Author Topic: IMC brush-clearing  (Read 105458 times)

ATSF616

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IMC brush-clearing
« on: March 21, 2010, 09:07:15 PM »
A question posted on another board prompted a quick Sunday afternoon drive to the south side of Kokomo.  Brush has been cleared from the IMC right-of-way between US31 and Southway Blvd.  Here is the view NNW from the Southway grade crossing.  Anybody have any solid information about what's going on?

JGN

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 01:44:35 AM »
Wow, that was quick. I just drove over that crossing last weekend and it hadn't been touched at that time. Hopefully they aren't prepping it for rail removal. Jay
A question posted on another board prompted a quick Sunday afternoon drive to the south side of Kokomo.  Brush has been cleared from the IMC right-of-way between US31 and Southway Blvd.  Here is the view NNW from the Southway grade crossing.  Anybody have any solid information about what's going on?

ATSF616

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 07:34:42 AM »
Wow, that was quick. I just drove over that crossing last weekend and it hadn't been touched at that time. Hopefully they aren't prepping it for rail removal. Jay

I did some quick searches of recent STB filings and decisions and couldn't find anything, but I will confess that I don't find the site very user-friendly.

CIOR

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 09:45:39 AM »
Since Kokomo Grain took back operations from CERA, there have been rumors that they would much rather send the grain south on the IMC to Tipton to go south on the NS.  I believe NS was the one with the hang up because they want the traffic at Marion and not Tipton. 
However I believe they will probably start moving the traffic via Tipton if the guys at Kokomo Grain push hard enough. 

central1751

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Trees being cleared on the IMC in Kokomo!
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 05:52:20 PM »
Noticed today they have cleared the trees from US31 to Southway Bvld on the old IMC tracks.  Nothing more than that as far as I can see.  Still totaly grown over from Southway southward at the moment and the crossings are still paved over.  Anybody heard anything?  I know the state is going to not sever the line now.  Is something else going on now that they are clearing the vegatation from the tracks?    Mike

central1751

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 05:55:52 PM »
I just noticed the same thing today, I didnt look from US31 to Lincoln to see if they cleared that part.  Wish I had some contacts with the local shortlines to see what is up.   Back in the good ol days of the CERA I could just make a phone call or stop up and see Rodger in the shops to find out info.  I wonder if now that the state is going to bridge the new bypass over the IMC, the shortline is moving ahead with trying to reactivate that line?     

CSX_CO

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 10:30:49 PM »
This is reaching a bit, but anyone still now if Indiana has the 'sight distance laws' on the books at railroad crossings?  If the line is still technically 'active' they may just be clearing the brush to comply with that law.  Even though the line wouldn't see traffic, they probably have to comply with any laws if the track is still considered 'active'.

Practice Safe CSX

ATSF616

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 10:36:55 PM »
This is reaching a bit, but anyone still now if Indiana has the 'sight distance laws' on the books at railroad crossings?  If the line is still technically 'active' they may just be clearing the brush to comply with that law.  Even though the line wouldn't see traffic, they probably have to comply with any laws if the track is still considered 'active'.

All grade crossings south of Lincoln Rd in Kokomo are prominently posted with "tracks out of service" signs and crossing signals are turned or black-bagged.  The segment in question is approximately one-half mile in length, and there are no intermediate grade crossings.

central1751

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2010, 06:34:35 PM »
They cleared about 100 yards south of the Southway Bvld crossing today, but thats it.  Very heavy vegetation there with quite a few trees in the middle of the track.  Not sure why they stopped, maybe broke the cutting machine.  They cleared out all around the crossing signal control box as well.  Line is supposed to be embargoed by the NS and he is correct, there are signs on most all roads saying the tracks are out of service.  Most of the crossings have been paved over in the last couple of years as they got really rough from lack of maintance.  Just have to keep an eye on things for now I guess.    Mike

JGN

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2010, 09:29:00 PM »
Central is correct, I also took a short jaunt over to the Southway Boulevard crossing to look things over. They have a small pile of brush stacked along Alameda Drive(runs beside the IMC for a block or two). I didn't make it down to look between US 31 and Lincoln and further to MP 52 where the rail is taken off near the Chrysler lead. Both times I haven't seen any equipment, so it would be interesting to hear how they are going about this brush clearing. I walked down to the Kokomo Creek Bridge last year and that section had merely a small trail beat down the middle of the gauge, short enough to keep myself from attempting to walk it. Some of the trees have grown thick trunks, so a cutter breaking isn't out of the question. We can't forget the washed out section between Center Road(300 South) and Oakford that would be an obstacle as well. Again, I hope this isn't for rail removal, but I won't get my hopes up until I hear some concrete news about what the future holds for this segment. I do miss seeing those GP38-2's giving it all they have to pull up the hill from US 31 when heading toward Tipton back in the 80's, and would love to have the chance to relive that experience, but there are alot of obstacles to overcome before that could ever happen and frankly I have to be a pesimist about it. I will wait and see. Jay

