr Norman there was never going to be a busteetoot Hudson to Albany for anything going to or coming from west of Schenectady. Cant say they wont but there is that slight issue of fuel and the best place to do so is Rennselaer.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Junkie, don't your "powers that be" know the Boy Scout motto? "Be Prepared".

You know better than I, of course (closest I get to Albany is South Kent CT, for my SKS Alumni Reunions that occur every five years. However, I'm going back, God willing, next year for the School's Centenary. Best have "checkbook in hand"!!!!), but considering that hulk "is not exactly stable", who knows when the condition that brought about the embargo last weekend will reoccur?

I would think their isn't a Passenger Engineer holding seniority at your Base who would not like to be so Rules Qualified CP187 to Selkirk. I really think Amtrak is being "penny wise, pound foolish" not to proceed with such.
  by NYCRRson
 
" There are completely non-government related corporate entities, primarily in the transportation business, that have eminent domain authority, such as interstate natural gas pipelines and electric transmission and distribution utilities"

Interesting, can you cite any examples where Amtrak has used it's alleged eminent domain authority to "take over ownership" of existing rail lines without the cooperation of a gubermint ?

Funny thing, some natural gas pipeline operators wanted to build a pipeline through the New York City Area to provide more natural gas to New England... The State of New York prevented these all powerful "corporate entities" from using their "alleged" eminent domain powers and stated with great fan fare; "No way in heck is some evil pipeline company building a pipeline across New York State into New England....

Guess that Eminent Domain Authority that the pipeline, electric companies, and Amtrak has does not work if the gubermint does not want something.

The Eminent Domain Authority rests with gubermint entities (mostly at the State and Federal level).

Amtrak by itself can no more "seize" that building and tear it down than you or I could....

I think you are blowing smoke.
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