Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rally Planned To Support Keeping Rail Line

ADIX6076-High-Peaks-Aaron-Keller-PhotoGroups working to preserve the historic Adirondack Railroad corridor have announced that a rally will be held on November 7th at noon at the Saranac Lake Union Depot.

The State of New York has proposed an amended Unit Management Plan, calling for the conversion of the Rail Corridor between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid to a 34-mile recreational trail.

Rally attendees are expected to pose for an aerial photo to show state officials the public interest in maintaining the rails and the use of the corridor by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and Rail Explorers. Organizers say they will read 34 reasons for retaining the rails, one for each of the 34 miles of track that the state proposes to remove.

“This is a call to action to save our history and to save a small business and those that have developed around it,” Amy Catania of Historic Saranac Lake said in a statement sent to the press.  “Removing the tracks is a permanent decision that will have an immediate negative impact on local businesses. We intend to show Governor Cuomo and the state agencies that this corridor is vital to our state and local history as well as our local economy.”

rail_bikes_adiks_10-08-15_ncprThe Adirondack Scenic Railroad carried 22,000 passengers this year between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake according to Bethan Maher, Adirondack Scenic Railroad Executive Director. “We have been expanding our operations and working towards the day when passengers will travel once again from New York City to Lake Placid by train,” she said. “This proposal cuts off that prospect and damages local businesses that benefit from the railroad now, and even more in the future.”

The new rail bikes operated by Rail Explorers USA had about 15,000 riders this year. Rally organizers said that business is also threatened by the state’s plan to remove the rails.

“Rail Explorers has not only had a tangible economic impact by bringing new visitors to the area, but the company has also raised awareness about the importance of preserving this well-loved piece of Adirondack history. It is time to embrace a future of ‘Rails and Trails’,” said Steven Engelhart, Executive Director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage, in a a press statement.

Mary Joy Lu of Rail Explorers USA described the success of the rail bikes in their first year. ”We thought this would be a development year, and that next year things would really take off, but the immediate response to the rail bikes has been beyond our expectations. We have ordered more bikes to be manufactured, extended our hours, and hired more employees but are still unable to keep up. Our customer surveys have indicated that over 75% of respondents were traveling to the region for the very first time, and a large reason why they came what to ride the rail bikes,”she said.

According to the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, the average daily spending for a visitor party of 4.1 people is $323/day in our region.

The rally is being sponsored by Adirondack Architectural Heritage, Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, Historic Saranac Lake, Rail Explorers USA, and the Trails with Rails Action Committee.

Photos provided: Above, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad (photo by Aaron Keller, provided by the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society); and below, rail bikes courtesy of Rail Explorers USA.


Editorial Staff

Stories written under the Almanack‘s Editorial Staff byline are drawn from press releases and other notices.

To have your news noticed here at the Almanack contact our Editor John Warren at adkalmanack@gmail.com.




39 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    “We have been expanding our operations and working towards the day when passengers will travel once again from New York City to Lake Placid by train,” – See more at: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2015/11/rally-planned-to-support-keeping-rail-line.html#respond

    Careful what you wish for…

    Amtrak currently runs a train from NYC to Albany to the ADKs and on to Montreal. It only supports one small train daily. I think it is overly optimistic to assume a dead-end rail line to Lake Placid would support more than one or two small trains/week. And this would assume the train would be able to operate at high speed, which would involve a great deal of taxpayer money to accomplish. The rail service to Lake Placid died a prolonged death decades ago. What would be different?

    But if demand is so high, wouldn’t it make more sense to rebuild one of the old spurs to Lake Placid or Saranac Lake from Plattsburgh or another town along the Amtrak line? Currently people from NYC can get off Amtrak in Plattsburgh or Ticonderoga or points south and rent a car for the remainder of the trip to Lake Placid. They don’t. There could also be bus shuttles for non-drivers. There aren’t. The demand isn’t there.

    One can always find people on a survey saying they would use rail service from NYC to LP, But will they? And how often? Again, this service used to exist and the automobile killed it. Let it rest in peace.

