Morris County files suit against Morristown & Erie

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Morris County files suit against Morristown & Erie

Postby NJRAILNUT » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:15 am

Anybody else see this? Seems to be a bit of an overreaction on the county's part...

http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2016/06/morris_county_sues_rail_line_over_butane-storing_r.html#incart_river_home
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Re: Morris County files suit against Morristown & Erie

Postby ccutler » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:56 am

Really? M&E's lease with the county is up in a year and they pull this stunt? It sounds like M&E will only be running its Morristown line come July 2017.

I like the idea of storing fuels in tank cars for ready transport, but there are better and safer places to store loaded LPG cars than the burbs of NJ. For example desolate branch lines in the plains or the desert would be more suitable.
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Re: Morris County files suit against Morristown & Erie

Postby NJRAILNUT » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:39 pm

Interesting... You do have a point, the timing of this will certainly hurt the chances of a lease renewal, especially if the lawsuit proceeds. I suppose the prospect of over 100 stored tank cars (if that is indeed an accurate estimate) might make the average citizen raise an eyebrow. Especially if there is indeed no emergency response/disaster plan (not sure if this is true-- seems a bit hard to believe given the volume of cars and the location they wish to store them).

I just feel like people these days (or in this case, the county) are so quick to file lawsuits as opposed to having legitimate discussions and attempting to find a solution that works for both parties. Then again, I do not want to speculate as I don't know anything more than the article stated about this situation.
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Re: Morris County files suit against Morristown & Erie

Postby Ken W2KB » Thu May 25, 2017 8:12 pm

ccutler wrote:Really? M&E's lease with the county is up in a year and they pull this stunt? It sounds like M&E will only be running its Morristown line come July 2017.

I like the idea of storing fuels in tank cars for ready transport, but there are better and safer places to store loaded LPG cars than the burbs of NJ. For example desolate branch lines in the plains or the desert would be more suitable.


You forecast materialized. https://morriscountynj.gov/2017/05/freeholders-award-county-rail-contract-to-dover-rockaway-river-railroad/
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Re: Morris County files suit against Morristown & Erie

Postby oibu » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:29 am

These guys must be buddies with Hein from Ulster County, NY. Same sort of thing. Forward-looking leadership steps in to preserve a rail service, but eventually some backwards yokel with another agenda comes along and wants to act like the operator of the County's tracks is not to act like a legitimate business, but rather do whatever stunts and tricks said yokel politico wants them to perform. Hopefully this is not another case of an overall agenda that ultimately aims to shut the railroad down, but wants to do so by creating a scenario that sets the railroad up for failure, and which the mini-dictators can later perform some revisionist history upon to publicly spin it and convince the average local citizen, with no knowledge of either railroading or the backstory of the case in question, that the railroad operator has been a "bad tenant" and/or the whole idea of a railroad is simply "bad".
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Re: Morris County files suit against Morristown & Erie

Postby blockline4180 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:20 pm

oibu wrote:These guys must be buddies with Hein from Ulster County, NY. Same sort of thing. Forward-looking leadership steps in to preserve a rail service, but eventually some backwards yokel with another agenda comes along and wants to act like the operator of the County's tracks is not to act like a legitimate business, but rather do whatever stunts and tricks said yokel politico wants them to perform. Hopefully this is not another case of an overall agenda that ultimately aims to shut the railroad down, but wants to do so by creating a scenario that sets the railroad up for failure, and which the mini-dictators can later perform some revisionist history upon to publicly spin it and convince the average local citizen, with no knowledge of either railroading or the backstory of the case in question, that the railroad operator has been a "bad tenant" and/or the whole idea of a railroad is simply "bad".


It is not! There are/were railroad "buffs" that work in the county and oversee industrial rail development projects along the 3 county owned branch lines..... One of the individuals had helped secure funding to completely rebuild and rehab the Chester branch back in 2009 with Federal Stimulus money, as well as completing RR crossing rehabs and signal upgrades.... Also, the freeholders have asked NS and Warren County to raise a bridge height to allow Plate F or higher cubed cars to be delivered, but NS had no interest in completing the work... This new railroad ( a conglomerate of the BR&W and Maryland and Delaware) has plans to do that by next year and to look at ways to allow heavier freight cars to run on NJT.

This is a different situation then Ulster County all together.
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Re: Morris County files suit against Morristown & Erie

Postby oibu » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:55 pm

I hope your right, but all it takes is 1 or 2 people at the top to change the entire direction 180 degrees 2 months after the election. Anything that happened in 2009 is potentially several regimes ago at this point.... what is the current County position and effort or lack thereof when it comes to rail?

It sure doesn't seem like a very rosy picture after all the shystering by Morris County over the last couple of years. Maybe the "boots on the ground" are still working hard for rail, but if the guy on top and a couple of his cronies want it gone, it's hard to fight it.

Hard to tell at this point if the County gov't has gone anti-rail, or if one or 2 individuals just have a personal beef with M&E management and were acting out merely in spite.
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Re: Morris County files suit against Morristown & Erie

Postby blockline4180 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:46 pm

From the horses mouth.. I would give the new operator a chance at least for now. These lines are mainly for freight operations anyway and a few can only rely on the railroad for product.

From another railroad forum.....

As head of the Division within Morris County that oversees the railroad operations I will state quite clearly the butane storage issue was not the reason for the change as reported in the press.

Dover & Rockaway River Railroad LLC is not just an offshoot of the Black River and Western. Majority ownership (60%) is held by officers of the Maryland & Delaware Railroad Company with 40% owned by officers of the Black River & Western.

Morristown & Erie has been a great operator to the County since 1982 and the County has been happy with their service. The review committee (two employees that oversee the railroad operation and one from another division) felt the new operator has offered some innovative ideas to market the lines to retain and hopefully attract new business.

-----

Another LLC owned by that joint organization is working with NS to lease the Washington Secondary, the Totowa Industrial, and I believe the Newark Industrial. They will service freight customers on the NJT lines, including those on the Peapack / Gladstone. However once east of Dover there are few, if any freight customers on the NJT lines. To the best of my knowledge, Morristown & Erie will continue to interchange at Lake Junction with NS or the new operator of NS' lines.

The changeover of the NS lines to the new operator is currently in the negotiation process with NJT as NS's operating rights need to be assigned to the new operator and everything needs to be in order to do so. My understanding is the new operator is hoping to take over the NS operation in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

One limiting factor to the Washington Secondary has always been a low clearance bridge (16'-6")in Phillipsburg, NJ. NS has been disinterested in doing anything to correct that issue. This in turn limits car height on the Morris County branches and lead to the loss of several businesses to trucks. There are also three bridges that restrict 286,000lb cars from getting to the Dover area from the west. The new operator has plans to improve the clearance within a few months and will look to increase the weight limit on the three bridges shortly thereafter.
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Re: Morris County files suit against Morristown & Erie

Postby oibu » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:37 am

If the County was "happy with the railroad's service" as the above claims, then why was the County a constant thorn in the railroad's side the last couple of years, why did they bring suit against the railroad (at least once, if not a couple of times, although I forget what the other times might have been), and why did they publicly tar and feather the railroad in the local media on multiple occaisions?

When it smells kinda like a load of bull, it just might be a big load of bull.... it's called talking out of both sides of your mouth, or CYA after the fact. Politicos are REALLY good at it. They get lots of practice.
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