Author Topic: ITM's Move Into Logansport  (Read 23562 times)

SteveCooke

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #300 on: September 18, 2019, 05:34:55 AM »
maybe the new I.T.M. will prove me wrong, but I am not holding my breath to find out none either.

The problem is - there really isn't a "new" ITM. They don't post the names of their board members anywhere, but I imagine the list probably has some of the old ITM board. Regardless, the behavior is the same. I'm surprised anyone would agree to do business with them. Back in spring 2018, the City of Noblesville was in discussions with their attorney to allow them to stay on at Forest Park for another 12+ months in order for them to move their equipment out is when they sued the city. I wish the LER nothing but the best, but I'm glad Noblesville has moved on. We have a brighter future for our Nickel Plate Railroad with them gone.

AlcoGuy

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #301 on: September 18, 2019, 07:04:02 AM »
A brighter future for the Nickel Plate? Why then Deputy Mayor Cooke are you in the process and nearly finished with the scrapping of the entire Nickel Plate line south of Noblesville all the way to Indianapolis, which you yourself being one of the main people responsible for its destruction? Mayor Ditslear at one point even remarked "We have saved the Nickel Plate so it never needs saving again". This picture, taken in the once proud town of Noblesville, Indiana shows exactly how you "saved the Nickel Plate" and what a "bright future" it has. The new operator is celebrating it's 1 year anniversary, all while the entire line is being scrapped from YOUR CITY all the way to Indianapolis. What a celebration...
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 07:15:36 AM by AlcoGuy »

Bob Durnell

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #302 on: September 18, 2019, 07:38:10 AM »
The problem is - there really isn't a "new" ITM. They don't post the names of their board members anywhere, but I imagine the list probably has some of the old ITM board. Regardless, the behavior is the same. I'm surprised anyone would agree to do business with them. Back in spring 2018, the City of Noblesville was in discussions with their attorney to allow them to stay on at Forest Park for another 12+ months in order for them to move their equipment out is when they sued the city. I wish the LER nothing but the best, but I'm glad Noblesville has moved on. We have a brighter future for our Nickel Plate Railroad with them gone.

I will never cease to be amazed that destroying the very part of the Nickel Plate that made it WORTH saving is considered a victory for you.  What you have now could be duplicated in probably 20 different places in the state of Indiana, and nobody would know the difference.  The VALUE of the line, the WHOLE REASON to save it in the first place was its connection to Indianapolis.  The absolute lack of vision of the elected officials of Hamilton County is astonishing and sad.

CSX_CO

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #303 on: September 18, 2019, 08:10:11 AM »
I will never cease to be amazed that destroying the very part of the Nickel Plate that made it WORTH saving is considered a victory for you.  What you have now could be duplicated in probably 20 different places in the state of Indiana, and nobody would know the difference.  The VALUE of the line, the WHOLE REASON to save it in the first place was its connection to Indianapolis.  The absolute lack of vision of the elected officials of Hamilton County is astonishing and sad.

I’d love to hear the 20 locations an excursion train could run.  Let alone any close to a population center as Indy.

Also,What exactly is the “value” of the line from Noblesville South?

It was beyond dead as a freight corridor. Too many other route options that don’t include spending millions to connect the south end to the national network.  Nevermind an utter lack of sizable customers.  Nevermind that any sizable customer will be getting woo’d by CSX and NS to locate directly on their railroads at any of a number of pre-established sites the marketing and real estate departments have selected.

If for commuter operations, corridor is preserved.  Yet, y’all can’t get it through your thick skulls that trail usage *is* preservation.  If it had been left in abandoned status with the STB as it were, it could have reverted back to adjacent land owners and indeed lost forever.  The trail usage ties up the lose end of the 1990’s abandonment. 

Getting back to the topic, if what LJ says is true (and have no reason to doubt him) it seems ITM still hasn’t learned a thing, and their hubris will be their downfall again.

