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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:30 am 

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I'm assuming the 'no pedestrians or bicycles' only applies to the 'unimproved' condition of the roadbed after the rails and ties have been lifted.

But even so... aren't hikers pedestrians? And how are they justifying a 'travel corridor' on which nothing can legally travel but snowmobiles, only part of the year? Will NYS be subsidizing an Uber for sleds to get the less-well-heeled to Lake Placid?

And if it's no longer an actual travel corridor after sled season ... what will the sled drivers have to do to 'keep the franchise open'?

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:00 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
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If it is to be a "snowmobiles only" (or skiers, unless they are considered "pedestrians") than it would be cheaper to just leave the rails in place, once covered by snow, they wouldn't be an issue for snowmobiles.
This whole thing sounds like a taxpayer fleecing.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:09 am 

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Some interesting details in Amendment No. 3 to the track removal contract:
Quote:
CONTRIBUTING ELEMENTS PRESERVED, REUSED OR RELOCATED

In accordance with the Historic Preservation Plan, the historic structures and appurtenances currently present within the corridor will be maintained in their current locations to the fullest extent possible. Historic mile markers, whistle posts, and other historic appurtenances and remnants will be preserved and interpreted and shall remain unaffected by this contract. Following is a list of those features:

Ray Brook Dual Gauge RailbedWhile researching and surveying the Corridor, NYSDEC surveyors discovered a short section of the dual gauge railbed adjacent to and inside a large bend of the current railbed. The 0.2-mile long dual gauge railbed lies completely within the Corridor on the inside bend of a 90 degree turn of the main rail bed and connects with main rail bed at each end.

Mile PostsA total of 11 historic concrete mile posts are located in the corridor between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. The mile posts reflect two of the three different historic mile post stationing systems used in the Corridor. No mile posts were located between Lake Clear and Saranac Lake.

Whistle PostsA total of 8 Whistle Posts have been located in the corridor between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.

SemaphoreOne damaged semaphore is located in the corridor between the Saranac River and Woodruff Street in Saranac Lake.

Tell-tale (bridge warning)One tell-tale (bridge warning) is located in Saranac Lake south of the Forest Hill Avenue (formerly known as Moody Pond Road Bridge) that tracks go under.

Platform LampOne metal lamp post is located just north of the Tupper Lake Depot.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
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Location: Greenwich, NY
One Semaphore in Saranac Lake? There was never a semaphore there!

I am willing to bet that these historical geniuses are referring to a bridge flange marker.

I also love the "surveyors discovered" line about the Raybrook relocation. Anyone who knows the history of the line knows of the relocated ROW's, not to mention that Kudish mentioned it (with detailed maps included) in *numerous* books.

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:00 am 

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Dismantling of the railroad has started this week. Work started in Tupper Lake in order to sever the line from the national rail network and avoid involving the Surface Transportation Board. NY State has said repeatedly that they have no money for trail construction but they are rushing the rail removal to make sure the railroad dies. Sorry no links. News broke on Facebook.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:34 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Quote:
"NY State has said repeatedly that they have no money for trail construction but they are rushing the rail removal to make sure the railroad dies."


As they sow, so shall they reap. What will now be interesting is how far certain people will watch the railroad being physically removed before they act to put the kibosh on further 'development'. My guess for the pool is the day the State pays for the last shipment of material to be removed from the ROW... that gets the furthest, cost-effectively, to 'forever wild'.

And yes, I expect a fairly-well-evolved Canada Southern approach to ensuring that the ROW is made unsuitable to any restoration to 'transportation' service.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:16 pm 
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I thought they connected to the national rail network in Utica NY.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:42 pm 

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Quote:
I thought they connected to the national rail network in Utica NY.


Yes. That is true. The track dismantling started in Tupper Lake in order to sever the section they are removing from the national rail network. Now there is no rail connection to Lake Clear, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, which the state did on purpose thinking that would protect them from having to notify the Surface Transportation Board.

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:23 pm 

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traingeek8223 wrote:
Dismantling of the railroad has started this week. Work started in Tupper Lake in order to sever the line from the national rail network and avoid involving the Surface Transportation Board
Matt, the NYSDOT contract documents for the dismantling project included the standard requirement that all work and movements on the railroad had to be coordinated with the railroad's dispatcher. That is normal for a railroad construction project.

