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Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:46 pm
by flyingember
TONS of people will use this. It's miles of trail that goes through LS and Raytown without riding on road and without needing to drive anywhere.

Through use past pleasant hill will be 5% of the users at best. There will be a lot of families that ride from their neighborhood and use the trail.

The Line Creek, Trolly Track Trails are two similar examples.

FYI- the reason you didn't see info into downtown is because the entire bike plan is up for revision right now. I would hope the city finds a better way to downtown than to follow the Blue River all the way to the Missouri River and then to follow that all the way to downtown.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:24 pm
by shinatoo
flyingember wrote:TONS of people will use this. It's miles of trail that goes through LS and Raytown without riding on road and without needing to drive anywhere.

Through use past pleasant hill will be 5% of the users at best. There will be a lot of families that ride from their neighborhood and use the trail.

The Line Creek, Trolly Track Trails are two similar examples.

FYI- the reason you didn't see info into downtown is because the entire bike plan is up for revision right now. I would hope the city finds a better way to downtown than to follow the Blue River all the way to the Missouri River and then to follow that all the way to downtown.
Unless there are destination connections, I strongly disagree about the amount of use this trail will get. I understand that there will be plenty of day trippers out on the trail with their kids, but no one is going to ride north out of Raytown if the end of the line is TSC (except on game day) or the Heart of America Mobile Home Village. Plus, who wants to ride down 39th or 23rd street to downtown?

That said this project is an essential piece of the greater Metro Green infrastructure. And may even, someday, become the central spine. But the dream is St. Louis to KC on one continuous trail, and eventual a trail loop. We aren't getting that any time soon and it's disappointing.

The exciting part was the options for Bus, Light Rail or DMU sharing the space with the trail. I personally think they should just pull the trigger on bus service. By far the cheapest and would tie right into a Truman road spine between DT and Independence. Establish use and then fund rail.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:38 pm
by flyingember
Why does there need to be destinations. Can people not just walk or bike back and forth?

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:44 pm
by JBmidtown
flyingember wrote:Why does there need to be destinations. Can people not just walk or bike back and forth?
It needs destinations because it's a transportation corridor.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:59 pm
by longviewmo
flyingember wrote:TONS of people will use this. It's miles of trail that goes through LS and Raytown without riding on road and without needing to drive anywhere.

Through use past pleasant hill will be 5% of the users at best. There will be a lot of families that ride from their neighborhood and use the trail.
Think you might be underestimating people who will do the whole trail network and be a halfway-decent tourist boost to the towns they stay in.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:28 pm
by DaveKCMO
KCATA will seek bids for a "master developer" for the land along the rock island corridor. they also adopted a TOD policy that will govern how they manage such projects financially.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:51 pm
by shinatoo
They started clearing the first segment of the Rock Island Corridor yesterday.

http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewe ... %2C39.0653

https://www.facebook.com/KCRRC/

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:51 pm
by shinatoo
Just rode the Rock Island through Lees Summit all the way to Banister Road. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:03 am
by Anthony_Hugo98
Does anyone know if there is any firm plan to implement some type of rail transport along the corridor, or was that simply visualizations for the reveal of the original project?

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:14 am
by DaveKCMO
Anthony_Hugo98 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:03 am
Does anyone know if there is any firm plan to implement some type of rail transport along the corridor, or was that simply visualizations for the reveal of the original project?
Eventually that's the plan. Gotta build up the density first, though.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:53 pm
by alejandro46
Mike Sanders was a strong proponent of this plan, and now he's in jail (or something). Without a lot of density and federal support, not gonna happen. County is working against a current lawsuit by adjoining property owners who don't think they had the right to take the ROW back that they were using as part of their business.

https://www.kshb.com/new-lawsuit-filed- ... king-trail

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:25 pm
by flyingember
What open rail line are the people making the complaint talking about?

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:53 pm
by flyingember
Ok, I think I figured out and the news articles don't match the legal actions taken or facts in place

The property was never taken from those people. Union Pacific owned it and transferred it to the new owner. If it wasn't legally railroad land before the STP wouldn't have jurisdiction in the case back in 2016 or not. If there was unclear title it never could have been sold to the county. So the six property owners are idiots on that part.
https://www.kshb.com/new-lawsuit-filed- ... king-trail

But the county has a problem too

The county has a special exemption to operate a rail line while not being a common carrier rail company. They said they would keep the rail in place and sell freight service if demand presented itself. Basically their removing the track and ties introduced this problem.

https://www.stb.gov/decisions/readingro ... enDocument

The land owners filed a petition to revoke the exemption, not to regain ownership. The county would likely still own the land but they won't be able to operate a railroad on it. After all, they filed a complaint with a transportation board, not the federal circuit court. Their powers are limited.

https://www.stb.gov/decisions/readingro ... enDocument

It all comes down to if the county is allowed to remove rail and ties and still be able to offer rail service.
If Jackson County is placing the trail on the rail bed where the track should be located, the County must explain how this activity is consistent with acquiring a rail line on which it has a common carrier obligation. The County should also explain if its intentions toward freight rail service have changed since filing its verified notice, and address the concerns noted above.
I would argue that the same steps required to put a trail down could be key steps to offering rail service. The county must remove all existing rail to be able to repair the gravel bed, bridges and such. If there's no freight customers there's no obligation to place track on an arbitrary schedule. I'm not an engineer but I could see how they could choose a schedule where they perform the same work required to lay new rail but simply pause the process and operate it as a trail.