    • Big Burly says:

      An interesting post that ignores a growing trend away from automobiles by millenials and the increasing numbers of visitors to the United States from countries where passenger rail is a way of life.

      To suggest the rebuilding of long disused and abandoned rights of way from Plattsburgh when an existing railway that needs upgrading at a fraction of the cost of building new just makes no sense.

      Lake Placid and Saranac Lake have made a success of promoting themselves as tourist destinations. Tupper Lake, that was the well known commercial center of the Adirondacks prior to the ’32 Olympics, will need another generation to regain its earlier notoriety.

      Removing rail access to the two largest communities within the Blue Line and expecting that the already overburdened highways in the Adirondacks will be able to accommodate the “hundreds of thousands” of new visitors who might use a rail trail condemns these communities to a much smaller market share of the growth in world tourism activity.

      A rail trail, that rips up an operational rail infrastructure is a step backwards. Governor Cuomo has been a strong supporter of economic opportunity in the north country and specifically the Adirondack Region — write to ask him to invest in trails with rails, the win-win for residents and visitors alike, of all ages and abilities.

      • Boreas says:

        I agree that it makes little sense to build spurs. What makes no sense is trying to rebuild a failed line that has already proven it cannot survive. At least AMTRAK is still running. Both NYC and LP existed 50 years ago, but rail ridership crashed. Am I wrong? Any explanation for that? No tourism 50 years ago?

        Trains move masses of people – they are excellent at that. But they need to move masses of people quickly to stay afloat. Unfortunately there aren’t masses of people standing in line to visit LP by rail, nor are there places to put up masses of people there. LP does not have a lot of room to physically grow to accommodate the masses you feel will come. I feel it would fare far better with a rail trail.

      • Paul says:

        “Tupper Lake, that was the well known commercial center of the Adirondacks prior to the ’32 Olympics, will need another generation to regain its earlier notoriety.”

        Wait a cotton minute! Them are fighting words! !

        From a history of the Adirondcaks in 1920:

        “”It now has a population of over six thousand. It has 753 private residences; 145 buildings in which housekeeping suites are rented; 1 large modern apartment house; 85 boarding houses; 13 hotels; 30 or 40 liveries renting cars, and several large garages; 75 stores; a telephone exchange; a union station; 3 school houses; a public library; 2 hospitals; 2 national banks; a boy’s club house; a golf club; 4 churches; and 2 theaters. The main streets of the village are paved; it is completely electric lighted; it has a pure water supply from a mountain lake three miles; away it has an automatic fire alarm, an auto fire truck; and a chemical engine. […] It had two papers, The Enterprise Republican, published twice a week, and The News Democratic, published once a week, but issuing a small daily sheet with Associated Press news called The Item. It has several lawyers among whom the Hon. H.P. Coats has twice been elected to the Senate…” 1

        Just because Tupper had a few sawmills doesn’t make it a “commercial center”. Sorry Tupper Lake.

        • Paul says:

          BTW that is a description of Saranac Lake.

          • Big Burly says:

            Paul,
            No offense intended. If not LP, then SL is a more logical end destination than TL. That was the point I tried to make, obviously not well. Thanks for reinforcing the win-win.

  2. Big Burly says:

    Thank you John for a good piece that provides a factual support for an existing economic engine in our region. Preserving and upgrading this historic asset along the entire corridor assures recreation and transportation opportunities now and into the future.
    NYS has so far been a weak partner in the implementation of its own policy adopted in 1996. Residents in the north country deserve and have earned better support for this area’s economy.
    Rail Explorers USA is an exciting new development that has attracted first time visitors who would not have come otherwise. Let’s build on that success that uses existing infrastructure and will be enhanced with the upgrades promised years ago.
    Trails with rails is a win-win for residents and visitors alike, of all ages and abilities.

