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Old 08-10-2018, 05:27 AM   #1
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Default Laconia Council Proposes WOW Trail Study

Among other things, the study would determine the expense of extending the trail alongside the tracks, versus in place of the tracks. It would also look at the economic impact to the region and the state of the current trail, versus an extended trail.

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...ticle-nav-next
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:52 AM   #2
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Default $50,000 Study to happen.

The Laconia City Council approved the WOW Trail study.

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...6e9bcaa59.html
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:19 AM   #3
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The Laconia City Council approved the WOW Trail study.



https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...6e9bcaa59.html


Let’s the heated discussion commence again. The new and interesting part is now thinking of “replacing” the tracks with the trail instead of running it parallel to the trail. I have voiced my opinion many time and think the trail would be a great addition but now “not” at the sacrifice of the train. The train is well used by the tourists in the area and I believe will take away from the charm of the area. I love hearing and seeing the train go by.

FYI I am a member of Akwa Vista and disagree with Richard Mailoux.


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Old 08-15-2018, 07:21 AM   #4
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Let’s the heated discussion commence again. The new and interesting part is now thinking of “replacing” the tracks with the trail instead of running it parallel to the trail. I have voiced my opinion many time and think the trail would be a great addition but now “not” at the sacrifice of the train. The train is well used by the tourists in the area and I believe will take away from the charm of the area. I love hearing and seeing the train go by.

FYI I am a member of Akwa Vista and disagree with Richard Mailoux.


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Agreed on keeping the train, both for financial and history savings.

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Old 08-15-2018, 08:10 AM   #5
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Default Can't bite my tongue

After reading today's article, I am amazed at the audacity of Mr Mailloux. For a man who stole away so many peoples view by building up his facility to turn around and say the train bothers his guests is appalling. He is certainly a What's in it for me, kinda guy. He built next to a, in use railroad, he knew what that meant, and for him to say it should go for his economic benefit really grinds my gears. Having grown up in a town that added a rail trail, and that rail trail is now some 20+ yrs old, I feel I can speak to the subject. Yes, these trails do attract riders, and walkers, however in my experience these people come to town, park their vehicles, and ride or walk, return to said vehicle and drive away. They don't find a place to change out of their spandex, and go visit the downtown, restaurants, or get a room for the night. They are day trippers at best. I think the trail as it exists in downtown (alongside the rail) does work, but we can't sit back and ignore the Graffiti and crime that has also occurred on the trail. I think the trail has run it's course, and stops exactly where it should.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:37 AM   #6
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Default WOW Trail

I thought the same thing about Mr. Mailloux. It reminded me of when we lived in RI, and people who bought cheap houses near TF Green would complain about airline traffic over their homes.

Full disclosure, I live in Long Bay and am against the WOW trail for many reasons. However, I am most against the City of Laconia investing in it. I don't have my numbers down, but I remember the City promising that the Colonial Theater would only cost the taxpayers $2-$3 Million Dollars, and now I read that the cost will exceed $17 Million Dollars. Who's going to pay for it?! The taxpayers! I feel hoodwinked. At least the $50,000 study is coming from the WOW Trail proponents, not the taxpayers.

The City also lied to us about maintenance costs associated with Phase I and Phase II of the WOW Trail. We were told that the City would not pay for maintenance, but now it is a line item in the City's budget.

The reason why WOW Trail proponents want to rip up the track is because this approach will lower the cost of Phase III. There are significant construction challenges in spots where there is a strip of land with water on both sides of the track. It would be easier to rip up the track and put the trail there.

I hope the study honestly assesses the cost of constructing the trail and the economic impact. I doubt it will. Also, the City should reevaluate it's growth approach. It is clear the city intends to grow by greenlighting Section 8 housing. This approach seems inconsistent with spending large sums of money on a theater and a trail.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by WeirsBeachBoater View Post
After reading today's article, I am amazed at the audacity of Mr Mailloux. For a man who stole away so many peoples view by building up his facility to turn around and say the train bothers his guests is appalling. He is certainly a What's in it for me, kinda guy. He built next to a, in use railroad, he knew what that meant, and for him to say it should go for his economic benefit really grinds my gears. Having grown up in a town that added a rail trail, and that rail trail is now some 20+ yrs old, I feel I can speak to the subject. Yes, these trails do attract riders, and walkers, however in my experience these people come to town, park their vehicles, and ride or walk, return to said vehicle and drive away. They don't find a place to change out of their spandex, and go visit the downtown, restaurants, or get a room for the night. They are day trippers at best. I think the trail as it exists in downtown (alongside the rail) does work, but we can't sit back and ignore the Graffiti and crime that has also occurred on the trail. I think the trail has run it's course, and stops exactly where it should.
I get a chuckle at him saying the tracks run close to his resort! My bet is his resort was built too close to the tracks!
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:48 AM   #8
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I still do not understand why they are not looking at the cheapest/least invasive alternative for everyone, if they really want this thing done

From where it dumps out at the Meredith Center road near Fratellos
send it up Union ave, then make a wider sidewalk/trail way up rt 3/weirs blvd, right up to Weirs beach, the view will be the same, and will not take away from businesses, homeowners, the train. And if they are playing the businesses get a boost card, then those on Union Ave will increase


There! pay me the $50k, just solved it in 3 minutes, like I have been saying to option this for years.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:06 AM   #9
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Not a fan of paying $50K for a study that is basically trying to prove we will be better off by putting someone else out of business.....

