The deed is done, RIP Albany Main

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The deed is done, RIP Albany Main

Postby Albanymain » Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:59 pm

I went accross the Thruway bridge over the Normanskill Gorge this weekend and the rails and ties were torn up on the Albany Main
Albanymain
 

Postby DelawareHudson » Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:54 pm

Piece by piece I've watched it go. I shall not go into details, it is disrespectful to the dead. Don't think CSX had nothing to do with this either, to get rid of the diamonds at VO. Some of us knew back in 2000 they weren't ever going back. Thank God I got to see some decent trains on it before it was closed. Goodbye old friend. We will all miss you dearly.
DelawareHudson
 

Postby DJ » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:54 pm

What a waste. This is just another case of thinking for the short term only. I'll bet that in 10 to 15 years people will look at this ROW and see all that can be done with it. Only then, the cost will be huge.

Look how much that area has grown already. I'm 32, and 15 years ago it was not built up the way it is now. This is a perfect commuter rail line, and it runs right to the Port of Albany! Who knows what kind of stuff will be shipped into and out of there in the future.

My point is start a cummuter service now, to let people get used to it. More people will ride it as time goes by, and the suburbs get bigger, gas prices increase, ect. The Albany Metro has more than 800,000 people living in it. That's in 2000. Just think about 15 years from now. Who knows?

Maybe some freight traffic will develop. There is a port at the end of the line. At least the line would be intact and people would be used to trains running on it.

I guess its to late now, and I'm sure we will pay for it later. I'm glad I got to see it in use in the late '80s and early '90s.
DJ
 

Postby march hare » Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:52 pm

I doubt the freight traffic will ever be there again, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear of a revival for light rail use a few decades from now.

The experience of the newer LRT lines has to make you think of light rail as a way of guiding future growth, not just as a means to deal with current congestion. Even Dallas --arguably the most transit-hostile environment in the US-- is seeing major new residential/commercial developments sited near transit stations.

As Kevin Costner said in a different setting--"Build it, and they will come."

There certainly isn't the population density in Albany County to justify using the Albany Main now. I just hope that they manage to preserve it in some way so that it could be used in the future.
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etc

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:58 pm

Tri as much as I can and I can't count 800,000 people living in the Albany
Metro area. Throw in Utica and Pittsfield and all of southern Vermont
and it still will not add up.
The Albany Main would serve Delmar, Slingerlands, Voorheesville, part of
New Scotland and maybe a little more. Probably not more than 40,000
people living in the entire area. Some of these people would not be able
to use commuter rail as they would be working at hours that the trains
would not operate or in areas that can not be reached by any public
transportation.
This is a classic situation of "wouldn't it be nice if".
Would you want your taxes to go up to help pay for something like this?
Noel Weaver
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Postby DJ » Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:41 pm

Here is proof. This is taken right from the US census website. Look a few lines down the page and you will see Albany, Schenectady, Troy MSA.

This will show you the population of the whole metro area, not just the City of Albany. The city of Albany alone has over 90,000 people.

You will see that the number is well over 800,000, and that was in 2000. I do not post numbers on message boards without being able to back them up.

Next time look a little harder before you attack me.
http://www.census.gov/population/estima ... a99-05.txt
DJ
 

etc

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Aug 20, 2004 11:44 pm

Your figures are correct, please accept my apologies.
I read the figures wrong.
Still do not think the old Albany Main would make a viable commuter line.
Maybe a demo. light rail using diesel railcars could be tried but I just don't
think there is enough population to be served on that line.
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Postby DJ » Sat Aug 21, 2004 4:48 pm

I accept your apologies.

I would agree with you that right now, the demand for commuter service on this line would be low. But 15 years from now, who knows.

I just like to think about what is best for the long term. If one looks on a topographic map of the area, it's easy to see how the line could be right in the middle of a built up suburb. I've seen how much growth has taken place in the last 15 years. With all that is going on today, I think it's time to start rethinking transportation issues. I really don't think we can have a "business as usual" attitude.

Why let a useable ROW, in a metro area such as this, return to nature. I won't even get into the NIMBY's

I'd rather pay a small tax now, than a huge one 15 years from now.
DJ
 

Albany main

Postby Albanymain » Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:36 pm

Again if all that is considered is ridership by the residents of Bethlehem etc, I agree that there is probably not enough people to justify a commuter line, but that is the same mistake that was made when they studied a commuter line to Clifton Park.

Your basic everyday yuppie puke is not going to get out of their H2 or other high priced sedan to ride on the train. The single mother that works at Albany med and lives in Duanesburgh will though. Or a guy like me working in the city and doesn't want to pay $70-90 dollars for surface lot parking will. How about the county workers that don't get parking covered, or the lower level state workers that don't get parking paid for, I'm sure they would ride. There is a large pool of labor that comes out of western Sch'dy county, the hilltowns of Albany county and the Schoharie Valley to work in Albany.

