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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 11:10 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 973
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Hey, would you move to a place where you had no family connections, and no job prospects, that gets an average of FOUR to FIVE FEET of snow per Winter? Without the well-paid industrial jobs of the past, it was probably inevitable that those with little or no historic ties to the area would leave in search of gainful employment. I do think that if those areas can hold on to what they have left, increasing drought in warmer areas will eventually make the Great Lakes region a more desirable place to once again live. That is why we need to keep the rail lines there viable.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 8:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Just keeping an eye on things--in this case snowmobile registrations.

They declined again this year, from 116,740 to 115,982. It's not a big drop, only about 0.6% or so, essentially no change--but this was also with a winter with decent snow. It's been a season in which more snowmobiles should have been taken out of storage--and they apparently were not.

The ARTA people have been crowing about how their sport results in over $860 million in economic activity, with about a quarter of that going to the Adirondack region. That was based on a data from 2010-2011, and released in 2012. New York had 134,442 snowmobile registrations then. This is now 2014; somehow I think the economic impact might not be quite so high in this past season.

At the very least, I think it probably had no change this season. Of course, I couldn't confirm that; that would be for the restaurant and bar owners and whoever else the snowmobile crowd would patronize to either confirm or correct.

Relevant graph is on page 13:

http://www.parks.ny.gov/recreation/snow ... Report.pdf

Having trouble finding the study itself, but here are two preliminary reports.

http://www.nysnowmobiler.com/news/52-20 ... pact-study

http://www.nysnowmobiler.com/images/pdf ... eholds.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 9:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
Trail supporters are quick to discount out of state opinions on the rail-trail debate, but I see that Pennsylvania contributes almost 8000 registered sleds to the snowmobile economy, the largest group of out-of-state registrations.

Of the total in-state registrations, the Adirondack Park counties contribute about 32% of the sled registrations.

The economic issues don't gain much traction. The economic impact statements are paid for, to legitimize a position. The outcome will reflect the will of the organization that ordered the study.

Does any of the NYDOT or sled groups publish anything about the metrics of 4-cycle vs. 2-cycle machines? Perhaps within registration data?

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 10:54 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
From the Adirondack Rail Trail Facebook:

May 29, 2014; https://www.facebook.com/theadirondackrailtrail

Scott Thompson: "We have missed over a month already and there will be five more weeks when the Biking could have been a major attraction, yet here we sit waiting for the train. (Empty, and unwanted train) Now look at the State,s traffic count for the few days the rails were covered! Over 400 a day passed Sabattis; now that's business."

Considering snowmobile emissions in the Adirondack Park, one of the bastions of environmental preservation and wilderness area in North America:

Emissions from 1 Sled = 1000 cars, or at 7 hours running, = 100,000 miles driving equivalent emissions from a modern car. Therefore, at 400 sleds per day by State count; = 400,000 equivalent car emissions; at 7 hours running = 40,000,000 million miles worth of CO and CO2 in modern car emissions; in one day. Not to mention noise and water pollution.

There is something wrong with the marriage of ARTA and the Snowmobile groups. How can the environmental groups like Protect! and the Adirondack Council stand quietly by when there are plans to turn this railroad corridor into a 118 mile snowmobile highway for 3-4 months of the year?

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 11:20 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
Quote:
Scott Thompson: "We have missed over a month already and there will be five more weeks when the Biking could have been a major attraction, yet here we sit waiting for the train. (Empty, and unwanted train) Now look at the State,s traffic count for the few days the rails were covered! Over 400 a day passed Sabattis; now that's business."


I'm going to break this down an rebut it thoroughly to show the ridiculousness of the "spin" being used:

First of all, the source is "patient zero" in the anti-rail movement which hurts the statement right out of the gate.

Missed a month of what? This is the transition season between winter and summer tourist seasons in the Adirondacks when they are very few people traveling into the region. The rails being on the ground is not going to change this.

Trust me. NO BODY is biking or considering biking in the Adirondacks right now. We are in black fly season (the worst of the five Adirondack seasons). Only the hardiest or most foolish attempt to spend any time in the woods this time of year. I recently attempted to play a round at my local disc golf coarse in the southern region of the Adirondacks (Town of Providence, near the Great Sacandaga Lake) and was over run by the airborne terrorists after only a couple of holes. It gets better near the end of June. And as an aside: NYS has used the railroad corridor in the past to spray a chemical that helps keep the black fly population down.

The train is neither empty as they claim nor is it unwanted, based on the railroads ridership numbers and the 30,000+ petitions submitted to NYS in favor of keeping the railroad. Just because ARTA doesn't want it doesn't mean nobody does.

Quote:
Now look at the State's traffic count for the few days the rails were covered! Over 400 a day passed Sabattis; now that's business


Ok, first of all, who is counting? Secondly, 400 a day passed Sabattis... with the rails intact. Removing them will increase this number? Removing them will make it snow? Obviously those 400 people (how many of them rode by twice? since they like to throw blame at the railroad for double counting passengers) had no problems traveling the corridor, so where is the issue? Lastly, you are right, that is business, for every bar and gas station along the line. What's that? You own the only bar/restaurant/store between Big Moose and Tupper Lake? That further taints the statement.

The problem with this whole "movement" is the dumb @#% people that read the things written by ARTA and take it as factual without ever doing their own research and forming their own opinions. This is the world we live in folks! Stupidity and instant gratification rule!

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 11:27 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
Quote:
There is something wrong with the marriage of ARTA and the Snowmobile groups. How can the environmental groups like Protect! and the Adirondack Council stand quietly by when there are plans to turn this railroad corridor into a 118 mile snowmobile highway for 3-4 months of the year?


