P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

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

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:17 pm

Interesting sidelight to the HRRC - Pittsfield discussion, but a separate issue. Saw this on the HRRC Yahoo Group.

It looks like P&W is trying to gain control of the HRRC trackage west of Deven for about 12 miles.

http://www.stb.dot.gov/Decisions/readin ... enDocument

http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... enDocument

Lots of interesting stuff and arguing over in-service vs. OOS, a P&W customer on the HRRC ROW, etc.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7404
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:58 am

From what I have heard this past summer when I was in the area, the line in question between Derby Junction and Danbury or probably what I should say is a portion of it is in pretty bad shape from a lack of maintenance. This has made it difficult if not impossible for the P & W to exercise its trackage rights over this line to get the stone to Danbury. The result is that they have to go all the way down to South Norwalk and then run around the train or use power on both ends, I don't really know which, then deal with much passenger congestion on the Danbury Branch and also results in much high operating expense.

I personally think the P & W has a good case here.

It reminds me a little bit of what Amtrak had to deal with Guilford several years ago in Vermont when the line was taken from Guilford by Amtrak and then resold to the Central Vermont and it was then fixed up to be suitable for Amtrak operation. This could indeed be very interesting and I personally think the P & W has a good case here.

Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9330
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:01 am

I've read a few of the P&W filings with STB:

http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... enDocument

http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... enDocument

http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... enDocument

There's quite a few more details in the last link:

Providence and Worcester Railroad Company ("P&W") gives notice that on or about , 2010, it intends to file with the Surface Transportation Board ("the
Board"), an application seeking adverse abandonment of certain rail track of Housatonic Railroad Company, Inc. ("HRRC") over a segment of its Danbury Secondary Line between Milepost 92.0 near Newtown in Fairfield County, Connecticut., and Milepost 104.8 at the end of the line at Derby, New Haven County (the "Line"), a distance of 12.8 miles. The Line is situated in U.S. Zip Codes 06482,06468,06484 and 06418. The Line does not have stations. The reason for the proposed abandonment is HRRC's failure and refusal to maintain the line for rail service, which prevents P&W from providing service to a customer pursuant to operating rights it obtained under a Trackage Rights Agreement with the predecessor in interest to HRRC.


They only want the line as far as Newtown, it seems, even though the customer is in Danbury (presumably, HRRC has customers over the rest of the stretch). And P&W's issue is that the Danbury branch will be out of service during the hours they would use it as an alternative to the HRRC line.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7404
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby Otto Vondrak » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:50 am

Even if the STB ordered that HRRC keep the line open, what incentive does HRRC have to pay for track improvements for what is essentially a P&W service?

-otto-
----------------------------------------------
Moderator: New York State Railfan :: New York Central :: Toy Trains
NYW&B Fan Site :: A Magazine I Read Often :: A Museum I Volunteer At
User avatar
Otto Vondrak
 
Posts: 20141
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:47 pm
Location: New York

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby TomNelligan » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:58 am

Otto -- I would presume that the Housatonic collects trackage rights fees from the P&W, although maybe someone else knows the specific deal. Whether the fee is sufficient to pay for maintenance is another question. But this does in fact have parallels to the Connecticut River line situation of the late 1980s, where the Guilford organization failed to maintain the line to reasonable standards for a contracted operator (Amtrak).
TomNelligan
 
Posts: 3180
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:14 pm

AFAIK, HRRC has no customers beyond the garbage transfer facility in Newtown, for which they've been much maligned. But as Tom points out, they do collect overhead fees. Maybe they're not sufficient to cover maintaining that stretch. Everything I've read points out to the fact the P&W has been having to make their own repairs, well out of their own territory.

Apparently, since the line is OOS, and poorly maintained before that, P&W has withheld fees, and HRRC has said they can repair the track and deduct it from their overhead fees that are in arrears. P&W doesn't want to maintain or make improvements to track they don't own.

Right now, it's a lot of posturing.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7404
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby Ridgefielder » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:29 am

Sad to think this portion of the old Maybrook has deteriorated to such an extent. This was a through freight route for Conrail until what, 1990? As late as the 1970's it was in good enough shape to serve detouring passenger trains from the Shore Line.
Ridgefielder
 
Posts: 2299
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:07 pm

Its always nice looking back on anything in its glory be it a building or a railroad.
In this case HRRC is the landlord and they are letting thier tenant hang, by not maintaing the rented property.
My info is P&W paid for replacement of a under grade bridge at Caroline street ( I believe) in Derby,.
this UG bridge had a speed restiction of 5 mph on it for at least 8 years and it prevented the P&W to clear of Waterbury in timely fasion.
P&W paid so they could run stone trains via the negotiated route.
The cost of this repair was to be deducted from trackage fees, meanwhile the fees were upped and rest of line went down the proverbial drain.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer
User avatar
DutchRailnut
 
Posts: 21175
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby nysw3636 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:43 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:Sad to think this portion of the old Maybrook has deteriorated to such an extent. This was a through freight route for Conrail until what, 1990?


