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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
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Location: At large
Quote:
The best compromise is to embrace the existing reality: Allow the excursion trains to continue where they are working, but take up the tracks along the 80-mile stretch from Old Forge to Saranac Lake.

This would not be a removal but a transformation of transportation infrastructure.


Hahaha. They keep going back to this "compromise". They want us to believe that just tearing out the track in between is still a victory for train supporters. By the way, haven't they noticed that trains run to Big Moose now.

They still have not been able to answer the questions about where the money will come from to build and maintain this trail. They just keep saying how great it will be. They need to start embracing actual reality and stop trying to fabricate their own.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:50 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 459
Here's another article with an interesting bit of data in it:
Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Huts in the Adirondacks? Paul Smith’s College students think they would work (January 11, 2014)
The article describes how a group of college students devoted their semester-long senior project to investigating the feasibility of building "huts" in the Adirondacks. The students were supervised by a Professor at Paul Smith College and, as far as I know, neither the rail-to-trail nor railway preservation sides assisted with this particular research.... so the students' findings are probably unbiased.

Here are a few short quotes of the article:
Quote:
In the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire, the Appalachian Mountain Club has eight huts, each about 6 to 9 miles apart. Modeled after the huts in the Alps, each can accommodate 30 to 96 people. They attract 39,000 overnight visitors annually. Most of that visitation is during the summer months. Some of the huts close in the winter.

and
Quote:
"With hut-to-hut routes, you don't have to carry in a 60-pound backpack of gear," student Barrie Potter said. "You simply need a sleeping bag, some food and a map, pretty much."
and
Quote:
The students did a survey of more than 200 people, asking them questions about potentially having huts in the Adirondacks. One question they asked was what modes of travel would be preferable for traveling between huts. They found that hiking (93.4 percent) was the most popular, followed by paddling (64.7) and skiing (49.7).
and
Quote:
The students suggested a couple of hut-to-hut routes. One went from Big Moose to Tupper Lake along the railroad corridor. The other was in the central Adirondacks near the Essex Chain of Lakes.

The Big Moose-to-Tupper Lake trip would be 45 miles. It would be a six-day and five-night trip for those who went from one end to the other. It would also offer a shorter loop option of three days and two nights, starting and ending in Tupper Lake.

The project sounds like it was well-done and well thought-out; my kudos to the students for doing it!

My takeaways from their research are that (1) it would take lightly-equipped hikers (those not carrying 60 lb backpacks) six-days and five nights to travel between Big Moose to Tupper Lake and (2) a trail between Big Moose and Tupper Lake needs to have huts built along it if the trail is to be as heavily used as similar trails in the northeast.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Chris Webster wrote:
Here's another article with an interesting bit of data in it:
Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Huts in the Adirondacks? Paul Smith’s College students think they would work (January 11, 2014)
The article describes how a group of college students devoted their semester-long senior project to investigating the feasibility of building "huts" in the Adirondacks. The students were supervised by a Professor at Paul Smith College and, as far as I know, neither the rail-to-trail nor railway preservation sides assisted with this particular research.... so the students' findings are probably unbiased.

. . .The project sounds like it was well-done and well thought-out; my kudos to the students for doing it!

My takeaways from their research are that (1) it would take lightly-equipped hikers (those not carrying 60 lb backpacks) six-days and five nights to travel between Big Moose to Tupper Lake and (2) a trail between Big Moose and Tupper Lake needs to have huts built along it if the trail is to be as heavily used as similar trails in the northeast.


Two comments:

(1) You can probably walk the 45 miles in three days, however, that would be marching along like an infantryman; all you would do is walk, walk, walk. No photos, no nature studies, minimum rest, just "transportation." Ask soldiers how much they like that.

(2) Take another look at that article, and look at the "huts." Those aren't huts or even cabins, they are full blown lodges! Tell me, how much would each "hut" cost to build, including the likely need for an access road? How much would each "hut" cost to maintain and operate, including maintenance of the access road?

Zealand Falls:

http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/huts/zealand/

http://nh-photo.blogspot.com/2006/11/in ... s-hut.html

http://www.hikenewengland.com/images/Ze ... inRoom.jpg

Mizpah Spring:

http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/huts/mizpah/

http://hikethewhites.com/south_pres/s06.jpg

http://images.summitpost.org/medium/641147.jpg

http://s1.wklcdn.com/image_3/107470/1019593/321268.jpg

How much would the fellows who work at Cass like such a "bunkhouse" up on the mountain? What about the guys on the Cumbres & Toltec? And speaking of the C&T, what would the old-timers back in D&RGW days have thought of such a "bunkhouse," had it been available to them? What would that look like compared to the actual bunkhouses they had, like the one at Sublette? They would probably think they'd died and wound up on the heavenly Indian Valley Railroad.

And the railroad is going to cost too much money?

Does anybody else think the buildings have been named "huts" to conceal just how big and expensive they are?


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:44 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
Indeed. Those "huts" are indeed proper lodges. That said, a lodge does not need to be extravagantly furnished. Still, such a large facility does require a good amount of upkeep. I'd say that it's more along the model of a hostel. You need paid staff to do the essential maintenance and to manage the facility. A true "hut" would be more like the shelters that you find along the AT.

Man, I wish the TVRM had a bunkhouse like that. Ours is just a large communal bedroom attached to the back of the air brake shop.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:01 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Western Railway Museum has a bunkhouse not half as nice as those lodges.

In a word: Upkeep.

The appeal and comfort of the facility deteriorates rapidly without upkeep. It doesn't take much sweeping/mopping deficit before regular volunteers get emotionally put off from staying there. (having a visiting guest stay there is out of the question.) Upkeep gets a lot steeper when the infrastructure is aged, it becomes much more difficult to clean and make appealing. To make it really nice we'd need significant refit, and that requires a "keep it historic" or "modernize" decision.

Now it looks like those trail lodges were constructed to minimize structural upkeep issues (e.g. passive heating so you don't need to fix or fuel heaters). But still, the photos I saw reflect the presence of a caretaker IMO.

Edit: in other research I just discovered that they charge $100/night to stay in those "huts" along the Appalachian Trail. And the sleeping areas are arranged similar to an aircraft carrier (large rooms stuffed with triple-deck cots). The places sleep 60.

Edit2: And here's another way to do huts, that would change the economics bigtime: Old sleeping cars and diners. You drag the cars back to the shop every winter. Of course, that would predicate on keeping the railroad open :)


Last edited by robertmacdowell on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
In other news, an item from the "real" Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/107243836054598/

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Trackless-train ... thing_Else

Following comments:

Anthony Suzanne--"Perfect!"

Gunner Cook--"They can run that on their new sidewalk from Thendara Station to Enchanted Forest."

Mike Busher--"Now that is what I am talking about! Now, rip them trails [rails] out!"

Ugh.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
More from the "real" ARTA site; McCulley is commenting about the passenger service section in an article that is mostly about new grade crossings:

Jim Mcculley: [Justin] Gonyo [Saratoga & North Creek general manager] said ridership of the winter snow train was up slightly so far this year, but “still lagging behind” what the railway would like to see. He said 283 people rode the train so far this winter, compared to 274 for the same period last year.

The article McCulley is referring to:

http://poststar.com/news/local/with-tra ... 963f4.html

Following comments:

Roady Roady--"Wow what a huge money maker lol."

James HoughtaIing--"So this is what they want? Freight trains running through the wilderness and people's back yards? And at taxpayer expense no less. Keep the freight on the roads where it is... and belongs."

Jim Mcculley--"There's no freight for this line even the ASR admits. They keep telling Tupper they will have a ski train from Utica."


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
We'll close with an editorial by Dick Beamish (strong trail supporter); check out following comments. My favorite is from the guy who says locomotives are not internal combustion, but use fossil fuels. . .that may apply to steam power, but diesels?

http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2014/ ... racks.html


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:48 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8356
Location: Baltimore, MD
J3a-614 wrote:
My favorite is from the guy who says locomotives are not internal combustion, but use fossil fuels. . .that may apply to steam power, but diesels?


Unless you've got an internal-combustion locomotive burning biodiesel or cow-produced methane somewhere, diesel locomotives burn fossil fuels. Petroleum is a "fossil fuel."


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:05 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
J3a-614 wrote:
My favorite is from the guy who says locomotives are not internal combustion, but use fossil fuels. . .that may apply to steam power, but diesels?


Unless you've got an internal-combustion locomotive burning biodiesel or cow-produced methane somewhere, diesel locomotives burn fossil fuels. Petroleum is a "fossil fuel."


I was referring to the "internal combustion" part of the comment, not the "fossil fuel" part.

