• UP Being Taken to STB Over Tennessee Pass

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by John_Perkowski
Here’s the link: Real estate moguls seek to pry Tennessee Pass line away from Union Pacific

Fair use snippet: WASHINGTON — A firm controlled by billionaire New York City real estate magnates has asked the Surface Transportation Board to order Union Pacific to sell its 228-mile Tennessee Pass route so that the historic Colorado line can be reactivated.
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  by Jeff Smith
https://www.vaildaily.com/news/feds-ref ... line-sale/
A federal agency will not force Union Pacific to sell a railroad line that rolls through the valley.

A Kansas-based grain producer, KCVN, wants to buy Union Pacific’s Tennessee Pass railroad line to create a more direct route to West Coast markets and ports. Union Pacific said no, so KCVN asked the Surface Transportation Board to force Union Pacific to sell. The STB refused.

However, the STB, the federal agency that oversees America’s railways, left the door open just a crack, dismissing KCVN’s request “without prejudice,” meaning KCVN could come up with additional information and make its request again.

KCVN’s $8.8 million offer for the Tennessee Pass line is competing with another offer, reportedly from Rio Grande Pacific, to make it part of a system hauling crude oil from Utah’s Uintah Basin to Gulf Coast refineries. That could mean up to 400,000 barrels a day in as many as 10 trains rolling through the valley.
KCVN offered UP $10 million for the 229-mile Tennessee Pass line on November 14, 2019. Union Pacific declined the offer on Dec. 30, 2019.
It would cost $278 million to rehabilitate it, KCVN’s filing says. The Tennessee Pass line runs from Pueblo, over Tennessee Pass and down through the Vail Valley to Dotsero. Union Pacific has not used the Tennessee Pass line since the mid-1990s when UP merged with Southern Pacific.
  by Engineer Spike
I'm holding out for the rest of the story. Why would anyone really want to buy the line? First, it is a bout the least efficient line to the west. Secondly, once the line ties into the line from Denver, where does it go from there? I have reservations about whether this is some kind of real estate scam, or a scam to scrap the line.
  by codasd
A recent article the in Minturn newspaper mentioned UP reopening the line west to Gypsum. Google shows some rock slides west of Beaver Creek so there is some work to be done if that is the plan. Not sure why it would be reopened. Climax mine seems to get along fine without it.
KCVN was looking at the ROW west of Tower, CO that runs to Pueblo.
  by Backshophoss
It is a more direct route to the west (Salt Lake City) and the west coast ports for grain/corn exports,a combine ex DRGW with the ex-MoPac out of KC makes sense.
  by dave1905
"More direct" doesn't necessarily mean anything, especially for bulk trains. It's not necessarily faster or cheaper because of grades and the additional horsepower required. Plus what do you do with the trains at either end? Where do you get the grain trains from? Is the plan for the UP to haul the trains from Kansas to Denver, give them to the Tennessee Pass line, who hauls them to Grand Junction and gives them back to the UP to haul to where? That line ties into Provo on the line to LA, LA isn't a big grain port. Most of the grain goes to the PNW, so the UP would have to haul it back up to Ogden and Pocatello to rejoin the line to the PNW.

Or the UP could haul it from Kansas to Denver, up to Cheyenne and straight to Pocatello and the PNW with no engine changes, no interchanges and no detours.

This would just be a glorified Roscoe, Snyder and Pacific.
  by Pensyfan19
Colorado Pacific just said it would provide passenger service along the route if they had ownership, based on Rio Grande´s 1964 timetable of the route! I say, if it means bringing back daily passenger service on a route which hasn´t seen any since the 60s, go for it! :-D

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... -pass-line
Colorado Pacific Railroad is making another bid to obtain the former Denver & Rio Grande Western Tennessee Pass line through the Colorado Rockies from Union Pacific, and this time says it will operate passenger service as one of several moves to gain support for its effort.

In a letter to the chairs of five boards of county commissioners along the route, the law firm representing Colorado Pacific says the railroad would provide daily passenger service between Pueblo and Minturn, Colo., citing a 1964 Denver & Rio Grande timetable to show what that service might look like. The passenger service would be provided as part of the effort to “meet the statutory test for public convenience and necessity,” which the Surface Transportation board said was lacking in an earlier bid to purchase the line [see “Regulators toss out effort to force UP to sell Tennessee Pass,” Trains News Wire, March 18, 2020].

Another letter, to the head of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Transit & Rail, requests support for a possible STB filing. That letter says the latest effort has reduced the planned scope of the intended purchase. The prior bid sought to obtain the entire Tennessee Pass line between Pueblo and Dotsero, Colo. The new effort seeks only to purchase the inactive 159.5-mile portion between Parkdale and Sage, Colo., while seeking access at either end through Union Pacific or BNSF Railway.
  by Backshophoss
That was the "Royal Gorge" timeline Pueblo-Salida
  by John_Perkowski
Is "Colorado Pacific" Iowa Pacific by another name?

I have a feeling passenger service over Tennessee Pass will be scenic only? Can anyone believe that UP would permit trackage rights from Dotsero to Grand Junction or even SLC?
  by J.D. Lang
How many daily freights are there presently between Dotsero and SLC? There can't be that many because they've consolidated most of the thru traffic to the overland route. Liability notwithstanding I would think they would be amendable to leasing trackage rights to a scenic operation like they do with the ski trains on the front range.
  by codasd
The Tennessee Pass route would afford great access to Vail and Beaver Creek for skiing. I'm not sure what the run times would be but beats having to drive the Eisenhower tunnel and Vail Pass in snow on a busy weekend.
  by Rockingham Racer
John_Perkowski wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:51 pm Is "Colorado Pacific" Iowa Pacific by another name?

I have a feeling passenger service over Tennessee Pass will be scenic only? Can anyone believe that UP would permit trackage rights from Dotsero to Grand Junction or even SLC?

Apparently BNSF has rights. They run a frequent Provo-Denver manifest over the route.
  by codasd
From the Aspen Times yesterday 'After decades of little to no use, rail service may return to the Tennessee Pass line. The Colorado, Midland & Pacific Railway Company announced Thursday it has completed an agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad for commercial use on the line, which stretches from roughly Canon City to Eagle.

The Colorado, Midland is a subsidiary of the Rio Grande Pacific Corporation, which operates freight and passenger railroads in eight states.'
Not sure what's in store...
  by fp7fan
Something doesn't make sense with the lease deal between the UP and Colorado, Midland & Pacific - the CM&P is going to pour millions of $ into the line to rehabilitate it and then make money running passenger service between Minturn and Pueblo? If there was a need for that, somebody would have started a bus service already. There's no need for freight service along this line that I'm aware of, so how are they going to make money? Anyone? Bueller?
  by Shortline614
Looking into the Tennessee Pass lease, I think it's just an attempt by Union Pacific to make sure it doesn't fall into the hands of Colorado Pacific. The ColPac wanted the STB to force UP to sell it to them, but you can't have the government force you to sell a rail line to someone else if someone else is already operating over it. The STB app also says that if the Colorado Midland & Pacific interchanges with any other railroad besides UP, the amount the CMP has to pay to maintain the lease increases. I think the promises of passenger trains are just a way that UP and CMP can sell this to the public in face of ColPac's resistance.

ColPac has issued a response: http://www.realvail.com/colorado-pacifi ... old/a9774/

I already have my popcorn.