CONNECT

Beacon Citizen Network (BCN): a place for neighbors to get the word out, be heard and stay informed in all matters concerning Beacon, NY.

SPONSORS

Photobucket

I started http://beaconline.org with the naive belief that getting a cheapo trolley on the beacon line to East Beacon/ Fishkill would be easy with the leverage Beacon wields over the MTA with the TOD. Throw in the concerns Main Street has with access to the train station/ TOD and it seemed a natural solution.

So I haunted a few forums populated by MetroNorth types with the naive belief I could rally support for the idea there: asking train guys about using unused train tracks sounds straightforward, right?

The hostility was unbelievable. I have reluctantly come around to the facts that #1: the MTA covets its hegemony over these tracks rabidly, #2: the MTA will never allow anyone to play ball with them on using the tracks. While all at the same time: the MTA doesn't do a damn thing with the tracks.

So I have come to the reluctant conclusion that the tracks need to be ripped up, and the line devoted to a trolleybus on asphalt/ cinder. Which is absurd, with perfectly good rail there.

However, the benefit is that the trolleybus can share the lane with bikes, and this can be extended all the way to Hopewell Junction, where you can hookup with the Dutchess rail trail and beyond. BTW, the bridges on the line are solid... until you get to Brewster, where they are decrepit. Point being, existing overpasses in Beacon, up to Hopewell Junction, are readily usable for bikes/ dinky trolleybus.

The use of the Beacon Line for commuters is decades away, and when that time comes, the renovations and investment that needs to be done to make that happen will dwarf the cost of laying track again. So nothing is really lost. The MTA can be brought back in to manage the line when that time comes. And the right of way is preserved for future transportation needs.

So now the problem is decamping the 800 pound gorilla in the room, the MTA. I didn't say the problem was easy.

But we must exert some sort of pressure to get them off the line if we ever hope to use this resource for the betterment of Beacon. Does the MTA even pay taxes to Beacon on the line?

The MTA, ostensibly a public service corp, expects us to look at this resource running right through the middle of our city, that they don't even use, and to completely abandon any thought of modest proposals on sharing the line. Because of this intransigence and belligerence, there is no other choice but to cut the MTA completely out of the picture on the Beacon Line. Not that that will be easy, but the MTA cannot expect Beacon to just stare at this obvious resource that has the potential to aid Beacon so mightily, and just accept that it should just sit there unused. If the MTA actually used the line, then the MTA would have a defensible position in resisting our overtures. But they don't, so they must be expelled from the line completely, so the line can be put to its natural use in aiding Beacon's vibrancy and economy.

How to expel the MTA, I don't know. But Poughkeepsie has the Walkway over the Hudson, Chelsea has the Highline... and Beacon has the Beacon Line. Think about what the use of this path would mean for Beacon, like how the Walkway over the Hudson and the Highline have aided their communities. With the large potential benefits in mind, it is therefore worth it to bring on the formidible fight with the hidebound MTA. Somehow, perhaps we can even tie it in with some sort of concessions on the TOD.

Tags: Beacon, East, Line, MTA, Main, TOD, rail

Views: 172

Replies to This Discussion

darling charlene vesuvius:

all information is important, and i welcome it, and i said as much multiple times in the railroad.net forum

i am dismissing the attitude

furthermore, in your perceptions, did you happen to notice the insults flowing towards my words on the beacon line? or was only i a source? i would describe the attitude towards the idea of using the beacon line, instead of being mothballed by the mta, as withering ridicule. how would you describe the attitude?

so what would you have me do? give up on the beacon line?

perhaps, instead, i should take the information presented to me, strip away the bad attitude accompanying it, and change my agenda for what i think should be done with the beacon line accordingly. correct? in which case, did you happen to noticed the title of this discussion is "My evolution on the Beacon Line"?

so am i rejecting new information? my thoughts are clearly changing because of that information

the issue is not that there is information that has been presented to me that i am not aware of and i dismiss that new information, the issue is that coupled along with that new information is a foregone conclusion: "give it up on the beacon line, townie, this is mta turf". that is what i am rejecting

i welcome the new info. i said so multiple times. i am rejecting the stiff arm attitude. there is a difference between the information presented to me by the metronorth employees and the heavy dose of mta-centered attitude accompanying that information. can you see that difference?

Birdy said:
As has been said, when ever people offer you information you dismiss and insult THEM. Just like Ms Thompson. Just saying.
You come off as the mindless one. I urge you to not go to experts unless you can graciously acknowledge their expertise. You are burning bridges and you don't even realize it. It is a problem with the young, they think they know more than they do.

