Old Signage

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Old Signage

Postby l008com » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:16 am

I have a hypothetical question.
Lets say there's a long abandoned rail line that is being turned into a rail trail. What happens to all of the interesting artifacts when this happens? Particularly signage but also other things along the route? I assume that anything that isn't left as a piece of interest, it just ultimately thrown in a dumpster and trashed right? Does the owner of the ROW have anything to do this this process? What if the owner is the local town? What if the owner is that states rail authority?

So lets get to where you know this thread is going...
Hypothetically, if this stuff is just going to be trashed, could it fairly/legally be picked? Could I realistically get permission from the ROW owner, and then pic any of it?

End-hypothetical.
And as a little reward, here's a super cool double grade crossing, obviously not the one that inspired my hypothetical questions:
https://goo.gl/maps/TRRxKwE48ov
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Re: Old Signage

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:55 am

you would always need permission of owner, be it railroad or be it town or county there is no abandoned stuff.
unauthorized removal of anything is still considered theft and it all depends on owner how they will prosecute.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby l008com » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:50 am

Is permission of the owner something realistically possible to get? It's a line thats about to be dug up and turned into a rail trail. If there are any mile markers, they may be leaving them in place. But they will definitely be junking the very old cross bucks at the long abandoned crossing. I'm pretty sure I know who owns that section but I'm not even sure how to contact them.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:10 am

If you're unable to secure a proper answer in time, and you see the crew doing the removal, I'd just ask them if they're junking whatever you see them removing. If they are, ask if you could take it, instead.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby Mikejf » Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:54 am

Most likely the work on the trail went out to bid. May be able to find the bid and award information online.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby Ken W2KB » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:35 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:If you're unable to secure a proper answer in time, and you see the crew doing the removal, I'd just ask them if they're junking whatever you see them removing. If they are, ask if you could take it, instead.


It is highly unlikely that a removal crew has the authority to allow anyone to essentially steal property belonging to the owner, which may be entitled to the proceeds of sale to a scrapyard. If the contract for removal includes conveyance of title of the property being junked to the removal company to do as it sees fit, permission could only be given by the owner or an officer of the removal company, vice president or higher.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:30 pm

Not legal advice but-- common sense would say it depends on what the object is. It's one thing if you're talking about a date nail, tie plate, or telegraph insulator; quite another if you're talking about a switch stand or a signal gantry.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby BandA » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:01 pm

Contact the local historical society for advice. Pull up the abandonment filing - aren't they supposed to list historical stuff or how they are going to deal with it. Contact a railroad historical society for advice.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby arthur d. » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:06 am

Not advocating anything but when you yet right down to it, money talks. The guy's doing the scraping might be republicans. Nuff said.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby Mikejf » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:50 am

And give you the shirt off their back.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:44 pm

STB requires a full historical inventory to be taken before an abandonment is processed, so any of the really interesting stuff gets full consideration before the hardware is allowed to be ripped out. It can depend item-by-item what needs to be preserved onsite, preserved but not onsite, or is OK to trash...but it's a required step in the process to catalogue it all in exhausting detail so brainfarts don't accidentally destroy an item of particular significance.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby Plate C » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:33 pm

This is a great discussion topic and people have made some interesting points. My 2 cents reading what has been said thus far is that what may have historical value to one may not have any value to another, and one man's trash can be another man's treasure. Original poster said artifacts, which may be more accurate depending on what you're searching for. Any items there could already have a destination, from a historical society to a scrapyard to some short line RR. I've found in life that you can get a lot of things simply by asking. You see workers or a crew around there, ask them if there are any plans for whatever or could you take it.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby joshuahouse » Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:59 pm

Also, concrete mile posts weigh a lot, they're a lot longer then just what you see above ground and tend to have structural steel in the middle.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby neman2 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:16 pm

joshuahouse wrote:Also, concrete mile posts weigh a lot, they're a lot longer then just what you see above ground and tend to have structural steel in the middle.


How about the granite ones? I would like to know how that house on Route 117 in Weston near Hastings station got that one in their backyard that is clearly visible from the street. They have to be about 1000 pounds.
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Re: Old Signage

Postby joshuahouse » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:59 pm

I doubt that would have the steel, but it would still need to have a fair bit underground to stay firmly in place. A quick search online says granite is 175 lb to the cubic ft on average. I'm certain someone can give you more um, solid numbers.
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