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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
rcw7585 wrote:
Why not just say it already... it Ted Cruz's fault.
</sarc>


Pffffffft!!! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
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Location: S.F. Bay Area
J3a-614 wrote:
robertmacdowell wrote:
It will be won by laying a trail alongside the railroad that is head and shoulders better than the trail they could have put on the railroad.

For signal maintainers and MoW access, of course.


Excellent!! Darn, you've got me jealous as can be--why didn't I think of that?

Having said that, there are still a couple of questions.

One, brought up by the trail people, is cost. Where will the money to pay for that come from?

Well the trick there is don't call it a trail, call it an access road. Trails are very expensive. Access roads are cheap.

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Secondly, part of the alleged difficulty of having both is that part of the route, like the Catskill Mountain, is in a protected area. The railroad is grandfathered in, and potentially a trail on its roadbed would follow through (though there is some dispute on that), but what amounts to a new road through there would have a number of problems with things like an environmental review process and the like.

That's where we need some help from someone like Mr. Wilkins. Facilities to support railroads are often exempt from lower laws, for instance railroads ignore local zoning when building necessary support buildings such as signal bungalows, MoW sheds, substations, depots and the like. I suspect the same is true of an access road.

Also, the fact is, plain trails are very low impact to the environment, case in point America's greatest trail, the A. T.

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Still, that could work, if those trail guys would be willing to listen at all. The question is, will they listen at all, or have they hardened themselves so much you might as well talk to a bunch of rocks?

You don't need to care. You don't need their permission. They have no standing to object to the railroad building an access road. Once the road is done, it deflates any argument to remove the railroad, the argument becomes "allow use of the access road as a trail".


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Baltimore, MD
Been watching from the "peanut gallery." Two thoughts:

1) There are a couple stretches of the railroad right of way (which can be seen in photos linked earlier) that are not only just barely one track wide, they're suffering from washout erosion from the bodies of water they abut. To properly make an "access road," you'd have to haul in enough fill to expand a causeway across some bodies of water another twelve to twenty feet in width. And there are some environmental regulations that come into play in such situations.

2) Railroads, for liability reasons, do not routinely allow public use of an access road, not even when the trackage is owned by the state. This is not to say it CAN'T be done, but it's not going to be easy from a legal or liability standpoint, especially if they plan to continue railroad operation. The Western Md. Scenic RR line is the grand exception; most others mix like oil and water.

I've already seen one former RR right-of-way project to convert it to something for pedestrians to use where they found, for legal and bureaucratic reasons, they couldn't even call it a "trail" or "rail trail"! Apparently, there was some legal mumbo-jumbo in that county/state/whatever that mandated certain drainage standards, paving, ADA accessibility, etc., all of which would disrupt the tranquility they're trying to preserve on that path. To avoid that quagmire, the local civic organization has persisted in calling the project the "Stony Run Path," with no pretensions of being a "rail trail" even though it's obviously a former railroad right of way.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
Most people on this forum and others, plus the general public are missing the actual root of this debate (by design). The principals that make up ARTA really DON'T CARE about a trail. They simply want the railroad gone for one reason or another. Sure their are ARTA members who actually want to build the trail and are pure in motive, but they are simply un-knowing puppets with others pulling the strings. The puppet masters have masked this and garnered further support through phrases like "stop spending taxpayer money on a failed railroad" and "help build a recreational trail that will help bring millions of dollars of revenue into your community". They have coupled this with the desire of the snowmobile crowd to solidify usage (and gain a couple more weeks of use) of the corridor. The ATV and dirt bike faction has quickly jumped on the bandwagon too thinking they will gain access that they do not currently have (at least legally). If you start to poke holes in ARTA's arguments or start pacifying the other group's wants and needs the house of cards they have built will tumble quickly. For example:

Extend active track from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake and give the latter community the tourism destination it desperately needs. This can be done simply (although still at cost) through tie replacements and some shoring up of the ROW. The train does not need to go fast for this service to be successful. The scenery makes up for it. You can have one train leave Lake Placid for Tupper on the weekend days and keep the current schedule between LP and SL with another.

