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East Terminal Railway YouTube channel ("We brought an abandoned railroad")

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Posted by scale on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 7:25 AM

I'm pretty sure he said in one of the videos his ROW was 100' wide.  If my railroad history is correct that's pretty standard for a lot of railroads when they built lines.  One "chain" was easy to measure, and it was plenty wide.  If so, he owns 50' on each side of the tracks.

 

It would be a bit strange, but I wonder if he's leasing the track over by the buildings from the same people he bought the parcel from.  They may not want to sell it, least someone want to come in and redevelop the whole property tearing out the siding and building and making something new.  But they may be more than happy to make some $$$ off him until that day comes.  The thin narrow parcel he bought does not have the same opportunity, and "owning" it may have been necessary for him to become a "real railroad" for some regulatory purposes.  It may also be he has an option to purchase it later he hasn't exercised yet, waiting for some revenue to come in.

 

I made a map based on the info we have so far, let me see if folks think this is right.

Red box - parcel from the tax records.
Cyan - ETRR "main line"
Purple - The "700" track.
Orange - "The J Lead", believe to be removed.
Green Oval - The brush pile.
Blue - The culvert
Yellow - The "panama canal".

Based on measuring on google maps, the cyan line is about 1,200 feet long. The "700" track is a bit over 1500 feet long in total.  

 

Google Maps Annotated

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Posted by deeplist on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 10:20 AM

According to the auditor, his parcel is 106.62 feet wide, so the 100 ft theory seems right, BUT when you look on the auditor map, the track is not centered. His parcel looks like it's about 75% to the left (west) of the track and 25% to the right (east) of the track.

Then the parcel adjacent to the south of his looks to be about half the width of his (probably around 50 ft +/-) and the track continues on into it dead centered within it's boundaries. (It's very long and narrow towards the top, and then becomes very wide just beyond TNT equipment and contains a large piece of woods just to the north of Brice Road.)

Which, even if he was to purchase the parcel to the south of his from the Columbus Corporate Center, the four sidings that branch off just below where he's at now would still be on the scare factory's property.

On a side note: Brian's parcel is 1269.92 ft long, which equates to 0.24 miles... so just shy of a quarter mile. So his statement of it being "about a mile" was pretty eggagerated.

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Posted by chutton01 on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 11:13 AM

They issued a new video on the 17th. Basically Brian starts on the line discussing an inspection of the property done by the connecting railroad (which I still maintain is the Ohio Central, but I am willing to be corrected). Walking south he states the railroad is OK with the switch to the 700 lead, but not with the next switch south (which leads nowhere as the diverging routes rails were missing - so that does match nicely with the J lead missing trackage as mentioned above.
The rest of the video covers them backfilling the temporary drainage channel, and getting rocks to use as rip-rap for the new channel they dug in the previous video (hand carrying them 1 or two a time to the little railcart they have - someone in the YouTube comments said they should have used a Georgia Buggy - looking it up I learned that what was those funky looking 'wheelbarrows' were called).
Finally we got a look at a railcar mover which they may (or may not) use on the line - one of the older style where the railwheels are perpendicular to the road wheels.

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Posted by scale on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 6:12 PM

Ohio provides a nice rail map: https://rail.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/ordc/rail-in-ohio/resources/01-printed-rail-map-request

If I'm reading it right, the main line just north of him is the Columbus & Ohio River Rail Road: https://www.gwrr.com/railroads/north_america/columbus__ohio_river_railroad#m_tab-one-panel

GWRR does also run the Ohio Central.  I suspect GWRR would also be much easier to deal with than CSX, NS, BNSF, CN, etc.

 

I just noticed.  The "J Lead" goes to a building labeled "Jacobi Carbons, Inc." at 432 McCormick Blvd.  Can't make sense of the "700 Lead" though.

