• Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by RailsEast
Greetings all.....this is out of my area, but I remember the RR being in the news the past couple of years. I found this while perusing the STB website, so perhaps there may be a long shot chance of preserving rail service up your way.

https://www.stb.gov/filings/all.nsf/ba7 ... 246446.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

  by johnpbarlow
Given new owner Omnitrax agrees not to store surplus cars for the long term on the S&NC, NYS DEC says it will put its abandonment application at STB in abeyance for 90 days.

https://poststar.com/news/local/state-b ... 2b6f5.html

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has asked federal officials to postpone its application to have a section of rail line in Warren and Essex counties considered “abandoned.”

Citing discussions between rail line owner Iowa Pacific Holdings and would-be buyer OmniTRAX, and a pledge by OmniTRAX not to pursue “long-term” train car storage on the line, the DEC’s counsel in the case asked for a 90-day “abeyance” in its application to allow sale discussions to continue.

OmniTRAX has agreed not to pursue train car storage on the line, in return for the DEC’s withdrawal of the abandonment application, state Assistant Attorney General Joshua Tallent wrote in a letter sent to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.
  by CPSmith
Well, this ought to be interesting …

In the NYSDEC filing with the STB, the DEC states:

“As outlined in the attached letter to DEC from counsel for OmniTRAX, OmniTRAX has represented to the Department that, should it proceed with the contemplated purchase, it would enter into a binding and enforceable agreement with DEC barring OmniTRAX from using the Line for the long-term storage of rail cars.”

That might be what the State thinks and what the State is peddling to the public, but in fact, OmniTRAX said no such thing. Here’s a portion of OmniTRAX’ statement (from the same filing):

“… OmniTRAX also hereby reaffirms its intent to negotiate with NYSDEC a mutually acceptable and binding agreement, which, when successfully completed, would govern the long-term storage of freight cars not used in the service of on-Line customers …”

Note the language difference. Right now I’d say the OmniTRAX lawyers are smarter than the State lawyers. The OmniTRAX lawyers know that if OmniTRAX successfully acquires operating authorization from the board and assumes common carrier obligations (as did S&NC) that certain railroad operations are federally pre-empted, including but not limited to rail car storage.

Contract Law 101 says that illegal contracts are unenforceable. If any railroad and any state or local authority enter into an agreement (contract) barring a railroad from storing cars, that agreement is unenforceable because that action is pre-empted by federal law.

So for the State to promote otherwise, it is … Disingenuous? Improper? Fraudulent? Take your pick.

By the way, our NYS tax dollars are paying for this sham. Just so you know.
  by BandA
They can enter into a voluntary agreement I think. The question is, how much money is the state paying for that agreement? For example, they could agree not to store cars in exchange for not paying income tax & reimbursement for property taxes. Or free upgrade $$$
  by DutchRailnut
so you suggest they blackmail the state ??
  by BandA
No, the state wants something from them, the owner of the track. The state should pay for that. What seems to be happening is the state is agreeing not to sue them (which costs the railroad money & puts their rights at risk of confiscation), and wants them to agree to stop the pain.
  by CPSmith
This gives me hope. Not everyone in NYS has lost their mind. Both the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board (APLGRB) and the Essex County IDA have filed with the STB in opposition to the adverse abandonment.

https://www.stb.gov/filings/all.nsf/ba7 ... enDocument" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://www.stb.gov/filings/all.nsf/ba7 ... enDocument" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Let me know if the links don't work. Thanks.
  by johnpbarlow
S&NC passenger equipment was seen passing through Greenbelt, MD on a CSX freight on 10/30/18.
  by Jeff Smith
Recreational uses proposed: PostStar.com

Brief, fair-use:
Revolution Rail Co., the rail bike company that was ousted from a rail line north of North Creek, has filed a lawsuit against the owner of the line, claiming that the rail owner illegally terminated its contract with the rail bike provider.

The litigation, filed last week in state Supreme Court in Essex County, seeks to have the company’s contract reinstated to allow rail bike operations in the spring.

Revolution Rail Co. has operated on tracks north of North River for the last two summer seasons. offering rides on pedal-powered rail bikes over the Hudson River and into the state Forest Preserve. The tracks are owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings, which operated Saratoga & North Creek Railway on the local rail line for 6 years before closing last spring amid financial problems.

Iowa Pacific is in the process of selling the line that runs from North Creek to the hamlet of Tahawus in Newcomb to OmniTRAX of Colorado. On Nov. 13, legal counsel for SNCR sent a letter to Revolution Rail canceling its contract for 2019, claiming that Revolution Rail’s insurance policy was inadequate.
  by eolesen
Here's the docket.

Exhibit 1 is the original agreement, Exhibits 2 thru 4 onward are the correspondence between Iowa Pacific and Revolution.

https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef ... sPageNum=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by lvrr325
It took some research but I believe so.

it appears the Huntsville and Madison County Railroad Authority in Alabama purchased four B38-8s from Iowa Pacific, this one, one painted SLRG and two still in LMX paint. Per a rrpicturearchives photo it's been there since at least January 2017. They also roster a former CSX/L&N U23B, a former NS/SOU B23-7, and may still roster a former LV SW9 (would be good to find out where this engine, 8933, went). A former NYC SW9 was scrapped in 2013.
  by tahawus84
Thanks for the info. Glad it’s still in the d+h inspired scheme not sure how long it will stay that way.
  by Safetee
Well the SNC may have died but there apparently is no shortage of litigants to savor the carcass. According to an article today, the Warren county folks ( the landlord) are after the SNC or its owner IP to pay off a few debts. Also looking for justice from SNC is the rail bicycle tours group that had its operating contract thrown out the window.
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