bostontrainguy wrote:Bummer. They should not have caved so easily. Maybe they should have started with smaller trains supplementing the barges and slowly built it up. The size of the trains scared people. A few tank cars may not have even been questioned . . . even welcomed over tanker trucks after the last accident.
But none the less, this sets a disturbing precedent that other municipalities may try to do the same to block all kinds of rail movements. Most people have no idea what is being hauled through their towns on the rails.
It's not just that. Hazmat tanker trucks are already banned from the City of Boston during daylight hours and required to take Route 128. Mayor Menino tried to hijack the shock-and-awe over the Saugus tanker crash to take it one step further, banning ALL fuel trucks from the city 24/7 except ones that are explicitly on a delivery run to a property in the city. That one forced Global to send the entirety of its trucks through Chelsea and Revere to continue operating at all, and probably wouldn't have survived a court challenge from Global or cities of Revere/Chelsea/Everett, but it had mind-boggling margin of public support and support from local legislators. They are basically trying to legislate Global--and anyone of similar ilk--out of business, damn the consequences.
There already are more tanker trucks pounding Revere/Chelsea/Everett and stupidly dangerous parkways like 16 than ever before because Boston won the ****-swinging contest on who could ram through the arbitrarily toughest restrictions. And there already is more nighttime tanker traffic than ever because of the daytime bans, which means more trucks than ever coasting over the same black ice that caused the Santilli Circle explosion. Now the trains are banned.
The endgame of all of this is that it's open season on fuel transport on any mode, and the ante has been upped on how many restrictions can get passed before Global et al. simply cannot do business in this region anymore and close up shop. And everyone will celebrate, and the elected officials will propose a casino or something on-site...but there won't be any environmental mitigation money so it'll just be an economic dead zone for decades while pols talk of "potential". And there will be lots of talk about getting billions in fed money to build a gigantic fuel terminal way out on the islands without one thought given to how they're actually going to get shovels in the ground before fuel prices in the city hit crisis level. And all the while towns out to I-495 will get emboldened to start scorching the earth on fuel deliveries out there, meaning the supply/distribution cavity driving up fuel prices in Boston starts spreading region-wide.
Global gave up easy because it knows what the endgame is. I am pretty sure they have it scoped out to the nth degree how much they're willing to put up with getting eaten alive by nuisance NIMBY regs before they scale down ops or pull up stake altogether. Either the rail tankers gave them an opening to keep growing despite being 'landlocked' by the local restrictions on road transport, or the diminishing returns were going to take hold as they lost more and more maneuverability year by year. Since this "victory" now encourages a free-for-all for local bans, I have to wonder if long-term they are now committed to extricating themselves from the area.
But, "my local sports team beat your local sports team", so who cares.