This marriage is simply a means to an end for the principals at ARTA that just want the railroad gone. Once that happens, the Snowmobile faction will be thrown to the wolves and be left to their own devices, best case being that they have non-graded empty corridor to use when nobody is looking. More likely is they will be next on the "get out of our woods" list.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 12:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1435
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
Quote:
Scott Thompson: "Over 400 a day passed Sabattis; now that's business."
Quote:
Now look at the State's traffic count for the few days the rails were covered!
Over 400 a day passed Sabattis; now that's business
traingeek8223 wrote:
400 a day passed Sabattis... with the rails intact. Removing them will increase this number?
Removing the rails will allow those 400 (the Society 400?) to be willing or able to use whatever
vehicle they like when there isn't enough snow to cover the rails.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
A letter from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

https://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.c ... l?nav=5005

Of course the trail people hate it; they tell us we live in a "fantasy" and are "delusional." I do have to admit this is not an approach I would have used.

Most bothersome is this fellow, commenting on "The ARTA" page:

Ken Leonard: "I am saddened by the loss of the railroads, scenic or otherwise, around the country. However every time I ride a rail trail it reminds me of those bygone days. I'm actually able to use and enjoy the old railbed that would have otherwise become overgrown and lost forever. It is especially nice to see mile markers, culvert and bridge markers, telltales, old stations, and even short sections of track with rail cars and engines on display next to the trail. On one one rail trail in New Hampshire, formerly a scenic railroad that closed down decades ago, the tracks are still intact, and those of us on bicycles and feet share those tracks with rail enthusiasts who have vintage speeders and putt-putts.

"It's not that the railroad is gone. It's there for new opportunities. And its history is there forever, as is its future when a rail trail becomes part of the community."

He must not read much or else has reading comprehension problems, considering how much the trail people want the tracks gone!


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
That is an interesting take on the debate. It does have some points of interest though. How can a Chamber of Commerce print non-factual information? Who is allowing this to take place? Area Chambers are supposed to organize information and resources for the betterment of their business members, not spread propaganda.

The reason that the train has not started running on the north end yet this year is due to necessary track work taking place between Thendara and Carter Station, combined with a back log of work needing to be done on the railroads rolling stock and locomotives and the desire to get everything fixed properly before sending it north (trains are running south out of Thendara and special trains are operating out of Utica as usual). North end service (as well as service to Big Moose) will start at the beginning of July this year. I've been waiting for ARTA to pounce on this situation and blast the railroad with their usual negative spin. We can probably expect those negative letters to start to appear soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:09 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
traingeek8223 wrote:
This marriage is simply a means to an end for the principals at ARTA that just want the railroad gone.


Yes, Matt, I agree and could see this from the beginning. I don't think the trail folks can have it both ways, and this relationship between ARTA Green and ARTA Snow could get uncomfortable. If there is no increase in corridor use by sleds, business will not improve for guys like Thompson, and his argument is toast. If there is a projected jump in snowmobiles using the line devoid of tracks, then the increased emissions and pollution from snowmobiles becomes an issue that needs review.

I personally do not subscribe to the climate change religion, but in the face of recent doom projected on the world by the extreme environmentalist, how can this be ignored in this debate? Is there a "gentleman's agreement" between ARTA principals and groups like Protect!? I have not seen one commentary from these types bringing this issue to the table. Carbon footprint calculations comparing the train to the snowmobile emissions, even at Thompson's claim of 400, (there are approximately 40,000 registered sleds inside the Blue Line) is stunning.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
An editorial in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that should have included the railroad ("We don't get no. . . ."):

http://adirondackdailyenterprise.com/pa ... l?nav=5041

Working links to go with the editorial:

http://www.culturalheritagetourism.org/ ... search.htm

http://www.preservationnation.org/

http://heritagearearesources.com/

http://www.novoco.com/journal/


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:17 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 252
Location: San Diego area
I'm a member of the Nature Conservancy, and just received the June/July issue of their magazine. An article in that issue reports that back in 1997, the Conservancy bought 161,000 acres of private timber lands in the same general area where Adirondack Scenic RR runs. They have, or are in the process of selling 65,000 acres to the state to add to Adirondack Park. They have sold 92,000 to an investment group that will continue timber harvesting under a conservation easement.

"The Conservancy, the state, and the timber company have worked out an easement for a snowmobile trail on more than 45 miles of old logging roads connecting Indian Lake, Newcomb, and Long Lake. Snowmobilers - and in summer, mountain bikers and horseback riders - now have a reason to stay in the region for several days, allowing the towns to share new visitors rather than compete for them"

So, with 45 miles of "new" trails, why do the snowmobilers need the railroad too?


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Jim Baker wrote:
So, with 45 miles of "new" trails, why do the snowmobilers need the railroad too?


How much do you want to bet the Nature Conservancy has nothing to do with ARTA, and doesn't want anything to do with ARTA?


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:22 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
Quote:
So, with 45 miles of "new" trails, why do the snowmobilers need the railroad too?


Because THAT trail doesn't go through Beaver River ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Keeping an eye on the opposition in Ulster County (Catskill Mountain Railroad):

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-new ... ll-june-19

And some background on this featured speaker:

http://www.greenwaysolutions.org/aboutus.html

In back-channel conversations with some of the people at Catskill Mountain (who provided these links), it has been suggested that this fellow is being brought in to offer a lot of lobbying advice to the trail crowd. His list of associations certainly suggests he is a lobbyist himself.

One of the fellows in the conversation said this erased any doubt for him that the Rails to Trails Conservancy has definitely morphed into a predator organization.

I certainly expect the battle to heat up even more in Ulster County. It also wouldn't surprise me if this fellow gets called in for the fight in the Adirondacks at some point.


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