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Posted by deeplist on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 10:42 AM
The "700 Track" branches off from him and then curves towards the west. It appears to split once more and have a spur going to the South-East corner of the Ferguson Plumbing Supply building, and then continue on along the south side of Ferguson and along the south side of the D+S Distribution building. What he's calling the "J Lead" doesn't go to anything. It looks like at one point it went to what is "Jacobi Carbons" on google maps, but not anymore. It appears the ballast and ties are still in place, but in his last video, you can see where the rails are cut at his switch, and it goes nowhere. This is where he said the ties are bad and failed inspection. The "other switches" that he was talking about that were supposedly inspected that he "didn't care about" I'm assuming are the ones to the south of his parcel that aren't on his property.
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Posted by chutton01 on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 12:27 PM

Hey Scale, the reason I keep saying 'Ohio Central' is the connecting road is because if you position Google Street on Walnut St. where the line runs past a Cemex unloding silo before branching off, there is a Ohio Central locomotive. (sort of looks like a GE B '-7' unit, at least the radiator does). That image is given as 2015, so things can change.
Today's video popped up during lunch, so to summarize
1) Brian gives us a little update while sitting by one of those new-fangled smokeless pot-bellied stoves, talks about how he gets some decent info from the comments section (not always a given from YouTube comments).  Lots of talk about tippers and dump-beds.
2) Heads to the storage shed where the Trackmobile (5 TM model) is stored, details its capabilities, operations, and specs in the now-usual Brian 'excruciating' detail. Graham starts up the trackmobile and raises and lowers the road wheels.  Actually...this was kind of interesting.
3) Back to the Columbus corporate park trackage for the wrap up. More or less a quick tour of the trackage, including the 'J' lead switch (why are they leaving it in when the rest of the siding was removed? Because they are considering laying a new storage track parallel to the current segment connected to that switch), the gauge bars (which are working), and sort of trails off as they walk down the tracks (as the camera stays in place on its tripod) discussing future plans (we also learn the connection RR did not like some stumps near the ROW). Bit scripted, but OK.
I did see the blue plastic pipe they installed under the tracks in earlier episode is just south of the J lead switch - which way are they draining the water again?

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Posted by scale on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 1:23 PM

There's a bit of a po-tah-to po-tat-to going on with the railroad name.

There's the name of the incorporated entity that owns the tracks.  This is often a jumble of corporate names from various mergers.  Genesee and Wyoming is the parent company, and they bought up a bunch of smaller railroads they operate as a system.  When viewed from this angle, the railroad that serves his siding is the "Columbus & Ohio River Rail Road" reporting marks CUOH.

Then there's the name you see on the rolling stock, locomotives, hi-rails, etc.  This is typically yet another incorporated entity, perhaps "D.B.A." (doing business as) the main name.  A class one may have an operating entity in each state for example, but DBA the name of the class one.  When viewed from this angle, I do expect the locmotives and such that show up on his property, if we ever see that, will say Ohio Central.

Note that while Genesee and Wyoming calls this the CUOH and states it interchanges with Ohio Central (https://www.gwrr.com/railroads/north_america/columbus__ohio_river_railroad#m_tab-one-panel) if you click on "Contacts" the General Manager is listed as "Timothy Slusser Ohio Central Railroad, Inc." while all other positions roll up to "Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services, Inc.".

Which is a long winded way of saying we're both right.  Genesee and Wyoming owns the whole kaboodle, track, maintenance and locomotives.  The track and land through a subsidiary called "Columbus & Ohio River Rail Road", the locomotives through one called "Ohio Central", and the mainteance through "Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services, Inc.".

I think. Big Smile

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Posted by East Terminal Railway on Friday, February 19, 2021 9:45 PM
You have all put a lot of good info in here, even some that I did not know. but we do ask that you keep our location information private. other then on here, where I believe y'all are just trying to understand more about our rail. we want to maintain our privacy as best we can to keep un-welcome guests form visiting E.T.R.
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Posted by mudchicken on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 12:46 PM

Neophyte - NOT a common carrier railroad, can't interchange with other railroads. At best a contract switching operation or an industrial customer. AAR,FRA and STB have nothing on him. (ETRX? ... ETR= Essex Terminal Railway (Windsor-Detroit area)) .... Needs to get busy starting at STB, then AAR, then FRA, then ASLRRA.... Starting to dig themselves a very expen$ive hole they may never get out of at $10K per federal Code 1 violation.

*pay serious heed to the Allied Dismantling(Mahoning County OH) and Cattaraugus cases at STB.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by MMLDelete on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 1:13 PM

scale

I'm pretty sure he said in one of the videos his ROW was 100' wide.  If my railroad history is correct that's pretty standard for a lot of railroads when they built lines.  One "chain" was easy to measure, and it was plenty wide.  If so, he owns 50' on each side of the tracks.