I like the WOW trail.... I like the concept. I am OK with it being extended to Weirs Beach. BUT.. it needs to COEXIST with the railroad, not replace the railroad.

I am with WeirsBeachBoater.... that guy from Akwa has some set of balls on him.. He has a very checkered past. The train was there when he built up the property....

Of course this all being pushed by Rusty & the Common Man group.

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Old 08-15-2018, 09:12 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AC2717 View Post
I still do not understand why they are not looking at the cheapest/least invasive alternative for everyone, if they really want this thing done

From where it dumps out at the Meredith Center road near Fratellos
send it up Union ave, then make a wider sidewalk/trail way up rt 3/weirs blvd, right up to Weirs beach, the view will be the same, and will not take away from businesses, homeowners, the train. And if they are playing the businesses get a boost card, then those on Union Ave will increase


There! pay me the $50k, just solved it in 3 minutes, like I have been saying to option this for years.
Does everyone also know that there is already a little trail that goes inbetween McDonalds and HK and goes to the road that comes out near the CVS (in front of Lowes) at the Rt3/weirs BLVD intersection

seems like they could link that up as well.


(I've got No dog in the fight)

Never seems something so badly being jammed down people's throats when there are multiple different options
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:17 AM   #11
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AC2717....


It has to be a 'Rail Trail" to qualify for Federal funding.... so diverting it off the railroad row doesn't work.

I won't even get into how bad this will be for snowmobilers!

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Old 08-15-2018, 07:04 PM   #12
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Post Foregone Conclusion

It is interesting to see that the city and WOW Org now believe that their cause has more value than the existing railroad which is clearly a revenue producing entity, directly creates jobs and is a long term asset of merit.

A full engineering study will cost significantly more than $50k...so, this study is going to be cursory and it will say two things when the day is done:
  1. That the WOW trail will be a significant economic driver for the region...more so than the railroad.
  2. That the cost of building the trail in the existing rail bed will be much cheaper than building adjacent to the tracks.

So, now a few data points:
  1. About 6 miles of the planned WOW trail has been built including connectivity to the center of Laconia. Can anyone point to data showing any direct economic benefit? Not hearsay...actual data. I have never seen a bicycle or a runner at the local restaurants.
  2. The railway is used for more than the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. It is the only connection from Concord to north of Meredith. So this interferes with freight and isolates a current repair depot.
  3. The has never been an abandonment of a rail line in New Hampshire.
  4. The train allows a number of tourists who are not capable of using the WOW trail to enjoy the lake.

The state is considering building a sports center at the existing prison property on route 106. Doesn't it make much more sense to have a route that connects to that?

The WOW Trail prohibits motorized vehicles which will make it very interesting relative to the fact that this is also part of the snow mobile trail system.

There are alternative routes that allow the railroad to continue operating, could connect to the sports center (presuming it moves forward) and be of reasonable cost. The city and WOW Org is casting a deaf ear to alternative proposals.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
It is interesting to see that the city and WOW Org now believe that their cause has more value than the existing railroad which is clearly a revenue producing entity, directly creates jobs and is a long term asset of merit.



A full engineering study will cost significantly more than $50k...so, this study is going to be cursory and it will say two things when the day is done:


  1. That the WOW trail will be a significant economic driver for the region...more so than the railroad.
  2. That the cost of building the trail in the existing rail bed will be much cheaper than building adjacent to the tracks.



So, now a few data points:


  1. About 6 miles of the planned WOW trail has been built including connectivity to the center of Laconia. Can anyone point to data showing any direct economic benefit? Not hearsay...actual data. I have never seen a bicycle or a runner at the local restaurants.
  2. The railway is used for more than the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. It is the only connection from Concord to north of Meredith. So this interferes with freight and isolates a current repair depot.
  3. The has never been an abandonment of a rail line in New Hampshire.
  4. The train allows a number of tourists who are not capable of using the WOW trail to enjoy the lake.



The state is considering building a sports center at the existing prison property on route 106. Doesn't it make much more sense to have a route that connects to that?



The WOW Trail prohibits motorized vehicles which will make it very interesting relative to the fact that this is also part of the snow mobile trail system.



There are alternative routes that allow the railroad to continue operating, could connect to the sports center (presuming it moves forward) and be of reasonable cost. The city and WOW Org is casting a deaf ear to alternative proposals.



Just my 2 cents

Jetskier


Jetskier I know we are on opposite ends on this topic but I am strongly against abandoning the railroad for the WOW Trail.

I do have a question, you stated the rail line is also used for freight.

In my 12 years here I have never seen a freight line go though this area. Am I wrong or just have not seen it? Just curious as I said I do not want the rail to be abandoned. Thanks.




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Old 08-15-2018, 08:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
It is interesting to see that the city and WOW Org now believe that their cause has more value than the existing railroad which is clearly a revenue producing entity, directly creates jobs and is a long term asset of merit.