  3. David K says:

    $250 million in economic impact along the Erie Canal rail trail. While widely supported by locals, few if any of the communities bordering the Erie Canal have the regional/national recognition and unique wilderness of the Adirondack region. For example, do you hear people say, “we’re shuffling off to Buffalo for vacation!” Hardly.

    https://ptnyenews.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/economic_impact_of_the_erie_canalway_trail_full_document.pdf

    Using a generous combined count of 50,000 persons between the Scenic Railway and the Rail Explorers, let’s say that is 15,000 households. WIth a three day average stay, if they spent $1000 over the 3 days, that’s only a $15 million incremental direct boost to the economy, not even 10% of the Erie Canal rail trail.

    Pathetic.

    • James Falcsik says:

      The Erie Canal Study you referenced was paid for by Park & Trail NY. Do you expect it to produce or focus on data that is not complimentary to their department? It was produced for the sole purpose of legitimizing a position; namely, to justify continued requests for public funding. Still, the numbers provided come from just 562 survey forms returned out of several thousand distributed. So all the economic data and visitor (user) totals are extrapolations; they are guessing. Even so, this study clearly states only 2.5 % of visitors contribute new money to NYS. Weekly local users are not to be confused with a true out of region visitor. And this trail has three large metropolitan areas to draw from; not so with the subject rail corridor. So this rail corridor, if converted to a trail, cannot be compared in the least to the Erie Canal trail.

  4. Tony Goodwin Tony Goodwin says:

    Thanks you Boreas for a good summary of why rail service to Lake Placid would not in any way be self-supporting. There is van shuttle service from Westport, but it is not frequently used. The Trailways bus only carries a few riders per day to Lake Placid or Saranac Lake, further indicating a low demand for public transportation to this area. And both the Trailways and Amtrak to Westport options are several hours faster than a roundabout route via Utica.

    Big Burly, the state has done way MORE than the 1996 plan proposed. That plan said, “Rail development will largely depend on privately secured funding because, although there are potential public sources, government funding availability cannot be guaranteed.” All rail rehabilitation since 1996 has been public funds with the state annually kicking in an average of $300,000 to keep the operation going.

    Finally, I have to seriously challenge the figure of 22,000 riders this past season. The season started late, and by personal observation there were many runs with fewer than 20 passengers on board.
    Remember also that each round-trip rider is counted as two, but even 11,000 riders seems a big stretch based on actual observations of ridership.

  5. Paul says:

    A train if successful would not be public transportation to the area, so those stats and comparisons are pointless. It would be a tourist train like what seems to be working on the south end of the line where it actually goes somewhere interesting. The SL to LP does pretty well considering that it goes through such scenic vistas as the LP gas tank storage yard and the like.

  6. Lakechamplain says:

    Oh boy, here we go again. The save the RR folks are revving up the publicity machinery; rally this Saturday, a letter to the Plattsburgh Press Republican this morning and on and on it goes. Including here, where I’ll bet the ‘usual suspects’ will post informative, passionate, and often overwrought pieces.

    Lest we forget, this process of transforming a rail line to a trail has been in the works for years. People with more information, happily provided by the sides in this debate, have gone over it, discussed it, held hearings, and then some more hearings. Towns directly along the line and thus bearing the effects of the outcome have been part of this process. And guess what? They all support converting the rail line to a trail that can be used by bikers, hikers, and walkers during the non winter season and snowmobilers in the winter.

    I will once again present two arguments in favor of the rail to trail conversion(supporting the compromise for the trail from LP to TL).
    First, the railroad will never, ever generate enough revenue to make a profit.
    Those who argue that it will might as well also go bark at the moon. There simply isn’t enough cargo or aren’t enough passengers that will be paying customers along the route of this rail line situated in a tough mountainous area. The rugged environment also means that the upkeep of this railroad will always be high and often astronomical. It would continue to be an albatross around the people of NY state’s necks maintaining, much less doing needed upgrades.

    Bikers, and I also think walkers, will use this trail a good deal of the year. On a nice fall day like today, I’ll bet many locals would take advantage of this trail, and maybe buy lunch in LP or SL if they did. But even if they didn’t spend money at an area business on their local trip, what’s wrong with having a recreational opportunity that benefits people who live here?