Bob Durnell

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #304 on: September 18, 2019, 08:38:35 AM »
There already ARE people doing it in multiple locations, ALL more interesting locations than northern Hamilton County, WWVR, French Lick, ETC.  The money behind the new operation could have resurrected the CK&S for instance. They likely could have done a similar operation out of Logansport or Kokomo too.  They certainly seem to be well connected. The value of the NKP and what makes it different is the possibilities to serve Indianapolis proper.  I think the Fair Train was just the tip of the iceberg of what COULD have been possible with the right people calling the shots.  This is NOT about the ITM, we know that they were a dumpster fire and it appears they continue to be one, this is about rail line itself, not the operator, and the ONLY way the corridor was threatened is by tearing up the tracks.  As long as the line was intact , it was safe.  Also, as I have said so many times, I'm growing weary of saying it, once that corridor becomes a trail, it will FOREVER be a trail. The chances of that line EVER reverting back to rail use, commuter or otherwise are about as likely as pigs flying, or Steve Cooke being elected president.

crblue

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #305 on: September 18, 2019, 11:40:54 AM »
I thought that this thread is about ITM's move to Logansport.

Are we going to rehash ITM's departure from Noblesville and the IMC's conversion to a trial all over again? It's old news. Move on.

CSX_CO

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #306 on: September 18, 2019, 01:26:19 PM »
...and the ONLY way the corridor was threatened is by tearing up the tracks.  As long as the line was intact , it was safe.  Also, as I have said so many times, I'm growing weary of saying it, once that corridor becomes a trail, it will FOREVER be a trail. The chances of that line EVER reverting back to rail use, commuter or otherwise are about as likely as pigs flying, or Steve Cooke being elected president.

Actually, since the line was abandoned, the trail usage agreement protects the corridor.  Otherwise, a lawyer gets wind of it, and they have a good case for revisionary property rights.  Scraphauler brought this point up long before the situation came to a head.  It wasn’t a rail corridor any more as far as a “Federal Register” was concerned.  How it managed to not revert for all those years is a minor miracle given the gap in paperwork.

If it stays a trail, then that means there is no economical justifiable alternative use for it.  There are examples of trails becoming rail again.  If there is such a demand for commuter rail in that stretch, then it’s preserved.  If there never is, then the trail remains.

Still waiting for a list of 20 locations.  The 3 or 4 fall woefully short. Or were you just exaggerating? French Lick, while the draw of the casinos, certainly isn’t near any population centers.

Insofar as ITM, if they’re purchasing a railroad, wouldn’t there need to be some sort of filings with the STB? Intent to purchase filings, etc?

central1751

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #307 on: September 18, 2019, 05:00:26 PM »
In my opinion, they(ITM) cannot be trusted at this point.  From failure to pay past bills and their secret nature of doing things, instead of above board and beyond reproach as it should be for a historical group.  Public and Polictical support is highly important for survival.  The Brits know this, IRM and other very successfull groups know this.  But even when it smacks, no make that punches this group in the face, they fail to make a better choice in their way of doing business.  Yanking the stainless cars out at the last moment was great effort on their part.  But to now possibly loose them by not paying their bills for haulling and storage is just as bad as if they had just left them in the park.  ITM needs to call a press meeting and clear the air.  Either present a viable plan to move forward, paying your past due bills and buying the L&ER.  Or admit defeat and close up so the owner of the DS50 can find a new home for it to run again.  The constant "big things are coming" statement is beyond a failure at this point.  Change my mind/prove me wrong.     Mike

SteveCooke

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #308 on: September 18, 2019, 09:08:28 PM »
The value of the NKP and what makes it different is the possibilities to serve Indianapolis proper.

Yeah, Bob - but who's going to operate it? Back to reality: Noblesville's proposal for the trail south and the train tracks north preserved the Nickel Plate Railroad. Trains are operating today on that section and more excursions into Noblesville are happening. Unlike the ITM in Logansport.

monon_rr

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #309 on: September 18, 2019, 09:20:34 PM »
Yeah, Bob - but who's going to operate it? Back to reality: Noblesville's proposal for the trail south and the train tracks north preserved the Nickel Plate Railroad. Trains are operating today on that section and more excursions into Noblesville are happening. Unlike the ITM in Logansport.