A full engineering study will cost significantly more than $50k...so, this study is going to be cursory and it will say two things when the day is done:
  1. That the WOW trail will be a significant economic driver for the region...more so than the railroad.
  2. That the cost of building the trail in the existing rail bed will be much cheaper than building adjacent to the tracks.

So, now a few data points:
  1. About 6 miles of the planned WOW trail has been built including connectivity to the center of Laconia. Can anyone point to data showing any direct economic benefit? Not hearsay...actual data. I have never seen a bicycle or a runner at the local restaurants.
  2. The railway is used for more than the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. It is the only connection from Concord to north of Meredith. So this interferes with freight and isolates a current repair depot.
  3. The has never been an abandonment of a rail line in New Hampshire.
  4. The train allows a number of tourists who are not capable of using the WOW trail to enjoy the lake.

The state is considering building a sports center at the existing prison property on route 106. Doesn't it make much more sense to have a route that connects to that?

The WOW Trail prohibits motorized vehicles which will make it very interesting relative to the fact that this is also part of the snow mobile trail system.

There are alternative routes that allow the railroad to continue operating, could connect to the sports center (presuming it moves forward) and be of reasonable cost. The city and WOW Org is casting a deaf ear to alternative proposals.

Just my 2 cents
Jetskier
Jetskier; Item #3 says there has never been an abandonment of a rail line in New Hampshire.

I'm not sure that is correct as I believe the line going to Wolfboro was abandoned in the 1980's as well as a connection going to Vermont that branched off the Concord to Lincoln line......

Additionally, I think there was a Manchester Branch that ran West which was abandoned in the 1970's.
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:37 AM   #15
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I do have a question, you stated the rail line is also used for freight.

In my 12 years here I have never seen a freight line go though this area. Am I wrong or just have not seen it? Just curious as I said I do not want the rail to be abandoned. Thanks.
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From the Laconia Daily Sun article:

Pete Dearness, owner and manager of New England Southern Railroad, uses the tracks for freight operations.

“I have no objection to the trail per se,” he said. “Trails are OK. My position is that our concern is both with respect to freight and the tourist potential on the line, and that it would be fine if somehow the committee could find a way to get the funding and to build the trail with the rail.

"We strongly object to any idea of taking up the rail.”
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiltonBB View Post
From the Laconia Daily Sun article:



Pete Dearness, owner and manager of New England Southern Railroad, uses the tracks for freight operations.



“I have no objection to the trail per se,” he said. “Trails are OK. My position is that our concern is both with respect to freight and the tourist potential on the line, and that it would be fine if somehow the committee could find a way to get the funding and to build the trail with the rail.



"We strongly object to any idea of taking up the rail.”


Tilton which stretch is used for freight? I’m just curious because I have never seen an active freight train. Is it more towards Belmont? Thanks


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Old 08-16-2018, 05:54 AM   #17
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From their website:

Founded in 1981, the New England Southern Railroad serves your shipping needs in central New Hampshire, operating on the State of New Hampshire owned, White Mountain Branch, with common carrier obligations between Concord and Lincoln.

Our interchange with Pan Am Railways in Concord connects your shipments to the nationwide railroad network. Freight service north of Lochmere, when warranted, requires coordination with the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, Hobo Railroad and Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train operations.
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:17 AM   #18
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From their website:



Founded in 1981, the New England Southern Railroad serves your shipping needs in central New Hampshire, operating on the State of New Hampshire owned, White Mountain Branch, with common carrier obligations between Concord and Lincoln.



Our interchange with Pan Am Railways in Concord connects your shipments to the nationwide railroad network. Freight service north of Lochmere, when warranted, requires coordination with the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, Hobo Railroad and Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train operations.


Very interesting, did not know this. Thanks for the research.


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Old 08-16-2018, 08:35 AM   #19
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We enjoy rail trails including the WOW and the connected trail section in Belmont. We would like the see the expansion but not at the expense of existing rail use.

There is one example of mixed rail and trail use: the Cotton Valley Rail Trail in Wolfeboro.
https://www.conwaydailysun.com/outdo...53054b50c.html

http://www.cottonvalley.org/index.php

In this case the rail use is limited to small private rail cars. As both types of users support maintenance of the rail trail it appears to be a peaceful cooperative coexistence.

Walkers and bicyclers at times have to go between the rails which in these spots is filled in with packed gravel. In the winter most of the trail is open to snowmobiles and there are connections with state corridors.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:18 AM   #20
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Slickcraft.... there could be peaceful coexistence. But...

The WOW trail will require a fence... Southdown doesn't want the WOW trail or the fence. They have an uphill argument as the rail trail was part of their planning documents. Not sure how well they would do in court.

The WOW people don't want to spend the $$ to build the causeways & walkways beside the narrow portions of the rail corridor. So if they can somehow get the state to pull the tracks....

The upside is, State law favors the railroads... and I think the HOBO has a renewal clause in their lease that gives them until 2029 or something. So the WOW trail spending the $$ on this study is STUPID.

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Old 08-16-2018, 10:43 AM   #21
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Jetskier I know we are on opposite ends on this topic but I am strongly against abandoning the railroad for the WOW Trail.

I do have a question, you stated the rail line is also used for freight.

In my 12 years here I have never seen a freight line go though this area. Am I wrong or just have not seen it? Just curious as I said I do not want the rail to be abandoned. Thanks.