    But tourism is and will most probably be in the future the economic engine of this area. I’m not going to trot out statistics–often inflated–citing this number riding the train or biking/sledding the trail. But biking is one of the most popular recreational activities and ironically for this beautiful region most of the roads aren’t very biker-friendly, especially for children or seniors. This trail would fill a need that will attract more families to recreate here and stay longer due to its flat incline and 3 towns along the way to use as a base and/or to stop at.

    Rally all you want, it’s time to stop the bickering and move into the future.

    • Paul says:

      This train could be all about tourism. Sure like many have said this is not a train for commuters from NYC or cargo. It would be a train for tourists and it might be quite successful if it actually went somewhere interesting (that is proven by the success of the train on the southern end where it goes somewhere). This successful train that runs out in Colorado goes through terrain that is far “tougher” mountainous area, and it runs year round. So upkeep isn’t as complicated as some might think.

      http://www.durangotrain.com/

      Take a look at the “packages” they have for rides. It isn’t about a destination or cargo.

      I find it interesting that there are quite a few rail corridors around the Adirondacks that could have been made into a bike trails and nobody really bothered. Funny to focus on a 25 mile stretch that is pretty boring and happens to have a train running on it. Show how some of these other, already abandoned lines, would make such great trails and then you would have a good case. W/o it is all speculation based on trails in other areas that are not really similar to this area.

  7. Larry Roth says:

    I see the trail advocates are out in force. While they boast about the huge economic impact 90 miles of new trail would have on the area, here’s a question they skip past. There are already thousands of miles of trails in the region; how many millions of dollars do those existing trails pump into the regional economy, how much work and how expensive is it to maintain them – and how is one new trail going to add so much to the mix?

    There’s only one rail line that goes to Lake Placid. It is both unique and irreplaceable. Between the current rail operations and the rail bikes, ridership continues to grow. The reason the trail advocates are so eager to see the rails ripped up NOW is this: the rails are succeeding. Momentum is building for keeping the rail line – and restoring it. Multi-use means multi-use – and the train people are willing to share the corridor. They’re already doing it.

    It’s been the state that’s been the stumbling block all along. While there have been plans and promises ever since 1996, the state has never kept its end of the bargain. Meanwhile the rail advocates have been restoring the line, expanding operations and pumping money into the local economy. They have been more than willing to support other activities along the line, including cooperative ventures with local businesses. If there’s so much attention to what could be done with the corridor now, it’s because the rail operations have been drawing attention to it.

    Save the Rails!

  8. Smitty says:

    Enough already. The state proposed a good compromise. Let’s move forward. Why doesn’t the pro-rail group hold their rally at the Tupper Lake station? It sure could use a boost by being on a bike trail and the terminus for Old Forge to Tupper rail service. As for the gentleman that said there are plenty of trails already, surely you jest. There are no bike trails like this in the Adirondacks. It’s the one recreational amenity that is surely missing here.

    • Paul says:

      How many miles of bike trails did they open in the Essex Chain this summer? Are the riders pouring in? I think there are 20 miles here and these actually go somewhere interesting and are not a pancake flat straight trail:

      http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/mapessexbike.pdf

      There are hundreds of miles of trails available for biking on the million acres of conservation easement land the state has added over the last few decades. So that person is not jesting at all. Smitty are you familiar with the Adirondacks?

      • Smitty says:

        Very familiar thank you. But I know of no rail trails in the Adirondacks. They are very popular in PA and have been a big boost to the local economy.

        • Boreas says:

          Smitty,

          Actually there is at least one that comes to mind, although not one you would picture as a normal rail trail. The ‘trail’ through Bloomingdale Bog is along an old RR spur that was torn up. It isn’t very long and isn’t paved properly for any bikes other than mountain bikes. It wouldn’t take much to upgrade the trail to be more bike-friendly, but I don’t think it would draw many bikers because it isn’t very long. It is part of a snowmobile network, and many hikers, birders, and skiers use it.

        • Paul says:

          Why does it have to be a “rail” trail to be popular? Why have some of these other abandoned rail lines (they are all over the Adirondacks) not been turned into bike trails. Seems strange to focus on the one 25 mile stretch that has a train on it. Is it really this panacea that people think?

