Posts Tagged ‘Adirondack Scenic Railroad’

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dick Beamish Commentary On Rail-Trail Debate

Rail.locator (2)(1)Words of wisdom can be found in the latest issue of the Conservationist magazine, published bimonthly by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. In his introductory letter to readers, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens makes the following comments that have special application to the proposed Adirondack Rail Trail that would run 90 miles between Old Forge and Lake Placid. Following the Commissioner’s comments are observations of our own. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

State Nears Decision In Railroad Debate

MAPUPDATEState officials are nearing a decision on whether to open the management plan for a railroad corridor that runs through Adirondack wilderness.

The future of the corridor has been the subject of public debate for a few years. At issue is whether the rails should be removed to create a multi-use recreational trail.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Transportation held meetings in September to gather input from the public. On Wednesday, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said staff at both agencies have been reviewing and evaluating hundreds of comments.

Martens said a decision is not too far off.  “It’s weeks, not months away, I’m hoping,” he told Adirondack Almanack. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Public Meetings Planned On Future Of Historic RR Line

NYCRR-Adk-Div-MapThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) have announced that they will hold four public meetings in September about the management of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor, a 119-mile nineteenth-century rail line in the western Adirondacks.

A bitter debate has raged in the Adirondacks over the past several years after rail-trail advocates began pushing to have the historic railroad tracks torn-up. In 2011, an organization calling themselves Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates began calling for the outser of the tourist railroad operation and for conversion of the rail bed to a multi-use trail. More than 10,000 people have signed-on to a petition calling for the removal of the tracks. The trail advocates’ call for a reassessment of the corridor’s management plan has resulted in this round of public hearings. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Hobofest: Saranac Lake’s Celebration of American Roots

untitled-186The fifth annual Hobofest takes place Sunday, September 1, 2013 at the Union Depot in Saranac Lake.  Hobofest celebrates American roots culture and the independent spirit with free musical performances from noon til late.

Chef John Varga of Eat and Meet will be at the grill. Blue Line Brewery will serve a signature “Hobo Brew” in the Depot building in the afternoon. Children’s activities range from Sunita Halasz’s workshop table to the Adirondack Carousel right next door. A large tent will protect the crowd from the weather, and Russ Feher’s Fine Line Audio will run the sound.

In addition to the main-stage offerings, Vermont Joy Parade will board the 1pm Adirondack Scenic Railroad and play a round-trip gig to Lake Placid and back. Upon their return they’ll join the Shamrock “regulars” for an inclusive “open jam” in the Depot Building. Attendees are invited to join the circle. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Commentary: ARTA Rail Trail, Economic No-Brainer

Elroy Sparta TrailHere’s a classic Adirondack contradiction of the kind that drives me crazy.

For a thousand years we have had a perceived face-off in the Adirondacks (sometimes perception is reality, sometimes not, right?), one which plays out every day on the pages of the Almanack – and everywhere else there is an outlet for opinion.  In the green corner we have the the preservationists and environmentalists who want more wilderness, more protection for the ecology of the park and less development.  In the blue corner we have many local residents, businesses and government leaders who want to see healthier communities.  They see the restrictive policies of DEC, the APA and the preservationist agenda as a big problem and they see the balance between preservation and the welfare of the residents of the park as out of whack.  They love the wilderness too but they would like fewer restrictions on development, a green light for the ACR and a wider variety of recreational uses for the Forest Preserve.  Okay.  Whichever of the myriad of associated positions and disputes may be rhetoric and whichever may be real, everyone knows this story. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rails AND Trails:
10 Trails We Should Build Before Tearing-Up Rails

Map_all_trailsA few years ago, I was talking with Adirondack Explorer publisher Dick Beamish when he asked me, “What do you think about the railroad? Should we have a train or a trail?” I thought for a second and responded, “I think we deserve both.” His response was simple. “We can’t have both. I think we should remove the rails and build a recreation trail.”

I didn’t think much about it for a year or so until I started reading about Adirondack Recreation Trail Advocates’ (ARTA) efforts to create “a contiguous recreation trail from Lake Placid to Old Forge.” I recalled my original perspective on the issue, and it had not changed. We deserve both a railroad and a recreational trail. This triggered a blog post on the topic in September of 2011 in which I argued that there are many more foolish wastes of money than supporting a railroad line and that the residents of and visitors to the Adirondack Park are deserving of both. Although ARTA argues that maintaining the rail line is a boondoggle I am reminded of the proverb, “One man’s waste is another man’s treasure.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Battle Over Historic Railroad Corridor

Adirondack Scenic Railroad -Nancie BattagliaThe battle over use of a historic railroad corridor through the heart of the Adirondacks escalated this fall, with a growing number of local government leaders questioning the value of an excursion train that would operate from Old Forge to Lake Placid.

Regional development officials, meanwhile, affirmed their support for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, describing it as an important tourism attraction and suggesting that the entire line could be back in regular use within two years, carrying visitors from as far away as New York City.

As of press time, six towns and villages along the line—along with St. Lawrence County’s legislature—have passed resolutions raising doubts about that vision. Some have urged state officials to reopen a unit management plan, written in 1992, that governs use of the state-owned corridor. Others have simply urged the Department of Transportation to tear up the tracks. “To keep the snowmobilers, that’s a key thing for Tupper Lake,” said Supervisor Roger Amell after the town board voted in October to ask the state to revisit the plan. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Adirondack Scenic Railroad’s Pumpkin Trains

Over the next two weekends, October 13-14 and 20–21 the Adirondack Scenic Railroad will be hosting it’s third annual Pumpkin Train.   The trains will be departing the Thendara (Old Forge) Station at 10 am, 11:15 am, 12:30 pm, 1:45 pm and 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays rain or shine.

