F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
They also, more recently, bought trackage in the state of Vermont, to Gilman, to potentially serve the mill. The 2012 State Rail Plan lists it as such (page 31 of the 2012 report.)
Yes...that has been the case ever since Twin State ceased operations in '99. NHDOT immediately bought up their Dalton-Groveton trackage and installed NHCR as operator. NHCR began servicing after spring thaw 2001, so service was only interrupted for at-most the 2000 operating season.
I actually believe that the State of NH bought up to the western Gilman town line from Pan Am with NHCR having trackage rights. I can't remember if I saw that here or on the VRS Yahoo Group page. Of course, I have been wrong before, ask my wife!
We're only talking the trackage inside the state of VT where the ownership and trackage rights situation remains murky, disputed, and unresolved 17 years after the last train ran. The NH side of the border transacted cleanly and immediately.
I've read that line in the NH State Rail Plan, and it's contradicted by other NHDOT sources such as the Q&A summaries from the recent Mountain Div. freight RFP that cite ownership on the other side of the state line as "unresolved". As well as VTrans sources that put ownership to the state line as private. It is highly improbable that NHDOT has any legal standing as a state cabinet-level agency to own and administer transportation assets in an entirely different state. They don't delegate the asset management to any sort of regional authority that could conceivably be chartered to administer across state lines, so direct administration is going to run afoul of federal interstate commerce law. Doubly dicey: it's also not clear where the NHCR division post truly is if their contract with NHDOT says it's inside of Vermont but NHDOT is proven to not actually own inside Vermont.
When official DOT docs from both sides of the state line describe the status of Gilman as "unknown"...↑this↑
failure to properly document things is why. Supposedly "official" stories contradict, and record-keeping was abysmally bad because it was done fast and as an afterthought. Nobody knows for sure who has what authority over what, and it'll take a roomful of lawyers to sort all that out. As for Twin State's operating agreement, the term expires at the end of 2018 but there's a 10-year renewal clause to 2028 that Twin State can unilaterally execute. One hurdle gets cleared if Dec. 2018 comes and goes with no one claiming to represent Twin State steps forward to exercise the extension. But it'll be one royal mess if somebody does because it's unknown who exactly IS
Twin State right now and who has the legal standing to act on their behalf. And even if TS does go away, further action is still going to involve a roomful of Pan Am, VTrans, and NHDOT lawyers doing contractual forensics to figure out the Gilman ownership and NHCR's division post.
Don't expect quick action on any of this even if Twin State evaporates in 19 months. It'll be a paperwork slog and @#$%show all the same.