• Railroad woes reported to freeholders

  • Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.
Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, mikec, cjl330

  by PVRX1
 
After reading the article attached above, I don't see anything in there to lead to speculation that a new operator would be chosen.

It basically details Roxbury wanting the County to address their concerns.

Is the contract actually up for "a bid" or "RFP" or is it at a renewal year where they just negotiate it.

Seems like ya'll got the caboose before the engine.

  by RS115
 
Inadvertent double post - see next entry.
Last edited by RS115 on Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by RS115
 
I would share the view of wait and see. Couple of things I would say though:

1) The Susie-Q hasn't been doing a bang-up job on its' relationships with government regulators and the public. All of which has been widely reported in the media so I can't see the Morris Freeholders tripping over themselves to embrace the boys from Little Ferry/Cooperstown, especially so soon after they've published system diagrams proposing to jettison several lines in the state.

2) While the Roxbury Council's concerns should be heard, there will be at least some degree of pressure to maintain the current contractor who is a) based within the county and employs people who live within the county. b) has been providing 'largely' trouble free service for many years. c) At least unofficially the freeholders would likely consider the affect of giving the contract to someone else on the M&E - would it be enough to knock the company off the block entirely and - if so - does the Freeholder board want to be known as the folks who put a 100 year old local company out of business?

3) I'm also not sure how much NYSW would push to expand into such relatively small operations - it would be a reversal of their business trend of the last few years (how many of the original DO lines are left - oh wait - none). Finally, at least at some level the two railroads are (or used to be - perhaps its changed) friendly - is the operation worth burning that bridge over?

So, I guess I think the contract is M&E's to loose. If they're really pissed off people in county government (particularly connected folk at the working level) they may be doomed. The real question might be who might be interested among potential operators who can arrive without the Susie's baggage. Course if it's anyone other than M&E or NYSW, they're likely going to need some kind of shop facility, none of which exists on the branch right now (yes remote service outdoors from a truck is possible - M&E did it on the Octoraro and others do - just not too convenient during a snow storm in January). There would also be the potential of 'shared operations' at Lake Junction as M&E's contract to operate the DLW Chester Branch to Holland Manufacturing is with the owners of that line - unless the rumored transfer of that track to county ownership takes place in the same time frame.


Just my two cents - time will tell

A

  by cjvrr
 
AFAIK, the County is NOT upset with the M&E service that has been provided only some of the stuff that had happened on the property without County knowledge. Those items have been addressed and rectified almost 2 years ago now. The only new item I saw in the new article was the transfer of the chemical from the tank car. I highly doubt that would sour the relationship between the County and M&E. And these items can be covered with a few new lines of text in a new lease.

I do not see any reason why the Freeholders would not re-up Morristown & Erie's lease, but I am not privy to the intamacies of the Freeholder Board. As of Jan. 1 there are 2 new Freeholders, one from Wharton and one from Denville. Do not know what date the lease is up. I have also not heard any rumblings of other operators bidding for the line.

Highly doubt the NYS&W would bid on these lines. The NYS&W has their hands full already with increased debris traffic and legal battles with their debris operations. Additionally, from past history the M&E and NYS&W have not competed for certain lines, so I doubt they are going to start now.

  by njtransitrookie
 
Just a note here PVRX1: The M&E owns nothing on or near lake junction, PERIOD. They will have the contract renewed. Bet on it. besides a few minor problems, the M&E provides great service to the customers they serve. Ask them. When ben Friedland bought the railway out of bancruptcy he made sure they would provide great service, they still do. A few years ago when they made that attempt at the rail transfer stattion, they (M&E) believed they were exempt from local ordinances and only federal laws applied. While that may be the case, they did not own the property on which they attempted this operation. Morris County did, in Roxbury. So Roxbury put the heat on the county. As far as the ties are concerned, the M&E didn't do the rehab, RR Construction did. So it would seem as though they should take some of the heat. The M&E is a nice little RR. Like all the others they work slow and sometimes they do odd things. We should not be critical they know there business we don't.

  by CJPat
 
Tri-State Tom wrote:I've no clue what the heck propylene oxide is or if it's toxic or hazrdous to my health. If it is, maybe the question is WHO the client is and where their authorized to do business vis a vis deliveries or shipments of the stuff thru the railroad. If the transfer site is/was unauthorized or required prior county approval, then maybe the M&E scrwed-up. I'd be a tad concerned too if I was a local resident, wouldn't you ?
To find out more about Propylene Oxide, I offer this Dow Chemical Web site:

http://www.dow.com/propyleneoxide/about/

  by cjvrr
 
A funny side note....