It's not unrealistic for a company or county equally to not spend money without having identified a customer that will pay back the bonds. Only a customer being denied service would be evidence of their intention to not operate a rail line.

The county should win this one. But what if they don't?

Best case f the STP reverses it's exemption and the county can't use it for rail. They own the cooridor and will own it free and clear for a trail.
Middle case they have to contract with a railroad to lay track and operate it as one
Worst case they have to give up the land to a railroad who has to lay track and operate it as one

the litigants will end up wasting a lot of money and won't gain land use back. No matter what the land will be blocked from their use for good. They will have woken up the county or a railroad to the need to fence in the land.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:30 pm
by alejandro46
flyingember wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:53 pm
Ok, I think I figured out and the news articles don't match the legal actions taken or facts in place

The property was never taken from those people. Union Pacific owned it and transferred it to the new owner. If it wasn't legally railroad land before the STP wouldn't have jurisdiction in the case back in 2016 or not. If there was unclear title it never could have been sold to the county. So the six property owners are idiots on that part.
https://www.kshb.com/new-lawsuit-filed- ... king-trail

But the county has a problem too

The county has a special exemption to operate a rail line while not being a common carrier rail company. They said they would keep the rail in place and sell freight service if demand presented itself. Basically their removing the track and ties introduced this problem.

https://www.stb.gov/decisions/readingro ... enDocument

The land owners filed a petition to revoke the exemption, not to regain ownership. The county would likely still own the land but they won't be able to operate a railroad on it. After all, they filed a complaint with a transportation board, not the federal circuit court. Their powers are limited.

https://www.stb.gov/decisions/readingro ... enDocument

It all comes down to if the county is allowed to remove rail and ties and still be able to offer rail service.
If Jackson County is placing the trail on the rail bed where the track should be located, the County must explain how this activity is consistent with acquiring a rail line on which it has a common carrier obligation. The County should also explain if its intentions toward freight rail service have changed since filing its verified notice, and address the concerns noted above.
I would argue that the same steps required to put a trail down could be key steps to offering rail service. The county must remove all existing rail to be able to repair the gravel bed, bridges and such. If there's no freight customers there's no obligation to place track on an arbitrary schedule. I'm not an engineer but I could see how they could choose a schedule where they perform the same work required to lay new rail but simply pause the process and operate it as a trail.

It's not unrealistic for a company or county equally to not spend money without having identified a customer that will pay back the bonds. Only a customer being denied service would be evidence of their intention to not operate a rail line.

The county should win this one. But what if they don't?

Best case f the STP reverses it's exemption and the county can't use it for rail. They own the cooridor and will own it free and clear for a trail.
Middle case they have to contract with a railroad to lay track and operate it as one
Worst case they have to give up the land to a railroad who has to lay track and operate it as one

the litigants will end up wasting a lot of money and won't gain land use back. No matter what the land will be blocked from their use for good. They will have woken up the county or a railroad to the need to fence in the land.
I am not an expert in this field nor have I done extensive research into past law, based on my understanding and reading of those facts it's my opinion as well that it is highly likely that the court gives deference to the county. The Plaintiffs cannot merely say that the county has no intent to "ever" construct rail on this ROW; they have not taken the usage of the trails project in a manner completely exclusionary to future rail usage (such as build a shopping center or say, a gondola line). The entity bought it fair and square from the railroad and no way a court is going to tell them they have to forcibly divest the line because they're not immediately going to re-start rail service.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:11 pm
by normalthings
Would a busway exclude the ROW from future rail usage? Would actual commuter/light rail exclude the ROW from future freight service?

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:43 pm
by DaveKCMO
normalthings wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:11 pm
Would a busway exclude the ROW from future rail usage? Would actual commuter/light rail exclude the ROW from future freight service?
No and no.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:44 pm
by alejandro46
Maybe start with rapid electric busses along dedicated lanes and then work to rail if demand is there.


https://www.cpr.org/2019/06/25/bustangs ... in-dreams/
Jamie Grim of Fort Collins travels more than 60 miles to her job in downtown Denver — but she’s not another angry face behind the wheel shaking her fist at traffic.

“I don’t even really notice the commute anymore,” Grim said on a recent morning after she arrived in Union Station. “Because I get on the bus, and I just start reading, or I start watching a movie, or I just kind of zone out.”

She catches the Bustang, a 90-minute ride that costs about $10 one-way. When she drives, Grim said she spends about $25 on gas, tolls and parking and that doesn’t even begin to cover the mental fortitude needed to navigate oft-congested Interstate 25.

