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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:02 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
jefalcsik wrote:
I keep sending letters to my Senator, Pat Toomey, (member, subcommittee on transportation) to take an interest in this. I am getting some interest from a member of his staff.


Perhaps the message is starting to get through:

http://articles.mcall.com/2014-06-26/ne ... ing-toomey

Probably a coincidence, but with recent developments on the erroneous numbers being used to mislead the Adirondack community by ARTA, and the mission creep of the RTC, this is not a bad position to take.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:01 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
Senator Patrick Toomey, R-PA, has proposed cutting out federal money for rail-trail projects in favor of highway and bridge repair.

In light of the mission creep of the Rail Trail Conservancy, where active rail lines are targeted for conversion to recreational trails, at the very least, the rules for trail projects to be eligible for federal dollars via railbanking needs to change. Senator Toomey and your representatives in Washington need to hear from you.

Last count on the views of this topic was over 32,000. The other side is advocating more federal dollars for trail conversions. There will be a lot more Adirondack Rail Trail groups.

Toomey's email site: http://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=contact

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:32 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
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Commentary appearing in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise today on the exaggerated overnight visitor values presented by ARTA's Dick Beamish:

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.co ... mbers.html

This article is not likely to show up on the ARTA Facebook pages. They already scrubbed the actual commentary of Beamish's that included the erroneous values and correction by the editor.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:27 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
From the ARTA-Snow Facebook page today:

Jim Mcculley "Their numbers are a total fraud. In 2013 they refused to even give numbers. If you back their revenue into their ridership numbers. They do about 6,000 here."

Fraud is a serious charge indicating purposeful deception in order to gain something (i.e. money). It is also serious when you levy the charge in public without proof. I am not a lawyer, but could this be a little dangerous on the ARTA Directors part?

Interestingly, the 6000 rider figure Mcculley claims is not bad for a disconnected operation. The Stone estimates were based on upgrading the corridor from Big Moose to Saranac Lake, via Tupper Lake. Ridership and overnight visitor stays have a much greater potential with the entire route in play.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
From the railroads Facebook page:

Quote:
The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced July 9, 2014 the State’s decision to retain the railroad track on the Remsen – Lake Placid Travel Corridor between Remsen and Tupper Lake, while continuing to evaluate and determine the best use of the track between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. The corridor is part of the 141 miles of track on which the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society (DBA: Adirondack Scenic Railroad) operates and is actively working to preserve.


more info at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adirondack-Scenic-Railroad/101568573053

David: See, I'm not dead. Just busy.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 458
Brian Mann is spinning this as a big "breaking news" story,but nothing has actually changed -- all NYSDOT has done is to decide that they were going to punt a controversial regional issue to sometime after the next state election(s).

Anyway, here is the link to Mr. Mann's "report":North County Public Radio: Breaking: State proposes converting section of Adirondack train to trail

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:40 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
Here is the official DOT press release:

Quote:
The State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Transportation (DOT) today announced that they will reopen the 1996 Unit Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (1996 UMP/EIS) for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor. The review will evaluate use of the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid segment for a recreational trail. It will also examine opportunities to maintain and realize the full economic potential of rail service on the remainder of the corridor. In addition, the state will review options to create and expand alternative snowmobile corridors to connect communities from Old Forge to Tupper Lake on existing state lands and conservation easements.

The UMP governs the use of the 119-mile Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor. The determination to revisit the UMP was made following a thorough assessment of options and a review of the extensive public comments made during four public meetings held by DEC and DOT last year.

DEC and DOT will prepare the UMP and draft EIS, which will explore opportunities to increase recreational use of the rail corridor and ensure it promotes tourism and economic growth in the surrounding communities. As part of this process, the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on a draft scope that outlines significant issues and environmental impacts, and guides preparation of the UMP and draft EIS. In addition, the public will be able to review and comment on the draft UMP and draft EIS when they are deemed complete.

