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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:00 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
This is VERY interesting, especially in that it includes several quotes from Tony Goodwin, who is one of the principals behind the idea of taking the railroad out--and check out the comments, too:

http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2016/ ... r-age.html


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 465
A short excerpt of a November 6, 2016 article:
Quote:
New York's $23 million Adirondack "Rails to Trails" plan between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid is in legal limbo.

A lawsuit challenging the controversial plan was scheduled to be heard Thursday in Franklin County Superior Court. However, the case was adjourned for the fifth time at the state Attorney General office's request and no new court date has been set.

State officials, who have remained optimistic that the plan will continue as originally announced earlier this year, had expected things would be resolved by now and that work would commence later this year. With this latest development, things are on hold for the time being.
Link to the full story:
NewYorkUpstate.com: Adirondack $23 million 'Rails to Trails' plan in legal limbo (November 7, 2016)

and an excerpt from a November 15, 2016 article:
Quote:
Suzanne Messer, a lawyer for the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, said the state attorney general’s office requested the latest postponement due to issues with ownership of several parcels of land in the travel corridor. ARPS, a nonprofit group that runs tourist trains under the Adirondack Scenic Railroad name, sued the state in April, a month before Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed off on the state plan — seen by some as a compromise — to upgrade 45 miles of tracks between Big Moose and Tupper Lake and to replace the tracks with a trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid.

The attorney general’s office and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have been silent on the suit despite multiple requests for comment over the last two weeks. DEC spokesman Sean Mahar said his agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation, but he confirmed Monday that the state requested the delay “for additional time to review title on a few parcels in question, and the state looks forward to oral arguments on the January court date.”

The state recently discovered it needs to acquire fee title to three parcels around North Country Community College in Saranac Lake as well as the Lake Placid train station, which is owned by the Lake Placid/North Elba Historical Society.

Messer said state officials are trying to get the owners of those parcels to voluntarily convey ownership to the state.

“The State is seeking to obtain letters of intent from the property owners at issue, meaning that the State is attempting to acquire that property through voluntary conveyances by the property owners,” Messer wrote in an email. “The State believes it can obtain those letters of intent during the 60-day stay period.”

Link to the full article:
Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Railroad’s lawsuit stalled again - ARPS agrees to state delay as long as no RR infrastructure is removed (November 15, 2016)


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:56 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 465
An excerpt from an October 28, 2016 article:
Quote:
The press and the public have been prohibited from attending meetings of a "stakeholder group" advising state agencies on the details of a trail to replace the Tri-Lakes train tracks, but the Adirondack Daily Enterprise used the Freedom of Information Law to obtain notes from the first two meetings. This report comes from those notes.

The group decided that "Adirondack Rail Trail" would be the working name of the trail, but that it may be changed based on public input.

[Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates] representative Lee Keet told the group that his organization's 501(c)3 designation could be used going forward. He said ARTA's name could be changed and it could be reconstituted as a "friends group overseeing the recreational trail."

DEC put together the stakeholder group to come up with a conceptual plan for a proposed 34-mile recreational trail for biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, pedestrians, strollers and wheelchairs. The group has now met three times. A fourth meeting planned for today will remain closed to the public, DEC spokesman Dave Winchell said Thursday.
Link to the full article, which contains descriptions of the notes from the four closed-door meetings:
Lake Placid News: Notes give view into private rail trail meetings October 28, 2016

The article also included this new detail:
Quote:
Rail removal
The DEC previously said rail and tie removal would begin this coming spring.

The notes say that "municipal governments could undertake some of the removal process in November and December" of this year since "municipal crews will not be available in the spring and summer as they will be busy with their own projects." There is also a note that the Adirondack Scenic Railroad's lease from the state ends on Nov. 30.
NYSDEC's requiring the local communities to use their own municipal crews is yet another sign that this is a "You'll Get Nothing (from NY State Govt) and Like It" path.

ARTA began by claiming that scrapping the rails would pay for a wonderful paved path, but now they expect that local tax dollars will pay for the scrapping.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:17 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2099
more closed door meetings, they better get more transparent, this is way too obvious insider deals.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 465
Some news:
Quote:
UTICA — With more than 19,000 tickets already sold for The Polar Express, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad has extended the train ride by two days — Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 19 and 20.

