b&m 1566 wrote:At the federal level, I wonder what will happen. The the feds could tell the state to cool it. After all this is interstate commerce and I don't believe the state (any state) will be allowed to stop that. The state may have purchased ROW's from the B&M but I'm sure there was a clause in that sale that gives the freight railroad the right to conduct business as it sees fit. I don't see NS, PAR and or Global walking away from this with nothing. There will probably be some compromise from both sides. But still we have to wait and see what the state does.
The ROW was never abandoned. It's an OOS/railbanking designation--not abandoned/landbanked--with Pan Am reserving all freight rights and reactivation-with-due-notice rights in the railbanking statute. From the STB's standpoint this is like the G&U reactivation where the law weights heavily to the RR and the burden of proof to stop it weights heavily on the locals. Chances are overwhelming that they'll prevail in a legal dispute. The problem is the state and municipalities have lots of ammo for an Operation Chaos of delay tactics and general harrassment, and PAS probably has a clearly-set threshold for how much s*** it's willing to put up with for how long before it no longer sees the bottom-line upside in pressing forward (though that may be a good thing, since PAR-proper could've easily been goaded into another Milford & Bennington-esque mutually assured destruction feud that wouldn't have done it any favors with the state).
I'm not surprised the attention whore state legislators are so lazy they're shooting their mouths off before even having a staffer read up for them on beginner's Interstate Commerce 101. I am sort of surprised the towns are so inept at seeing the forest through the trees that they aren't even trying to jack up the state for leverage and free money...instead opting for the scorched-earth approach we thought only the Upton Board of Selectmen were dumb enough to pursue. You'd figure Chelsea would see a golden opportunity here to push for Eastern Route grade separation at Eastern Ave. and Everett Ave. as a concession. Or the bedroom communities like Shirley trying to ransom for a new firehouse or sound walls or other free money like bedroom communities have successfully goaded the T into doing with every commuter rail extension. I mean...they have to know on some
level that defeating this means more tanker trucks on their streets, and that a damned-if-they-do/damned-if-they-don't situation is a golden opportunity to squeeze for free stuff. Unless that many towns truly are Upton-level stupid and self-destructive. Not a stretch, but I would've thought the likes of Chelsea and Cambridge a smidge savvier than that.