• UP Being Taken to STB Over Tennessee Pass

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Backshophoss
This is going to be a messy deal for the STB to figure out,Figures UP wants to "control" the interchange at Pueblo,not allowing interchange direct to BNSF or at Dotzero on the west end of the route
  by Shortline614
The battle is heating up as Mr. Michael Millsap, a resident living alongside the CM&P has submitted a letter to the STB opposing the transaction. Mr. Millsap's argument boils down to three major points:

https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 301425.pdf

  • Return of trains would lower property values
  • Return of trains would increase noise pollution and accidents
  • The Arkansas River Valley has fared just fine in the 25 years since the railroad was put out of service

Mr. Millsap's point of view is understandable. Based on his letter, I go assume that a lot of people living in the Arkansas River Valley aren't too thrilled about the prospect of trains coming back.

Of course, the counter-argument is that the railroad was never abandoned to begin with, just "Out of Service." Meaning that the owner of the railroad has the right to put trains back on it whenever they want.
  by Backshophoss
UP basically took the Tenn Pass "OOS" but nothing else to kill the routing,allowing a freight shortline (believe using ATSF freight rights)and a Tourist Line to operate on the route to a certain point.
  by RailsEast
In all my years of perusing the STB website, never have I seen a pushback against any entity like the one against Colorado, Midland & Pacific in regards to Tennessee Pass. The opposition has flooded the STB with letters of concern, rarely seen these days. I don't have a dog in this fight (I'm in NJ), but certainly interesting reading...


  by Shortline614
http://railfan.com/rio-grande-pacific-s ... ssee-pass/

Railfan & Railroad is reporting that Rio Grande Pacific was no plans to run oil trains over Tennessee Pass as everyone assumed. Rio Grande Pacific states that they bought the line primarily to run passenger trains over it, which seems rather odd to me. Considering the massive costs involved in repairing the line, this doesn't seem like a financially viable proposition, as much as I would love to ride over Tennessee Pass in a passenger train.

  by Backshophoss
That should make the tourist train operator happy.
  by Jeff Smith
http://www.realvail.com/is-sage-to-park ... ss/a10113/
Where the hell is Sage, Colorado? And why would a railroad company be considering starting a commuter passenger rail service there and running trains along the long-dormant Tennessee Pass Line (TPL) to a place called Parkdale? Seems like a train to nowhere, right (see map)?

But that’s the extent of the lease deal the nascent Colorado Midland & Pacific Railway struck with TPL owner Union Pacific to run passenger and freight trains over 160 miles of revamped tracks right through the heart of Eagle County. Colorado Pacific, a rival railroad company with a freight line in southeastern Colorado, has proposed passenger service from Pueblo to Minturn.

Sounds like a “cute” idea, as one stakeholder told RealVail.com, but why not connect service on through to places that actually link up to existing, active rail lines, if in fact this very expensive revamp of a quarter-century dormant line is all about passengers? The Colorado Midland proposal would not do that, nor does there seem to be big demand for Pueblo to Minturn.

Sage is really just a point on a railroad map along U.S. Highway 6 smack in the middle of a commercial strip just north of the Eagle County Regional Airport in Gypsum. East of that point, the TPL tracks are in pretty rough shape, but they extend another seven miles or so to the west on what’s still an active UP line to Dotsero, servicing the American Gypsum wallboard plant.
  by Jeff Smith
http://www.realvail.com/lawyers-guns-an ... ine/a9871/
Warren Zevon sang it best: “Send lawyers, guns and money,” he bellowed in his hit song of the same title. He might have thrown in “public affairs consultants and politicians” had he been referring to the Colorado railroad wars shaping up over the long-dormant Tennessee Pass Line.

The guns may not be necessary as Colorado Pacific Railroad takes on Colorado Midland Pacific in parallel bids to revamp the long-languishing line that bisects Eagle County, but the lawyers are already making bank, with a big Denver firm set to start billing both Avon and Eagle County.

Money goes without saying, since Colorado Pacific already estimated it will take $278 million to revive the line that last saw trains in 1997, and guns were a huge tactical necessity back in the 1870s when legendary gunslingers Bat Masterson, Doc Holliday and Mysterious Dave Mather were brought in to help “mediate” a dangerous dispute between the Santa Fe and Denver and Rio Grande railroads over the Royal Gorge portion of the line that stretches from Dotsero to Pueblo.
  by Pensyfan19
STB just Rejected the proposal, for now.

https://www.railwayage.com/regulatory/s ... annel=news
On Dec. 31, 2020, CMPR filed “a verified notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. § 1150.31” to lease from Union Pacific the majority of the line (163.1 miles) between Parkdale and Sage, Colo., and operate it. In a “verified notice of exemption filed concurrently,” Rio Grande sought “Board approval to continue in control of CMPR upon CMPR’s becoming a Class III rail carrier.” The exemptions, STB wrote in a Jan. 29 decision, would “not become effective until further order of the Board,” due to challenges from the Colorado Pacific Railroad, LLC (Colorado Pacific) and parent company KCVN, LLC, as well as other organizations and individuals who expressed environmental, safety and other concerns about reinstituting rail service.

Among the concerns: the “erroneous contention” that crude oil, coal or hazmat would be transported on the line and that crude oil trains from the Uintah Basin in Utah would traverse it, CMPR wrote to STB in a March 15 motion to amend the notice of exemption. It asked STB to “restrict the proposed lease of the [Tennessee Pass rail] Line against the transportation of crude oil, coal and hazardous commodities.”

In STB’s March 25 decision (download below), the agency wrote that CMPR’s verified notice of exemption filing “was submitted under the class exemption procedures found at 49 C.F.R. § 1150.31, which provide an expedited process for obtaining authority under 49 U.S.C. § 10901.”
STB's decision: https://www.railwayage.com/wp-content/u ... /50657.pdf
  by west point
What would prevent UP from just starting one trip and then leasing the route out ?
  by STrRedWolf
Pensyfan19 wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:29 pm STB just Rejected the proposal, for now.

https://www.railwayage.com/regulatory/s ... annel=news
In short: UP/Rio Grande Railroad tried to jam through an approval and STB said "Whoa there, kimosabe!" They pointed to the regular process to resolve the whole mess.