          • Boreas says:

            Paul,

            I think it mostly has to do with length of the trail and whether the bridges have been torn out. Unfortunately, a lot of the old spurs and line in the area had the bridges removed. So if there isn’t a lot of clamor from sledders, bikers, and hikers to rebuild the bridges, they are just reclaimed by the forest. I believe the Bloomingdale Bog trail was renovated with new bridges to provide an improved trail system for sledders. But it wasn’t brought up to snuff with regard to biking, other than fat-tire and mountain bikes (because of the sand base).

            • Paul says:

              That is a fair point. Many of the dirt roads (that basically look like curvy RR beds) that I described that are open for biking have all the culverts and bridges intact and open for use. Why not just promote the trails we already have then you don’t have to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars and hours of work on the experiment? If people are so keen on rail trails just lie and tell them that the old road bed used to be a RR bed in some cases (for example like some roads on the Santa Clara Tract) they were.

  9. Werner says:

    Did you read what Ecuador did to their rail line ? N.Y. to Lake Placid could be a boon to the region 365 days a year ! You have been arguing about it for YEARS , now get busy !

  10. Tom Payne says:

    Twenty plus years of overblown rail claims. Twenty plus years of nothing but three hundred thousand dollar bills presented to the NYS taxpayer yearly. By the way did the rent ever get payed for the repair barn at Griffiss AFB that the ASR used to rent and got kicked out off for non payment of rent? Or did the NYS taxpayer get stuck with that bill as well? It is the real reason they have to work on their trains in Utica outside. Now NYS wants to spend 800 thousand more taxpayer dollars to build them a building in Utica. NYS, real good at funding losers. Enough of the lies.

  11. Terry says:

    Rails with trails is the only sensible answer here…..SHARE folks – SHARE!!
    There is plenty of room for both – side by side…..everyone WINS!!

  12. MJ says:

    I think one of the biggest mistakes everyone is making is not thinking of this as a solid transport link for the growth of the community.
    A small light train link would be perfect between Placid & Saranac Lake. Then one day to TL.
    The towns need a public transport option for all months of the year.
    I can’t believe you cannot get transport to Placid from SL! If you rip up the tracks now you will loose a perfect opportunity to really improve the quality of life for the community. Not to mention the tourism potential of moving people into the heart of the ADKs.

    Bike trails are here already – use the money to groom link exisiting trails. You have an incredible train line! Think future and be innovative … Safe transport for everyone, athletes, students, elderly, shoppers, entertainment … It can be done but not if you rip up the tracks!!

  13. Keith Gorgas says:

    First of all, thank you to the Adirondack Almanck for covering this event and for providing a forum for public conversation on the matter. Several points I would like to make: 1) the Camoin Associates report suggests that compromise will produce 25 new jobs after spending $440-$481,000 per mile to build the trail, and $320,000 per mile to renovate the rails south of Tupper Lake. The destruction of the railroad will, out of hand eliminate 20 current paying jobs, and the potential for many more. It’s this kind of math in government bureaucracies that keep our state in debt.
    2) Nationwide, rail travel has increased 78% since 1995. This trend is seen not only in urban and sub urban areas, but in rural areas too.
    3) The compromise seems to be written by ARTA lobbyists. It is no real compromise. Lake Placid may not need the Railroad, but Saranac Lake does and the Railroad needs Saranac Lake. The plan seems designed to ensure the failure of the tourist RR and force the removal of the tracks south of Tupper Lake. Governor Pataki promised funds to restore the tracks from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid..the money was gobbled up for other uses by greedy politicians. Now the State seems to be saying that they have the money for the trail, but where the funding for rehabbing the rails on south will come from is anybody’s guess. My guess is that it wall never come.
    4) The railroad is the only potential means for the elderly and the disabled to get to see the lands we all own and together make payments in lieu of taxes on. Only the very fit, and the economically fortunate will get the chance to behold this region if the rails are torn up.
    5) At least 40,000 people have written to the Governor’s office in support of the railroad. The State seems to have turned a deaf ear to the majority and is proceeding for the benefit of a relatively small fraction of New Yorkers.