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Hi Joey,

I am not against the WOW Trail in general...just against removing the tracks or usurping the frontage of the homes along the lake....anyhow...this is an active freight line which is coordinated with the scenic railroad. I have not seen freight activity either, but I am guessing that it is relatively limited. Please see the attached link.

Jetskier

http://www.newenglandsouthernrailroad.com/
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:46 AM   #22
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Jetskier; Item #3 says there has never been an abandonment of a rail line in New Hampshire.

I'm not sure that is correct as I believe the line going to Wolfboro was abandoned in the 1980's as well as a connection going to Vermont that branched off the Concord to Lincoln line......

Additionally, I think there was a Manchester Branch that ran West which was abandoned in the 1970's.




.
Yes, there has never been an abandonment in NH for the purpose of recreational use...sorry about the miss-statement.
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:48 AM   #23
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Hi Joey,



I am not against the WOW Trail in general...just against removing the tracks or usurping the frontage of the homes along the lake....anyhow...this is an active freight line which is coordinated with the scenic railroad. I have not seen freight activity either, but I am guessing that it is relatively limited. Please see the attached link.



Jetskier



http://www.newenglandsouthernrailroad.com/


Thanks Jetskier. Would you be happy with the use of split rail fencing along South Down and Long Bay as they have now near the Belmont Laconia line with access points to the beach’s and boat club?


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Old 08-16-2018, 11:34 AM   #24
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To me, it's all about the money. South Down, etc. all knew/should have known the trail could/would probably happen. Who will pay for it vs. the benefits is my bigger concern.

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Old 08-16-2018, 02:46 PM   #25
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Thanks Jetskier. Would you be happy with the use of split rail fencing along South Down and Long Bay as they have now near the Belmont Laconia line with access points to the beach’s and boat club?


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Hi Joey,

There are way too many issues with the trail even as an adjacency to the operating railway (with split rail).
  • Marina - we have an operating marina that launches/retrieves as many as 400 boats on a busy day. The WOW trail adds significant operational issues.
  • Privacy - LB and SD do not receive any city services as they have been designated as "private" by the city of Laconia. We have had to pay a huge amount of money to maintain our roads, pay for garbage etc. The trail would be a public avenue through a private community. The two simply don't mix well.
  • Additional use/safety - The railroad is currently part of the statewide snowmobile trail system. Fencing along the side of the rail bed creates access and safety issues for snowmobiling. Another poster also brought this up.
  • Environmental - The state prohibits even removing a tree stump in the buffer zone...but it is environmentally ok to dig up soil, plantings, etc..and potentially release creosote? In addition, the plantings along the RR ROW serve as a buffer against phosphate accumulation in the lake and we have been encouraged to plant more...this goes in the opposite direction and would potentially increase phosphate.

As you probably know, there are alternative routes that don't require ripping up the tracks or costs, issues, disruption of building adjacent to the existing railway. It is frustrating that the city and WOW org view this as a preemptive initiative and want to literally bulldoze it through. As an alternative, a WOW trail connecting to a premier sports center would make eminent sense.

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Old 08-16-2018, 03:24 PM   #26
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Hi Joey,

There are way too many issues with the trail even as an adjacency to the operating railway (with split rail).
  • Marina - we have an operating marina that launches/retrieves as many as 400 boats on a busy day. The WOW trail adds significant operational issues.
  • Privacy - LB and SD do not receive any city services as they have been designated as "private" by the city of Laconia. We have had to pay a huge amount of money to maintain our roads, pay for garbage etc. The trail would be a public avenue through a private community. The two simply don't mix well.
  • Additional use/safety - The railroad is currently part of the statewide snowmobile trail system. Fencing along the side of the rail bed creates access and safety issues for snowmobiling. Another poster also brought this up.
  • Environmental - The state prohibits even removing a tree stump in the buffer zone...but it is environmentally ok to dig up soil, plantings, etc..and potentially release creosote? In addition, the plantings along the RR ROW serve as a buffer against phosphate accumulation in the lake and we have been encouraged to plant more...this goes in the opposite direction and would potentially increase phosphate.

As you probably know, there are alternative routes that don't require ripping up the tracks or costs, issues, disruption of building adjacent to the existing railway. It is frustrating that the city and WOW org view this as a preemptive initiative and want to literally bulldoze it through. As an alternative, a WOW trail connecting to a premier sports center would make eminent sense.

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Jetskier,
What do you think is the answer to the fact that most of what you pointed to are issues that SD, etc. should have planned for given that the trail was part of the expectations when those associations were incorporated? (I'm serious, not being snarky)