You understand very very little so I urge you to start trying to learn instead of assuming you know. Please, it is a worthwhile project and you are ruining your efforts. Stop defending yourself, it is only making it worse.
thank you darling charlene vesuvius, for all of your kind words. would you like to address my post above where i already responded to your repeated accusations? did you even read my previous response?

would you like to help the city of beacon get some use out of the beacon line? is it implicit in your comments that kissing the mta's ass is the way to do that and that i fail in that objective in your mind?

please, by all means, continue to attack my horrible shortcomings in my agitations for beacon to get some use out of beacon line. please, by all means, you agitate for beacon, since your understanding of the proper attitude to the arrogant mta is so better attuned. why don't you do that: agitate for beacon. you know, maybe you could actually contribute something positive for once, at least in these forums, besides i suppose what you consider your positive contribution: patronization

"It is a problem with the young, they think they know more than they do."

gee dad, can i borrow the car keys? exactly in what world do you live in where it is necessary that i accept these condescending remarks of yours, charlene vesuvius? do you know how old i am?

i actually received 3 private emails on railroad.net about the ruckus, one from an old veteran amtrak engineer about mta arrogance and how i should not give into their gang tactics (and then a complaint about the mta flaunting post-911 rail security rules, but that's another issue), a long time older mta lurker on the board who had to chime up to give me support for the idea in general, and one guy complaining that since the mods are pro-MTA, i should simply sit there and accept everything they say or i will get banned. i couldn't guess the third guy's age. but apparently you can guess mine

as for burning the bridges with the mta, since they are such a popular organization in dutchess with their wonderful punitive payroll tax, since they are so popular in the new york city region in general with their outstanding bookkeeping and transparency on exactly where all the money goes, and since they have been so supportive and without a hint of arrogance in how they deal with the little people out in the provinces, i'll take my chances that kissing the mta's ass is not going to get us much benefit. you be the judge. you always have been

Birdy said:
You come off as the mindless one. I urge you to not go to experts unless you can graciously acknowledge their expertise. You are burning bridges and you don't even realize it. It is a problem with the young, they think they know more than they do.
You understand very very little so I urge you to start trying to learn instead of assuming you know. Please, it is a worthwhile project and you are ruining your efforts. Stop defending yourself, it is only making it worse.
Good luck with getting the MTA to let go of the tracks...Putnam County has been working on it for a few years now and MTA has stonewalled them. There are even State DOT people involved with this now and MTA will not budge. Putnam is working on getting State political types involved now. They are trying to put pressure on the MTA from the top down.

The other problem is that the neither the feds nor the state will fund any of these projects if MTA has the right to take the tracks back. Putnam is also trying to deal with that.

Tom
thanks tom. the worst part is: why?

i'm trying to figure out why the mta believes it needs the tracks. training? moving trains between tracks? i can't even imagine other uses. but the fact remains the mta barely runs a train a year on the line. and whenever it does, it needs to get the police to run around shutting down intersections

maybe its some 9/11 thing: "oh no, what if we lose grand central, how will we move trains between lines?"

but even then, if you lose grand central, moving trains between lines is pretty much besides the point. also, the bridges in brewster are decrepit. also, if you allowed beacon to use the line for whatever reason, there's nothing preventing an emergency shutting down of the beacon line for any use except mta in such an extreme scenario

i just can't for the life of me figure out why the mta has a death grip on the beacon line

maybe i'll wade back into the snake pit of railroad.net and see what the resident mta ogres there say on the topic

Tom Church said:
Good luck with getting the MTA to let go of the tracks...Putnam County has been working on it for a few years now and MTA has stonewalled them. There are even State DOT people involved with this now and MTA will not budge. Putnam is working on getting State political types involved now. They are trying to put pressure on the MTA from the top down.

The other problem is that the neither the feds nor the state will fund any of these projects if MTA has the right to take the tracks back. Putnam is also trying to deal with that.

Tom
I think it has to do with the fact that is is the only east west connection on the line...and while they may not have a need for it now they may want to use it sometime in the future...50-100 years out...It is a perfect canidate for railbanking but they won't do that and even if they did we'd have to get over the hurdle of state/fed funding.
i wasn't familiar with the term "railbanking" so i looked it up...

yeah exactly!: all these rail-to-trails sound wonderfully green and ecofriendly, but in one perspective, its just a cynical way to preserve the right of way for when rail makes sense again

what are they doing in putnam? trying to do something with the beacon line in brewster?

my own personal choice would be to preserve the rail, and just take it off the "system" or whatever designations mean it is used by heavy duty locomotives, and run a dinky trolley on it. but we live in a perverse legal/ political environment where it makes more sense to rip up the rail and run a trolleybus on cinder/ asphalt. insane. but if that's the way we have to go to get some use out of it for the sake of the city of beacon, so be it

its sad to hear that pressure from above has so far proved unfruitful for putnam. perhaps if they were joined by people at the dutchess county level? is there anyone i could talk to on the putnam end you might know about?

join causes on a common goal: the beacon put to some use in all communities. heck, include danbury even. where one effort is joined by another, you make more noise, and you increase the chance someone on yonder high might finally listen and force the mta to deal

Tom Church said:
I think it has to do with the fact that is is the only east west connection on the line...and while they may not have a need for it now they may want to use it sometime in the future...50-100 years out...It is a perfect canidate for railbanking but they won't do that and even if they did we'd have to get over the hurdle of state/fed funding.
I'd like to revive this conversation, but frame it in a different way.