Each train will travel North to the former site of the New York Central’s Carter Station. Along the way children will be on the lookout for ghosts and goblins and have an opportunity to win a jar of candy. At Carter Station, families can leave the train at Wally’s Pumpkin Patch.
» Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Adirondack Scenic Railroad Hosting Railfan Weekend

The Adirondack Scenic Railroad will mark their 20th anniversary during this first weekend in September, 2012. In celebrating the occasion, Thendara Station will host a massive railfan event on Saturday, September 1st and Sunday, September 2nd starting at 11am daily.

The two day, family friendly celebration will have over half a dozen locomotives from companies such as EMD and ALCO, private rail cars, snow plows, classic freight cars and other railroad maintenance equipment. Guests are welcome to tour the cars and locomotives, sit at the controls and even try their hand at operating the locomotive simulator. Caboose hops will be available throughout the day featuring New York Central’s 705 and a historic caboose from the Boston & Maine Railroad. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Saranac Lake’s Hobofest Set For Sunday

The Fourth Annual Hobofest, an all-day music festival “at-the-tracks” in Saranac Lake NY celebrating railroad culture and the “hobo spirit,” is happening on Sunday, September 2nd. This year’s Hobofest will take place under the “big top,” to assure against the variables of weather, from noon until 11pm. Eat and Meet Grill & Larder will serve local fare, also a children’s activities booth and festival & artist merchandise tables.

This year’s special guest is Washington State legend, Baby Gramps. A former street musician and train buff, Gramps plays antique resonator National Steel guitars, and sings his own unique arrangements of rags, jazz, & blues songs from the 20’s & 30’s, and many originals with wordplay, humor, and throat singing. His appeal is to a wide range of audiences from “jam-band” – having toured with Phish and the Flecktones- to punk to old timey traditional and to kids of all ages. He has performed across the States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rock And Rock Tribute Concert In Old Forge

Tickets are still available online for the 2nd Annual Classic Rock Tribute Concert called Forgefest 2012, on the grounds of the George T. Hiltebrant Recreation Center on North Street in Old Forge this Saturday, August 11th from noon until 10pm. The event concludes with a “Rock Fireworks spectacular.”

This year, the $25 admission to Forgefest includes music by internationally known tribute bands performing the work of rock legends from the 70’s and 80’s. Kashmir offers the best of Led Zeppelin, Blaze of Glory tributes the work of Jon Bon Jovi, and returning favorite, Completely Unchained, performs favorites sung by rock heroes, Van Halen. Gates open at noon. The opening set is provided by Wicked, a hot new glam band from the Utica area, followed by CNY favorite, Showtime. Daily raffle drawings are being held through their facebook page: Forgefest.   » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches: Revitalizing Tupper Lake

Amy and I have just returned from two magnificent weeks on Lost Brook Tract.  It was everything we could want and more, pure glory.  I am still digesting the experience, not yet ready to write about it.

In the meantime I had prepared a set of Dispatches to run while we were gone so that you, dear readers, would not have the weekly streak interrupted.  I came off the land revitalized, ready to respond to any comments and rejoin the fray.  But as my columns were hardly controversial or provocative there were few comments to read (yes Catharus, looking for Bicknell’s up top is on our priority list).  No comments?  That’s no fun!   So this time I decided to write a column with a topic guaranteed to produce a reaction: revitalizing Tupper Lake.  I was motivated in part by the vitriol evident in a posting on the same topic just days ago. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Analysis: Rail or Trail on the Adirondack Railroad?

What follows is a guest analysis by Billy Martin, a senior at Paul Smith’s College in the Natural Resource Management and Policy program who is interested in the economic and environmental sustainability of the Adirondack Park.

Adirondack history has been shaped by contention over how to manage the region’s resources. Maintaining this historical trend, contention over the use of a state-owned rail corridor between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake has led to another divide among residents. The Adirondack Recreational Trails Advocacy (ARTA) and the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) represent opposing poles on the issue, each with seemingly equal support from residents of the Tri-Lakes Region.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kate Fish: Local Rail Remains Important to Infrastructure

What follows is a guest essay by Kate Fish, Executive Director of the Adirondack North Country Association and a member of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council.

Recent news that the Lake Placid to Saranac Lake rail side recreation path project received a $1.2 million grant should put to rest any debate about what “should” be done with the northern portion of the 119-mile Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor.

The Federal Highway Administration grant has been awarded to the Adirondack North Country Association on behalf of New York State Department of Transportation through a very competitive process – 1,800 applications were submitted, requesting more than 30 times the funds available — for projects under the National Scenic Byways Program. This grant is one of the largest amounts received in this round of funding, indicating strong support at the national level to boost recreation and improve infrastructure simultaneously. » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Hobofest: Fun Despite Its Name

If you are hobophobic or festival-averse Hobofest may not sound like the way to spend your Labor Day Sunday. But it’s actually pretty much free of hobos and absolutely free of the fakery that accompanies a lot of events cursed with the suffix fest.

What Hobofest does have is a lot of really good musicians playing for free in a low-key setting on the lawn between 7444 gallery and the train depot, in Saranac Lake. Bands include Brooklyn-based Frankenpine, among a well-chosen roster of local talent. This year Monsterbuck, an understated, intense quartet from Upper Jay, tops the night, taking the stage around 9 p.m.

There are also trains and grill food. The event starts at 11:45 a.m. and goes late.