Revisiting the 1996 UMP/EIS will enable DEC and DOT to thoroughly review those aspects of the 1996 UMP/EIS that recommend enhanced recreational opportunities and community connections, and to examine alternatives for the best future use of the Corridor along the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid segment. DEC and DOT will work with the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and public stakeholders, including local officials and residents, to assess alternatives that reflect current realities along the corridor and potential environmental and economic impacts.

“Our goal is to protect our natural resources, while also exploring ways to increase opportunities for people to enjoy outdoor recreation activities in the Adirondacks,” DEC Commissioner Martens said. “We recognize that the future of the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor is important to local residents, communities and the regional economy, and the UMP process is the appropriate way to determine the best use of the corridor. We greatly appreciate the input received and continue to encourage the public and stakeholders to be actively involved in the UMP process since their views and interests will be an important part of the decision-making process.”

“The Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor is a tremendous transportation resource that traverses stunning landscapes across the northern Adirondacks,” DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald said. “In response to public interest, we are reopening the Unit Management Plan, providing new opportunities to engage local communities and support the regional economy as we plan for the corridor’s future.”

The UMP process will provide a transparent and public means of exploring a proposed amendment to the 1996 UMP/EIS that would maximize benefits from public use of the corridor and conform with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. Any proposed amendment would consider and incorporate public comments.

The rail service envisioned by the 1996 UMP/EIS has never been fully realized. The recurring short term lease under which the Adirondack Scenic Railroad operates has hindered the capital investment necessary to improve the rail line in the most remote sections of the corridor. This review will evaluate options to provide the long-term assurance to the rail operator and its investors need to move forward with much needed improvements.

Snowmobilers have long used the travel corridor during peak season to transit between communities. That use is made unsafe during periods of lesser snow as track becomes exposed. As part of this review, DEC will evaluate ways to expand snowmobile routes between the communities along the Old Forge to Tupper Lake segment of the corridor on state lands and conservation easements. This will open new recreational and tourism opportunities for those communities but also provide a safer riding experience for the snowmobiling community.


Unfortunately this means that the fight is not over for the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid section, but the good news is that the rails will stay between Thendara and Tupper. This is a major blow to the snowmobile faction (and Scott Thompson) that wanted the whole thing. This may hurt the support that ARTA has and end up working out for the railroad in the long run. Bottom line: keep writing letters in support of rail service all the way to Lake Placid!

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 137
Location: At large
And just a reminder of what is being fought for, here again is my photo album from Tupper Lake to Lake Placid:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiveThumbs.aspx?id=91524

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:27 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
traingeek8223 wrote:
This is a major blow to the snowmobile faction (and Scott Thompson) that wanted the whole thing. This may hurt the support that ARTA has and end up working out for the railroad in the long run.


It appears the Adirondack Scenic Railroad has come out of this first debate very well. The NYDOT has acknowledged the short term lease issues that have hindered private investment. That is a huge admission and the NYDOT announcement shows strong support for the railroad. They also took care of Tupper Lake and that communities investment in rail tourism. What is also clear:

No 90-mile snowmobile highway for ARTA Snow.
No 90 miles worth of rail to support funding of a trail.
No commitment to lift rail anywhere.
A commitment to have a public review of facts and best use proposals limited to the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid section. ASR is positioned well for this.

Both organizations made proper public responses, claiming victory, but ARTA's is hollow. You can read this by the focus now shifting to prevent "taxpayer subsidies" to provide rail service. Having lost their faulty resource of scrapping rail to pay for "free" trail conversion, they will now be quite hypocritical to play the "taxpayer subsidy" card. Select members of ARTA's organization are only about total railroad destruction and the NYDOT decision won't have any of that.

I would rather be in Bill Branson's shoes this morning than Lee Keet's; ASR has promoted their cause on truth and pure motives and ARTA has based theirs on faulty math and exaggerated visitor statements. The limited UMP review for the Tupper to LP section will expose these again.

ARTA should get the message of compromise from the NYDOT; they should chose to work with ASR, the DOT, and a rail-with-trail solution between Tupper and LP. That will require a separation from Mcculley, Keet, Beamish and Thompson.

