Railway Preservation News

Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
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Author:  jefalcsik [ Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

Although this topic has cooled off a bit while the NYDOT and NYDEC digest all the public input, the trail factions are still pounding the authorities to remove all 120 miles of the Remsen-Lake Placid rail corridor.

According to this fellow, seizing property by Eminent Domain is an acceptable path:

They (Old Forge) decided to take a piece of land by emanate (sic) domain to make a snowmobile trail system to add to there (sic) winter tourism business. It was a huge success ! ? Why won't New York have the same foresight and bravery to invest in a Bicycling / Snowmobiling Rail Trail...(Marcel Carrier)

in this case New York already owns the travel corridor, so I would not think ED would be necessary. However, this is an eye-opening statement.


Author:  Chris Webster [ Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

An April 4, 2015 article in the Utica, NY Observer-Dispatch newspaper:
Hopping to Holland Patent: 1,400 ride Easter Bunny Express

An excerpt:
The train ride started in Holland Patent Railroad Station and took attendees to Remsen, where children enjoyed an Easter egg hunt as well as meeting the Easter bunny.

“Everything is sold out,” said Erin Crowe, the Utica Station manager of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. About 350 people packed the train for each of the four trips, making for a total of 1,400 people throughout the day. “It’s grown in popularity each year,” she said.

Author:  Chris Webster [ Wed May 13, 2015 2:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

The Post-Star’s editorial board (Publisher Terry Coomes, Editor Ken Tingley, Projects Editor Will Doolittle, Controller/Operations Director Brian Corcoran and citizen representative Jerri Lynn Rosch) published another trail editorial:

Glen Falls Post Star: It's time for an Adirondack rail-trail

While rail-trails all over the country draw thousands of bicyclists to little-known places, New York is fiddling away the opportunity to create what could be one of the premier such trails in the United States.

Author:  J3a-614 [ Sat May 23, 2015 1:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

Well, I think this guy is full of hooey (most obvious goof--the claim that the salvage value of the rails will pay for the trail), but he does claim the decision from the New York Department of Transportation may be coming out in late June:

Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

Rail/trail decision due soon
May 21, 2015
By Dick Beamish , Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates
Save |
By the end of June, the state is expected to make a decision about the best use of the historic rail corridor through the Adirondack Park. This follows a proposal last fall by the New York state departments of Transportation and Environmental Conservation in which two concurrent courses of action were suggested:

1. Replace the tracks on the 34-mile section between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake with a year-round, multi-use recreation trail.

2. Consider extending the tourist train over the 56-mile corridor from Old Forge to Tupper Lake.

The train expansion, for which there is no need and little demand, would cost taxpayers dearly. The rail-to-trail conversion, its cost largely covered by salvaging the tracks, would provide substantial economic, recreational and health benefits for Adirondack communities - a prediction based on the success of "rail trails" elsewhere.

Many of these rail-trail success stories have been the subject of letters and commentaries on this page over the past three years, including these:

* Island Line Trail: Across Lake Champlain, the 14-mile Island Line Rail Trail has become the most popular recreation trail in Vermont. It runs north from Burlington to South Hero Island, providing a safe, scenic place where children and families can enjoy healthy exercise away from road traffic. An estimated 150,000 visitors use this trail annually.

* Virginia Creeper Trail: The 34-mile Virginia Creeper Trail is in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Similar in many ways to the proposed Adirondack Rail Trail, it connects Abingdon (population 8,000) and Damascus (population 1,000) with Whitetop Mountain.

"Today (these) sleepy towns welcome about 250,000 trail riders a year," reports the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) magazine. "Trail-related tourism revenue is estimated at $25 million a year. Each visitor on a bike brings the promise of new vitality to this corner of Appalachia."

* P'tit Train Du Nord: A letter writer described this 124-mile rail trail as "a great draw for cyclists from all over. My wife and I, along with 13 friends, rode this route through the low-lying hills of the Laurentians north of Montreal. This is something that anyone who enjoys a wilderness experience from the vantage of a bike saddle should not miss. Many of the old stations have been turned into restaurants, museums and tourist-friendly shops. We enjoyed four days of beautiful biking."

