Whither rails, trails and the CSX track from the K & I Bridge to Sazerac Indiana?

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For help in understanding the life and times of New Gahania, formerly known as New Albany, it helps to apply a sort of litmus test to any PR release emanating from Dear Leader’s burgeoning propaganda secretariat.

Can it be used to polish Jeff Gahan’s personality cult?

Can the money be followed to special interest campaign finance donors?

From railbanking to mountebanks, or compensation for landowners in rails-to-trails projects.

When Big Daddy G began nonsensically babbling about his pivotal role in a made-for-self-enhancement rails-to-trails project from Sazerac (formerly Pillsbury) to Bedford, Louisville-area media representatives fell over themselves to praise Dear Leader, with nary a single one of them asking two important questions:

1. How can a New Albany mayor in control of only 4.5% of the project area take credit for work to be done almost entirely outside his city?

(He can’t, but it’s an election year)

2. Why focus on the area lying outside the mayor’s direct control to the north and west when the stretch of track to the south, connecting the IU Southeast campus to the Ohio River Greenway, lies entirely within city limits and makes far better sense in terms of mobility options? 

(Maybe because the railroad’s not entirely finished using it)

While Gahan advocates replacing railroad track with a path, a Facebook group of railroad buffs called Save the Monon is taking exactly the opposite approach.

This group supports the Monon railroad line from New Albany IN to Bedford IN, to make a awesome scenic dinner/excursion train ride.

Following are two recent comments at the Fb site, lightly edited. The first comment refers to the photograph above at the intersection of 15th and Beeler.

CSX is going to be suing New Albany for taking up the track when they replaced the sewer in the city. They never got authorization from CSX, and Norfolk Southern is into it with New Albany about the amphitheater. Sazarac was told they (could use) the rail line and Gahan didn’t tell them they tore the track in two places; Sazarac talked to CSX about getting cars in and CSX saw that the track is destroyed! This Democratic mayor has pissed off a lot of companies, not to exclude the Federal Government.

More recently:

I have learned from a source of mine who works for CSX in the road maintenance department in Louisville that Sazarac wants to use the rail from the K&I Bridge to its plant. CSX is looking at repairing the line but the city of New Albany is saying they will not pay for new asphalt after CSX does the work. CSX says the asphalt is the responsibility of the city.

But has CSX considered a persuasive $10k donation to the Gahan4Life fund? Prior to the Louisville budget crisis, Mayor Greg Fischer had started making noises again about the K and I’s utility as a river crossing. We’ll keep an eye on this one.

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