If the UMP review result would favor a short-sighted trail only solution for Tupper to LP, federal railbanking status (and funding) should not apply; that section is an undisputed active railroad.

Congratulations to the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:55 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
traingeek8223 wrote:
And just a reminder of what is being fought for, here again is my photo album from Tupper Lake to Lake Placid:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiveThumbs.aspx?id=91524


Great photos Matt. Of the segments of the corridor between TL, SL, and LP, which one would have the least obstacles for development of a trail along the railroad?

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:05 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
An editorial in support of the railroad from a newspaper in Utica; predictably, the trail people don't like it, as may be seen in the comments that follow.

http://www.uticaod.com/article/20140718 ... /140719667


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:28 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
From the ARTA Snow FAcebook Page:

JOE HATTRUP: "Just like I thought; FOAMERS! These machines were designed to do maintenance and inspections for railroads, "not joyride" for FOAMERS. What a stupid hobby and a joke to be played on the tax paying public, to tie up this "private property" for their weird entertainment."

Does anyone know, is this a NARCOA speeder group? The photo on their page shows about 5 or 6 speeders. Back in the early 2000's, our local railroad museum in Youngwood, PA, saw a local NARCOA chapter bring 35-40 speeders through on multiple occasions. And with promotion, we had more than 100 people visit for the event. By signing a release form, you could ride with some of the operators. I rode from Youngwood to Greensburg, and my wife rode all the way to Scottdale, PA. It was a great experience.

There are quite a few NARCOA chapters in North America, which brings potential visitors to any region they visit.

The caustic attacks of this type against railroad supporters is both ignorant and speaks volumes of Joe' character. Until these unwarranted attacks stop, no mater what the DOT and DEC decide, this will go on forever.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:43 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:42 am
Posts: 84
I just read the ADE article on the Speeder Group. Seventy (70) people in 29 cars visiting from all over the Northeast. Great PR for the railroad, and great for the local business they provided to the communities.

ARTA is working to put a stop to this kind of community promotion and economic benefit that ASR provides. In favor of a rail-trail that mostly local people will use for less than an hour each week.

Finding a way to have rail-and trail is clearly the best approach to this issue. Even an out and back 6 or 7 mile trail from one of these communities, where feasible along the established historic rail corridor, would appease most typical users.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8354
Location: Baltimore, MD
jefalcsik wrote:
The caustic attacks of this type against railroad supporters is both ignorant and speaks volumes of Joe' character. Until these unwarranted attacks stop, no mater what the DOT and DEC decide, this will go on forever.


I'm sorry to tell you this, but the view expressed in that "comment," although caustically rendered, are exactly the way any rational-thinking taxpayer being asked to help maintain this rail line is going to view the issue. 70 people is basically two coach loads on a good day at Strasburg. Maintaining a resource such as this for a bunch of people rich enough to have trailers, big trucks, and the fuel bills both entail--and even a speeder-only track will need maintenance--is precisely on par with maintaining a snowmobile trail, and people are going to take more kindly to the idea of a snowmobile they can ride "anywhere" than a speeder that needs a track and permission to use said track.

By attacking this badly-rendered but still valid opinion in such a fashion, you're starting to dance on the line between valid debate of the issues and attacking people simply for disagreeing with you. No, in fact, by questioning his character on that basis you've definitely fallen over that line.

You and your allies have said that you're monitoring the comments made about each other on their respective forums. It's my opinion that part of the reason the rail supporters have gotten as far as they have in the court of public opinion is by taking the high road of reason and not looking like a bunch of emotional fanatics. Don't blow this.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack RR a Sabotage Victim
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:06 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
wilkinsd wrote:
A piece of advice my father once gave me; "When you start arguing with the crazy man yelling in the street corner, passers by will soon not be able to tell which one of you is the crazy man."


So true. It could also be argued that a person who argues with a crazy person is themselves crazy. Often it is wiser to save one's breath and energy for dealing with a worthier argument.

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