Ironically, we can honestly say we do have some "green" power that is external combustion:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=294262

http://tomdove.com/blog/wp-content/uplo ... C_0512.jpg

Having said that, I wonder how long the forests of the Adirondacks would last if even just the Adirondack Scenic went with this.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:17 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
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Location: At large
My patience has officially worn out with regard to the idiots that support or make up ARTA. They keep singing the same old song and dance: "nobody rides the train", "taxpayer dollars keep the operation a float", "they just want to play trains", "the trail will cost no money to build or maintain", "it will bring hundreds of thousands of people to the region", "trains are hazardous to the environment but putting more cars on the roads is good for it". All these have been proven time and time over again to be just plain lies. These are all good examples of why there needs to be jail time for cyber bulling. Maybe the people that support ARTA are some of the people that our governor wants to leave the state if "they don't like it".

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:17 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Keeping an eye on the opposition.

The ARTA apparently has plenty of time to make up new web pages--maybe to tell a different story or variation on each?

http://www.adirondackrailtrail.org/

The ARTA also has this story (on the "real" ARTA Facebook page), and check out the following comments:

http://www.adirondackexpress.com/News/0 ... 0.facebook

Comments:

Jim Mcculley: "Once again track removal from Old Forge to Lake Placid would have no effect on the Christmas trains. They continue to miss represent the facts."
February 11 at 9:56am

Mike Bushe: "Yup, I won't ride the rails...so why don't they remove them, but an old tram from Walt Disney and drive a tram up the trail...we can pretend it's a train? lol"
February 11 at 10:01am · Like · 1

Roady Roady How does one become a professional trail groomer? Is it the unlimited budget, seasonal road type of terrain, paid operators or maybe 5 groomers to maintain 66 miles of trail?
February 11 at 10:07am

Norm Scianna: "Paid = Professional"
February 11 at 10:58am

Jeff Johnson: "They currently ride on the corridor ROW. Old Forge has signs that if you leave the ROW you will be subject to a fine in their system. BRASS and Trackside groom the corridor 7A now. What would change? Sounds like railroad arm twisting in Old Forge. Then take some of ADK Scenic Train 350K yearly NYS maintenance budget and build the trail."
February 11 at 12:30pm

James HoughtaIing: "Sounds like they have their own set of snowmobilers to battle against the trail. Goes to show if you pay someone enough, they'll say anything."
February 11 at 5:24pm

Jim Mcculley: "They're not snowmobilers..."
February 11 at 5:39pm

James HoughtaIing: "Jim, they wouldn't lie would they?
February 11 at 5:40pm

Brian James: You people are singing the same song OVER and OVER! Buy a snowmobile "and join the masses! Tracks are a nuisance but GOOD for everyone!"
February 11 at 7:11pm

Gary Broderick: "Someone should fire their proofreader....."

Among the more blood-boiling comments in there are the suggestion of a second-hand Disney tram (road train) as a substitute, the claim that we have paid snowmobile people who are also rail enthusiasts to argue against the trail, and the claim that the rail enthusiasts and snowmobilers combined are just not snowmobilers.

I may get into trouble with an administrator for this, but I've got to get it out of my system:

"WE DON"T GET NO RESPECT, NO RESPECT AT ALL!"

Whew, now that that my blood pressure is down just a bit, I think it's high time we in the rail preservation community should consider some change in strategy. In my opinion, we have to become aggressive. Seems that being good, being nice, actually doing work, isn't good enough. All it does is get us beat up. I'm tired of it, and I think the rest of us are, too.

And it's not just in preservation. You should see some of the toxic comments with a newspaper story on a proposed new Amtrak station in Elyria, Oh.! Several of the anti-railroad types were accusing the pro-railroad people of being in the employ of the railroad industry, other comments said the railroad proposals would run afoul of opposition from the United Auto Workers there (apparently there are some auto plants in the area).

Some of those comments suggested the authors suffered from some form of paranoia.

My wife, looking at the lunacy that appears in the newspaper daily, including other toxic comments on other stories such as the national medical program or politicians in general, thinks the country must be suffering from some sort of epidemic of low-level mental illness. She wonders if we haven't had too many chemicals and additives in our food and water over the years, and those chemicals and additives are starting to take their toll.

One comment that appeared in my local paper was from the wife of a soldier who had just returned from a tour in the Middle East. He supposedly took a look at what his neighbors and fellow citizens were saying, and how they said it, and wondered why he had gone into the military, wondered if his service was worth anything, considering what he seemed to be defending.