“The Polar Express Train Ride has become a holiday tradition for so many families it was a no-brainer for us to extend the event by two additional days,” said Bethan Maher, executive director of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

The popular “Cocoa Class tickets have been sold out for months since going on sale in April. “The first-class tickets sell out within months of going on sale and this year is no exception. The really exciting news for us is that the remainder of coach tickets sold out, prompting us to add the additional trains,” Maher said
Link to the rest of the article: Observer-Dispatch newspaper - The Polar Express from Union Station extends rides by 2 days (December 1, 2016)


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 522
Chris Webster wrote:
Some news:
Quote:
UTICA — With more than 19,000 tickets already sold for The Polar Express, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad has extended the train ride by two days — Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 19 and 20.



Before any one reads too much into this, this is for trips out of Utica, not Lake Placid or Saranac Lake.

Bob H


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:46 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 465
Some more news:
Quote:
RAY BROOK — The state has reached agreement with the owners of several land parcels in a railroad corridor, mostly resolving an ownership issue, according to a group charged with planning a 34-mile trail to replace the railroad between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.

Notes from the “stakeholder” group meeting on Nov. 8 say the state has now received written commitments from Franklin and Essex counties, as well as North Country Community College. The nature of the commitments is still being worked out, but all of the entities have agreed to work on it, state Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Dave Winchell and Saranac Lake village Trustee Rich Shapiro said this morning.

Link to the rest of the article: Adirondack Daily Enterprise - State works with owners on rail trail parcels in question (December 7, 2016)


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:08 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

I keep reading this thread with interest but have not posted in a while since anything I had to say was already mentioned.

It is amazing the gall of the trail advocates not to wish to share the ROW of an existing railroad. I do not recall hearing anything from the trailers (for sale or rent rooms to let 50 cent - sorry I thought humor was called for) or trail advocates to be so unwilling to work out a compromise.

So sad when it might be a win-win solution.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:46 pm
Posts: 244
http://www.uticaod.com/opinion/20170224 ... st-be-goal

OUR VIEW: Preserving Utica-to-Lake Placid rail line must be goal
By OBSERVER-DISPATCH

It's reassuring that a state Supreme Court judge is seeking more information from the state in the case of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

A stay in the case, issued Feb. 7, could prevent New York from making a huge mistake.

That mistake would be to rip up 34 miles of the Adirondack rail line between Tupper Lake to Lake Placid to create a recreational trail. Once the tracks are gone, they'll never be back...


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2099
ripping the line up just to please snowmobilers is difficult to comprehend.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:33 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 465
Here are some short excerpts and links to articles published during February and March 2017:
Quote:
A hearing Monday on a lawsuit challenging New York’s plan for a rail to trail transition along the Remsen to Lake Placid rail corridor was delayed after the judge requested more information pertaining to ownership of land along the route.

Last February the Adirondack Park Agency approved a plan to create a rail to trail conversion along a 119-mile Remsen to Lake Placid rail line through the center of the Adirondacks. Thirty-four miles of track between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid would be converted to a multi-use recreational trail. Tracks between Remsen and Tupper Lake would remain and be improved. The plan was formally announced by the governor’s office in May 2016.

The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society filed an Article 78 suit challenging the approval of the Unit Management plan. The group says the plan violates the state Land Master Plan, historic preservation laws and the APA Act. It also claims the state failed to exercise “due diligence” in determining title and right of way along the route.
Link to the full article:
WAMC: Lawsuit Challenging Adirondack Rail To Trail Plan Delayed By Judge’s Question (February 1, 2017)
Quote:
Work on conversion of part of an Adirondack rail line into a recreational trail remains on hold as a lawsuit against the project sorts through land ownership and historic preservation issues.

This month, a state Supreme Court judge blocked work on the $8 million project, which would remove rails from 34 miles of the line between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake that has been used by a tourist railroad, which is fighting to keep the line in place.
Link to the full article:
Times Union: Legal challenge bumping against Adirondack rail trail conversion schedule - Report due March 8 to address ownership, preservation issues (February 27, 2017)
Quote:
The state is considering buying the only two parcels it doesn’t own in the 34-mile rail corridor between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, which would remove a legal impediment to replacing the train tracks with a recreational trail. Another option is to obtain an easement that would allow the public to use the parcels.

