Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

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  by DutchRailnut
 
a rational government would not have turned down the offer from Conrail.
A private owner is never going to give up control of his center section to be dispatched by another railroad.
And Metro North would never let HRRC dispatchers get in mix of their commuter operation.
  by CTRailfan
 
DutchRailnut wrote: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:11 ama rational government would not have turned down the offer from Conrail.
A private owner is never going to give up control of his center section to be dispatched by another railroad.
And Metro North would never let HRRC dispatchers get in mix of their commuter operation.
Different time, different situation. HRRC is a nasty company run by nasty people who don't want to engage in productive discussion or partnerships with other railroads. The state should eminent domain it and then they can lease freight rights back to HRRC if they want to play ball.
  by Jeff Smith
 
https://maybrooktrailway.org/

Has a few photos in it... it irks me that they're saying "formerly known as the Beacon Line"!
BOUT
The Maybrook Trailway will be a shared-use bicycling and pedestrian path that will run along a 23-mile portion of the Metro-North Railroad (MNR) Beacon Line Corridor from Brewster, NY to Hopewell Junction, NY. This portion of the Maybrook Trailway, formerly referred to as the Beacon Line, does not currently have active train traffic. The project, now in construction, will build a “rail with trail” on the Brewster to Hopewell Junction segment. The trail is set to be completed in 2020.

The Maybrook Trailway is an important part of the Empire State Trail, connecting the Putnam Trailway to the Dutchess Rail Trail and Walkway Over the Hudson State Park. The Empire State Trail, when completed in 2020, will create a 750-mile trail bike and walking pathway stretching from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo.

WARNING:
The entire rail-trail corridor is an active construction site and does not officially open to the public until 2021. While large portions of the 23 mile rail-trail corridor have been graded and paved, many hazards exist. For your safety and the safety of the crews performing and inspecting the construction work, please do not access the trail under any circumstance until all construction equipment, materials, temporary signage and barricades have been removed.

Effective immediately, MTA Police will issue a citation in place of a warning to anyone found trespassing or operating motorized vehicles within the trail corridor.
  by shepaug
 
I would make a good guess that past my lifetime the I-84 corridor becomes another i-95 style.

PanAm..the scrap company ? What are they going to do with Waterbury to Hartford ? A rail trail ?

Hey..bring the Southbury line back !!! (just joking)

As to the Housatonic. They service a lumber company in Newtown but east of that I think it is just rotting. There is a metal scrap company on line in Derby but no idea why no rail.


A footnote :::::::::::::::: Anybody know of any source of info on the Southbury line ? Historical. I have never seen such an elusive line as to history. I guess it was abandoned from Waterbury late 30's but from Hawleyville to Southbury the late 40's ? Ever see any pictures or timetables or ?? What was serviced in the 40's ? (I know a wandering subject change)
  by Ridgefielder
 
shepaug wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:04 pmA footnote :::::::::::::::: Anybody know of any source of info on the Southbury line ? Historical. I have never seen such an elusive line as to history. I guess it was abandoned from Waterbury late 30's but from Hawleyville to Southbury the late 40's ? Ever see any pictures or timetables or ?? What was serviced in the 40's ? (I know a wandering subject change)
This was part of the New York & New England Railroad's main line, which ran Boston-Woonsocket-Willimantic-Hartford-Waterbury-Danbury-Beacon/Poughkeepsie. The NY&NE was a New Haven competitor in the latter half of the 19th century. Management had quite a history of financial shenanigans. The company could never get a decent entry into New York City, though they tried hard-- at one point even operating a car float from South Norwalk to an LIRR connection at Oyster Bay. They collapsed into bankruptcy in 1893 and were ultimately acquired by the NH in 1898.

The climb out of the Naugatuck valley and over Towantic Summit on the NYNE was hard, and the New Haven downgraded the route in favor of going "around the horn" through Derby. Waterbury-Southbury was abandoned in 1939. The ROW was purchased by a Dr. Larkin in 1943 and gifted to the state for use as a bridle path-- thus becoming what I think is the oldest rail-trail in the US.

Southbury-Hawleyville held on until 1948. In Gregg Turner's Connecticut Railroads: An Illustrated History there's a photo of the New Haven's scrap train at work on the Housatonic River bridge at Sandy Hook. I don't know who the customers would have been at the end, but my guess would be the usual small-town stuff of the time- LCL freight at the depot, maybe a lumberyard and coal or oil dealership. The stone bridge piers and abutments are still there-- you can see them clearly from River Rd. in Southbury. https://goo.gl/maps/4guVs9pJYHSTazfM6
  by NaugyRR
 
Found this in today's Mileposts...

Fair Use:
On January 4, Metro-North announced the opening of the Maybrook Trailway, a 23-mile section of the 750-mile Empire State Trail that spans New York City to Canada and Albany to Buffalo. Built by Metro-North with $42 million in state funds, the trail runs through Dutchess and Putnam Counties alongside our Beacon Line.
http://web.mta.info/mnr/MilePosts/21020 ... tml#story1
  by NaugyRR
 
Looks like the MTA is filing to abandon the line.

