I'm long removed from anything official but as I understand it:
The Village would like the tracks removed to allow a road to be built
The Town would like the tracks removed to allow a road to be built
The County would like the tracks removed to allow a road to be built
Finger Lakes Ry does not find operating the line profitable
Since the County owns the infrastructure, it would be possible to remove the +/- 10 miles of 136LVM rail from MP 361, just east of rt 96 Manchester westward, and relay it on the Canandaigua line, replacing the 105 lb (or is it 80 lb?) rail there now
There has been interest expressed in running excursions on the line. That should have been created several years ago, and IMHO would have had possibilities. Had a solid dependable attraction been established, perhaps there would be local support for keeping the line. But even at that, the revenue simply isn't there to cover expenses. Reportedly the Insulator plant receives about 2 to 3 cars a month. Let's be generous and say 50 cars a year. Ontario Central used to struggle to survive on 3 times that amount. The track needs maintenance, the 9 grade crossings each get a monthly RG&E bill for power and must be inspected and tested per federal regulations monthly. There's track inspections, insurance, paperwork, and just a ton of other items that eat up great amounts of money.
I'm not privy to what FGLK's intentions are, but it seems they have imposed a de facto embargo on the line citing track deficiencies. Their lease to operate the line gets renewed periodically, and if none of the parties want to renew it, there are legal steps to be taken with the STB and State to allow discontinuance. While the proper procedures must be followed, the STB will not FORCE a railroad to provide service on a line when they are losing money by doing so.
Victor is a bedroom community and there will never be any new surge in freight traffic. It's sad to see things apparently coming to an end. But that's reality. It doesn't matter what we WANT or WISH, it's a business and if it doesn't pay, it can't survive. That line got a hell of a reprieve - the LV shut down in 1976 so it lasted just under 46 years, with 3 different operators. They say you can't fight City Hall. With the County, Village, Town and FGLK all wanting it gone, the chances of fighting FOUR City Halls isn't very good.
Again, those are my thoughts and do not represent the official positions of anybody else.
It was fun while it lasted!
Duncan Richards photo - used without permission
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