Evidently, though, some kind of agreement with the landowners needs to be reached for the state to go ahead with its controversial plan to remove the tracks.
Link to the full article:
Adirondack Almanack: State Considers Buying Adirondack Rail-Trail Parcels (Tuesday, March 14, 2017)
Quote:
Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates filed a friend-of-the-court brief this week in the lawsuit over the state’s plan to remove 34 miles of railroad tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake and create a trail for bicycling, hiking, snowmobiling, and other pursuits.

ARTA joined the suit on the side of three state agencies being sued: the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Transportation, and the Adirondack Park Agency.
Link to the full article:
Adirondack Almanack: Rail-Trail Advocates Join Adirondack Railroad Lawsuit (Thursday, March 23, 2017)
Quote:
MALONE — Lawyers for the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society say the state may reroute part of a trail along village of Saranac Lake streets and sidewalks if it doesn’t sort out ownership issues for the railroad the trail would replace.

Also in paperwork filed this week, lawyers representing ARPS in suing the state said the state’s plan to build a 34-mile rail-trail is “arbitrary and capricious because the state does not have sufficient ownership rights to implement the UMP (unit management plan).”
Link to the full article:
Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Trail could go off the rails, train group warns (March 29, 2017)


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:47 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 465
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise has divided its "Rail/Trail Debate" coverage into two categories: OPINION and NEWS

While both sections are worth reading, I especially enjoyed the sarcasm in this Dec 7, 2016 letter titled "Will rail trail bikers have group limits?"

Quote:
To Robert Stegeman, Region 5 director, state Department of Environmental Conservation:

To Paul Maroun, mayor, village of Tupper Lake:

You may wish to put the following on the agenda of your “closed door meetings” or “stakeholder meetings.”

When Rail Explorers started its rail bike tours from Lake Clear to Tupper Lake and Tupper Lake to Lake Clear this year, it was restricted by either the Adirondack Park Agency or DEC or a combination of the same to 15 riders per trip. This, I assume, was because the railroad corridor passes beside 5.84 miles of canoe area classification within a 5.88-mile stretch. These 15 rail bike riders would typically pass through this area in about one-half to three-quarters of an hour. It is not clear whether this restriction was related to the number of pedaled vehicles on the tracks during a given period of time or the number of citizens allowed during a given time frame.

I assume that similar restrictions will apply to use of this exact area if it is traversed on a trail rather than on the railroad tracks. Consideration could be given to a turnstile device which could limit the number of bike users during a given time period. I am not sure what rule or regulation the rail bike decision was based upon, or how it applies to snowmobiles or other transport devices. This may also be a non-issue if less than 15 trail users a day pass through this section of trail.

Mile markers — Miles

122.12 to 122.1 — 0.04

122.20 to 124.00 — 1.80

123.30 to 123.80 — 0.50

123.90 to 124.00 — 0.10

124.20 to 125.80 — 1.60

125.90 to 126.50 — 0.60

126.80 to 128.00 — 1.20

Total — 5.84

If a private enterprise or tour group company uses this state-owned trail to conduct tours, will they pay “trackage” or per-mile usage fees?

Daniel C. Mecklenburg
Vice president, Next Stop Tupper Lake
Original member of Trails & Rails Action Committee
Tupper Lake


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:33 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3054
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Something else to add to the reading pile:

http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2017/ ... tions.html

Of particular note are the comments, especially two by a Big Burly and Keith Gorgas who claim they have confirmed there are several easement properties on the right of way, and that they have reversion clauses. This is notable because for a long time, the trail crowd and the state claimed the railroad was owned outright, with no easement issues. The state has admitted to two so far, but there are apparently others. . .and if the line were owned outright, there wouldn't have been any at all! You wonder what else the state has gotten wrong in this.

And yes, the railroad's lawyers submitted something like 2,500 pages of legal exhibits. You can bet those easement deeds are in there.

Now if only we can get a favorable ruling. . .but we don't know anything yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:51 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3054
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Speaking of easement issues. . .apparently these are part of the ammunition being used against another rail trail in New York. What stands out is that the railroad was abandoned over 60 years ago! The easement owners, now faced with a trail, are attempting to make a case that the right of way was not disposed of legally.

The Anti-Trail group:

https://southhillrecreationwayorg.wordpress.com/

Some detail on the easement issue:

https://southhillrecreationwayorg.wordp ... -corridor/


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:52 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3054
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
And a bit more on easement issues and costs.

http://archive.commercialappeal.com/new ... 06101.html


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