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Old 08-16-2018, 08:15 PM   #27
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After reading today's article, I am amazed at the audacity of Mr Mailloux. For a man who stole away so many peoples view by building up his facility to turn around and say the train bothers his guests is appalling. He is certainly a What's in it for me, kinda guy. He built next to a, in use railroad, he knew what that meant, and for him to say it should go for his economic benefit really grinds my gears. Having grown up in a town that added a rail trail, and that rail trail is now some 20+ yrs old, I feel I can speak to the subject. Yes, these trails do attract riders, and walkers, however in my experience these people come to town, park their vehicles, and ride or walk, return to said vehicle and drive away. They don't find a place to change out of their spandex, and go visit the downtown, restaurants, or get a room for the night. They are day trippers at best. I think the trail as it exists in downtown (alongside the rail) does work, but we can't sit back and ignore the Graffiti and crime that has also occurred on the trail. I think the trail has run it's course, and stops exactly where it should.
Couldn't agree more WBB.......The WOW trail should not continue.
We've walked and biked the trail several times and only saw 6 or 8 people from Lakeport to Laconia during nice weather in the spring. Saw some pretty creepy people hanging out in the woods just south of the old Scott and Williams buildings.
It's no wonder that people are concerned in Southdown.
But, aside from that, I have to ask why any reasonable person would want to build a fence on all of that beautiful shoreline.
BTW...we are Rails to Trails members and have used other trails around the country such as the one that runs down Gasparilla Island Florida but does not encroach on any of the shorefront.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:43 PM   #28
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Post No formal documents supporting this that I know of

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Jetskier,
What do you think is the answer to the fact that most of what you pointed to are issues that SD, etc. should have planned for given that the trail was part of the expectations when those associations were incorporated? (I'm serious, not being snarky)

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I believe that is a misnomer. From all that I have researched the trail was not a condition of the formal approval for the developments. There are some walking trails (private) that are incorporated and exist.

If someone can point me to any original documents - plans showing that the actual formal approval of the two associations had the trail as a condition, please provide them.



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Old 08-16-2018, 09:09 PM   #29
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Interesting. Many people have referenced it, which is why I was asking.
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I believe that is a misnomer. From all that I have researched the trail was not a condition of the formal approval for the developments. There are some walking trails (private) that are incorporated and exist.

If someone can point me to any original documents - plans showing that the actual formal approval of the two associations had the trail as a condition, please provide them.



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Old 08-17-2018, 01:29 AM   #30
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Interesting. Many people have referenced it, which is why I was asking.

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I would think that the railroad rights of way are part of one or more deeds associated with Southdown (et al) property. A bit of detective work looking at tax maps / lot numbers, then searching the Belknap County Registry of Deeds should produce the appropriate documents which show any railroad rights of way. This doesn’t prove or disprove that the trail was a condition of the approval of the subdivisions, but would document the existing rights of way. Would be interesting to see the actual right of way language though.

A search produced this information - paragraph 1 seems relevant to the situation, but I’m no lawyer: https://law.justia.com/codes/new-ham...ction-228-60-a
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:42 AM   #31
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I would think that the railroad rights of way are part of one or more deeds associated with Southdown (et al) property. A bit of detective work looking at tax maps / lot numbers, then searching the Belknap County Registry of Deeds should produce the appropriate documents which show any railroad rights of way. This doesn’t prove or disprove that the trail was a condition of the approval of the subdivisions, but would document the existing rights of way. Would be interesting to see the actual right of way language though.

A search produced this information - paragraph 1 seems relevant to the situation, but I’m no lawyer: https://law.justia.com/codes/new-ham...ction-228-60-a


Seaplane Pilot and Jetskier, it is my understanding that the original documents for Southdown and Long Bay were destroyed. They were in storage at City Hall and got wet or something. I know this because I was looking for proof that the lot next to me that was vacant and deemed undevelopable was meant to be maintained undevelopable under the original documents. We will never know.


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Old 08-17-2018, 06:39 AM   #32
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This is Mission: Impossible stuff!
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Seaplane Pilot and Jetskier, it is my understanding that the original documents for Southdown and Long Bay were destroyed. They were in storage at City Hall and got wet or something. I know this because I was looking for proof that the lot next to me that was vacant and deemed undevelopable was meant to be maintained undevelopable under the original documents. We will never know.


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Old 08-17-2018, 06:41 AM   #33
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Seaplane Pilot and Jetskier, it is my understanding that the original documents for Southdown and Long Bay were destroyed. They were in storage at City Hall and got wet or something. I know this because I was looking for proof that the lot next to me that was vacant and deemed undevelopable was meant to be maintained undevelopable under the original documents. We will never know.


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That doesn’t surprise me about Laconia! However, any condominium association would have had to file with Attorney General’s Office, so maybe document copies could be sitting there?
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Old 08-17-2018, 06:52 AM   #34
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Seaplane Pilot and Jetskier, it is my understanding that the original documents for Southdown and Long Bay were destroyed. They were in storage at City Hall and got wet or something. I know this because I was looking for proof that the lot next to me that was vacant and deemed undevelopable was meant to be maintained undevelopable under the original documents. We will never know.


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Major you may be correct about the site plan, survey ect but the associations themselves would have copies of the original condo docs. I’m sure Mr Davidson kept copies and passed them along to the HOA, Although it could be like pulling teeth getting copies from LB or SD.

Just full disclosure I owned in both HOA’s over the past 12 years and left last year and was a board member of my sub HOA in LB for 7 years


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Old 08-17-2018, 07:12 AM   #35
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This is Mission: Impossible stuff!

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Sad but true. Regarding SD and LB, I do not think they have the documents either. Mr. Davidson may have them. I didn't think to ask.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:22 AM   #36
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Sad but true. Regarding SD and LB, I do not think they have the documents either. Mr. Davidson may have them. I didn't think to ask.


