Saturday, July 15, 2023

Railroad partners with Tupper Lake community to extend train trips

Adirondack scenic railroad

The Adirondack Railroad is offering three train rides, providing experiences that combine railway travel and exploration. The trains depart from Thendara, Utica, and Tupper Lake providing excursions to and from the Tupper Lake area throughout summer and fall.

The Adirondack Mountaineer and the High Peaks Limited transport passengers to Tupper Lake, from Utica and Thendara, encouraging visitors to discover Tupper Lake’s attractions, restaurants, shops and activities. The Tupper Lake Explorer provides a round trip journey from Tupper Lake to Sabattis.

The Adirondack Mountaineer departs from Thendara, New York at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays throughout the summer and fall, transporting passengers over rivers and streams and through evergreen forests to Tupper Lake. Travelers have the unique opportunity to spend a 4.5-hour layover in downtown Tupper Lake visiting the town’s local restaurants, shops, and attractions.

This summer, the Adirondack Railroad Preservation Society is partnering with Tupper Lake Central School District to provide buses for passengers during the Adirondack Mountaineer’s layover, providing transportation to the Park Street business district or the Wild Center, a family-friendly natural history museum that shares the story of the Adirondacks, complete with an elevated trail for visitors to climb across the treetops. The bus provides round-trip transportation to and from these local attractions for rail passengers.
The Tupper Lake Station also offers 2-hour railbike excursions, another option for exploring the area as visitors can continue along the local rail line. Riders can pedal a 7-mile round trip route along the rails while taking in spectacular views of the Raquette River. Railbike excursions are available everyday in the summer and weekends through September and October. Passengers should visit to reserve a railbike excursion ahead of their visit.

The High Peaks Limited train offers a similar route with an additional starting point, further away in Utica, with a 1.5-hour layover in Tupper Lake. This route was renewed last fall for the first time in 57 years; this summer, it will provide trips on July 22, August 19 and October 14.

This scenic ride offers a full day adventure beginning at 8:30 a.m. from Utica or at 11:00 a.m. from Thendara, arriving in Tupper Lake at 1 p.m. Passengers will have an hour and a half layover in Tupper Lake before heading back to Thendara or Utica at 2:30 p.m. Those who choose to disembark for lunch can visit Tupper Lake’s charming restaurants, many within walking distance of the train station. First-class and diamond-class ticket holders can enjoy additional amenities, such as a complimentary beverage, hors d’oeuvres, and seating in the Dome car, which offers 360-degree views. The cafe car will also be available for coach customers.

The Tupper Lake Explorer invites passengers on a two-hour train ride from Tupper Lake to Sabattis, immediately returning to its starting point. This enchanting journey starts at 12:30 pm on Sundays throughout the summer and fall. It crosses the Raquette River, small Adirondack lakes, and expansive marshes. Passengers will be able to spot the ruins of an old mill or catch a glimpse of the fire tower atop Mt. Arab. The Tupper Lake Explorer offers an unparalleled experience for nature enthusiasts and explorers of all ages.

Adirondack Railroad’s rail experiences provide transportation to and from villages that provide travelers with unique experiences. Visit for reservations and additional information.

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33 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    I wish the AR success! Is a cleaner locomotive in the works?

  2. LeRoy Hogan says:

    I like trains and hope Adirondack RR does well.

  3. The train has made it’s first Tupper run of the season ( 7/16 ); how did it do? Just wondering if it was good for Tupper Lake? The reservation system made it seem sold out, but with room for 200, it only looked like about 20-30 folks on board. The engine looked good, but the cars were rough ( that’s kind ). I wonder if the State has put it’s $20 million eggs in one basket. Might be early to pass judgement, but if you are a business from Old Forge to Tupper Lake, let’s see some comments!

    • Paul says:

      Scott, do you really think that we can make any judgment calls from one run? You can fit 200 people on three single level cars? Wow that doesn’t sound like first class. 3 double level Amtrack passenger cars can hold a max of 300 people. Packed in like sardines.

      • You’re right, but the 19 passengers must have had ample room. And you know, it’s not about the riders, it’s about lost business all up and down the line that would be accessed by alternate uses without the rail.

  4. Doug Vensel says:

    But what a shame they ripped up a perfectly good, operational railroad so snow mobiles could gain*maybe* 2-3 more weeks of riding. No one controls the snow and ultimately, that’s the bottom line. They should have left the line intact from Tupper up to Placid and left the 3 great central Adirondack lakes connected. Then, put in a trail along side of it where they could. Not one good reason they didn’t do that. The railroad lost because the snowmobiles had deeper pockets to buy off the politicians to help sway the final decision. A trail from Tupper to Placid will never generate even noticeable revenue and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. People are not going to come from all over to walk yet another trail, much less one with few stops along the way and with territory that offers no challenge whatsoever. They ended up sinking more money into the proposed trail than they did for the railroad.
    Utterly stupid move on the state’s part. But hey, they needed another trail to add to the 840 that are available now with 10,400 miles in length. (numbers presented are off the OPRHP web site and DEC web site if I remember right.)
    Shameful. The railroad carried 25,000-30,000 people in 5 months. You’ll never get any trail users in those number. Never.

    • Boreas says:

      The re-purposed section did not gain approval with taxpayers simply for snowmobile use. It was to provide access for multiple user-types year-round. It is also not considered a hiking trail, but rather a multi-use trail, so it is rather unique, and shouldn’t be considered ‘just another trail’. Try using a wheelchair on a hiking trail. Bicycles are banned on hiking trails. Hiking trails typically do not connect villages. The old narrative that the rails were torn up to only benefit snowmobile users doesn’t hold water and needs to be retired.

      • Paul says:

        I see that they are already having some issues with illegal ATV use. Who’s gonna police this thing? I am sure they budgeted for that?

        What is with the huge bulldozed wide section (like bigger than a football field) with a big ramp pile of dirt and stone thing (like 25 feet tall) on the SL side of the crossing just leaving SL towards Ray Brook?

        This is getting some local bike use already even though it is supposed to be closed. Will it really draw in large numbers from outside like long interconnected rail trails we see in other places. Only time will tell.

        Snowmobiles are gonna love it. It’s like a highway.. No more crossing the creepy trestle in SL – where you could see the river below you.

        • Boreas says:


          “I see that they are already having some issues with illegal ATV use. Who’s gonna police this thing? I am sure they budgeted for that?”

          Probably a combination of village/county/DEC assets, depending on the area. Hopefully users will be willing to report miscreants where cellular coverage is available. I would hope they would use camera surveillance (with signage) at likely hot spots. Look at the recent vandalism at Keene Valley airstrip. “Stupid is as stupid does.”

          “What is with the huge bulldozed wide section (like bigger than a football field) with a big ramp pile of dirt and stone thing (like 25 feet tall) on the SL side of the crossing just leaving SL towards Ray Brook?”

          Could that have been a staging area/landing for removing rails/ties? Perhaps it will be “recovered” and possibly converted to parking/maintenance, or even a park.

    • Tom Paine says:

      The 10,000 miles is outside the blue line. The cap of 840 miles is inside the blue line. The snowmobile community lobbied with ARTA and many other user groups, villages, towns, and counties for the “Multi-use” trail. “Multi-Use” trails work well everywhere else in the country, even in New York State. Why not from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid?

    • ADK Buddy says:

      It was hardly a perfectly good operational railroad. It was an accident waiting to happen. Please verify those ridership numbers too if you would.

    • ben says:

      25,000 – 30,000 people rode the train over a 5 month period, WHERE IS YOUR PROOF?

  5. Ben says:

    Well, I guess that PROMISE of regular train service from Utica to Tupper Lake was just that a pipe dream. ONly 3 full length trips. Wow, what a waste of money. So let’s see I’m goin to get on a train in Utica at 0830 & not arrive in Tupper lake until 1pm; then have to get right back on the train to depart at 230pm to get back to Utica @7pm. So all day on a SLOW train for justy 1 1/2hr of time to sigt see in Tupper Lake. I can drive my car from Utica with the family- QUICKER & CHEAPER, see just as much of the Adirondacks & be in Tupper Lake well befroe the train ever gets to Old Forge! AND I have my car for going other places & I’m not tied to the train. Again, that great passenger servies that the ASR whined would happend – amounts to 3 trips! I guess millions can buy BS in NY!

    • Paul says:

      It’s a 4 and a half hour layover in Tupper, you should read the story then comment..

      • Ben says:

        You should learn to read. For the train goes from Utica to Tupper it is a 1/12 hr layover. And just in case you cannot read: This scenic ride offers a full day adventure beginning at 8:30 a.m. from Utica or at 11:00 a.m. from Thendara, arriving in Tupper Lake at 1 p.m. Passengers will have an hour and a half layover in Tupper Lake before heading back to Thendara or Utica at 2:30 p.m. ” So there!

