R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

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R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby jrevans » Tue May 22, 2012 2:12 pm

As blockline4180 mentioned in the Lansale Cluster thread, this is exciting news.

Still subject to "environmental mitigation conditions", but a rail-banked line is going to be reactivated!

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/p ... p?id=31072

The approval marks the first time the board signed off on a new rail line proposal combined with the restoration of rail service over a rail-banked right of way, STB officials said in a prepared statement.

R.J. Corman/Pennsylvania Lines now is authorized to construct a 10.8-mile line over a segment of abandoned rail right of way between Wallaceton and Winburne, Pa., and reactivate a connecting 9.3-mile line between Winburne and Gorton, Pa. The combined 20-mile line will be used to provide rail transportation services to a proposed waste-to-ethanol facility, quarry and industrial park near Gorton, as well as other shippers along the route.


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

Digest:[2] R.J. Corman is authorized to build and operate approximately 10 miles of new rail line near Wallaceton, Pa. The new rail line, along with an adjoining 10-mile line that is currently rail banked but will be reactivated, will provide rail transportation to a proposed new waste-to-ethanol facility, quarry, and industrial park, as well as other shippers along the line. The authorization is subject to environmental mitigation conditions. R.J. Corman is also authorized to acquire the adjoining right-of-way currently being used as a trail in order to provide service on the combined 20-mile segment. In addition, R.J. Corman’s request to vacate the interim trail use condition for the rail-banked segment is granted.


Good stuff!
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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby bwparker1 » Wed May 23, 2012 7:38 am

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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby pumpers » Wed May 23, 2012 9:45 am

So who actually owns the ROW?

Near the beginning of the STB document referneced above, it says RJ Corman gets all it essentially wants:
(1) acquire the rail-banked Eastern Segment in R.J. Corman Railroad Company/Pennsylvania Lines Inc.–Acquisition and Operation Exemption–Line of Norfolk Southern Railway Company, FD 35143; (2) vacate the rail banking/interim trail use condition that pertains to the Eastern Segment in Conrail Abandonment of the Snow Shoe Industrial Track in Centre and Clearfield Counties, Pa., AB 167 (Sub No. 1004N); and (3) construct and operate the Western Segment in R.J. Corman Railroad Company/Pennsylvania Lines Inc.—Construction and Operation Exemption—in Clearfield County, Pa., FD 35116.


So from (1) it sounds like NS owns the eastern segment - e.g the rail-banked part from Winbourne to Gorton (part of the Snow Shoe trail).
But for the western segment, the part that Conrail just plain abandoned and did not railbank, it just says in (3) that Corman can construct and operate - it doesn't say anything about "acquire." Maybe Corman owns it already as part of the purchase of the whole Clearfield cluster?

Note in Appendix A it does say
VM 14. Regarding the acquisition of private property, RJCP shall only acquire the property that is necessary to re-establish the 66-foot wide railroad right-of-way and shall attempt to reach an amicable sales agreement with each affected property owner, in lieu of instituting a condemnation proceeding

So this is either standard legal boilerplate, or parts somewhere (in the abandoned western segment?) were sold off in pieces.

This last part sounds legally messy which could take time, but still from one of the articles mentioned above, it says construction will begin this summer.

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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby pumpers » Thu May 24, 2012 7:56 am

I did some more reading of STB documents, etc. 2 interesting things.

1. From what I can tell, Corman already "owns or controls" the western section of the old Beech Creek, from Winbourne to Wallaceton.

2. The original plan for "western section" of rebuilding the original Beech Creek from Winbourne to Wallaceton has been modified to a slightly different route to have less impact on residences, grade crossings, etc (and conveniently passing by a few potential customers). This modified route is the one which was approved from what I can tell. From Winbourne west to Munson is the same as before, 2-3 miles. From Munson, rather than going straight west on the Beech Creek to Wallaceton, the new route will take the NYC Philipsburg branch, going about 7 miles southwest to Philipsburg, following Moshannon Creek. I "think" Corman may own this branch ROW already, not 100% sure. This letter by Corman's attorney says it was abandoned in 1995 with the rest of the Clearfield Cluster, but it doesn't say exactly that Corman owns it. http://www.stoplandfill.com/STB/090430_EI-17533_FletcherSippel.pdf On the northwest side of PHilipsurg, the old ROW crosses the old PRR Clearfield branch, which is now already owned and in service by Corman, from Philipsburg going northwest to Wallaceton (approx 4-5 miles) . http://www.stoplandfill.com/STB/TrashTrainMap0904.pdf At Wallaceton it ties back into the NYC origingal Beech Creek route to Clearfield, right near where the NYC Beech Creek section to Winbourne & Munson would have connected.

At the crossing of the NYC PHilipsburg Br and the PRR Clearfield Branch near Philipsburg, a 2500 ft connector has to be built. I am guessing the Corman will have to buy land for that. Although the documents don't say this, I found out by chance from old maps that back in the day, NYC did have a spur for a short distance parallel to the PRR here, going up to near Graham http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.asp?fname=plpb22sw.jpg&state=PA. Comparing the new route map posted above and the old topo, the new connector will pretty closely follow the old NYC route from its Philipsburg Br. to this spur. Maybe Corman got that land too already from Conrail, going back to the olden days? No idea when that spur went out of service... Does anyone know??

