Town and railway back in federal court Feb. 6

Vermont Railway’s new intermodal facility is up and running, with a steady stream of trucks picking up loads of salt every day. Courtesy photo

Last Thursday, a new legal decision relating to the Vermont Railway intermodal facility came from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. It granted the Town’s motion to dismiss the appeal and denied the railroad’s motion for attorney fees. The decision was the latest action regarding litigation by the railway against the town of Shelburne, and it comes about two weeks after a federal district court decision and order that was also favorable to the town.

Town Manager Joe Colangelo said that the town expected the outcome of the Jan. 26 Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision. This newest development comes on the heels of a decision on Jan. 12 in Federal Court. In that decision, the Town’s motion to compel Vermont Railway, the plaintiff in the case, to produce documents concerning the financing agreement between Vermont Railway and Barrett Trucking was granted.

Vermont Railway is still in the process of considering recent developments. “We are in the process of reviewing the second circuit decision,” Selden Houghton, vice president of Vermont Railways, said. As for the ongoing litigation in federal court, Houghton said that the railway is not in a position to comment at this point.

Some Shelburne residents have expressed concerns about the facility since the project was first announced. In recent weeks, noise complaints have been at the forefront, even gaining a spot on the agenda of a recent Selectboard meeting.

Houghton said that the railway has received a bit of feedback from residents. “We have had several calls from community members expressing their concerns regarding operations at the transload facility. We are actively listening to their comments and have made several adjustments based on feedback we have received. We continue to invite community members to reach out to us,” he said.

Right now, both parties are waiting to go before U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions III again on Feb. 6. The town is still waiting for the documents that Vermont Railway was ordered to produce.

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