If that’s true then all I can say is WOW!!! But not surprising. Lol.


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Old 08-17-2018, 09:00 AM   #37
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Couldn't agree more WBB.......The WOW trail should not continue.
We've walked and biked the trail several times and only saw 6 or 8 people from Lakeport to Laconia during nice weather in the spring. Saw some pretty creepy people hanging out in the woods just south of the old Scott and Williams buildings.
It's no wonder that people are concerned in Southdown.
But, aside from that, I have to ask why any reasonable person would want to build a fence on all of that beautiful shoreline.
BTW...we are Rails to Trails members and have used other trails around the country such as the one that runs down Gasparilla Island Florida but does not encroach on any of the shorefront.
We biked from Lakeport to Agway in Belmont and return this morning starting at 7:50 am. Going one way on the Laconia WOW trail section I counted 21 walkers/runners and 3 bikers, on the Belmont section I countered another 11 walkers/runners for a total of 32 walkers/runners over the 4 mile overall trail. In the mix were 4 leashed dogs and one baby carriage. No creepy people were noted today or any other time on the trail. While this is the 1st time that I made a count, today was pretty average for a weekday morning.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:05 AM   #38
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That doesn’t surprise me about Laconia! However, any condominium association would have had to file with Attorney General’s Office, so maybe document copies could be sitting there?
Only condo projects of 10 or more units need Attorney General's approval.

The law is in place to be certain the developer has the financial ability to complete the project. The law came about because of projects that did not get completed and left early purchasers in an incomplete neighborhood. Sometimes that resulted in paving and infrastructure issues that there was no money to finish.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:14 AM   #39
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Only condo projects of 10 or more units need Attorney General's approval.

The law is in place to be certain the developer has the financial ability to complete the project. The law came about because of projects that did not get completed and left early purchasers in an incomplete neighborhood. Sometimes that resulted in paving and infrastructure issues that there was no money to finish.
Thanks for the clarification. But I would assume Southdown would be a condo association of more than 10 units?
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:17 AM   #40
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We biked from Lakeport to Agway in Belmont and return this morning starting at 7:50 am. Going one way on the Laconia WOW trail section I counted 21 walkers/runners and 3 bikers, on the Belmont section I countered another 11 walkers/runners for a total of 32 walkers/runners over the 4 mile overall trail. In the mix were 4 leashed dogs and one baby carriage. No creepy people were noted today or any other time on the trail. While this is the 1st time that I made a count, today was pretty average for a weekday morning.
I have walked the trail in the past with my wife and did encounter some areas with a few "creepy" people hanging around, and a few other areas that kind of looked like some kind of hangout spot. This was in the Laconia section.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:47 AM   #41
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Default Southdown Docs EXIST

The Southdown plans... showing the Railroard ROW & possibility of rail trail do exist... and have been published either by the WOW people or the Laconia Sun. I have seen them, I wish I could remember where.

That being said...

Either way the bottom line is, the State (not the City) owns the Railroad ROW... and you cannot take State property using adverse possession. Southdown only has a few DEEDED access points to the water one of them being the marina. You can see them on the Laconia online tax maps. These are the only points where the WOW fence HAS to allow access to the water.

Because the State owns the RR ROW... Southdown is going to have a an uphill battle fighting the WOW trail. That the original plans show this.. just makes it that much harder.

The argument that Southdown is a private community is mute... as Southdown borders public property (the RR ROW & the Lake)... not other private property.

The snowmobile corridor argument only comes into play if they actually rip up the tracks.... a trail built beside the tracks will have no impact on the snowmobile corridor.

The environmental argument only comes into play if they rip up the tracks also... building beside the tracks will have little environmental impact.


If they build it, people will use it... but they should not be looking put somebody else out of business to further their goal.

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Old 08-17-2018, 11:40 AM   #42
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Default Laconia Council Proposes WOW Trail Study

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The Southdown plans... showing the Railroard ROW & possibility of rail trail do exist... and have been published either by the WOW people or the Laconia Sun. I have seen them, I wish I could remember where.



That being said...



Either way the bottom line is, the State (not the City) owns the Railroad ROW... and you cannot take State property using adverse possession. Southdown only has a few DEEDED access points to the water one of them being the marina. You can see them on the Laconia online tax maps. These are the only points where the WOW fence HAS to allow access to the water.



Because the State owns the RR ROW... Southdown is going to have a an uphill battle fighting the WOW trail. That the original plans show this.. just makes it that much harder.



The argument that Southdown is a private community is mute... as Southdown borders public property (the RR ROW & the Lake)... not other private property.



The snowmobile corridor argument only comes into play if they actually rip up the tracks.... a trail built beside the tracks will have no impact on the snowmobile corridor.



The environmental argument only comes into play if they rip up the tracks also... building beside the tracks will have little environmental impact.





If they build it, people will use it... but they should not be looking put somebody else out of business to further their goal.