“It’s not fun,” she said. “It’s pretty awful actually.”

Bustang was the Colorado Department of Transportation’s first foray into transit when it opened in 2015. The express service connects Denver to Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and the I-70 mountain corridor. It’s been criticized for being outside of CDOT’s lane and once its funding was targeted by legislative Republicans. But the service continues to show remarkable growth and the agency says it’s something of a pilot for a much bigger investment in transit down the line: passenger rail.

Bustang carried more than 100,000 passengers in its first year, well above initial projections of 68,000. That growth has continued since then.

A Former Critic Gets On The Bus
Sen. Larry Crowder, an Alamosa Republican, voted to defund Bustang in 2016. The effort ultimately failed. He thought the money should have been put into roads and bridges at the time.

“But since then, we have been able to reinforce transportation and I actually have turned into supporting the Bustang,” Crowder said. “It’s done remarkably well in rural Colorado. Transportation is a huge issue for us and Bustang helps us fill that void.”

Bustang costs about $3.5 million a year to run, after start-up costs of about $10.7 million — a fraction of CDOT’s $1.6 billion annual budget. Fares now cover about 60 percent of operational costs on the main interregional lines, according to CDOT.

For a comparison, RTD’s fares cover only about 25 percent of its costs — mostly because it offers nearly round-the-clock service.

Bustang has grown from serving mostly commuters on the Front Range to now serving more corners of the state with its Outrider lines like Grand Junction to Durango and Lamar to Colorado Springs.

A CDOT-subsidized Wichita, Kansas to Pueblo bus called Beeline used to stop in otherwise transit-starved towns in the lower Arkansas Valley. But prices and schedules made it difficult for people to use it, said Las Animas Mayor Jim Collins. Then CDOT ended its grant and started Bustang.

“That service continued at a lower cost and at a better schedule,” Collins said. “CDOT did a really good job stepping up and taking over.”

The Outrider lines have lower ridership and thus cost more to operate, said Michael Timlin, Bustang’s operations manager, but he added that they qualify for federal grants that offset costs. Besides, Timlin said, making money isn’t the point.

“We really wanted to reconnect the people in the rural areas to their urban service center, so they could do their medical appointments, go shopping, whatever, and be home for supper the same night,” he said.

A Bid To Fight Gridlock
The other major goal for Bustang is to help alleviate congestion.

“More and more people are coming to the conclusion that we just cannot keep pouring concrete,” Timlin said.

Making roads bigger means more people will drive on them, Timlin said, paraphrasing what transportation researchers call induced demand. With Colorado’s population forecasted to grow by more than two million people by 2040, CDOT plans to put more resources into multi-modal options like Bustang.

Eventually, Timlin said, the agency wants to quadruple the number of its buses on the road and extend service down every major highway in the state. That has the support of Sandra Hagen Solin, spokeswoman for Fix Colorado Roads, a business-backed advocacy group.

“But it needs to be done in the context of the overall transportation network,” she said. “It cannot be pursued at the expense of continued investment in roadways that serve as the foundation of our broader transportation infrastructure.”

The bus lines for Fort Collins and Colorado Springs may also develop demand and some park-and-ride like infrastructure for future Front Range passenger rail service, which Timlin said could be just 10 years away.

“All of us are hopeful that we can get that going ... quickly,” he said.

While expanding Bustang would cost millions, or perhaps tens of millions, that’s a tiny amount compared to the billions rail would likely cost. That concerns Solin.

“I appreciate and understand connecting the two,” Solin said. “But they are two dramatically different options that purely on price could present a challenge in the future.”

That’s all in the early planning stages for now. To be successful, it would likely need voter-approved funding — possibly in the fall of 2020. And that vote could be a test to see if more Coloradans are serious about leaving their cars at home.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:15 pm
by johnmatrix
Too bad this would be way more efficient than the toy train that goes 5 mph downtown for 3 blocks.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:42 pm
by mean
Have you ridden the thing? It hauls a little ass occasionally. I mean, yeah, it's a shame we don't have the money and/or political will to run trains everywhere and provide transit to anywhere anyone would want to go, but we don't, so... we get what we can get. I bitched about this for years until I realized that getting something is not the always the enemy of getting the thing I want, especially when the only realistic way to get the thing I want would be to get into politics and do it myself, which, I mean, I have a job. And I really hate dealing with bureaucracy. Also groveling for money. It's just not a good fit.

Re: Jackson County Regional Rail Plan

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:02 pm
by DaveKCMO
The moment Jackson County decided to put existing funds into transit, we would have more transit in Jackson County.

Of course, the problem with the Rock Island corridor is the same problem with the entire Rock Island Railroad itself -- the route doesn't serve enough density. That's why the county is working to improve land use around the corridor and start with trail-oriented development first. A train there wouldn't even attract federal funding due to the high capital cost and the low ridership. That's why the Sanders plan was going to advance to public vote for a new sales tax without federal matching funds.