Could the Nickel Plate Express not have run on those same tracks down to the Fairgrounds each year? ITM may have been a dumpster fire but a new, and seemingly better to work with group, is running north - would it have been impossible for them to run from Noblesville down to 38th?

AlcoGuy

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #310 on: September 18, 2019, 10:25:10 PM »
Apparently, I must say I am in no way affiliated with ITM. Never have been and certainly never will be. Separately, thank you Steve Cooke for taking the time out of what I'm sure is a hectic schedule, to post relevant info on this board. While i obviously don't agree with what's happened with the destruction of the southern portion of the line, and the way it was handled, I nonetheless respect and appreciate your contributions to this forum.

CSX_CO

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #311 on: September 18, 2019, 10:28:02 PM »
Could the Nickel Plate Express not have run on those same tracks down to the Fairgrounds each year? ITM may have been a dumpster fire but a new, and seemingly better to work with group, is running north - would it have been impossible for them to run from Noblesville down to 38th?

Because then you toe the line of being considered a “commuter” operator, not just excursions/tourist trains.

The other consideration is cost vs revenue.  Is it cost effective to keep the line and all associated costs to run trains a couple weeks a year to the fair?

monon_rr

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #312 on: September 18, 2019, 10:36:13 PM »
Because then you toe the line of being considered a “commuter” operator, not just excursions/tourist trains.

The other consideration is cost vs revenue.  Is it cost effective to keep the line and all associated costs to run trains a couple weeks a year to the fair?

How much do the respective groups make off the Nickel Plate Express running from Noblesville north to Tipton?

How much money will the respective groups make off the trail vs. the cost of maintaining it?

CSX_CO

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #313 on: September 19, 2019, 12:35:04 AM »
How much do the respective groups make off the Nickel Plate Express running from Noblesville north to Tipton?

How much money will the respective groups make off the trail vs. the cost of maintaining it?

Don’t know on part 1.  But, running their excursions on say 20 miles of line would go further than running those same ones, and trying to cover expenses on say 50 miles of line.

As far as part 2, going to be hard to quantify any revenues gained.  If people use the trail, then purchase something from along it, that could be revenue that wouldn’t have been generated elsewhere.  If development draws in people who see the trail as a bonus to locating, then that would be revenue generated.  If bikers travel to the area, stay in hotels with the sole purpose of using the trails, that would be revenue generated.

SteveCooke

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #314 on: September 19, 2019, 07:05:41 AM »
How much do the respective groups make off the Nickel Plate Express running from Noblesville north to Tipton?

How much money will the respective groups make off the trail vs. the cost of maintaining it?

For the City of Noblesville, it's true that the cost to build the Nickel Plate Trail within our section alone would be relatively high - about $3 million not counting the pedestrian bridge over 146th Street - except that the city is pursuing grants that would likely fund nearly all of the cost of construction. And the cost to maintain a trail is far less. We also considered the incoming assessed value (AV) of property from new developments that are likely to follow the trail. This isn't graft as some opponents like to make people think - this is incoming revenue that helps a city keep taxes low for everyone. Taxpayers pay less in Carmel, for example, than Noblesville in part because Carmel has much higher AV. Anyone can see how beneficial the Monon Trail has been for that community. And there are still new developments coming. There are lots and lots of other benefits from a trail - not that I'm going to convince anyone on this board of that. But financially a trail will help a city's bottom line more so than an excursion train.

To CSX's point - when you add in the cost to maintain the tracks down to Indy, and the amount of time it takes a train to go back and forth, those costs go up.

