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Thread: WMSR finally caught

  1. #1
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    Default WMSR finally caught

    This seems appropriate for this forum. Now this one really ticks me off...

    regards,
    charlie

    From the Cumberland Times-News at http://www.times-news.com/

    WMSR cited for air pollution
    CUMBERLAND - The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is being cited by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for statutory air pollution after several Ridgeley, W.Va., residents complained that the steam engine has been belching smoke and soot too close to their homes.

  2. #2
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    Default RE: WMSR finally caught

    Locomotive emissions are a pretty hot topic these days, especially with population growth, resulting in more issues between people and trains.

    It's interesting to note, in Canada anyways, the Railway Association of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities have established an understanding to try and work out issues such as noise, pollution, and safety. It appears the railway industry and the communities are interested in working together to come up with solutions that will benefit both parties.

    Economically people depend on the railways, just as much as railways depend on people. Especially in cases such as your example, a scenic railway that caters to the public.

    Check out more information at this site http://www.proximityissues.ca/

    Perhaps something similiar exists in the United States?

    Andrew Pickell

    [link:www3.telus.net/apickell/SquamishSub/bcrhome.htm|BC Rail Squamish Subdivision for MSTS]
    http://www3.telus.net/apickell/SquamishSub/banner.jpg

  3. #3
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    Default RE: WMSR finally caught

    This was dissucussed on another forum I'm on.........but

    Take the WMSR away, and see what happens to the local economy.....

    Um....did anyone mention it's a steam locomotive?

    Those people don't know how good they have it, why back in the 40s and early 50s, Ridgley area with all the WMs 2-8-0s, and 2-10-0s, and articulated engines left and right,...didn't hear much complaining back then..

    Take care,-Jeffrey



  4. #4
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    Default RE: WMSR finally caught

    >Check out more information at this site
    >http://www.proximityissues.ca/
    >
    >Perhaps something similiar exists in the United States?

    Andrew,

    If so, I'm not aware of it. This issue though is limited to the state of West Virginia, Department of Environmental Protection; no federal government involvement. It's my understanding that the railroad can escape the daily fines if the violations are corrected within 30 days of receiving the notification.

    The little (pop. 762) town of Ridgeley sits just inside the WV border on a tongue of land surrounded on three sides by the North Fork of the Potomac. As can be seen below, no future growth is possible. Unfortunately this is hard up against the site of the old WM shops that the WMSR uses for daily operations.

    That's the total exposure to WV. The line immediately crosses the Potomac at the old WM depot (preserved) and the remaining 99% of the trip to Frostburg is entirely in Maryland. Perhaps Maryland is getting the lion's share of property taxes and other revenue. :) A very minor part of this route and the indicated Amtrak station appears in MLT's Sandpatch.

    I hope that this doesn't develop into a situation similar to that currently created by the Colorado Historical (hysterical) Society on the Georgetown Loop RR. I just can't imagine NG European diesels running on the Loop next year...

    regards,
    charlie

    [Link Expired]


  5. #5
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    Default RE: WMSR finally caught

    GAWD!!! people who whinge at simple things like that really need to pull their head out of their arse's !

    AFAIK.. No one put a gun to their heads to purchase the house so close to the line so they either lump it or move... !

    Good luck to the Railway.

    Catchya's :)

  6. #6
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    Default RE: WMSR finally caught

    Aron,

    Maybe they're just really old and crotchety. :) I have an old 1898 map from back when Ridgeley was spelled Ridgley and the Western Maryland trackage belonged to the "West Virginia Central & Pittsburg Railroad". The little hamlet was already there.

    regards,
    charlie

  7. #7
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    Default RE: WMSR finally caught


    I think that few people realise that all the major powers have signed a new environment treaty, which endeavours to rid certain polutants, such as diesel smoke, over the next 10 - 15 years. The way this will be done is to develop new technologies making diesel engines more efficient, and these technologies will be phased in over time.

    The problem at the moment is that I can't remember the name of the treaty. Also, some municipalities have jumped the gun in trying to enforce polution standards that cannot be met today.

    Cheers; Chuck F.

    P.S. It's called the KYOTO Accord.
    Cheers; Chuck F.

    "the people keep coming but the train has gone"

  8. #8
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    Default RE: WMSR finally caught

    No diesel smoke here, Chuck. What we have is just one steam locomotive three times a week at 11:30 AM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays for this time of year. In September it's down to two trains a week.

    I would imagine that the Kyoto Accord doesn't stoop to notice or even mention tourist operations of this type. If I read the news correctly, this is just a few or "several" disgruntled neighbors, and environmental considerations are a convenient hook to get rid of their dissatisfactions.

    All we can "phase in over time" here might be the elimination of WMSR operations if the improper operating practices can't be corrected.

    http://www.wmdt.com/wires/displaystory.asp?id=21448714

  9. #9
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    Default RE: WMSR finally caught

    Charlie - you're probably right on the mark about a few disgruntled folks (if it's even plural) who don't like to get soot on their cars. Many of these rustic places are becoming homes to people who want to "get away from it all," and don't want technologies around that they didn't bring in. On the other hand, having spent some time around coal-fired power plants, which are much cleaner than coal-fired locos, the stuff that falls out near the stack can do a real number on your paint job. The RR would do well to see if they could work out something with the people making all the racket.

    Normally I'd tend to side on the "reduce them emissions" gang, but I don't think there's any significant environmental damage (not counting the paint jobs noted above) that anyone could point to from three trains a week passing by - I suppose you could make it six trains a week if you count the return trip. That said, the earlier post about no one complaining - that's pretty much because no one had any authority to complain. Air quality was pretty bad back in the days of King Coal, and there wasn't anyone to make it any better. If we had all the right information, I'd guess that coal-generated air pollution in large rail centers could easily have taken 10 years off the life of anyone who lived there.

    And Kyoto's definitely not going to have any impact on these types of operations - it's concerned about the gazillions of (mostly) CO2 emissions from what us normal folks do every day, like drive and drive.

    Finally, I suspect there are things that can be done to avoid emissions right at that point, even if it means some sort of filter or collection device. I'd guess it wouldn't even have to operate during the entire trip.

    Andy

  10. #10
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    Default RE: WMSR finally caught

    What's suprising, is steam engines if run correctly don't belch black smoke.

    IIRC, that only comes when the fireman "sands the flue" and is done for photo ops and such. :P

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