 

It would be a bit strange, but I wonder if he's leasing the track over by the buildings from the same people he bought the parcel from.  They may not want to sell it, least someone want to come in and redevelop the whole property tearing out the siding and building and making something new.  But they may be more than happy to make some $$$ off him until that day comes.  The thin narrow parcel he bought does not have the same opportunity, and "owning" it may have been necessary for him to become a "real railroad" for some regulatory purposes.  It may also be he has an option to purchase it later he hasn't exercised yet, waiting for some revenue to come in.

 

I made a map based on the info we have so far, let me see if folks think this is right.

Red box - parcel from the tax records.
Cyan - ETRR "main line"
Purple - The "700" track.
Orange - "The J Lead", believe to be removed.
Green Oval - The brush pile.
Blue - The culvert
Yellow - The "panama canal".

Based on measuring on google maps, the cyan line is about 1,200 feet long. The "700" track is a bit over 1500 feet long in total.  

 

Google Maps Annotated

 

If the ROW is 100 ft. wide, he does not own 50 ft. on each side of the track. You have to account for the width of the track. The ties are 8.5' long, hence the track is 8.5 ft. wide; that leaves 91.5 feet. Half of that is 45.75 ft.

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Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, February 25, 2021 12:50 AM

...probably each side of the centerline of the track. 100 ft R/W (50+50) is common for a main track R/W, not an industrial lead or backtrack.

L.O.: Local GIS* and Assessor/Auditor data is frequently wrong regarding railroad property and rights of way, don't hang your hat just on what some less than qualified button-pusher has guessed at. (The locals don't collect taxes from the railroads, the feds do.... for that reason alone, county mappers do some strange things.) Because he really isn't a railroad, but more of a sidetrack corridor land owner, suspect he will see a tax bill. (and absolutely has no idea what 49CFR1201 is)

 

* The GIS in Franklin County is controlled by the county auditor with the county engineer/surveyor having no oversight of what is being done. (serious credibility issue)

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, February 25, 2021 1:01 AM

CMStPnP

 

 
Lithonia Operator
I have no idea if this man knows what he's doing. You would think he'd have done the due diligence before buying that line. I'd love to know what he paid for it. To say it was overgrown is a giant understatement! I hope he does know what he's facing, and I wish him well.

 

Also, nobody has asked how you go about buying an "abandoned" rail line.   Legally, I would think that is impossible as real estate law in most cases states once the line is abandoned it reverts to the original property owner from whom the easement was obtained.     Unless the line was purchased by the state and held in a rail bank.......in which case it was not really abandoned.

 

 

...Only if the original color of title has a reversionary clause in it, is grant/charter R/W or is a R/W deed. Blanket statements like the above in red are an accident looking for a place to happen. (just like the assertion that all railroad corridors are easements - not true either and predominately wrong.) Color of title of the vesting deeds that created the rail corridor are ignored by many - a fatal flaw in many an argument.

What's in play here is a lot (Lot 5 - McCormick Blvd Columbus Industrial Park)in an industrial park (originally intended to be a shopping center)that just happens to have track on it bought with a Quit Claim deed. This could get murky & smelly really quick. What reception # 00025321 of 12/8/2020 says would be interesting to see. (Might be abandoned land and not an abandoned rail line)...All of this happened originally circa 1975 and the original railroad involved was Chessie System (and B&O two years before that... see B&0 valuation section 128 & PRR valuation section PCC&StL VS-2). Safe bet would be that neither the G&W or the wanna-be shortline has the ICC val maps in their possession on what started here before the advent of the shortline in 1992.

   
Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:07 AM

I don't know what they charge a month for car storage but for every $1 he invests in the physical plant increases the property tax on the physical plant.    It seems to me that he doesn't have enough track to cover all the costs but  I guess time will tell and it will depend on how much business he generates.   

Generating business is not easy and overestimating how much new business you can generate over a period of time is one of the methods which new businesses fail.

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, February 25, 2021 11:17 AM

CMStPnP
I don't know what they charge a month for car storage...

In the past I've heard of a dollar a day per car and two dollars a day per car.  I'm sure there are variations.

I know of operations nearby that have had 700 cars stored, and 1,300 cars stored.

At a buck a day per car, that covers a lot of the payroll...

LarryWhistling
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Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
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There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

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