Trains.com

SEPTA Newtown Branch rails to trails back to rails?

966 views
4 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Denver / La Junta
  • 10,439 posts
Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, December 30, 2021 8:22 AM

roundstick

SEPTA/Conrail never applied for a "interim use as a railbanked trail" or applied for a "petition of Abadonment" with the ICC and then the STB so any rail removal or cessation of service could be overturned by a petition by anyone who wants to pay a 2,000.00 filing fee (fees waived or reduced to non profits to the Surface Transportation Board.

395 E Street SW
Washington, DC 20423
(202) 245-0245 | TTY (800) 877-8339

 

Which usually is thrown out by STB or the owning railroad during the vetting process as not being a legitimate OFA. (and why there are lots of phony rails-to-trails claims out there). Most likely there is a fundemental lack of understanding of the law and the STB adopted rules that go with it. Said phony rails to trails claimant never negotiated with the owning RR, never had the cash to buy the underlying real property, never could be vetted as a responsible operating entity with a proper organisation or operating plan with funding. There are plenty of places where they got over the first hurdle only to fail as a responsible trail owner. (usually politically driven local governmet agencies .... a big fail is changing ownership or operating entity that fails to report the changes to STB that still holds jurisdiction over the railroad corridor. They remain a rail corridor first and a trail/plaything secondly.)

Hopefully the STB Rail Customer Public Assistance (RCPA) attorney culls most of the phony or miguided efforts out before there is a formal real filing.

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
  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 7,953 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 5:07 PM

Just briefly, and with a little bit of cynicism thrown in, as someone with relatives in the area, and as one who looks in on the local news because of that, there's been a lot of talk about what SEPTA would LIKE to do.  Whether it's going to get done or not is another matter. 

Remember, this is 2021, not 1905.  There's hurdles to be jumped over and obstacles to be butted through now that would have sent the trolley and interurban line builders of the early 20th Century to an insane asylum.  We all know what they are, no point in going into them. 

It MAY happen, but don't hold your breath. 

There's also starry-eyed talk about running commuter/passenger trains on an old Reading line that runs through Valley Forge Park and into Philly.  Just one problem, Norfolk-Southern owns the line now, and you know what THAT means!  

  • Member since
    December 2021
  • 13 posts
Posted by roundstick on Monday, December 27, 2021 3:10 PM

SEPTA/Conrail never applied for a "interim use as a railbanked trail" or applied for a "petition of Abadonment" with the ICC and then the STB so any rail removal or cessation of service could be overturned by a petition by anyone who wants to pay a 2,000.00 filing fee (fees waived or reduced to non profits to the Surface Transportation Board.

395 E Street SW
Washington, DC 20423
(202) 245-0245 | TTY (800) 877-8339

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Denver / La Junta
  • 10,439 posts
Posted by mudchicken on Saturday, December 25, 2021 6:05 PM

USRA Line Code 1186.

Don't hold your breath.

Before anything happens, SEPTA would have to grow a brain (and the local politicians (clueless) & trails people would have to wake up and smell the coffee). SEPTA still owns the thing apparently and only covers it with a discontinuance of service (freight operator CR (now CSX here.) pulled out and discontinued circa 1984-86 as well)  . Parts of the line are LEASED for trails purposes to Montgomery (and Bucks?) county, including the 1921 wreck site. The trails could go away at any time. No abandonment docket posted, no NITU or CITU. Assume, for now, that SEPTA and MaDOT remain clueless about what they acquired from USRA and the PennCentral estate (Boondoggle of large impact from the 1970's that has never completely seen the light of day) ... as owner of the line, SEPTA is not living up to some of its ICC/STB obligations due to the lines' heritage and connection to the interstate network. Potential mess is in the offing.

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
  • Member since
    December 2021
  • 13 posts
SEPTA Newtown Branch rails to trails back to rails?
Posted by roundstick on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 10:03 AM

Population density and upscale borough of Yardly being near by this would be a winner. I already know the story about the Byrn Athen wreck and the union busting of SEPTA at the time so lets not hash that out here.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy