A state Supreme Court judge has ruled in favor of the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society in its suit against the state to stop the removal of 34 miles of railroad tracks between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid for the construction of a multi-use recreational trail.
Judge Robert Main issued a decision on Tuesday, saying that the state’s 2016 Unit Management Plan for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor violated the State Land Master Plan (SLMP), Adirondack Park Agency Act, and state historic laws.
Main said the State Land Master Plan defines travel corridors as places for automobile or railroad transportation, with no mention of recreational use.
The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, based in Utica, filed the Article 78 lawsuit against the APA, state Department of Environmental Conservation, and state Department of Transportation in April 2016.
Main also wrote that the state doesn’t own a half-mile portion of the corridor through NCCC in Saranac Lake and to the end of the corridor in Lake Placid. He said the state should have done a title review prior to amending the UMP and that the state should have known “that they did not possess fee title to the entire Remsem-Lake Placid Travel Corridor.”
The creation of the multi-use trail has been advocated by Adirondack Rail Trail Associates, which formed in 2010. ARTA has pushed for removing the tracks and establishing a recreational trail all the way from Lake Placid to Big Moose or Old Forge — up to 90 miles.
Photo of Adirondack Scenic Railroad by Susan Bibeau.