CJPat wrote:Sirsonic, please, if you would indulge me just a bit longer. I readily accept that I am not knowledgeable in actual rail operations. I actually learn quite a bit regarding History and current operations from yourself and others within this forum. So as far as interchange questions go, I have no knowledge as to what can or can not be.
A very polite request, so sure, Ill keep going.
But if we may separate this discussion into two pieces A) the former SIRR; and B) the former Rahway Valley.
For the former SIRR, perhaps I am in error, but is not the M&E servicing the Bayway Refinery as a customer? Those long lines of covered hoppers that have been reported "stored" on the SIRR get filled with plastic pellets, don't they? Although I believe one siding was removed to a particular industry (in Cranford?), were there any others previously along that line? I thought the original purpose of that length of track was to permit the B&O to service Staten Island and interchange with the Lehigh and the CNJ. So, since Staten Island is now served by CSX via the Chemical Coast, I am making an assumption that the main desire for the former SIRR is oriented around Bayway.
This is my point in a nutshell. The SIRY already has a customer online. They are storing cars for Conoco Phillips. Since they are able to serve this customer without the line being "active" why are the claiming that the reason there are no other customers online is because the line is not "active".
As for the former Rahway Valley...doesn't the customer pay for the siding to be installed on their property? Personally, if I was a business owner, and knowing the state of government finances within New Jersey, I would wait until the connection is in place and the completion of the line is immediately pending before I would free up hard earned capital to spend on the track. No point spending $25-50,000 (a total guess on my part) if you can't be sure the government isn't going to bail on this project. Who can spare that on a risk these days. I see major corporations having hard ache over as little as $5,000. Unless they can get immediate payback within the next Quarter, very few are accepting the risks. Evidently Union County felt the risk was reasonable for whatever their reasons. Why else would they put up with all the political headaches and lawsuits?
I was speaking to the issue of no sidings built on the SIRY, which relates to the above point about the line being "active". If there were customers on the RV who wanted service, why would the M&E not restore the track to those customers first, instead of spending money to restore the track to bridge they cant cross (over the Rahway River, across which they are not yet allowed to restore)?
If I understand the various parties and to sum up the critics (please correct me where I err):
1) NIMBYs are protesting against loud noises thru their backyards and decrease of their particular property values, although they bought property along a known railroad ROW (they use the arguments of child safety, toxins, garbage smells, and interference with emergency services to scare up support for their cause).
2) Others believe that the whole reason the Union County government wants to spend an estimated $50M-$75M (add in the reconstruction cost of 3 bridges & rehab of the Rahway river bridge) is so that the M&E can have a more direct route to shuttle their engines back and forth between Bayway and Morristown.
Even with the rampant corruption of the politicians in the State of New Jersey, this just seems to be stretching pretty far to achieve.
The project was started with the best of intentions. A rail connection does actually increase property values for industrial sites. Along the way though, do to various reasons to numerous to go into, the project came off the rails, so to speak. The monies allocated to restore service were misspent, and the lack of a real customer base along both lines means there is no reason in spending the money in the first place.
As far as the "Drinking the Kool-Aid" reference goes, isn't it kind of distasteful to relate this all to the mass suicide of hundreds of people?
Im not relating it to mass suicide, just using the popular reference to any time individuals will swallow anything they hear if it supports their predecided position. In this case, that whatever the M&E does is good and anyone who disagrees is anti-rail.