When the County wanted to remove the abandoned railroad crossing and hump on West Dewey Avenue just south of Lake Junction we first looked to see if it was County owned. It wasn't... Conrail still owned that line and the right of way. Took some time talking with CR corporate in Philly to get it resolved but they allowed us to remove the crossing with one condition. All materials removed from the crossing, including rail, any crossing protection equipment (none was left) and ties became the property of Morris County and we had to dispose of them.

njtrookie is correct, the M&E has provided great service to the customers on these lines.

Chris

  by RS115
 
CJVRR - can you provide any insight into the crossing protection situation on Rt 46 in Kenvil. Quite a while ago, new cross bucks were installed and the wiring for the flashers is dangling from the recepticles but nothing further. Is it a funding issue, DOT approval, someone jumped the gun?? I've always been somewhat amused (I'm sure the crew has slightly different words) by the fact that Routes 10 and 46 are 'flag horn & pray' yet the road behind the ledgewood mall got a first class crossing installation with lights and gates and new surface (courtesy of grant obtained by the county I know - just wondering who's setting the prioritied.

Thanks

  by blockline4180
 
RS115 wrote:CJVRR - can you provide any insight into the crossing protection situation on Rt 46 in Kenvil. Quite a while ago, new cross bucks were installed and the wiring for the flashers is dangling from the recepticles but nothing further. Is it a funding issue, DOT approval, someone jumped the gun?? I've always been somewhat amused (I'm sure the crew has slightly different words) by the fact that Routes 10 and 46 are 'flag horn & pray' yet the road behind the ledgewood mall got a first class crossing installation with lights and gates and new surface (courtesy of grant obtained by the county I know - just wondering who's setting the prioritied.

Thanks
Yeah, it makes no sense either!!

I would think the High Bridge Branch should at least get flashers across Route 10... Toys R US and Target are both pretty steady customers in Flanders...

  by cjvrr
 
I don't work in the Dept. that "runs" the County owned rail lines. So I have no info on the work for crossing protection at Route 46. I know a few years back I was asked to have the "RXR"s painted on Berkshire Valley Road in Kenvil in advance of crossing protection that was to go in there. Not sure if it ever did. Since Route 46 is NJDOT controlled god only knows what approvals are needed with them to get the work done.

As far as the Route 10 crossing, NJDOT has been planning some major upgrades to the traffic signals, islands and intersections between Route 46 and Sussex Avenue so I would hope that new crossing protection will be incorporated in that. The adjacent traffic signal probably also will be changed to accomodate any train movements. Personally having the RR blow and go is probably less disruptive to the traffic flow on Route 10 but not as safe as crossing protection. The people in NJ Utilities and RR Engineering (not NJDOT) will not allow that Route 10 project to be approved without the crossing protection. I have gotten involved with them a few times now, its a very strict group.

  by PVRX1
 
NJTRookie:

The county does not own 1/2 mile of track at Lake Junction. The late Ben Freidland told me (M&E acquired that from CR) that himself years ago, and that if he ever lost the contract, whomever got it would have to negotiate with the M&E to use Lake Junction and access (then ConRail) Norfolk Southern.

I also reconfirmed thsi with the county. PERIOD. End of discussion.

  by njtransitrookie
 
pvrx1: I know that was His plan but it never came to fruition. He did in fact want to purchase the whole entire yard near Lake Junction but that never happened. Morris County had the first right of refusal with all the track. All the track up to Feromonte Junction is in fact owned by Holland Manufacturing. If you walk this line, everything from Lake Junction including the Chester Branch trackwise is in deplorable condition. Many hollowed out ties too rotten to accept spike prevail. Just recently most of the High Bridge Branch has been refurbed with rotten ties removed and the track undercut. Roxbury has complained about the left over ties but I assumed it was RR Constructions gig to clean this mess up unless the M&E was supposed to do it.

  by PVRX1
 
I'm referring to the part from the NJT switch past where the M420 sets, and assuming the two sidings over where the RS11s sit.

The county office confirmed -this week- what I typed herein. Otherwise I would have not mentioned it. So apparently the county is wrong as well.

I know Holland owns the one branch line, the county the other (plus the D&R).

I have no further comment until I read the bid specifications. The Morristown & Erie Railway seems to be doing a fine job at attracting business and providing customer service, these are pluses to their credit.

JH

  by Steamtown Observer
 
Roxbury has been anti industrial business for years. They passed a number of new rules and regulations specifically designed to put the Hercules Powder Works out of business - and they succeeded. Now that the cleanup of the land is complete, Hercules may very well sell the land to developers who will build hundreds of new condos/townhomes. Roxbury will have to build a lot of new infrastucture (read schools) and property taxes will skyrocket. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people!