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

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by l008com
There must have been signals on the Bedford Branch between the junction in Bedford and Alewife. But they removed those without a trace :(
  by ArthurSampson
The Wikipedia article and citations for the Mass Central Rail Trail answers some of the questions in this thread:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Cent ... _-_Wayside

Protect Sudbury lost the 2nd petition to the STB. They also lost the 2 Massachusetts Land Court cases they filed in 2022 and 2023 challenging the MBTA's ownership/Eminent Domain of the ROW since at least 1977.

The MBTA reserves the right to reactivate rail. The lease with Eversource does not prohibit that, at least according to the STB.

The diamond is supposed to be placed inside the rail rotary after the Mass Central Rail Trail is finished.

Also, Table 2 from the historic preservation plan linked in the article lists a few dozen items to be avoided or removed/reset, including the diamond junction, Section Tool House, South Sudbury Station, Telegraph Poles, Mileposts, Whistle posts, etc.

https://sudbury.ma.us/wp-content/upload ... -HPAPP.pdf
  by ArthurSampson
The second STB ruling:
https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... /51395.pdf
The Board explained that it did not need to address the preemption question because PSI had no interest in rail transportation and no property interest in the rail corridor. Id. The Board further stated that allowing PSI to use preemption for the sole purpose of preventing the installation of a power line that had been approved by the relevant state agencies and had twice been the subject of litigation before the state’s highest court would risk abuse of the Board’s statute and processes. The Board also found it unnecessary to determine whether the Line was abandoned because PSI only raised the abandonment issue in order to reach the preemption question.
As explained above, Landowners’ petition arises from a prior proceeding involving PSI. After the Board declined PSI’s request for a declaratory order, Landowners filed a petition arguing that, unlike PSI, they have a potential property interest in the right-of-way and that a Board decision to clarify the status of the Line is needed before Landowners can bring a court claim with respect to these claimed potential rights. The Board finds that these assertions do not warrant issuance of a declaratory order.
Given that Landowners admittedly have no current property interest in the right-of-way under state law and that a Board order regarding the status of the Line will have no effect on the parties’ property rights unless the state court invalidates MBTA’s taking, the Board will exercise its discretion not to issue a declaratory order at this time. However, if Landowners are successful in invalidating the taking and establishing that they hold reversionary rights, the Board would be willing to address the status of the Line.
All of which explains why the 2022 and 2023 lawsuits in MA Land Court were attempted.

2022 MA Land Court Case:
https://tinyletter.com/SudburyWeekly/le ... zling-week
Later in the day the case was dismissed without prejudice. So it looks like the new batch of plaintiffs will have to start the whole process all over again.
2023 MA Land Court Case:
https://tinyletter.com/SudburyWeekly/le ... -is-coming
The voluntary dismissal was a bit of a surprise conclusion to the matter. In a December 13, 2022 update on the Protect Sudbury website, the groups president noted that Protect Sudbury was actively involved in the challenge:

"Since my last update, we have retained the firm of Bernkopf Goodman in order to fully develop the harmed landowner’s case and prepare it for presentation to the court in early January."

He also went on to voice confidence in their chances of success:

"There is a good chance to prevail in this case and prevent installation of transmission lines on the MBTA right-of-way, while preserving DCR’s ability to create the Mass Central Rail Trail on the existing surface easement. Continued support through financial contributions is key to the Protect Sudbury’s ability to push forward with this case as the MBTA will not go down without a fight. We have vowed to take this fight to its conclusion provided we have the support of the community. Your donations are key to our on-going success."

It's unclear what exactly drove the plaintiffs to pursue the voluntary dismissal given the confidence that was projected at the outset. There have been no further updates on the Protect Sudbury website since January 2023. Sudbury Weekly contacted Protect Sudbury to offer an opportunity to comment, but we have not heard back as of this writing.
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