Re: Team tracks that look like private sidings?

Jack Burgess <jack@...>

I'm sure someone will have more complete information regarding private spurs
vs. team tracks, but in our town (Newark, CA) the SP engineering and
maintenance departments certainly upheld that distinction until the SP was
bought out by the UP. Newark has a large switching yard and a lot of
industrial sidings which were very active in the 70s and 80s. I worked for
the city of Newark and we quickly came to realize that private sidings were
not maintained by the railroad in any way. Most were on private property but
we had some private grade crossings which, if maintained at all, were
maintained by private railroad contractors. So, it would seem that the
railroad kept an accurate inventory of private vs. railroad-owned trackage.
The industries on some of the sidings changed ownership over time and even
types of industries occasionally changed. However, that shouldn't change the
fact that the siding was private. (As a side note, the land on one side of
the yard was originally all owned by SP and SP would not sell parcels to a
new owner unless they needed and agreed to rail service.) Regarding the
abandonment of a siding, remember that the siding is on private property. If
the business is abandoned, the railroad can't just take over the siding. In
this case, the business probably executed a quit claim on the land (and thus
the siding), transferring the land to the railroad. It seems strange that
the CRC would consider a case when "private" could/should be easily
determined by land ownership. On the other hand, as you state, they didn't
rule on tariffs being charged on the basis of private vs. railroad-owner

Jack Burgess

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