    I’m not opposed to rail trail conversions. My wife and I often walk sections of the old D&H railbed that connects Saranac Lake with Malone, Plattsburg, and Montreal. It is used mostly by local dog walkers. In urban and suburban areas, they provide a wonderful recreation opportunity. Green space is limited there. Here in the Adks, we have more miles of trails for every form of recreation than almost anywhere in the world. What we don’t have is mass transit in any user friendly form. The Adirondack Trailways route is managed, not to provide usable service, but to capitalize on subsidies. Rails with Trails is the best long term option for New York State. The Governor is pumping billions of dollars into Buffalo, along with a pay to play game. Even if it cost 100 million dollars for a side by side rail and trail, that would amount to $5 per head, one time, for New Yorkers and would provide real benefits for generations to come.

    • Maddie J. says:

      “The railroad is the only potential means for the elderly and the disabled to get to see the lands we all own and together make payments in lieu of taxes on. Only the very fit, and the economically fortunate will get the chance to behold this region if the rails are torn up.”

      Oh please! I’m so tired of rail buffs using the “elderly” and “disabled” to argue in favor of their hobby trains. I’m getting up in years and can no longer hike a lot of the trails I used to enjoy, but that doesn’t mean I need to buy a ticket on a slow-chugging train to see the Adirondacks. There’s better scenery from the roadsides than from the train tracks, and I can stop any time and take a picture!

      The unique thing a rail-trail would provide is a smooth, gently graded trail that people of all abilities can enjoy in many ways, whether walking, pedaling, rolling in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller. This is not comparable to the typical Adirondack trail with its roots, rocks, mud and steep terrain. Nor is it comparable to current bike routes, which are at the edge of highways and often include steep hills.

      As for “economically fortunate,” I think you’re talking about those who can afford to buy a train or rail-bike ticket. When the accessible-to-all trail is finished, I can use it for free, at my own pace, on my own schedule, with a group of friends or in blessed, quiet solitude.

    • Paul says:

      ” the old D&H railbed that connects Saranac Lake with Malone, Plattsburg, and Montreal” Why not make this into a bike trail?

    • Bob Kibbey says:

      Keith, your explanation on this situation is the best I’ve heard and I hope
      more people will be in agreement with Rails with Trails.

      Bob

    • Tony Goodwin Tony Goodwin says:

      1) The 1996 Freight Services Inc. study that encouraged the state to put rail rehabilitation as the best option for this corridor made some claims that have never come true. That study said that within five years of starting a Lake Placid-Saranac Lake excursion service there would be 72 new jobs created and that the service would be NETTING $270,000 per year. Hasn’t happened on either account.

      2) Rail travel may have increased 78% since 1995, but the Adirondack train along Lake Champlain still needs the State to cover half of its $14 million annual operating cost. That train runs between the major metropolitan cities of NYC, Albany, and Montreal. How much of a subsidy will be required to maintain passenger service on a dead-end line between a city of 60,000 and a town of 5,000.

      3) Saranac-Lake Placid line was rehabbed with state funds. I think you mean that the money was pulled from a promised Saranac-Tupper extension. Well I can say that I wrote a letter to the Governor’s office strongly opposing that expenditure with good figures to back up my opposition. I actually received a personal reply to my letter from Mark Silo, DOT Regional Director inUtica. He said, “Your comments regarding the amount of investment relative to its return in economic development are certainly pertinent and useful as debate regarding the future of the corridor continues.” Maybe my one letter actually made a difference in deciding to pull the funding.

  14. Boreas says:

    Maddie,

    I agree entirely. Virtually anyone that can manage to get into a rail car will have little trouble on a recreation trail. Granted, they may not be able to ride the entire length, but many healthy people won’t either. However, individuals with pulmonary problems will be inhaling fresh air rather than diesel fumes. Most importantly, the trail would be free and doesn’t adhere to a schedule.

