• Plymouth & Lincoln Railroad (HOBO, Winnipesaukee Scenic)

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by F-line to Dudley via Park
b&m 1566 wrote:People laughed off the rail trail for the Adirondack Scenic line way back in the beginning and it took a law suit in the 59th minute of the 11th hour to delay the trail and ultimately stop it (for now). NEGS maybe a common carrier but under contract with the state. With the uncertainty of NEGS future, the state may not have a common carrier operator very long, so then what? You start persuading law makers to find the trail to be more appealing, who knows what might happen at that point. All I'm saying is that the Clark family should take this as a serious threat and stay on top of it. If Mr. Dearness does sell NEGS, it might be in the Clark family's best interest to buy (probably more so now than ever in my mind).
You can't pearl-clutch at an ADIX scenarios multiplying everywhere. Adirondack Scenic is a non-profit operating on trackage designated as a multi-use corridor before the railroad even came into existence. The railroad's hold over the corridor is unusually weak because of those terms, and so it fell victim to a novel attack vector.

NEGS, as described, is a common carrier, and Hobo is a for-profit whose profitability is directly tied to its ability to gain access to its common-carrier interchange for equipment exchanges (including outgoing, as they make money during the offseasons doing restoration work for other RR's at Lincoln Shops). NEGS's counter-claim would be open-shut. But even if NEGS didn't exist, Hobo's counter-claims would be very strong and likely get handed a win in court. ADIX has no such legal pillars to lean on, and is fighting their case entirely at the state level since they have no federal precedents to cite.

And this takes a wiiiiiiiiild assumption that because the trail lobby exists and Laconia is willing to light money on-fire for them, NHDOT is automatically in bed with them. On what evidence is NHDOT actually showing inclination to side with them on ripping up the tracks? They pay for infrastructure renewal on the White Mountain Branch that gets amortized by Hobo and NEGS revenues. Are they really going to chuck aside a line they're still annually paying for upkeep and incremental improvements? And CAN they legally chuck it a side by taking hostile action on trackage rights??? They'll get sued by trying to terminate NEGS's or Hobo's rights before their lease terms have expired, and that's just going to bleed the state money to fight with low-to-middling odds of success. And usually those trackage rights upon expiration have a stipulation that rights must immediately be put out to RFP for re-bid, or state laws mandating the same as a taxpayer protection from revenue-generating state assets getting pawned off for political favors. Not to mention...they'll get sued all the same by NEGS and/or Hobo if leases are allowed to involuntarily expire without a fair re-bid process. If there are operators willing to bid on the next trackage rights term, they legally have their hands tied from withholding the next RFP issuance. This is the state that issued a recent Mountain Div. freight RFP just to see if it could catch flies. Does anything about their actions suggest they're willing to go hostile on current carriers or discourage obligations to re-issue RFP's when a lease term is up?

Finally, WHO is going to lobby NHDOT to back this trail scheme? It's already an offseason snowmobile corridor, so that politically potent lobbying group has no dog in this fight. This is Laconia vs. the whole rest of the corridor. Is that tail really going to wag the Concord dog?

Was it not this freaking summer that the same exact "OMG! Adirondack Scenic is happening right in our backyard! They're gonna tear up the rails I just know it! PANIC!!!" played itself out on the Mass Coastal thread over the Falmouth Branch bike path NIMBY's? How'd that hysteria turn out? Pretty scary couple of minutes for the easily scared.

It's NOT going to happen. When the legalities back the RR's this strongly, the state is not going to see it worth it's while to chew money in court fighting the low-odds fight on behalf of the NIMBY's when the corridor is making the state money as-is. There's no upside in it for NHDOT to go to the mat as enthusiastically (and expensively) as they'd have to in order to have any chance at dislodging Hobo's and NEGS's counter-claims...assuming there's even a loophole where they can proceed. And if NHDOT is sanguine about that, then who is actually going to deliver the NIMBY's what they want?

Hysteria doesn't do anyone any good. Please THINK about what's being asked legally here before assuming the sky is inevitably going to fall. It is not an Adirondack Scenic waiting to happen. Just like Cape Rail last month wasn't an Adirondack Scenic waiting to happen.
  by b&m 1566
Letter to the editor from the WOW rail trail president.
Taking off my WOW Trail hat and simply looking at this as a business owner and resident who’s interested in economic development and creating a better future for our city, I ask everyone, why WOULDN’T we want to do this study? Unless we’re satisfied with the status quo in Laconia, why would we pass up the opportunity to learn more about how we might be able to best use this asset to help make our city a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article - http://www.laconiadailysun.com/opinion/ ... d-corridor" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by b&m 1566
It is my understanding from two separate sources that the WOW Trail powerbrokers are putting pressure on the railroad to shut it down between Lakeport and the Weirs.