The MTA should be involved. We need to use the track as a branch line to bring commuters to the Beacon station from Glenham, Fishkill and Brinckerhoff. This needs to be rolled into the planning for the TOD.

If commuters could take a train on the branch line to get to the Beacon station, we would have fewer cars on the road heading to the station in the mornings -- and fewer cars leaving Beacon in the evening.

Housing in those areas would be more attractive to potential buyers because they could take a train all the way to the Beacon station. More families could rely on one car, instead of having two.

This could also reduce the need for more parking spaces at the Beacon station. And perhaps even have a role in preventing the need to widen 9D.

As I said, this needs to be part of the conversation about the TOD with the MTA. As I see it, the MTA would run the commuter train/shuttle/trolley.

You have a great idea, but you just need to shift your thinking to include the MTA.

Thanks,

Jill Corson Lake
yes, yes, yes! revived ;-)

http://www.beaconcitizen.com/profiles/blogs/the-tod-and-the-beacon-...



Jill Corson said:
I'd like to revive this conversation, but frame it in a different way.

The MTA should be involved. We need to use the track as a branch line to bring commuters to the Beacon station from Glenham, Fishkill and Brinckerhoff. This needs to be rolled into the planning for the TOD.

If commuters could take a train on the branch line to get to the Beacon station, we would have fewer cars on the road heading to the station in the mornings -- and fewer cars leaving Beacon in the evening.

Housing in those areas would be more attractive to potential buyers because they could take a train all the way to the Beacon station. More families could rely on one car, instead of having two.

This could also reduce the need for more parking spaces at the Beacon station. And perhaps even have a role in preventing the need to widen 9D.

As I said, this needs to be part of the conversation about the TOD with the MTA. As I see it, the MTA would run the commuter train/shuttle/trolley.

You have a great idea, but you just need to shift your thinking to include the MTA.

Thanks,

Jill Corson Lake
Why is it that if the MTA does not go for your idea then the only other alternative is to rip up the tracks?

I understand that when you relly believe in a cause that sometimes you tend to be consumed by it. It has happened to most of us. But maybe taking a step back and really looking at what you are endorsing and the big picture you will find another way to get your end result which is easing the congestion on 9D from the train station right?
renee: i would like to use the tracks. if we can't use the tracks, there are other things to use the trackbed for. what's wrong with that? are you attached to the tracks for some reason?

Renee Q. said:
Why is it that if the MTA does not go for your idea then the only other alternative is to rip up the tracks?

I understand that when you relly believe in a cause that sometimes you tend to be consumed by it. It has happened to most of us. But maybe taking a step back and really looking at what you are endorsing and the big picture you will find another way to get your end result which is easing the congestion on 9D from the train station right?
thanks to the reply to my blog in regards to the same subject "where have the trains gone?"- the Beacon-Danbury branch line I an glad that people in the area are not asleep on this subject -as per my southern Dutchess trans development plan I recomended that the line be purchased from the MTA MNCRR so that it can be developed for the best interests of the people in the area - however there is a,very small,modicum of hope that if a seperate transit entity IE: the SOUTH COUNTY TRANSIT DISTRICT as I have proposed, were to get the funding then that entity could build the stations,improve the ROW and track and purchase the rail vehicles then MNCRR could, in an arangement like the Liberty lines and the Bee Line buses in Westchester or the company that is curenty mis-maging the DC LOOP,could operate and maintain the vehicles (note: MNCRR most likely has a few Budd RDCs in more-or-less operational condition) and do routine maintenence on the ROW

it should be pointed out that what is going on in southern Dutchess is happening in other places in the US and these other places,like NCTD in southern CA, are turning to rail transit for the solution to the problem RTD in Colorado went as far as to build new LRV rail lines in the Denver-Boulder metro area I also should point out that there is Federal funding out there like the TIGER recovery fund and I keep hearing the catch phrase "transportation infrastructure" well.. I think upgrading the BD branch line certainly would qualify as a "transportation infrastructure" project inter-urban rail transit is an important part of todays modern transportation

while the rest of the US and Europe move ahead into the "Star Trek" world of rail roading are we here in New York to be forever stuck in the "Peticoat Junction" era of rail roading because of the MTA and Metro North?

the people that need to hear our voices are not the MTA but our representatives in Washington and... it just so happens it is an election year ...

RSS

© 2019   Created by Kelly Kingman.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service