* Elroy-Sparta Trail: "Take the (rail trail) I know well," a seasonal resident wrote. "The Elroy-Sparta Trail (runs) 32 miles through the Wisconsin countryside. In 1970 you could not find anyone outside the area who knew where Sparta and Elroy were. There are no huge tourist draws and the population is rural and sparse. Then the trail went in. Now hotels along the route book solid a year in advance. There are a score of new businesses in these towns."

* Root River Trail: Another writer noted the economic impact of the 51-mile Root River Trail on the community of Lanesboro in southeast Minnesota.

"Pre-and post-trail Lanesboro, a town of about 800 residents, differ dramatically. Before the trail was built, (the county) hospitality tax collection was less than $250,000 annually. In 2007, thanks to 200,000 trail users each year, the hospitality tax produced $4.7 million. Post-trail Lanesboro now boasts twelve B&Bs, eight restaurants, an art gallery, a museum, and a thriving community theater well-off enough to offer housing to its actors. The Root River Trail has been very, very good for Lanesboro."

* Cape Cod Trail: This 22-mile rail trail drew a rave review from a couple that lives half the year in the Adirondacks, half on Cape Cod.

"Our house is one mile from the trail," they wrote. "We can (bike) as long as there is no snow, but walkers, runners and skiers enjoy it also. The trail is used especially in the summer and during the spring/fall shoulder seasons. Bike shops are everywhere. There are links into all the towns abutting the trail. It is a boon to the economy."

* Pine Creek Trail: An "octogenarian couple" from Long Lake wrote about the 60-mile Pine Creek Rail Trail in northern Pennsylvania.

"Since it is a destination trail and we bike about 20 miles a day and did out-and-back trips from the trailheads, we were in the area for six days. The trail parallels Pine Creek and travels through state forests and private property following the former Pine Creek railroad bed. (We saw) lots of bikers of all ages riding all types of bicycles, walkers, runners, people in motorized wheelchairs, canoeists, kayakers, fishermen, lots of kids. Highlights were some large turtles laying eggs in the sand next to the trail. Our hope is that this kind of trail might become a reality in the Adirondacks."

According to the latest RTC study, the Pine Creek Rail Trail had 138,227 annual users and accounted for $6,081,712 in visitor expenditures.

* Torrey Brown Trail: Another writer described the 20-mile Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail in Maryland.

"People who lived in the rural hamlets that were originally rail stops feared the potential influx of outsiders bringing trash, creating traffic and (causing) property damage. Thirty years later (the trail) has proved to be a great resource for thousands of hikers, runners, cyclists, dog walkers and families with young kids. (The concerns) have given way to widespread support of the trail, which has proven to be not only a great recreational asset but something that has enhanced the value of all neighboring properties." (RTC estimates 800,000 annual visits on this trail and $5,508,640 in visitor spending.)

The list goes on and on, from the Swamp Rabbit Trail in South Carolina to the Hiawatha Bike Trail in Idaho to the Withlacoochee State Trail in Florida and the Shining Sea Bikeway in Massachusetts.

Bottom line: We can't afford to lose any more time in creating the Adirondack Rail Trail, which could be one of the best of them all!


Dick Beamish is a board member of Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates and founder of the Adirondack Explorer magazine. He lives in Saranac Lake.

Author:  Chris Webster [ Sat May 23, 2015 4:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

Some cost-comparison data from the Catskill Mountain Railroad News - 2015 thread: it would cost $217,390 per mile to convert an existing railroad to an unpaved trail:
thebigham wrote:
Ulster County lawmakers delay action on Ashokan Reservoir trail pact with New York City
By Patricia Doxsey, Daily Freeman

Posted: 05/13/15, 10:35 PM EDT....The memorandum of understanding formalizes a deal struck between New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Ulster County in 2013 to create a pedestrian trail along an 11.5 mile stretch along the north shore of the reservoir.....As part of the deal, the Department of Environmental Protection will give the county $2.5 million for the planning and construction of the pedestrian trail through the reservoir property and will construct and operate trail heads and support facilities.....“This whole contract raises a lot of red flags for me,” said Legislator Richard Parete, D-Accord. Parete said he is concerned about a provision that seems to allow the Department of Environmental Protection to unilaterally close off access to the trail and as well as a requirement that the trail surface not be paved.

Author:  J3a-614 [ Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

Trails can be cheap? Not this one in Canada, which is running C$50 million for 47.5 km. of right of way--and that's just the initial purchase price:

http://infotel.ca/newsitem/injuction-fa ... ad/it20026

Author:  traingeek8223 [ Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

NYS has decided to reopen the Unit Management Plan in order to create a recreational trail by removing the rails from Tupper Lake to Lake Placid. They also plan to invest in restoring rail service south of Tupper Lake.


The decision is not final, but this is a big blow to the fight to see trains all the way to Lake Placid.

Author:  J3a-614 [ Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

Just a news story about a legal case involving this railroad, in which the railroad won:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php? ... 53&fref=nf

Text for those who have trouble with Facebook:

The Adirondack Railroad Preservation Society is pleased that a request for an injunction that would have prohibited the Adirondack Scenic Railroad from operating over a section of track near Lake Colby, New York, was denied yesterday morning in Franklin County Supreme Court. The request was made in a lawsuit commenced by the Lake Colby Association. According to its website, Nancy Keet is the President of the Lake Colby Association, and Lee Keet is its Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors.

Attorneys for the Railroad and the Lake Colby Association appeared on June 24 in New York Supreme Court in Malone before Judge Robert G. Main, Jr. The Railroad was represented by Jonathan Fellows of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC. After hearing from the attorneys, Judge Main denied the application, noting that there did not appear to be a legal basis for the lawsuit filed by the Lake Colby Association.

Bill Branson, the President of the Adirondack Railroad Preservation Society, stated: "I am pleased that the Court has denied the application. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad has an outstanding safety record, and is committed to safe operations. I believe that the allegations in the complaint are not accurate. The tracks in question are owned by the State of New York, and are maintained by the Adirondack Railroad Preservation Society pursuant to agreements with the State. Maintenance and repair of the area in question is set to begin next week, and we had no intention of operating over the section of track in question until that work is complete. This work is customary each year after winter weather damages the tracks in certain areas of the line. The lawsuit commenced by Lake Colby Association was accordingly unnecessary. We look forward to completing this work in the near future, and having an outstanding summer season in 2015."

Author:  J3a-614 [ Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

Adirondack Scenic is also working with another party on a new service:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php? ... cation=ufi


The Adirondack Scenic Railroad is pleased to present Rail Explorers USA an adventure company that is offering a new immersive experience through the Adirondack wilderness.
Rail Explorers are introducing pedal powered railbikes to the six miles of historic railroad between Saranac Lake and Lake Clear. The railbike journey will take you past streams, across lakes and through forests that few have accessed before. Experience this spectacular scenery in a fun and unique way.

Head over and give their page a "like" for more information!

https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-x ... e=562F7B10

https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-x ... e=562F7B10

Author:  J3a-614 [ Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

Web and Facebook sites for Rail Explorers USA:

http://www.lakeplacid.com/do/family-fun ... lorers-usa


This is something that should have been looked at some time ago!

Author:  J3a-614 [ Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

In other news, the Upper Hudson Rail Trail group has its eyes on the Saratoga & North Creek:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php? ... 37&fref=nf


We are considering expanding our mission to include the entire 90-mile rail corridor from Saratoga Springs to North Creek to Tahawus. There is opportunity - the railroad venture has not gone well, and the operating contract expires in 2016.

Author:  Reading T1 2124 [ Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim

I'm not saying that these trails are all bad, especially when the corridor is otherwise being threatened but, ripping up a perfectly useable, profitable, railroad is outright absurd and I'd like to think we're not the only ones in the world who share that opinion.

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