Sorry for the rants, just tired of seeing us in the bad light.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:39 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
Quote:
they claim that we have paid snowmobile people who are also rail enthusiasts to argue against the trail, and the claim that the rail enthusiasts and snowmobilers combined are just not snowmobilers.


Sounds like a comment directed at me. I wish I was being paid to support the railroad. Then maybe I could afford to fix my sled;)

In all seriousness, how do they think that a not-for-profit has money to pay people off to push their opinion, especially when they are claiming that ARPS has no money. I'm starting to think that most of these people just love confrontation and drama too much to pay any attention to the facts.

They still keep pushing the same double speak: The train is good for Old Forge but won't be for Tupper, Saranac or Placid. They must think the rest of the world is just as stupid as their supporters are.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:13 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8356
Location: Baltimore, MD
Mr. J3a-614,

With all due respect, you are part of the problem, not the solution as you may think. You lament the lack of respect accorded to your point of view while similarly failing to accord respect to their more or less equally legitimate agenda.

This "epidemic of low-level mental illness" does exist, however, throughout our nation and political spectrum, and I would argue worldwide. It involves not simply "paranoia" as you say, but in addition an abdication of sharing responsibility for failure and instead ascribing all fault and blame to some "other" party. Of late, among Democrats and the "left" the "enemies" are the "rich" and big, "evil" corporations which have to be kept restrained by "government"; among Republicans and the "right" the evil is "government" which has to be restrained, neutralized, or made less powerful. The reality, depending on how you want to see it, is both, or neither; however, we have increasingly fallen under the spell of "blaming" our chosen enemies and allowing ourselves to fall under the spell of those propagandizing for either extreme. More importantly, such demonization allows us to cast aside the more productive mission of figuring out what we're actually doing wrong by and for ourselves, and take corrective actions more beneficial to all.

For all intents and purposes, your rants can be interpreted as just as "loony" as theirs--some guy at a keyboard in far off West Virginia, having probably never visited the line or area, ranting against their trail proposals because it isn't railroading. Yes, many of them have used distortions, exaggerations, and half-truths in their agitations, or fallen under the spell of those using them; it's not like rail advocates are completely innocent of such shenanigans. Your best tactic is to counter the distortions with more accurate information, while at the same time making a positive case for the railroad and/or shared use. People easily do the former, but forget about the latter, especially online.

What this entire rail/trail/rail-and-trail exercise will boil down to, regrettably, is which side does a better job making the political case for their view. Trail advocates are, almost by definition, "left-wingers" (they believe the government should spend money on their half to benefit them), and thus they, as a rule/stereotype, "believe" in government and therefore take the effort to work with, and within, that political system that makes those decisions. Unfortunately, for those with alternate views, they tend (again, by stereotype) to reject the same system that they are supposed to use in opposition. The alternative is either to "go independent" or rally opposition, or in contrast get a lot of "Ron Swansons" (the famously anti-government government employee character in "Parks and Recreation") elected to office.

The Adirondack Scenic RR has three real options: Relocate/give up, buy their right-of-way and own it outright, or forge a better working relationship with its landlords. The latter will probably include sharing their line with snowmobilers; just how that happens is up to their political talents, and little else. They shouldn't have to waste so much energy countering distorted or false agit-propaganda, but you know what? That's politics--and part of why, as many here will say, politics and government (and running on public land) should be avoided in this field.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:24 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8356
Location: Baltimore, MD
traingeek8223 wrote:
In all seriousness, how do they think that a not-for-profit has money to pay people off to push their opinion, especially when they are claiming that ARPS has no money. I'm starting to think that most of these people just love confrontation and drama too much to pay any attention to the facts.

Because, in their universe, non-profits not only DO have money to pay people to push their opinions, but entire non-profits exist expressly for the purposes of pushing said opinions, and people make careers--quite often well-paid ones--doing just that.

Labor unions. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The Sierra Club. The National Wildlife Federation. The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Anti-war groups. Organizing For America.

Furthermore, another tactic of the "paranoia" described in my post above is discrediting opposition by claiming that it's being funded by shadowy, mysterious rich people hiding behind donations to non-profits that effectively "launder" their propaganda funds. If you're a left-wing nutcase conspiracy theorist, all the money eventually comes from the Koch Brothers. If you're a right-winger nutcase, it all comes ultimately from George Soros.


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