Feb 24th, 2018

These images detail the track removal plans by Ulster County for the construction of the Ashokan Rail Trail; the drone photos show how much had actually been done as of February 24, 2018.

Rails were still intact between mile posts 18.4 and 21.3, roughly 25% of the rail slated to be removed. There were still loose rails elsewhere in the corridor, and thousands of ties that still remain to be removed from the ground where rails have been removed. Estimates are that track removal was not quite half done, including removal of both rails and ties, and only 75% done if referring only to intact track.

The previous day, February 23, 2018, Ulster County had appeared before State Supreme Court Judge Christopher Cahill* in response to a request for an immediate stoppage of work from landowners who own property crossed by the rail line, and the U&D Railway Revitalization Corporation as an interested party.

Ulster County argued successfully against the granting of the temporary restraining order (TRO) in part because they claimed there was no urgency because 95% of the rails had been removed. The aerial photos show that claim is factually incorrect.

Ulster County Attorney Bea Havranek stood by that claim, as reported in the Daily Freeman 2-26-2018. Deputy Director of the Ulster County Planning Department Christopher White repeated that claim Wednesday night February 28, 2018 at a meeting of the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce.

Their statements, which are contradicted by the photographs, should suggest that other statements made by Ulster County with regard to the Catskill Rail Corridor should be treated with a degree of skepticism.

* Judge Cahill was incorrectly identified as Judge Richard Cahill in a 2-28-18 press release. It has since been corrected.