From Trains News Wire (may be pay-walled)...
Fair Use:
Metro-North Railroad seeks to abandon its Beacon Line, a 41-mile remnant of the New Haven’s Maybrook line, the commuter railroad has informed the Surface Transportation Board. A portion of the route will become part of the 750-mile Empire State Trail. In its filing with the STB, Metro-North notes it received an exemption from most abandonment rules when it acquired the line, and is requesting an STB waiver and exemption form discontinuance rules only as they address the trackage rights of the Housatonic Railroad, which has not operated on the route for at least two years.
https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... cars-debut

And the link to the STB Filing from the article...
https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 301594.pdf
  by NaugyRR
 
Wow, good timing BM lol
  by Backshophoss
 
Well that was expected,HRRC has finally killed any chance of keeping the Maybrook intact east of the Hudson river. :grimacing:
  by Jeff Smith
 
Someone better let CtDOT, the CT state legislature, and former Mayor Boughton know!
  by Jeff Smith
 
https://www.newstimes.com/news/article/ ... 909155.php

A little dated, but in light of news to follow. Timing is everything:
Fast track commuter rail plan from Danbury to N.Y. gains traction in Hartford

DANBURY - Before the pandemic struck, one of the hottest ideas in the Hat City was reopening an unused rail line that connects to Southeast, N.Y., to create a faster commuting track to Grand Central Terminal.

Connecticut’s transportation czar and Metro-North’s president both said they were on board with the idea. The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council awarded a $1 million grant to study the idea. Former Mayor Mark Boughton ran successfully for his 10th term on the idea, taking out a highway-sized billboard overlooking Main Street.
...
But this past week interest in a fast track from Danbury to New York gained traction in Hartford, when a state assemblyman from Greenwich introduced a bill asking DOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti to study the feasibility of the fast track.
...
Opening the old Maybrook line to the Southeast train station would give Danbury commuters the option of taking an express train to Manhattan in less time than the two hours it takes to get there on the New Haven line.
...
  by Jeff Smith
 
https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... cars-debut
Metro-North seeks to abandon Beacon Line, remnant of New Haven’s Maybrook Line
Metro-North Railroad seeks to abandon its Beacon Line, a 41-mile remnant of the New Haven’s Maybrook line, the commuter railroad has informed the Surface Transportation Board. A portion of the route will become part of the 750-mile Empire State Trail. In its filing with the STB, Metro-North notes it received an exemption from most abandonment rules when it acquired the line, and is requesting an STB waiver and exemption form discontinuance rules only as they address the trackage rights of the Housatonic Railroad, which has not operated on the route for at least two years. The move will leave just two active segments of the Maybrook Line— a short segment in Maybrook, N.Y., operated by Middletown & New Jersey, and a portion between Danbury and Derby Junction, Conn., owned by Housatonic.
  by Jeff Smith
 
CT better jump on the stick. The filing clearly indicates east of Dykeman's to the state line. And if HRRC is serious about their own passenger service....

https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 301594.pdf
BEFORE THE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
Docket No. AB 1311
METRO-NORTH COMMUTER RAILROAD COMPANY—ADVERSE DISCONTINUANCE OF TRACKAGE RIGHTS—HOUSATONIC RAILROAD COMPANY
...
Pursuant to 49 C.F.R. § 1152(e)(5) and 49 U.S.C. § 10502(a), Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company (“Metro-North”) hereby seeks partial waiver of the Surface Transportation Board (“STB” or “Board”) regulations governing railroad discontinuances at 49 U.S.C. § 10903 and § 10904. The waivers and exemption are sought in conjunction with an adverse discontinuance of Housatonic Railroad Company’s (“HRRC”) trackage rights over a line known as the Beacon Line (“Beacon Line” or “the Line”) between milepost 0.0 at Beacon, New York and milepost 71.2 at the Connecticut/New York state line, a distance of 41.1 miles from Beacon, New York to Brewster, New York, in Dutchess and Putnam Counties. Metro-North owns the line. HRRC is the freight operator of the line pursuant to a Trackage Rights Agreement.

HRRC’s trackage rights were established in an agreement between HRRC’s predecessor railroad and Metro-North, which acquired the Line in 1995. When Metro-North acquired the Line, the Interstate Commerce Commission exempted Metro-North from most of the provisions of 49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV and permitted Metro-North to abandon the Line subject only to the serving carrier’s discontinuance of freight service. Metro North Commuter Railroad Company--Acquisition Exemption--The Maybrook Line, ICC Finance Docket No. 32639, slip op. at 3-4 (Service Date Jan 13, 1995). Accordingly, Metro-North is not required to seek authority from the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) in order to abandon the Beacon Line. Metro-North and intends to file its adverse discontinuance application on or about March 29, 2021.