  15. Hope says:

    people should not be so fearful of change. Change is good. It can be stimulating, refreshing, a catalyst for new entrepreneurial efforts. Wallowing in the past instead of embracing change will not get anyone anywhere. “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” Nothing new happens until we challenge the status quo.

  16. Boreas says:

    [I’m having trouble with CAPTCHA letting me post within a thread. I can only post at the end]

    Larry,

    Keep in mind over a century ago the rail lines were built to enable people to recreate in the Adirondacks. They didn’t travel all the way into the wilderness just to ride a train. At the time, the train was the most efficient way into what was then the backcountry. Recreation trails of all sorts enable people to get into the backcountry even further. The draw the ADKs has on the vast number of tourists is recreation in nature, not vintage trains.

    But history moved on and the automobile became the preferable mode of transportation because of government spending put into roads. Tourism grew exponentially, yet the small train lines died out decades ago. If Utica and LP were large metropolitan areas, it may have turned out differently, but the fact is, rail service tanked for lack of revenue, be it passengers or freight.

    I would love to see a section of the corridor become a mecca for vintage train fans. I am a vintage train fan. But I do not feel it is best for the state taxpayers for the entire corridor to be propped up by their taxes for that purpose, because it involves a very limited number of regular users. I believe that is why the state chose the southern end to stay rail and the northern end to become trail. It is a bad compromise for everyone, but everyone gets something that they don’t really have now. It is like the biblical Solomon and the Baby compromise, but no one has blinked yet….

  17. common sense says:

    I can’t wait until this tit for tat is over. Stick to the states compromise and T-Lake wins. Break out the tax dollars and lets get to work. please i’m begging

    • Boreas says:

      Common Sense,

      This will likely not be resolved in my lifetime. There will be trees growing out of the rail bed before anything happens. Until a decision has been made, I can’t see NYS taxpayers continuing to throw good money after bad to keep the corridor repaired until one side gives up. Nature will end up taking control of the corridor. I believe this was the main objective of the compromise – to do SOMETHING!

      • Boreas says:

        I see the Railers just got another year’s reprieve on the north end of the line. This can go on indefinitely…

  18. Lakechamplain says:

    Well, the pro-railroad people should be pleased, at least with the publicity their rally generated. The Plattsburgh Press Republican made it front-page news and the article gave the impression that this issue is totally undecided and in general the tone of the article was as if its only source were press releases from the organizers of the rally.

    Sorry if I reiterate, and this thread is a bit stale so few will even read this, BUT the state reached its decision after a long, long period of gathering information and much back and forth. And the compromise they reached left both sides satisfied and dissatisfied, which is what a decent compromise usually does. To me one of the strongest supports for the rail to trail conversion, even the compromised one, was that all the towns involved voiced their choice for the removal of the rails and construction of a trail that would serve several different segments of the communities’ citizens as well as tourists visiting and/or thinking of visiting the area.

    And the bottom line against keeping the status quo is that the railroad will never make a profit, no matter what configuration the pro-railroad people come up with, or to put it more bluntly no matter what straw(s) they grab at.

  19. James Falcsik says:

    Sorry to disagree Lake Champlain. The decisions made to this point have not considered the historical preservation issues that are required by state law and federal law. Statements made by trail advocates interviewed in the article indicating a review process is in progress are false; no inter-agency discussions with SHPO has occurred in months. And yes, the rail supporters are pleased with the results of the rally. News media has awakened to the fact the government agencies are not following the law and this in itself is worthy of review.

  20. FYI
    The train , operating to Big Moose again, started late after the single dependent business, lost the 2014 season ASR having a “minor” track issue. This season saw most trains carry a hand full of riders. Big Moose lake, 2.5 miles away and the main attraction claimed 0.zip, Nada for guests to or from the train. Now, Old Forge contracted to have a small bus shuttle; it too was a waste. the contract is for two years, so I hope that improves.
    ASR should have to make public the number of riders who never go past Remsen. I digress; the main consideration is that the use and fun factor from the Corridor would be much greater by trail!