        And as far as your snowmobile comment: snowmobiles bring MORE MONEY into the ADK every year than this lousy run rail line every will.

        • Paul says:

          I can thanks. Take this one if you want a longer stop in Tupper…

          “Travelers have the unique opportunity to spend a 4.5-hour layover in downtown Tupper Lake”

        • Paul says:

          This one with the longer layover runs once per week. The shorter layover train is just 3 days per season.

          The 4.5 hour layover is sufficient time for folks to explore the rail trail if they want to do that too.

        • Merry says:

          The Utica train has the shorter layover in Upper because it’s a longer train ride.

          The Thendera train, on Sundays, has the long layover with time for lunch and a trip to the Wild Center or the Racket River Brewery. I loved it.

      • ADK Buddy says:

        Per the story, which I did read, the July 22, August 19, and October 14 rides have a 1.5 hour layover.

  6. Steve Richards says:

    I am Happy to see the new run and Look Forward to riding it.Complaints will get you nowhere.The trackks from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake should have been left alone.

    • ben says:

      Looking forward to the final death of this railroad in the next few years, as it WILL NEVER sustain itself & taxpayers in the end will get tired of keeping it alive.

  7. This is excellent! My friend Jan Kinberg works on boards there in Tupper Lake, and I’m a tour guide here in New York City. I’m very proud of the work at the work that you people are doing!

    George Wienbarg

  8. Not to throw gasoline on a fire, but what I wonder is…who is going to now police the kids standing on the revamped SL trestle (now a solid wood deck platform) over the Saranac River, throwing volleys of ROCKS (as they did at me yesterday) at people enjoying or engaging in other recreational opportunities on the river below? At least with the old train trestle construct that I grew up with there, that wasn’t generally a problem, because any such missile launching efforts would have been precariously scary. Based on what I witness and experienced firsthand just yesterday, I predict that new platform will become a youth mischief magnet/party platform, & it’s not going to be long before somebody gets seriously hurt, either by dare, falling, pushed, or intoxicated diving off, or seriously hurting or killing someone by throwing rocks (as kids stood laughing as they did so at me yesterday) and projectiles at boaters, fishermen, swimmers, etc. using the river below it. I hope I am wrong, but fear my prediction will be proven grimly true the 1st time emergency responders have to pull someone’s body from the river. Forewarned is forearmed. Hopefully not from the new SL trestle, with projectile weapons or rocks.

    • Boreas says:


      • I’d say some good, strong high fencing along that area would be highly recommended! Hope it’s part of the construction plan, and gets installed soon, because right at this moment, those of us enjoying recreational river opportunities below Saranac Lake’s inviting new elevated trestle terrace Riverview overlook construct are nothing but targets. Somebody’s soon likely to get seriously injured. Or worse.

    • Paul says:

      All these basically unnecessary (and very expensive) trail crossings in SL seem really weird. The trail is crossing like more than half a dozen roads in a short stretch and this river crossing. Why not just have people get off the trail at pine street and just go through town and get back on at broadway. People avoid these precarious crossings (and the need for fencing) and can actually visit businesses in town (isn’t that part of the point) – rather than a complicated way to bypass them?

      • Paul says:

        To answer my own question. I guess all this is necessary for the snowmobiles.. What the snowmobiles will probably do is what they have done for years. When they get to this spot they will go backwards up a one way street on the hill get on Park Ave then shoot to the other end of town..

        • Great insight and ideas from someone who quite obviously actually knows that route, area, and how folks tend to use it. From my own recent observations over the past several summers with many afternoons spent just sitting in Triangle Park, plus a lifetime of memories of that area as a kid growing up, the traffic across the trestle tends to consist primarily of kids taking a short cut across the river to cut into town, which is as it has always been, for the most part. All the bike traffic, dog walkers, joggers, etc. that I see don’t cross the trestle, they use the road route across the Pine St. Bridge.
          I would also mention, while on topic, that folks involved in this project might want to take a good long look at the lean-to like platform structure that sits just below the trestle entrance on the Pine Street side, along the river. I don’t know its origins, intent, or owners- but what it has become is a convenient graffiti & garbage strewn hang out for kids up to mischief, drinking, using drugs, partying, and other related questionable activities. It’s filthy, strewn with discarded underwear (I don’t want to know) and vermin ravaged bags filled with trash. All clearly visible from that trestle. I don’t imagine that’s in any way shape or form the image that SL’s powers that be want to project. To anyone. Just a bit more food for thought.

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