State Supreme Court mulls CMRR eviction

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By Jay Braman Jr.
As trains roll up and down the tracks between Highmount and Delaware County, rail enthusiasts on the Ulster County side await word from the state Supreme Court as to whether they will be evicted from those same tracks.
In June, Ulster County claimed that the Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR), which has a lease to operate on the county’s tracks until 2016, was in default of the lease terms and was going to be evicted.
But CMRR officials got a temporary restraining order that kept the county from kicking them off the rail line, which county officials want for use as rail trail.
As it stands right now, both sides await the impending decision from State Supreme Court Justice Richard Mott on whether an injunction should be issue to stop the county’s eviction plans.
This week CMRR spokesman Harry Jameson said that it appears that Ulster County officials have no interest in working with the Delaware and Ulster Railroad (D&U), which Jameson said made a good offer to the county.
“They said they would let the county take the old rails for scrap and then they would pay themselves to rebuild the line and the county still said no,” Jameson said.
The D&U wants to refurbish the tracks eastward from Highmount down into Pine Hill.
In the meantime, Jameson hopes for the best and said that CMRR continues to make its popular fall foliage runs along the tracks in the Phoenicia/Mount Tremper area.
Jameson said there is no better way to experience the spectacular colors of autumn in the Catskills than with a ride on the fall foliage specials.
“Experience sights you just can’t get from your car, and without the hassle of driving, everyone gets to enjoy the views. See the natural beauty of the Catskills from our railroad’s unique perspective, aboard Ulster County’s only scenic train,” he said. “Take a comfortable seat in one of our vintage coaches, or enjoy the fresh air and panoramic views from our open cars!
For more information go to http://catskillmtrailroad.com.