Plan and lay out an alternate snowmobile route between Old Forge and Tupper Lake. This is defiantly something in need as the railroad is the only way to connect the north and south regions. As much as some here would like to ignore it or believe otherwise, the snowmobile industry is Big $$$ and its absence from these communities would more or less render most of the park (save for the ski centers) totally summer oriented. In most places there is room near the RR to do this. Other places will need to be detoured around.

The state needs to let the public know just how they are using their tax dollars in regard to this railroad. Yes, the state has invested a lot of money in the track; in the past, but just as they have done with our roads and the Barge Canal (I don't see anybody crying about that and with the floods of recent years it is simply draining state money). No state money has actually gone into day to day operations to keep the railroad afloat. This is New York though and this scenario will never happen.

Third party studies need to be done on the impact the trail would have (this has already been done in regard to the railroad). These will show that, as others here have already stated, the truly successful rail-trails are adjacent to urban areas and generally used by locals for exercise (or for choo-choo fanatics exploring old ROWs). The remoteness of this corridor will not produce the numbers they claim. Beautiful as it is, it does not compare with the instant thrill or convenient location of "The Walkway Over the Hudson". This would end for good ARTA's half truths and straight propaganda.

I for one (my opinion, shared by others, but in no way gospel) think the state should alter the Adirondack Scenic's lease terms (year to year, thirty day revocable) to allow them to better fundraise for track upgrades. Nobody wants to help fix up a house you can soon be kicked out of. This was done as a precaution so the state would not be trapped without control of their own property, like they were after the Adirondack Railway Corporation went bankrupt two years into a thirty year lease in 1980. The Adirondack Scenic has a twenty year track record to show they are not going to make the mistakes of their predecessor. This will help satisfy the "the railroad has had 20 years to fix the tracks and hasn't" argument.

Take away all of these issues and I would bet my next paycheck that all that would be left of ARTA is twelve people sitting in the dinning room of the Norridgewock, wondering where all their friends have gone.

While the official "public opinion period" is closed, I still encourage people to talk to their local senators and congress people, as well as write to Albany. Of coarse use as many facts as possible, carefully thinking out your points. I'm sure they will look down on comments like "Save our choo-choo" if you are above the age of six. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3036
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I'm just laying this down right here, no comment from me, at least not today:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =1&theater


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:23 am 
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To me that looks like out of service track that rarely, if ever, sees use. I don't see how them taking pictures of this shows what the entire railroad is like. It makes me think of how if someone doesnt like a certain type of car they show a wrecked one and say "Thats what happens to all of them!" Idk, just dont seem right to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:34 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:58 am
Posts: 728
Might be wise for them to request an FRA inspection due to the accusations of unsafe conditions. Is this something that can be done?

If the in-service track passes inspection and track used only for low speed ferry moves isn't condemned, they should make it well known in the press. Make it clear that somebody is distorting the facts to sway public opinion.

This latest photo looks like some opportunistic individual jumped at the opportunity after a minor washout and is misrepresenting the circumstances to support his/ her agenda.

And of course, as all of us here know, if this is more typical of actual track conditions, some major improvements would be in order.

Steve Hunter


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:43 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
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Quote:
I'm just laying this down right here, no comment from me, at least not today:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =1&theater


This just furthers my points about them not caring about the facts and just using bulling tactics to make the railroad look foolish.

This is a small washout that has developed over the last year and a half on the causeway across Lake Colby. This is why the equipment did not made the trek back to Utica last winter. The extensive repairs needed to fix the vandalism coupled with the fact that it continues to happen is necessitating that the equipment move south this year. I see no problems with temporary shoring up of the track here to get the train across. They are obviously not carrying passengers through here. Of course washouts will stop happening once the rails are removed because trails are immune to mother nature.

I'm really sick of all the BS. This is one of the downsides of social media. Anybody's opinion can be misrepresented as fact. Myself excluded of course. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:55 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8358
Location: Baltimore, MD
traingeek8223 wrote:
This is a small washout that has developed over the last year and a half on the causeway across Lake Colby. This is why the equipment did not made the trek back to Utica last winter.


Dig back in the threads about the White Deer, Pa. ex-Reading bridge.

As I recall, there were two "washouts" on that line, one below the bridge (blocked culvert) and one north of the station that had the proverbial tracks and ties hanging in mid-air, and that doesn't even count the bridge itself "collapsing onto a major highway" (as the trail advocates would exaggeratedly phrase it) in 1996.

