My appologies for not using my spell checker more often. Oh well, this site is full of typo's. I guess I'll just have to add some more.
As for Trainlawyer's question, it is my understanding that M&E trackage rights agreement with NJT was amended to allow the M&E to handle the movement of revenue freight cars between Morristown and the Center Street branch in Kearny.
However operations on the Center Street branch are governed under the terms of an Interchange agreement executed between M&E and Conrail, with the blessing of both class 1 owners. I know the M&E's interchange at Lake Junction is governed via a similiar contractual style, albeit, with NS only at that location.
One must remember, the M&E's trackage rights over NJT are NOT like a traditional railroad trackage right in that they are not regulated by the Surface Transportation Board. M&E freight rights over NJT are directly linked to their respective interchange agreements. The controlling document is the interchange agreement itself, the trackage rights simply allow the M&E to handle there own traffic to and from the interchanges only.
However, I am not sure if the M&E would be allowed under the current arrangement to handle revenue movements between stations on it various segments to a point on one of its other lines.
For example, I do NOT believe that the M&E at this very moment has the legal right to move railcars between a point on the Rahway Valley line, like Phillips, to say a plastics firm on the whippany line. The ability to move revenue freight cars over the M&E line is governed by interchange agreements. I'm not sure if the provision in the Rail Industry agreement actually allow the M&E to run a direct service between stations.
My reason is simple, cars from any of the lines destined to either NS, or CSX are handled to an interchange point. Those movements can be governed clearly by the plain language contained in an interchange agreement.
However, if County Concrete in Kenvil tendered a shipment to the M&E with the utlimate destination of say, Whippany, I don't know if the M&E has the legal right to handle move "overhead" traffic over the NJT line between Lake Junction and Morristown.
Now before everyone screams about the M&E's handling of ballast cars, just remember those movements would have been company service movments and would have fallen under two different agreements. The NJT trackage rights agreement allows the M&E to move light locomotives, passengers cars, and company service trains over NJT lines.
And the second reason why the M&E could move ballast on its own account is that the movement of ballast consigneed to and owned by the railroad is not "legally" transporation by rail carrier. The M&E owned/controlled the cars, owned the product in the cars, and legally can not contract with itself to haul material it already owned. Hence, it is clearly a company service movement, not rail "transportation" as defined by the STB.
I'm really curious when, or should I say IF, service on the RV is ever restored, will CSX, and NS, allow the M&E to handle interline traffic under a "true" trackage right (like the NYS&W operations), or will the make it some form of haulage agreement with NS and CSX seeing the movement and getting a division.
I guess only time will tell.
Hope that answered your question Trainlawyer!
And yes NS1, they are actually using the interchange.
Well that's all for now folks.
See ya all later.