Re: Team tracks that look like private sidings?
In simple terms, a team track was a railroad owned spur that non rail served
customers could ship or receive carload traffic. A private spur was just
that private. Only the owner of that property could ship or receive carload
traffic. If the owner of this private spur ceased to ship or receive rail
traffic, it was not uncommon for the railroad to remove the switch serving
the private spur as that was railroad owned.
All switches connecting to the railroad were owned by the serving railroad
to the clear point. Beyond the clear point it was the property owner's
responsibility to pay for the installation and maintenance of the track.
Paul C. Koehler
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Jack
Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2006 8:02 AM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Team tracks that look like private sidings?
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