Railroad Stalls City’s Plans
Who is John Galt?*
They are making big changes to I-70 and the historic area near the Denver Stock Show. Homes have been moved, RTD has put in a light rail line, shutting the entrance to Riverside Cemetery, Denver’s oldest cemetery. New buildings and streets being constructed. I-70 is being lowered and widened…it’s all great, just great… an extension of all the new construction in the RINO area. Huzzah for progress!I do have to chuckle, though, because it seems Denver assumed it would/could declare eminent domain to acquire the land on which approximately four miles of rail lines owned and used by the Denver Rock Island Railroad to create a lovely open space. The rail lines would, of course, need to be moved.Per today’s Denver Post, the railroad has filed suit, refusing to move the tracks, thereby halting construction of a portion of the one billion dollar project. It has used that 4 mile section of track for more than one hundred years. It does not feel compelled to comply.You don’t mess with railroads, anymore than you mess with the BLM. They are like their own little countries, owning, controlling, using land as deemed necessary. I am neither a city official, nor an official of any sort, but in the years I worked in mortgage banking, there were a few times when I saw whole subdivisions lose their ingress/egress to the railroad that owned the ten-twenty foot stretch of rails and land at the entrance to that subdivision. No argument. The homeowners, towns, businesses were forced to meet the railroad’s demands, or lose physical access to their properties, along with the loss of market value.
I’ll be interested to see what comes of this shooting match. Denver should have made better arrangements early on, me thinks. Now that they’re negotiating from a position of need to stay on schedule completing the project, it will likely cost the city and its citizens beaucoup in cash and concessions.
*Rand, Ayn (1957) Atlas Shrugged