monty

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2010, 09:33:54 PM »
I saw the crew cutting south of the Southway Blvd crossing at 3:45 PM today.  Looked like three or four people with chain saws, which explains the slow process.  They were working out of what looked like personal vehicles -A couple of pick up trucks with no markings - so for sure this is not an official NS operation.  This section is the most heavily wooded between Kokomo and Tipton.  Options are:
A. NS is letting INDOT severe the line for the new US 31 and they do not need to file with the STB.
B. NS is letting a "contract service" conduct this work for whatever reason.
C. NS has struck an agreement with a short line and work has commenced before STB action.
D. Some guys with chain saws are pulling our chain.  

If this work stops at the Tipton - Howard County line (where the big white arrow on the blue background is), then it is likely "A."
monty

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2010, 09:40:54 PM »
Since Kokomo Grain took back operations from CERA, there have been rumors that they would much rather send the grain south on the IMC to Tipton to go south on the NS.  I believe NS was the one with the hang up because they want the traffic at Marion and not Tipton. 
However I believe they will probably start moving the traffic via Tipton if the guys at Kokomo Grain push hard enough. 


I looked on the STB site and saw that on March 4, 2010 the STB again denied WSRY the 3 coveted miles over the TP&W of connecting rail in Logansport.  That's the only recent "news" related to this topic that I can find on the STB.
monty

central1751

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2010, 05:51:08 PM »
They have now cleared (sort of) from Southway to Alto road.  Just needs a bush hog run thru to take care of the small brush.  Looks like they did a tid bit south of Alto (few feet).  Probalby see them working south from Alto road tomorrow.  There was nothing done from US31 to Lincoln road as of yesterday, didnt look today.  By the time I get off work, they are long gone.  Had they still been working I would have stopped and asked whats up.   Mike

monty

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2010, 07:53:32 PM »
I drove by at 3:45 PM today and saw what Mike saw.  I did not have time to stop, but it looked like that's about when they were calling it a day and I bet it would be a good time to ask them.  Not an easy job for those guys!

On my way into Kokomo this morning, I drove along the ROW where the wash-out is.  Nothing going on there.  My gut tells me they are going to pick up the rail, but my heart hopes that something more interesting is taking place.  With the STB being so quiet, it is so hard to get a clue about what is going on.
monty

central1751

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2010, 09:45:24 PM »
With no ruling by the STB on abandoment, and both counties wanting to keep the line intact, and the word that INDOT will bridge over the IMC with the new bypass, I wouldnt think they would pick up the rail.  They might be clearing it to evalutate the track for future use.  Wouldnt take long for a proper track crew to repair the washouts.  Wish someone with some inside contacts was here that could give us some concrete info about why they are clearing the brush. 

monty

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2010, 09:47:56 AM »
Not for certain, but it looked like maybe some brush had been cut to the west side of US 31 this morning.  No sign of activity today though.  No work at all around Lincoln Road & Home Avenue.
monty

monty

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2010, 11:06:50 PM »
I was wrong.  Nothing going west of US 31.  A little progress along the line south of Alto Road.  I am thinking Central1751 has a good point.  Evaluation...  makes the most sense since there is no STB activity.  Makes one wonder who is footing the bill though.  Four men running chain saws for a week - should cost around $2,000 - and that's cheap.  It's an NS owned line, but its embargoed.  I don't know RR union labor rules very well, but seems odd that this is non-union work on an NS line.  Regardless, an outside force is at play here.
monty

central1751

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2010, 11:27:29 PM »
It looks very "short line" like to me with just guys with saws doing the work.  There is still lots of light brush, but nothing one of those rail mounted multi deck bush hogs cant deal with to fully open up the line.  Looks like they are about 200 yards south of Alto road as of today when I came home at 5pm.   I am more watching for work on the signals or removal of the pavement over the crossings. That will speak more of a reactivation than anything else.   I would more expect rail removal on the Frankfort line as its severed in several places now, sycamore street and the bridge over Markland ave.  I really hope they reactivate the IMC, I only live just east over in Cricket Hills subdivision.   Mike

CIOR

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2010, 10:04:28 AM »
MONTY, there are many "non-union" filled positions in contract work by the railroads.  Car repair, maintenance of way work and so on.  Happens.

There are rumors that I won't go into.  Just keep watching.

Al Stevens

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Re: IMC brush-clearing
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2010, 02:23:14 PM »

There are rumors that I won't go into.  Just keep watching.

Come on, lets hear 'em! Rumors are the very foundation of the railfan community. ;D
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