December 1992
nysw3636
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 8:37 pm

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:54 pm

The bridge at Shelton over the Housatonic River was out of commission for a period of time some years ago too. I seem to
think that government funds went into its repair and restoration at that time. I wonder where this fits in today.
Even after all of these years, I still think Conrail made a mistake in dumping this route, it was a route where a train from
Selkirk to Cedar Hill could make it with one crew within the 12 hour law with no stops and no reverse moves (like was
necessary at Springfield) and probably about the shortest route as well.
In my opinion if any government money was involved in the above Shelton Bridge, they ought to force the Housatonic's hand.
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9330
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:18 pm

When I qualified the Maybrook the Danbury crew would do NHSE and SENH from Danbury to Selkirk with other crew doing Danbury with same trains to cedar hill.
if the crew outlawed WNDA 1 would bring train to Danbury.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer
User avatar
DutchRailnut
 
Posts: 21175
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:59 am

Noel, one of the links I posted in another thread does support that federal funds repaired a washed out bridge in Derby. I also believe I may have had some of the freight customers' locations mixed up. I believe the big facility in Newtown is the transload facility; Tilcon is in Commerce Park on Eagle Rd. Amazing I never knew that; I served in the Reserves at a center on Eagle Road at the other end. AWD is on White St (something I also never knew).

Now, this document may be dated, so there may be more going on in Newtown now that's not reflected here that is the cause of HRRC controversy. I believe Stevenson is also closed, and not sure about the other customers.

http://www.hvceo.org/transport/railfreight.php

There is then a spur to serve the rear of Automated Waste Disposal, located at 307 White Street, a firm dealing with commercial and residential waste disposal. AWD is one of the largest waste haulers in Connecticut with over 225 employees and several subsidiaries. The rail freight service to AWD is provided by HRRC.

The Maybrook Line now closely parallels Federal Road (State Route 805) as it proceeds northeasterly along the Still River Valley. The next freight user is Tilcon Connecticut, located in the Commerce Park section of Danbury at 49 Eagle Road.



Just after its at grade crossing with Route 25, the Maybrook Line has a spur to the Shepaug Reload and Distribution Center, with an address of 30 Hawleyville Road/Route 25. This facility is operated by HRRC. It allows regional lumberyards to take local delivery of building materials sent by rail, and will soon be expanded to include transfer of other bulk materials.

Continuing on and after a turn southwesterly, the Maybrook Line passes under I-84. It then serves Rand-Whitney Containers Newtown L.L.C., located at One Edmond Road, a firm dedicated to high tech, high quality corrugated printing and converting. This company is served by the HRRC.

Just before the crossing over Route 6, the Maybrook Line has a siding to serve the building housing the Sonics Company. While no freight service is currently provided, a future tenant of this building will have a rail option available.

Crossing over busy Route 6 (Newtown's Church Hill Road), the Maybrook Line proceeds thru much of Newtown, skirting the west side of the old Fairfield Hills State Hospital and then paralleling Route 25 on that major artery's east side.

Off of 101 South Main Street is a Fairfield Processing Company facility that has a rail spur to the Maybrook Line, not now currently in use for freight shipments.

At 201 South Main Street is the Georgia-Pacific warehouse. Georgia-Pacific is a distributor of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals. This location is served by HRRC.

Wickes Lumber Company, at 46 Swamp Road, not far off Botsford Hill Road now occupies the former Newtown Lumber Company location, once served by the HRRC. This firm is a rail freight customer.

The Line then swings easterly to its milepost 93.5, the now vacant Charles Batchelder Company Property. This is a former aluminum smelting plant vacant since 1987 with an existing siding. The Town of Newtown is seeking to clean up the location and market it for light industrial use. HRRC (and through them, CSX) has expressed interest in serving this location.

The Maybrook Line then leaves Newtown and enters Monroe. Proceeding easterly, it reaches the Housatonic River where it travels along the west bank of that watercourse for some miles. The remaining active customer between Georgia-Pacific in Newtown and Derby Junction is Stevenson Lumber in Monroe.

Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7404
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:10 am

Additional filings by HRRC: STB Filing 227948

The rail line in question is privately owned, is operated by Housatonic Railroad
and is known as the Maybrook Line.' The line runs between M.P. 104.7 in Derby,
Connecticut, where it connects with the Connecticut DOT "Waterbury Branch", and M.P.
71.2 at the New York state line in Danbury, Connecticut, where it connects with Metro
North Railroad's Beacon Line. P&W has trackage rights on the Maybrook Line between
Derby and a point in Danbury, a distance of approximately 27 miles, to serve a customer
in Danbury. P&W has no ownership interest in the line.
During a portion ofthe last year, approximately 12.8 miles ofthe Maybrook Line
has been out of service because of track conditions. Currently, approximately 4 miles of
the Maybrook Line are out of service. Housatonic plans to restore the remaining track to
service and is actively seeking funding to do so. The P&W customer is located in
Danbury, Connecticut on a portion ofthe line that is not included within the 12.8 mile
segment referred to in P&W's filing. P&W has trackage rights over a different route
which has enabled it to continue service to its customer without interruption.^
P&W seeks to acquire the out of service portion ofthe Maybrook Line pursuant to
an STB order, although it has never offered to purchase it firom the owner in a voluntary
' The Maybrook Line is owned by Maybrook Railroad Company, an affiliate of Housatonic Railroad
Company, Inc.
^ P&W originates traffic to the Danbuiy customer near New Haven, Connecticut and there are two routes
which can be used to access the customer. Both routes involve use of trackage rights over Connecticut
DOT lines firom New Haven to the Housatonic owned Maybrook Line. P&W has existing trackage rights
over both routes and has local freight service on the route that it is currently using to avoid the out of
service section. See, Interstate Commerce Commission, Connecticut^Rail Systems, Inc., Acquisition and
(deration Exemption, FD 32233,58 FR 1762S.
ti-ansaction. P&W asserts that it has no altemative other than acquiring the line to
preserve service to its customer, although as indicated above, and for other reasons, this
is imtrue. P&W acknowledges that Congress enacted the Feeder Line Development
procedures to address situations such as alleged by P&W here. 49 U.S.C. §10907.
However, as P&W concedes. Congress also determined that the Feeder Line
Development procedures should not be available to enable Class II railroads to acquire
lines firom Class III railroads. 49 U.S.C. §10907(a).


STB filing 227934

Not much to the above; it's just an objection to the filing fee; nothing operational.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7404
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: P&W vs HRRC - War Declared?

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:08 am

P&W has abandoned it's request for a waiver on adverse abandonment proceedings. I am unsure as to whether or not this means they are abandoning the proceedings themselves, or just the expeditied process?

http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readin ... enDocument

By petition filed on September 15, 2010,[1] Providence and Worcester Railroad Company (P&W), a Class II railroad, sought exemptions from certain statutory provisions and waivers of certain Board regulations in connection with its intent to seek a third-party or “adverse” abandonment of a 12.8-mile portion of the Danbury Secondary Line, extending between milepost 92.0 near Newtown in Fairfield County and milepost 104.8 in Derby in New Haven County, Conn. (the Line). Housatonic Railroad Company, Inc. (Housatonic), the owner of the Danbury Secondary Line, filed a reply on October 8, 2010.

The Danbury Secondary Line extends 33.6 miles between milepost 104.8 in Derby, where it connects with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Waterbury Branch, and milepost 71.2 at the New York State line near Danbury, where it connects with Metro North Commuter Railroad’s (Metro North) Beacon Line. P&W has overhead trackage rights on approximately 28 miles of the Danbury Secondary Line between milepost 104.80 in Derby and milepost 76.9 in Danbury. [2]

P&W filed the petition for waivers and exemptions because Housatonic had allegedly placed the Line out of service and CDOT had announced its intention to schedule outages for track rehabilitation over the alternate route P&W was using to serve the Danbury shipper. P&W has trackage rights over the alternative route but claimed that the outages would occur during its usual operating hours, effectively precluding it from serving the Danbury customer.

On June 16, 2011, P&W filed a motion to withdraw the petition for waivers and exemptions without prejudice, asserting that no parties will be prejudiced. P&W states that it is not necessary and it does not intend to file an adverse abandonment application at this time because it has been able to serve the Danbury shipper using the time windows CDOT has made available.


It seems to me the waiver was to speed the process in case they couldn't serve the customer at reasonable times. However, do they still want the line? Here's a link to the PDF document:

http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... 230113.PDF

3. In the intervening period of time since the Petition for Waiver was filed, P&W has been able to provide service to the involved shipper during certain windows that the CDOT has made available. Consequently, while P&W still prefers to able to use the more direct HRRC routing to serve this customer using its trackage rights, it is not necessary at the present time to use the Board's resources to ensure that P&W will be able to continue providing service to the shipper.'

4. As the Board has not yet acted on P&W's Petition for Waiver, and as P&W does not at this time intend to file an adverse abandonment application, no parties will be prejudiced by the withdrawal of that petition.


It's paragraph 4 that seems to indicate they will not pursue adverse possession at all. Still, I'd think they'd want to force HRRC to fix the track.

What a shame this portion of the former Maybrook has turned into this.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7404
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway


Return to New England Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests