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Thread: Railroad trespassing

  1. #11
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    Dec 2004
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    Maine
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    With so many new caches being placed, we are always looking for out of the way places. Thanks for the IMPORTANT info regarding railways. This will help us to be more responsible putting out caches.
    Why not live life like it is your last day....instead of pretending to be a member of the Peter Pan Club and believing you will be around forever.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by brdad
    The first cache that came to mind when you mentioned Brunswick and trolley was Trolly Line (GC9F97) by Kristomeg (2/4). This cache can be accessed without walking on the active RR lines. Some people have not, myself included. But I walked clear of the tracks and when I came to what looked like too dangerous a spot, I opted to bushwhack instead. The cache is nowhere near the active tracks, but are not too far from the old trolley bed.
    Okay, that's in Bath. It looks like it might be off the right-of-way, but I'm still trying to find out what the state law defines the RoW as. I saw something on the Revisor of Statutes site or another state source that said 100' either side of a rail, but that might be for fire control purposes.

    Other Maine caches which mention trolly or trolley:
    The Jolly Trolley (GCG5PH) by Montana East (1.5/2)
    Yep. somebody'd really have to work at it to wander on the track for that one.
    Trestle Trove (GCMD52) by Two Reprobates (2/2)
    Likewise. Actually, more so.

    {Snipped others from reply, but will scope them out later.)
    I'm finding out from a contact at DOT if the one around Lisbon is on the stretch that's actually "abandoned." I just want to be 100% sure it's not on the part that's presently being rebuilt for freight traffic.
    There's another up Waldo County way that directs seekers to an old trestle. I'm also finding out if that one is or isn't "abandoned." I have a feeling it's been "disused," but is going be active again very soon.
    Thanks very much for the input.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt
    Hmm, The trail that I placed the cache off of does cross an active RR track. If it is an issue please let me know so I can pull the cache if needed.
    Yep, unfortunately many well-used paths and trails go where they ought not to go. I saw it a lot last year while protecting contractor personnel against rail traffic. On a couple of occasions, I saw the entire high school cross-country team use the tracks as a "short cut," and I don't mean just going across at other than a public crossing. A call to the school's athletic director put a stop to it. Around that same time, I had to ask the principal of the nearby elementary school to remind all the students what the Operation Lifesaver people had talked to them about just a couple of years before. (Okay, there must've been some new kids that hadn't "gotten the word" yet.)
    I'm so rabid about this stuff because of the fatality a few weeks ago up in Warren. There were three "adults" with the boy who was killed, and they should've known better. The boy attended school in a town with no rail line, so he wasn't among the many that we've given presentations to in the past few years. The foursome probably walked past at least one "No Trespassing" sign.
    So yeah, much as I wouldn't want anyone trying to access that one from U.S. 1, the Rockland Branch will have to be "off limits."
    Thanks very much.

    --
    Doug C.

  4. #14
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    Having been a former railroad worker for many years I think that the ROW on mainline tracks has been 35 ft from the center of the track in both directions, but I could be wrong.

    As far as this one is concerned ,Trolly Line (GC9F97) by Kristomeg (2/4). I don't know how you can get to the cache without first walking down the active tracks but maybe we came in from a different direction.
    Just smile it won't crack your face

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by brdad
    And Maine caches which mention tracks within 25 miles of Brunswick:
    Rubiks Revenge (GCQD0X) by robt (4/2)
    Addressed above.

    These two are on the "Lower Road," which is presently inactive but not abandoned. It would probably be Maine Eastern's route for handling traffic in Augusta some day.

    I think this one's on the "Lewiston Industrial," which is pretty much "dead." However the "Lewiston Lower," going back towards Pejepscot, is being rebuilt. (And use of any area by ATV riders is not a real reliable indication that it's safe or legal to go there.)

    Railroad Ramble (GCHFBQ) by IntotheWoods (2/3)
    The Rockland Branch again. We've had some problems with a few people going onto bridges in the area, but I know geocachers are smarter than that. Incidentally, it was originally the Maine Central Railroad. Maine Eastern RR is now the third operator of the line since the state bought it.

    Another one where, if you got hit by a train there, you were obviously working too hard at doing so.

    Benedict's Campground (GCGHHV) by T-Fam (2/3)
    Lower Road again. My only beef with this one is that it says "The old railroad between Hallowell and Gardiner is being converted into a bike/walking trail." As I understand it, a trail is being/has been co-located with the track. (Something that many railroaders and OL people are not wild about, familiar as we are with the ability of some people to put themselves into harm's way. That is the reason for the "$500 fine" signs along that line, which incidentally were put inside the 4-foot danger zone where nothing/nobody should stand when a train is passing. ) The line is not "abandoned" or in any way being made into strictly a trail. If MDOT or another state agency has provided a place to walk alongside the track, then that's one thing. Otherwise, all the laws and safety rules apply.
    Okay, rant over.

  6. #16
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    Are you saying that trails cannot cross railroad tracks?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrainHunter
    There's another up Waldo County way that directs seekers to an old trestle. I'm also finding out if that one is or isn't "abandoned." I have a feeling it's been "disused," but is going be active again very soon.
    This was mentioned already by WhereRWe in an earlier post . . . the railroad "line" was not in use last year and in previous years ran sporadically as it was a tourist train. This year a non-profit group of railroad buffs are hoping to get it up and running again as a tourist train. As a result (as I've mentioned earlier) I'll be moving one of my caches just a few feet so folks won't have to cross the tracks since I suspect there won't be many runs (but all it takes is one person to trip and fall on that one time when the train is barreling down the track at a blistering 6 mph ).
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  8. #18
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    Bridge 5-81 is next to a track. It has a sign telling you to stay off the track. I dont live in Presque Isle any more and couldnt say if the track gets used but I certainly felt uncomfortable searching for a cache here. They have a walk way about two feet of the rail but just the same. Some people dont think about some of the things stated in the posts before mine.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tat
    Are you saying that trails cannot cross railroad tracks?
    While I can't presently quote chapter and section from state law, a road/private drive/trail/path/whatever should really only cross a track "at a place provided for that purpose." There are numerous private crossings along active tracks, which have been established by an agreement between the railroad and the person who needed access to the property on the "other side" of the track. Then the train crews know that they're approaching a place where someone might be expected to cross, and they sound the horn, etc. Likewise with public crossings, with required signage and maybe additional warning devices. While too many people don't even slow down when approaching a crossing in their car (those round 'X' signs are the ones referred to here: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statu...-asec2076.html), the engineer is aware that someone may be trying to cross.
    Since trains now tend to run quieter than before (and sometimes faster than before), there may be little or no warning of a train's approach. Sounding the horn continuously (or even at random intervals) is impractical for many reasons. Having a spiderweb of "casual" trails and footpaths from which an unsuspecting person could suddenly step onto the track is a railroader's nightmare.
    Somewhere in here, I should include this disclaimer: I am not a lawyer (nor do I portray one on TV ). But I think it all comes back to the old slogan "Let's not meet by accident."

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrainHunter
    While I can't presently quote chapter and section from state law, a road/private drive/trail/path/whatever should really only cross a track "at a place provided for that purpose." There are numerous private crossings along active tracks, which have been established by an agreement between the railroad and the person who needed access to the property on the "other side" of the track. Then the train crews know that they're approaching a place where someone might be expected to cross, and they sound the horn, etc. Likewise with public crossings, with required signage and maybe additional warning devices. While too many people don't even slow down when approaching a crossing in their car (those round 'X' signs are the ones referred to here: http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statu...-asec2076.html), the engineer is aware that someone may be trying to cross.
    Since trains now tend to run quieter than before (and sometimes faster than before), there may be little or no warning of a train's approach. Sounding the horn continuously (or even at random intervals) is impractical for many reasons. Having a spiderweb of "casual" trails and footpaths from which an unsuspecting person could suddenly step onto the track is a railroader's nightmare.
    Somewhere in here, I should include this disclaimer: I am not a lawyer (nor do I portray one on TV ). But I think it all comes back to the old slogan "Let's not meet by accident."


    The above link pertains to motor vehicle law. Is there specific laws regarding pedestrian crossing and usage??? I would think a cacher on foot would hear even a very quiet train at a reasonable distance to get out of the way.

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