That said, there is a great opportunity for a credible excursion outfit to bring visitors into Noblesville who will frequent our restaurants, shops and hopefully hotels. But at least in the last several years of ITM's operation - that wasn't happening. From what I've been told, their excursions started and/or stopped in Fishers and didn't help our downtown at all. The State Fair took riders from Fishers to Indy and back. The Polar Bear started in Fishers, went up to Noblesville without allowing passengers off, and then went back to Fishers. Our downtown saw minimal visitors from the ITM. Already, the new operator is doing more to advertise and promote its programs to attract visitors from outside the area. I also think a cleaner and more accessible rail experience in Forest Park will add to Noblesville's quality of life and allow us to attract residents and businesses. What I'm describing is not what the ITM created for itself - and decades of battling with our Parks Board as they tried to get ITM to clean up its mess is proof of that. We had an unsightly industrial maintenance yard with deteriorating cars and equipment laying around sitting on the edge of our most beautiful, 90-year old park. So we're excited for the Nickel Plate Express to run between Noblesville and Atlanta on a regular basis. There's a great opportunity for Noblesville with ITM gone to add to our quality of life once the park is cleaned up. Combined with the Nickel Plate Trail, we will be able to offer the best of both.


monon_rr

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #315 on: September 19, 2019, 08:59:43 AM »
As far as part 2, going to be hard to quantify any revenues gained.  If people use the trail, then purchase something from along it, that could be revenue that wouldn’t have been generated elsewhere.  If development draws in people who see the trail as a bonus to locating, then that would be revenue generated.  If bikers travel to the area, stay in hotels with the sole purpose of using the trails, that would be revenue generated.

I don't think those areas are hurting for people coming in...and I don't see the offset of a few people driving a distance such that they bring a new revenue source to the area that wasn't already frequenting it to be more than what the FairTrain or any other excursion south of Noblesville over the years brought in.

monon_rr

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #316 on: September 19, 2019, 09:13:28 AM »
For the City of Noblesville, it's true that the cost to build the Nickel Plate Trail within our section alone would be relatively high - about $3 million not counting the pedestrian bridge over 146th Street - except that the city is pursuing grants that would likely fund nearly all of the cost of construction. And the cost to maintain a trail is far less. We also considered the incoming assessed value (AV) of property from new developments that are likely to follow the trail. This isn't graft as some opponents like to make people think - this is incoming revenue that helps a city keep taxes low for everyone. Taxpayers pay less in Carmel, for example, than Noblesville in part because Carmel has much higher AV. Anyone can see how beneficial the Monon Trail has been for that community. And there are still new developments coming. There are lots and lots of other benefits from a trail - not that I'm going to convince anyone on this board of that. But financially a trail will help a city's bottom line more so than an excursion train.

Take a look at the financials of Carmel...and there are new developments coming regardless of the trail. Do you really think that Carmel is less desirable if they didn't have the Monon Trail? Fishers already has cornered the market on being Carmel East...Noblesville would be shooting for being Westfield East in this scenario.

That said, there is a great opportunity for a credible excursion outfit to bring visitors into Noblesville who will frequent our restaurants, shops and hopefully hotels. But at least in the last several years of ITM's operation - that wasn't happening. From what I've been told, their excursions started and/or stopped in Fishers and didn't help our downtown at all. The State Fair took riders from Fishers to Indy and back. The Polar Bear started in Fishers, went up to Noblesville without allowing passengers off, and then went back to Fishers. Our downtown saw minimal visitors from the ITM. Already, the new operator is doing more to advertise and promote its programs to attract visitors from outside the area. I also think a cleaner and more accessible rail experience in Forest Park will add to Noblesville's quality of life and allow us to attract residents and businesses. What I'm describing is not what the ITM created for itself - and decades of battling with our Parks Board as they tried to get ITM to clean up its mess is proof of that. We had an unsightly industrial maintenance yard with deteriorating cars and equipment laying around sitting on the edge of our most beautiful, 90-year old park. So we're excited for the Nickel Plate Express to run between Noblesville and Atlanta on a regular basis. There's a great opportunity for Noblesville with ITM gone to add to our quality of life once the park is cleaned up. Combined with the Nickel Plate Trail, we will be able to offer the best of both.

We will agree that ITM was a dumpster fire in the last few years (we see how they are acting up in Logansport - they as an organization are done...and frankly have been for quite some time), but my point is that the Nickel Plate Express is deemed by the "parties" in question to be beneficial - so my question was: could a "good and reliable" organization not provide the means to attract the visitors from outside the area? If you look at the Midwest and studies on rails-to-trails how many patrons from outside the existing bubble actually frequent local businesses as a DIRECT result of the trail?