The new route will be few miles longer to operate, but about a mile less to be reconstructed.

JS
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Rail/Trail back to Rail

Postby JacksonCoalMiningCompany » Thu May 24, 2012 12:02 pm

Hello all:

New here, trying to get adjusted, I'm from Pa, and didn't know where was the best place to post this, please adjust as necessary. I wondered of there was any input on this topic?

http://www.centredaily.com/2012/05/22/3 ... claim.html

Thanks
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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby jrevans » Thu May 24, 2012 12:30 pm

pumpers wrote:I did some more reading of STB documents, etc. 2 interesting things.
JS


Thanks for doing that homework. I have a better idea of what they are doing now.

We also need to thank the "stop land fill" people for putting together nice maps....

From what I hear, most landfill developments when done properly are a real boon for the area. I understand people not wanting a large landfill in their back yards, but it appears to be away from most population, and I doubt that the reactivated railroad will be a horrible disruption to their lives.
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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby bearinbigblue » Tue May 29, 2012 2:17 pm

I don't think the problem here is essentially the railroad. I have a hunting cabin in this area and from what I've heard, the problem is that the landfill is very close to Black Moshannon state park. I've hiked the trail numerous times and to spoil the beauty of this forest with a landfill just doesn't make sense, especially since the developer is from Eastern Pa and nowhere near the area. And the comment of a landfill being a boon to an area is exactly what these people don't want. This isn't your usual nimby group, they have a point about what may detract from a very beautiful section of Penns Woods.
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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue May 29, 2012 5:49 pm

From a railfan's POV, this is terrific news. It's nice to know it can happen. I'm going to cross=post in Trails and then bring back here. Please keep us posted. I know some other states, particularly CT, have quite an inventory of rail- and land- banked ROW's.
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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby pumpers » Tue May 29, 2012 8:38 pm

I posted the following on the Lansdale thread a week ago where the reactivation first came up. I guess it's time to move it here. As I said, there are arguments on both sides. I think the initial dump plan was for something like 400 or 500 acres (the better part of a square mile). It has now been scaled down to ~50 acres IIRC. But as bearinbigblue would probably say, it is still 50 acres, quite a piece of real estate.

With the economy just barely bumping along, I don't know how gung ho the financial backers still are. The whole things was first proposed back before the recession. We'll see.... JS

pumpers wrote:
blockline4180 wrote:Some GOOD railroad news for once!!!

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/reg ... 40%2C60%2C


"The Surface Transportation Board on Monday granted final approval for what it called "a first of its kind" rail line. It gave R.J. Corman Railroad Co./Pennsylvania Lines Inc. (RJCP) authority "to build and operate a new rail line using right-of-way previously rail-banked as well as new right-of-way, near Wallaceton, Pa."

This is very surprising -- possibly the biggest rail to trail back to rail conversion ever. A lot of arguments on both sides. It is an extension of RJ Corman's lines in the Clearfield area, reactivating part of the NYC Beech Creek RR, which was used primarily I think to move coal from central PA to the NYC line heading north from Jersey Shore PA to the NYC main in NY. It was also used as a freight and passenger through route (especially in the early days for passengers) with NYC traffic from the west to connect with the Reading in Williamsport to continue to PHiladelphia. Not sure if local coal headed west.

Here is a map showing the NYC in 1918 -- http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~24566~900058:Map-of-the-New-York-Central-Lines-- (you have to click a bit to enlarge). The section is from just west of Munson to about 1/2 way east to Snow Shoe in central PA. (Note Lake Shore & Michigan Southern -LSMS- was part of NYC).

Also, can the moderator move it to its own thread,
JS
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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby mikeexplorer » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:54 pm

The original proposal called for a 250 acre landfill but has been scaled back to 50 acres plus a "waste to ethanol" facility.

The landfill will be next to the state park area, and forever change the landscape of the area.
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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby mikeexplorer » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:02 am

Document about the history of the line.

http://go.owu.edu/~jbkrygie/krygier_htm ... le_bc.html
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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby Jeremy Zella » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:42 am

Wow, THIS IS A HUGE WIN! I always believed that once a line becomes a trail it is forever gone... Kudos to RJC for this victory! Maybe some other rail lines (SEPTA!!!) can follow in-suit and reactivate other lines :-)

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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby blockline4180 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:59 pm

Jeremy Zella wrote:Wow, THIS IS A HUGE WIN! I always believed that once a line becomes a trail it is forever gone... Kudos to RJC for this victory! Maybe some other rail lines (SEPTA!!!) can follow in-suit and reactivate other lines :-)

J



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Yes, it is great news and hopefully more people in the future will see the benefit of shipping freight by rail, rather then truck!
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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby U.V.#200 GE70 Tonner » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:22 pm

Anybody have any updates on this? Just curious if this is still going to happen or has it been put on the back burner for now. Thanks for any info.
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Re: R. J. Corman reactivating a rail-banked line

Postby pumpers » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:24 pm

U.V.#200 GE70 Tonner wrote:Anybody have any updates on this? Just curious if this is still going to happen or has it been put on the back burner for now. Thanks for any info.

I've been wondering the same thing. Can't find news on the web. The fate of the line is tied to a landfill and/or ethanol plant someone wants to build, which have a lot of local opposition. JS
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