Woodsy


I absolutely agree. Between Long bay and South Down there are 4 access points. In SD for the boat club, one for the beach near the playground and one in LB near the club house for beach access and another for the boat Docks. These points can easily be closed in the winter so snowmobiles cannot have access just like in the Laconia stretch


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Old 08-17-2018, 12:16 PM   #43
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Default WOW Trail

Just a couple of points to clarify. The recorded documents do exist. They show the rail and the ROW. The documents supporting the development proposal to the City do not exist. It is these documents that may (or may not) shed light on whether a walking/biking trail was contemplated, or, more important to me although the ship has sailed, whether the lot next to my home was meant to be developed even though the recorded deed showed it as undeveloped. My recollection is that the recorded documents make a vague reference to a trail, but it's certainly not clear. Jetskier can certainly clarify.

Yes, the railroad has a ROW. However, as has been pointed out by others, SD/LB owns the land. The owner of the ROW does not have an unfettered right to build whatever they want. The DOT will have the final say as to what is built, but the owner of the property (SD/LB) has rights so that any planned trail does not exceed the rights granted under the ROW. It is not a slam dunk that the proponents of the trail have the legal right to do so.

What no one has mentioned is who is going to pay for it? We have learned from Phases I and II that Federal dollars do not fully fund the projects. Is City tax money going to be used?
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:29 PM   #44
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Many old RR corridors are not just a ROW. In the case of the Lakeshore RR that went through Alton the state originally took the land by eminent domain and likely paid the local farmers a few dollars each. When B&M discontinued rail operations the state offered to sell the fee interest to the town of Alton which did happen. Being way prior to the days of recreational trails. many but not all sections were then sold back to abutting land owners. The town still owns a section near Woodlands Rd which is a walking trail and snowmobile trail. The main Alton Bay parking area and boat ramp are residual town owned lands.

The town also still owns a section between the police station and Rt 28 which became a walking path about 10 years ago. The abutters filed a law suit claiming that it had been only a ROW and that they owned the underlying land. They lost as the state and now Alton owned the fee interest. In this case one of the best municipal law attorneys in the state had told the abutters that it was only a ROW but he was wrong.

I don't know the actual situation in the subject rail corridor. I do know that the state owned the fee interest for many in the state.

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Old 08-17-2018, 06:23 PM   #45
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Default Wow Trail or Train

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Just a couple of points to clarify. The recorded documents do exist. They show the rail and the ROW. The documents supporting the development proposal to the City do not exist. It is these documents that may (or may not) shed light on whether a walking/biking trail was contemplated, or, more important to me although the ship has sailed, whether the lot next to my home was meant to be developed even though the recorded deed showed it as undeveloped. My recollection is that the recorded documents make a vague reference to a trail, but it's certainly not clear. Jetskier can certainly clarify.

Yes, the railroad has a ROW. However, as has been pointed out by others, SD/LB owns the land. The owner of the ROW does not have an unfettered right to build whatever they want. The DOT will have the final say as to what is built, but the owner of the property (SD/LB) has rights so that any planned trail does not exceed the rights granted under the ROW. It is not a slam dunk that the proponents of the trail have the legal right to do so.

What no one has mentioned is who is going to pay for it? We have learned from Phases I and II that Federal dollars do not fully fund the projects. Is City tax money going to be used?
Hi Major,

Thank you, a few points:
  1. My understanding is that the plans of record do not exist. There are no surviving documents that show what the city approved when they permitted the developments. There was a reference to discussions in the Laconia Sun back in the day...but based upon a lack of records, no one can prove or disprove the point. As such, there is no basis for LB/SD owners to have known or should have known that this is a foregone conclusion.
  2. At this point, it is all moot. The study is predicated upon building a case that the WOW Trail has more economic value than the train. That is the path that the city and WOW Org are focusing on. Building in the ROW seems to be proving too expensive and difficult - we have been saying that for quite a while. Mayor Engler said multiple times in the meeting that NH DOT operates within current laws...what does that tell us?
  3. So, the issue is no longer about SD, LB etc...The issue is about the WOW Trail vs. the train. As we have said, there are alternative viable routes. If you want to keep the train...let the Mayor and Council hear about it.

Regards,
Jetskier
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:52 AM   #46
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Default Crime on the WOW Trail

This won't help the case of the proponents of the trail.

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...ticle-nav-next
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:06 AM   #47
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This won't help the case of the proponents of the trail.



https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...ticle-nav-next


I’ll reiterate what I said in other threads. Being PC prevents the police from publicly stating what they really think about the WOW Trail. It is an avenue of egress for crime. I heard this from a former Laconia police officer who held a very high position.




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Old 08-18-2018, 08:28 AM   #48
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We biked from Lakeport to Agway in Belmont and return this morning starting at 7:50 am. Going one way on the Laconia WOW trail section I counted 21 walkers/runners and 3 bikers, on the Belmont section I countered another 11 walkers/runners for a total of 32 walkers/runners over the 4 mile overall trail. In the mix were 4 leashed dogs and one baby carriage. No creepy people were noted today or any other time on the trail. While this is the 1st time that I made a count, today was pretty average for a weekday morning.
Must have just missed the two guys with heroin that Belmont and Laconia police busted recently.The newspaper reported that they responded due to complaints of suspicious people and campsites near the trail.
If you happen to look at the pictures of the men that were arrested Friday in todays laconia Sun,I think you migjt agree that they are a little "creepy"
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:32 AM   #49
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Among other things, the study would determine the expense of extending the trail alongside the tracks, versus in place of the tracks. It would also look at the economic impact to the region and the state of the current trail, versus an extended trail.



https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...ticle-nav-next


I’m late to the WOW party. I have many questions to those in the know after reading the following paragraph in the article.