I. STATEMENT OF FACTS
Metro-North is a New York State public benefit corporation and subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”), a New York State public authority. MetroNorth was established in 1982 to assume the common carrier commuter rail service formerly provided by Consolidated Rail Corporation on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines, to and from Grand Central Terminal in New York City. HRRC is a Class III common carrier subject to
49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV, chapter 105.

The Beacon Line runs from the Connecticut/New York State line to Beacon, New York. Specifically, the Line runs from milepost 71.2 at the Connecticut border to milepost 0.0 at Beacon. The connecting branches that form the line also retain their original milepost designations used by the former New York Central and New York, New Haven & Harford,
which are milepost 12.8 and milepost 42.9.

No traffic has moved over the Beacon Line in at least two years. Given the lack of need for rail service on the Line, Metro-North seeks a discontinuance in this proceeding in order to utilize a portion of the existing right of way of the Beacon Line as a section of the Empire State trail2 which is known as the “Maybrook Trailway.” The trail connects to the existing Dutchess Rail Trail at Hopewell Junction, New York and the existing Putnam Trailway at Brewster, New
York. Trail use will benefit the public and the environment, creating more green space and recreational activities in Dutchess and Putnam Counties. Metro-North will provide further support for the proposed discontinuance of the Beacon Line in the Application for Discontinuance.
...
Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company (“Metro-North” or “Applicant”) gives notice that on or about March 29, 2021, it intends to file with the Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423, an application seeking adverse discontinuance of the authority of Housatonic Railroad Company (“HRRC”) to operate over a line of railroad known as the Beacon Line (the “Line”) extending from railroad milepost 0.0 in Beacon, New York to milepost 71.2 at the Connecticut/New York state line, which traverses through United States Postal Service Zip Codes 12508, 12524, 12533, 12582, 12570, 12531, 12563, 10509, and 06811, a distance of approximately 41 miles in Putnam and Dutchess Counties, New York.

The reason for the proposed discontinuance is the lack of need for rail service on the Line and the potential for other, non-rail use of the property. There are no documents in Applicant’s possession that indicate that the Line contains federally granted rights-of-way. If the Applicant becomes aware of the existence of any such documentation, it will be made available to those requesting it.

The application for adverse discontinuance can be viewed following its filing on the Surface Transportation Board’s website at www.stb.gov, or a copy can be obtained from Applicant’s counsel whose name and address appear below. The application will include Applicant’s entire case for discontinuance. Any interested person, after the application is filed on or about March 29, 2021, may file with the Surface Transportation Board its protest of, or written comments concerning, the proposed discontinuance identifying it by the proceeding’s docket number. These filings are due 45 days from the date of filing of the application. All interested persons should be aware that following any discontinuance of rail service and salvage of the Line, the Line may be suitable for other public use, including interim trail use. Persons who may oppose the discontinuance, but who do not wish to participate fully in the process by
appearing at any oral hearings or by submitting verified statements of witnesses containing detailed evidence, should file comments.

Persons opposing the proposed discontinuance that do wish to participate actively and fully in the process should file a protest. Protests must contain that party’s entire case in opposition including the following: (1) the protestant’s name, address and business; (2) the protestant’s interest in the proceeding, including their use of the Line or the public interest represented, if the protestant’s interest is limited to the retention of service over a portion of the
Line, a description of the portion of the Line subject to the protestant’s interest (with milepost designations if available) and evidence showing that the applicant can operate the portion of the Line profitably, including an appropriate return on its investment for those operations; (3) specific reasons why protestant opposes the application including information regarding protestant’s reliance on the involved service [this information must be supported by affidavits of persons with personal knowledge of the fact(s)]; and (4) any rebuttal of material submitted by applicant. In addition, a commenting party or protestant may provide a statement of position and evidence regarding (i) environmental impact; (ii) impact on rural and community development; (iii) recommended provisions for the protection of the interests of employees; (iv) suitability of the properties for other public purposes pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 10905; and (vi) prospective use of the right-of-way for interim trail use and rail banking under 16 U.S.C. § 1247(d) and § 1152.59. If an oral hearing is desired the requester must make a request for an oral hearing and
provide reasons why an oral hearing is necessary.
...
Any interested person may file with the Board written comments concerning the proposed discontinuance or protests (including protestant’s entire opposition case), within 45 days after the application is filed. All interested persons should be aware that following any discontinuance of rail service and salvage of the Line, the Line may be suitable for other public use, including interim trail use. Persons who may oppose the discontinuance but who do not wish to participate fully in the process by appearing at any oral hearings or by submitting verified statements of witnesses, containing detailed evidence should file comments. Persons interested only in seeking public use or trail use conditions should also file comments. Persons opposing the proposed discontinuance that do wish to participate actively and fully in the process should file a protest.
  by Backshophoss
 
Well there goes the option to move equipment between lines,Thanks HRRC,you made the trail geeks happy. :grimacing:
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