I wouldn't focus on the crime aspect of the position. The environmental impact is a concern. Also, liability is perhaps the biggest concern. As stated previously, the WOW trail organizers are lobbying to have the Hobo railroad shut down.
The two quotes can be found at - https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/sh ... hp?t=21945" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Both quotes come from a user by the name of "major". Post 67 and 119 are where you will find the respected quotes.
  by b&m 1566
Click on the link to read the article. http://www.laconiadailysun.com/special- ... kes-region" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It appears that "major" has an issue with this article, his remarks are straight forward
Yes. He wants to purchase the Hobo Railroad and shut it down in favor of the WOW trail. You notice that he didn't come right out and say this. I had a laugh out loud moment when I read the sentence about the "transportation corridor." Yeah, like people from Laconia and Weirs are going to take the WOW trail to conduct business in Meredith! What a joke. Like I said, I'd rather he come right out and state his intentions, rather than obfuscate it under the guise of let's study the matter.
The post is #178 located at https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/sh ... hp?t=21945" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by FatNoah
Laconia is my hometown, so I have more than a passing interest here.

Major appears to be a resident of a planned community with frontage on the Lake. Many people in that community appear to be opposed to the trail, since the it and the railroad tracks it parallels, separate the trail from the lakefront. Since the rail line is active, some separation between trail and rail is required. This would restrict access and/or create an eyesore according to the residents. Making things even more interesting is that it appears that conditions placed to allow the community to be built may require allowing the trail to be built.

On the plus side, if you like the railroad, a large number of people have come out in opposition to the idea of replacing the railroad. So many, that a city councilor wrote a letter asking people not to complain to the city, since it's the trail committee that's running the study, not the city.

Small town politics at it's finest!
  by b&m 1566
FatNoah wrote:On the plus side, if you like the railroad, a large number of people have come out in opposition to the idea of replacing the railroad. So many, that a city councilor wrote a letter asking people not to complain to the city, since it's the trail committee that's running the study, not the city.

Small town politics at it's finest!
Not according to what the Laconia Daily Sun wrote. If I remember the article correctly the city councilors are supposed to vote yay or nay on the 13th on whether or not the city would help fund the study. By what you are saying, it seems to me the city councilors are trying to backtrack without tripping over themselves. It will be interesting to see what happens this coming Monday.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
Welp...he pretty much enumerated every way this is legally impossible, including NHDOT's opposition as line owner. I hope that at least clears up the public confusion. If the NIMBY's want to keep tilting at windmills, at least it's known that what they're attempting is illegal and they can no longer manipulate the PR to argue otherwise.
Last edited by MEC407 on Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by b&m 1566
The state just squashed it.
LACONIA — The state has derailed the idea of removing the tracks from a section of its Concord-Lincoln train corridor to make way for an extended WOW Trail.
Rail service takes priority over recreational trail use in such corridors, Patrick Herlihy, of the state Transportation Department, said in a letter Tuesday to Mayor Ed Engler.
Herlihy, state director of aeronautics, rail and transit, said his department is supportive of a study looking at the benefits of trails and the railroad.
“However, if the economic analysis is to demonstrate that the WOW Trail has more of an economic benefit than the railroad and therefore the railroad should be removed from the corridor, then the department cannot offer our support, as existing and future rail service must take priority over recreational trail use in any state-owned railroad corridor,” he said in the letter.
Click on the link to read the article.

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/newsx/lo ... d-corridor" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I never realized how big of a hot button issue this became in the matter of days but the state just settled it.
  by b&m 1566
They are moving forward with the study to extend the railtrail. Now I know this is an active corridor under common carrier status with a common carrier operator and the state has already asserted its decision but, I am seeing this as only the beginning of a verbal war between rail supporters & trail supporters (who not only want the trail but want the tracks removed).
https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news/lo ... caa59.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Question does the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad even have trains that operate as late as 11pm (as an interviewer stated in the article)?
  by backroadrails
Well you know what they say, if it doesn't work the first time throw more crap on the wall to see if it sticks. I believe they only have made a few moves that late but from what I have heard they are normally done but 5:00 PM. A lot of the rich landowners rather have the rails than a trail which has strangers walking on it at all times of the day.
  by Mikejf
Evidently someone knows someone that needs the money for a useless study. Spending that amount of money to study the use of land you don't own for a trail.. NUTZ.
  by b&m 1566
I agree, I don't ever recall there being a study for the part that already co-exists to the south. The section they want will most likely only be able to accommodate rail or trail, so this study is to give the trail advocates a leg to stand on, they don't want to detour the trail around the areas the two can't co-exist. This study and its results are going to create a war of words between the two sides... buckle up because the show down is about to begin. This issue is going to be a pesky thorn that won't go away for years to come.
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