“The City Council decided unanimously on Monday evening to commission a study to examine the pros and cons of extending the WOW Trail next to the railroad tracks along Paugus Bay, or in place of those tracks.”

One could interpret this as the city council is executing the tax payers direction that this trail is wanted and this is where it must be.

Could anybody articulate with city hall facts (omitting personal opinions) how this situation has evolved?

I know opinions are far more entertaining.





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Old 08-18-2018, 08:28 PM   #50
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Default Your Honor, I rest my case!

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This won't help the case of the proponents of the trail.

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/news...ticle-nav-next
More of this happens than is reported. I know of at least 3 areas that have been known for Drug Dens along the trail. Down by Court St, Behind Scott Williams building area in Lakeport and Down along the water by the Belknap Mall.
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:59 PM   #51
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Let’s the heated discussion commence again. The new and interesting part is now thinking of “replacing” the tracks with the trail instead of running it parallel to the trail. I have voiced my opinion many time and think the trail would be a great addition but now “not” at the sacrifice of the train. The train is well used by the tourists in the area and I believe will take away from the charm of the area. I love hearing and seeing the train go by.

FYI I am a member of Akwa Vista and disagree with Richard Mailoux.


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I totally agree, keep the train as tourists love it!

I live in Paugus Bay and the train goes by my cottage. Its not a nuisance and I disagree with Mr. Mailoux. He wants to sacrifice the train to line his pockets...
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:35 PM   #52
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The WOW folks are going to learn a hard lesson real quickly on railroading 101. Hopefully whoever they hire to conduct this study, can articulate in the report that this railroad corridor is not abandoned and was not when the state purchased it from the railroad. The rail line is still under common carrier status and before the state arbitrarily pulls up the rails (if they ever want to go that route) they will have to apply before the Surface Transportation Board to abandon the line. They state may own the line but they still have to get approval at the federal level if they wish to turn it into a rail trail only. How can they do that when you have two active railroads using the line? It's simple, "you can't". Now had the line been abandoned before they purchased it, then the state could do as they please, they can allow a tourist railroad to operate or not, the line is no longer under common carrier status and therefore does not exist under the STB's governing body.
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:15 PM   #53
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The WOW folks are going to learn a hard lesson real quickly on railroading 101. Hopefully whoever they hire to conduct this study, can articulate in the report that this railroad corridor is not abandoned and was not when the state purchased it from the railroad. The rail line is still under common carrier status and before the state arbitrarily pulls up the rails (if they ever want to go that route) they will have to apply before the Surface Transportation Board to abandon the line. They state may own the line but they still have to get approval at the federal level if they wish to turn it into a rail trail only. How can they do that when you have two active railroads using the line? It's simple, "you can't". Now had the line been abandoned before they purchased it, then the state could do as they please, they can allow a tourist railroad to operate or not, the line is no longer under common carrier status and therefore does not exist under the STB's governing body.
Can you quote a source where the State is going to "pull up rails"?

BTW, Nice 1st post.... I would guess you live in SD or LB... NO?
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:34 PM   #54
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Can you quote a source where the State is going to "pull up rails"?

BTW, Nice 1st post.... I would guess you live in SD or LB... NO?
The city passed a resolution to perform a study with one potential outcome being to replace the current rail bed with the WOW trail. Please see the attached copy of the resolution.

I don't know Trail Goer, but Outdoorsman, a little common courtesy OK?

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Last edited by jetskier; 08-21-2018 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Adding Title
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:46 PM   #55
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Can somebody help me understand this statement from the above linked pdf?

"WHEREAS, the state-owned corridor would be maintained in perpetuity for NH DOT"

It is maintained "FOR" the NH DOT?

Could they have meant to write "BY" the NH DOT?

Another point of interest in the pdf is this:

"with the understanding that rail would be reinstalled at a future date if it was determined that rail was a better and higher use."

Restarting the scenic train service seems as likely as flipping the switch to get a moth balled steel mill running again.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:31 PM   #56
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Can you quote a source where the State is going to "pull up rails"?

BTW, Nice 1st post.... I would guess you live in SD or LB... NO?
No, I do not live in those communities.
The purpose of my post was to inform people that this railroad corridor is not abandoned, it's still under common carrier status and still part of the national railroad network. Example, the Conway Scenic Railroad is operating on tracks that were abandoned by the railroad before the state purchased the line. That railroad corridor is no longer part of the national railroad network and is not governed by the STB. Back to the line in question, in order for the state to apply for abandonment, the operating railroads have to first apply for a discontinuance with the STB and because this is an active rail line, the state would have to put this line up for bid. For the WOW Trail leaders to ask the state to simply deny the current railroads the right to do business in order to shut the line down for their rail-trail is in violation of federal law (railroads are exempt from local and state oversight, when dealing with interstate commerce). The Plymouth & Lincoln Railroad, the New England Southern Railroad, the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train and the Lincoln Shops (which is a year round railroad car and locomotive repair shop) could potentially bring this issue before the board, if the WOW leaders and organizers, go too far.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:36 AM   #57
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Anyone know who will be undertaking this study and when it will start?
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