All taken care of with a few dollars and dump-truck loads.

Mind you, that was only a couple miles of track, not dozens.

And that stretch across Lake Colby is one of the stretches where the line is only wide enough for the track and not an "access road".


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:54 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
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Looks like trains will be running this weekend in Lake Placid after all, according to their Facebook page. Congratulations to the hardworking employees and volunteers of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad for not letting the childish actions of others ruin the end of their season.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3036
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
traingeek8223 wrote:
This just furthers my points about them not caring about the facts and just using bulling tactics to make the railroad look foolish. . .

. . .I'm really sick of all the BS. This is one of the downsides of social media. Anybody's opinion can be misrepresented as fact. Myself excluded of course. ;)


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

Quote:
The 1996 management plan for the corridor allowed the Adirondack Scenic Railroad a five-year opportunity to develop rail services. Instead, after 16 years, the ASR has very little to show for the millions of dollars spent by the state on this endeavor. There are no investors because few customers would use any type of rail services along this corridor. Freight could compete for only a small fraction of the miniscule amount of freight that flows between the Tri-Lakes and Utica, the source of the line. Similarly, passenger traffic between these points would be negligible because it is much quicker and cheaper to drive.


Little to show for the effort? I seem to recall that the Adirondack people started with 4 miles of line. I believe they are up to about 50 or so at both ends, and another 50 or so out of revenue service in the middle but used for ferry movements, despite the washout condition noted above. In addition, trains are running at 40 mph on the south end. That is beginning to look and act like a regional passenger railroad, not some little short line.

Honestly, how do these trail people get away with lying as much as they seem to do? I doubt any of us here would get away with it, even if we tried it.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:48 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
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More lies....

Quote:
Instead, after 16 years, the ASR has very little to show for the millions of dollars spent by the state on this endeavor.


I suppose the 1.3 million people that have ridden the train don't count for anything. Nor does the millions of dollars they have pumped into the communities of Utica and Old Forge, or meals they have eaten in Forestport and Big Moose and Thendara.

They want to keep focusing on the lighter passenger numbers on the Lake Placid end, well, first off, tens of thousands of people ride the north end every year. That's not too bad. Especially considering the remoteness of Lake Placid to begin with. Which brings up the point that if people aren't flocking to the area to take a train ride, why do they think people will come to use the trail. Oh that's right. They don't care about the trail. Mr. McCully just wants the rails gone so his sled-neck friends (I own and actively ride a snowmobile) have better usage.

Quote:
The time has come to put this state land to work to benefit businesses, residents and visitors.


I agree with you on this one Jim. Restore the tracks north of Big Moose so the North Country can see for themselves what Utica and Old Forge already know: the railroad offers the best potential for economic growth.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:46 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Virginia
Here's an idea...go on the offensive in terms of expanded operations and base a third train at Tupper Lake. Follow the CMRR playbook and fix just enough track to allow trains to run safely and run trains. Put the S1 and a couple of coaches at Tupper and run to Lake Clear Junction or maybe south to an acceptable scenic area. Doesn't have to be far, just enough to give people another choice and show the Tupper Lakians you are serious. If crews are an issue, operate on alternate days from Lake Placid. One issue at Tupper is the nice new recreated station thats been in place for several years with a train yet to stop at it...the locals must be disappointed in that, even though the $$$ to fix the track was supposed to come from NYS several years ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
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Quote:
...go on the offensive in terms of expanded operations and base a third train at Tupper Lake. Follow the CMRR playbook and fix just enough track to allow trains to run safely and run trains. Put the S1 and a couple of coaches at Tupper and run to Lake Clear Junction or maybe south to an acceptable scenic area.


Had this same idea earlier this year and brought it to management (with the same equipment too). All you would have to do is shove out several miles, like in 92," to the good scenery and pull back, and the potential will show immediately. They liked the idea, but have an issue with tie replacement at the moment. They have been hiring contractors to do the major track work and this gets expensive. Anybody have a tie inserter they want to loan or donate?

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:00 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2165
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
8223, look at your messages, I sent you a PM re: a tie inserter.

Howard P.

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