The rulers of Capitaland only care about the pukes sitting in the traffic on the Northway not the working stiffs coming in from other areas.


As a side note how lucky is it that the Wellington Hotel, which has the misfortune of being on the real estate that the Mayor want's to put his convention center on, has developed serious structural problems! I can not believe how lucky the Mayor is, the sun is always shining on him, hmmmm that must be where the perpetual tan comes from. I could see this crap coming from 10 miles away. Ahhhh Albany an All American city!!
Albanymain
 

Countering view

Postby march hare » Mon Aug 30, 2004 1:25 pm

Not to get into too much class warfare here, but on a nationwide basis, it is precisely the yuppies that DO form the core of commuter rail ridership.

In most cases, the first people to start riding a new service are paying MORE to commute by rail than they would by driving. Even with gas prices at 2 bucks a gallon and people paying for parking, the choice is largely a matter of convenience and hassle avoidance, not cost.

I totally agree that the ROW should be preserved for future use. In the short term, that ain't likely to be use as a rail corridor. I would use it for sure (I live in Schoharie County and work downtown), but there simply aren't enough people like me to make a service like that worthwhile. There's already bus service on this route, and they have a hard time filling one trip a day downtown.

BTW, anybody ever give a thought to where the downtown commuter terminal would be? Not a lot of room available, thanks to I-787.

I know rail-to-trail is an unpopular idea on forums like this, but realisically, that's the highest and best use for the Albany Main. It would at least keep the ROW intact. Once it's parted out, God help you trying to put it back together again.
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albany main future

Postby AMFan » Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:32 am

Any speculation on what will happen to the ROW? I know the trail fanatics want it, but a Times Union article several months ago implied that CP may be playing hard to get on selling the real estate. Is is possible that CP may hold onto it in case NS decides they want it? Somebody must be in the know out there.
AMFan
 

Postby DelawareHudson » Thu Sep 16, 2004 4:01 pm

I don't think CP wants it at all because of the taxes. I am not positive who ownership goes to when a line or portion thereof is officially abandoned, but I don't think the RR keeps it, IIRC. Abandonment was requested, and approved by the STB.
DelawareHudson
 

Ownership of abandoned railroad right-of-way

Postby ChiefTroll » Thu Sep 16, 2004 5:53 pm

After a railroad is abandoned, the eventual ownership of the land depends on the way in which the land ownership was transferred to the railroad in the first place. Many people assume that there is a reversionary clause in the railroad's deed, where the land ownership reverts to the owner of the parcel from which it was taken. That has happened in New York State, but not as frequently as some adjacent landowners would wish. The title to the reversion has to pass with the title to the adjacent property, else it would end up with an estate of a person who died a century ago, and it might not be possible to track down the heirs, if any.

Usually the railroad company owns the land in fee simple, and is free to dispose of it just like any other landowner. The parcels are generally fairly narrow, sometimes 66 or 100 feet wide. That affects their value, so sometimes the best return on the land sale comes from selling it as a strip to a governmental authority.
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Postby DJ » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:22 pm

DJ wrote:Here is proof. This is taken right from the US census website. Look a few lines down the page and you will see Albany, Schenectady, Troy MSA.

This will show you the population of the whole metro area, not just the City of Albany. The city of Albany alone has over 90,000 people.

You will see that the number is well over 800,000, and that was in 2000. I do not post numbers on message boards without being able to back them up.

Next time look a little harder before you attack me.
http://www.census.gov/population/estima ... a99-05.txt


I looked a little harder at this site.

I am wrong.

The area's population did not really grow that much in the 10 year period prior. There is really no reason for me to think it will grow that much in the next 10 to 15 years. This means no reason for local government to buy the ROW.

I was dreaming, and now I fear the Albany Main is gone forever.
DJ
 

Mother nature likes to take back what was once hers

Postby AMFan » Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:43 am

Thought it would be fun to rejunate some talk on this subject.
The ROW from VO to Albany is quickly being reclaimed by mother nature, it sure happens fast. It's kinda cool to still see the signals still in place on both sides at VO. The diamonds are still sitting in the weeds, I fully expected CSX to have hauled them away by now for use elsewhere or for scrap value. Maybe it will happen this summer. I have not seen an ounce of information in the newspaper or elsewhere regarding the disposition of the ROW. The trail people were foaming at the mouth over this several years ago. I still speculate that CP will sit on the real estate rather than sell it. If anyone has heard anything, please post.
AMFan
 

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