Wasn't the best of both presented as an option for both? A trail adjacent to the existing trackage. Fishers didn't want that because they wanted the land for development around 96th Street - everyone else had to fall in line.

BourdonBoy

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #317 on: September 19, 2019, 10:53:03 AM »
That said, there is a great opportunity for a credible excursion outfit to bring visitors into Noblesville who will frequent our restaurants, shops and hopefully hotels. But at least in the last several years of ITM's operation - that wasn't happening. From what I've been told, their excursions started and/or stopped in Fishers and didn't help our downtown at all. The State Fair took riders from Fishers to Indy and back. The Polar Bear started in Fishers, went up to Noblesville without allowing passengers off, and then went back to Fishers. Our downtown saw minimal visitors from the ITM.

I disagree with your characterization that the railroad museum -- dumpster fire or not -- didn't attract visitors to Noblesville who spent their money at restaurants, shop, and hotels.  It absolutely did; the museum and its excursion trips is absolutely what brought me to Noblesville, and to bring family and friends along, multiple times over the years.  Otherwise, I would never have ventured any further north than Conner Prairie.  Surely I am far from being the only one for whom this is true!  We certainly bought fuel in your gas stations, ate at several of your restaurants and cafes, and while no one in my family ever stayed in a Noblesville hotel, I know of several other visitors who absolutely did, making a "weekend" of their time there.  Some of those who did told me they were volunteers at the museum who lived quite a distance away, and would do so a few times per year during busy maintenance times.

I'm among the last to defend the City of Fishers, but one thing they did do was to construct an actual railroad depot and boarding platform (and the platform still exists) at a prime location that was walkable to their business district and park.  What did Noblesville do to make it easier for tourist trains to share business with Noblesville?  I recall one time on which I was aboard the train and we were stopped in our tracks, literally, because the City decided to close 8th Street and park a fire truck on the tracks.  You could have closed any of the other 3 streets on the square, but you chose 8th Street.  Those of us on the train had to wait to be bussed back to our cars and then drive (and try to park) there.  Forest Park is certainly beautiful, but if people didn't care to visit the museum, ride the carousel, go swimming, or play a round of golf, there's not much there for a visitor to spend their money on.  I'm glad to know the former museum area is being cleaned-up and that it will serve as the departure point for some of the upcoming train trips.

Already, the new operator is doing more to advertise and promote its programs to attract visitors from outside the area. I also think a cleaner and more accessible rail experience in Forest Park will add to Noblesville's quality of life and allow us to attract residents and businesses
. . .
So we're excited for the Nickel Plate Express to run between Noblesville and Atlanta on a regular basis. There's a great opportunity for Noblesville with ITM gone to add to our quality of life once the park is cleaned up. Combined with the Nickel Plate Trail, we will be able to offer the best of both.

I am enjoying the Nickel Plate Express very much and have been telling other people to go check it out.  Hopefully the next step can be to resume train service north to/from Tipton.  Imagine that: two county seats (re)connected by an existing resource!  I hope the Nickel Plate Express is able to come to an agreement with the line's owners to permit that to happen in the future.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 09:41:49 PM by BourdonBoy »

Trainman19

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #318 on: September 19, 2019, 04:45:04 PM »
Ok... so the topic of this thread was sidetracked, I see. Nice to know.

CSX_CO

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Re: ITM's Move Into Logansport
« Reply #319 on: September 19, 2019, 10:42:23 PM »
Ok... so the topic of this thread was sidetracked, I see. Nice to know.

As an apparent representative of ITM, were awaiting your group’s responses to what LJ has posted.

As stated, sounds like business as usual for ITM.  Shady dealings, non-disclosure, and a group on the verge of insolvency. 

Obviously no obligation to imbibe our curiosity, but given your audience here is mostly people interested in the industry, being forthcoming would go miles to the cause.