In the pre-bid meeting, bidder(s) asked about the requirement to coordinate with the Adirondack Scenic RR dispatcher. NYSDOT answered by citing another part of the bid package that said the contractor would no longer have to coordinate with the ASRR dispatcher once the line was severed and that the line could be severed by simply removing two sections of rail.
traingeek8223 wrote:
NY State has said repeatedly that they have no money for trail construction but they are rushing the rail removal to make sure the railroad dies. Sorry no links. News broke on Facebook.
The Governor has made the political decision to remove the track, so the track is coming out. IMHO, it makes sense to remove the track now since:

(1) The snowmobiling will be better, which is important since snowmobiling will be the only allowed use of the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid section of the corridor (per the road signs shown on NYSDOT's contract documents.)
(2) Any good ties and rail from the removed track will be savaged and reused on the southern end of the line (per NYSDOT's contract documents.)
(3) Once the track is gone, the state transportation department is no longer responsible for the northern part of the corridor.
(4) The northern part of corridor will be ready for trail construction if funds for that suddenly become available (e.g. a Congressional earmark.)

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:48 pm 

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Allow me to make an observation about the politics.

About $23 million in state funds are being spent on the corridor. The north end of the corridor is within NY's 21st Congressional district. Only about $2 million of the $23 million is being spent on that end and those communities are losing year-round use of the corridor.... yet they are apparently very happy with what little they are getting, a slightly improved snowmobile trail that will only be used for snowmobiling.

The south end of the corridor is within NY's 22nd Congressional district. About $20 million is being spent on the south end, roughly 10 times more than is being spend on the north end.

The north end (21st) is 'R', the sound end (22nd) is 'D', and the Governor who made the decisions is also a 'D'. To me, splitting the corridor and spending 10 times more on one end than the other looks like a brilliant decision from a political science perspective. It is not the decision I would have made, but he is the Governor and I am not!

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 6:40 pm 

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Text of an October 22, 2020 Press Release posted on the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation website:

Quote:
For Release: Thursday, October 22, 2020
State Agencies Announce Key Milestone for Adirondack Rail Trail
Removal of Railroad Tracks Between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid is First Step in Developing World-Class Recreational Trail
Tracks between Big Moose and Tupper Lake to be Rehabilitated to Create Nation's Longest Scenic Railway


The New York State Departments of Transportation and Environmental Conservation, in cooperation with the State Office of General Services, today announced a major milestone in the development of the world-class Adirondack Rail Trail, a 34-mile multi-use recreational path for outdoor adventurers between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. The New York State Department of Transportation has broken ground on a $1.9 million project to remove the tracks from the former railroad right-of-way, clearing the way for its conversion into a shared-use path ideal for hikers, bikers, cross country skiers, and snowmobile enthusiasts. A second project will commence in the coming weeks to rehabilitate the existing rails between Big Moose and Tupper Lake in order to create the longest scenic railway in the country.

The rail trail and scenic railway are key components of the recently completed 2020 Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan (UMP), which provides a blueprint for sustainably developing this picturesque 119-mile travel corridor to bolster tourism and further recreation opportunities. The corridor follows the path of a once-thriving rail line constructed in 1892, and operated continuously until 1972. The line and its right-of-way were purchased by New York State in 1974.

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The Adirondacks are one of the great treasures of New York State, and the careful redevelopment of this historic railroad right-of-way will make it easier for people to enjoy the region's grandeur - regardless of whether they are hiking, riding a bicycle, snowmobile, or taking a scenic train. These two projects are indicative of the level of investment Governor Cuomo is making in creating expanded opportunities for tourism and economic growth while also protecting one New York State's most valuable natural resources, the Adirondacks."

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said,
"Today is a critical step in the creation of the Adirondack Rail Trail. Providing a 34-mile accessible recreation trail in the northern corridor and the nation's longest scenic railway in the southern corridor, this development will expand and enhance visitor experiences and help to drive Adirondack economies. Visitors and local residents alike will be able to experience the excitement of a trail ride through some of the Adirondacks' most remote and spectacular areas. For those who prefer hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and more, the trail offers a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities."

OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito said,
"Development of The Adirondack Rail Trail, as well as the Empire State Trail, demonstrate Governor Cuomo's continued commitment to expanding the type of outdoor recreational opportunities that foster economic growth in communities throughout New York State. The Adirondack wilderness is a beautiful place to visit, and Team OGS is proud to be working with DOT and DEC on a project that will give the public the chance to enjoy even more of the stunning scenery this region has in abundance."

Under the project administered by DOT, existing tracks will be removed from the northern portions of the line above Tupper Lake. The Adirondack Rail Trail will be constructed in their place to connect Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Tupper Lake, allowing trail users to enjoy the unique charm and amenities of each community while providing access to miles of breathtaking trails, numerous campsites, and abundant waterways in the Forest Preserve lands adjacent to the travel corridor. The corridor will also feature signage to help visitors interpret the history of the railway, the cultures of adjacent communities, and the natural resources of surrounding lands and waters to create a linear museum.

The New York State Office of General Services is leading the trail's design and working to ensure it will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Upon completion of construction, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will assume day-to-day management of the trail and, working closely with stakeholders and municipalities, will ensure it remains a world-class accessible outdoor recreation destination.

Construction of the trail is scheduled to begin in 2022 and will be completed in phases. The multi-use recreation trail is expected to be complete by the end of 2024.

The $19.1 million project to rehabilitate the rails between Big Moose and Tupper Lake will allow the current scenic railway service - presently operated by the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society under a use and occupancy permit from the State - to be extended 45 miles further into the Adirondacks. Rail rehabilitation is expected to be complete by the end of 2021. Plans also call for the Tupper Lake Station to be redeveloped to serve as a terminus for rail operations.

Additional details about the 2020 Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan Amendment/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement are available at DEC's website.


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 6:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
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I previously posted the bid results:
Chris Webster wrote:
Also of interest are these results from the NY State Dept. of Transportation's July 23, 2020 Construction Contracting Letting (Bid Openings)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PIN S937.65, Adirondack Railroad Restoration: Approximately 85 Miles Along Remsen-Lake Placid Corridor:
$19,138,163.46 - TARTAGLIA RAILROAD SERVICES
$19,829,035.47 - RJ CORMAN RAILROAD SERVICES
$22,731,310.00 - RAILWORKS TRACK SYSTEMS INC
$24,299,561.25 - FRONTIER RAILROAD SERVICES
$27,568,275.68 - HARRISON & BURROWES AND WESSON GROUP
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An October 22, 2020 Adirondack Explorer article confirms that the contract was awarded to the low bidder and that the railroad restoration is scheduled to be completed before any work begins on the trail part of the corridor:
Quote:
According to a state Comptroller’s report in August, a $19.1 million contract to Tartaglia Railroad Services was approved to connect about 85 miles for a scenic railway. Records show the contract start date was Aug. 25 and the end date is Nov. 20, 2021.
The article also quotes Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates Board member Chris Keniston:
Quote:
The timeline for the recreational trail, however, Keniston called “absolutely ridiculous.”

“I can’t fathom that we need to wait another three years before this is going to be completed,” he said. “The government can certainly move at a snail’s pace at times.”
Link to full article: Adirondack Rail Trail moves ahead with scenic rail by end of 2021, bike trail by 2024


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:46 pm 

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The October 22, 2020 Press Release posted on the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation includes this line:
Quote:
The New York State Office of General Services is leading the trail's design and working to ensure it will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
I found that line interesting because there are no ADA standards for trails.

The US Access Board's website does say the board is developing guidelines for Shared Use Paths, but it appears little has happened since the board's Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register back on February 13, 2013.

I also checked the NY Office of General Service's website to see which firm(s) were doing the trail design. Per the screenshots below, the OGS website says Letters of Interest were due on October 25, 2016, four years ago. Nine different A/E firms responded, but it appears none were selected since the website currently says "There are no Firm(s) Selected - Award Pending to report at this time."


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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:12 am 

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So it's clear that there won't be any more railroad on this particular section of line. The removal is beginning, the end is nigh, ok. At what point do people start focusing on the improvement of the remainder of the railway line, and supporting the expansion of the Adirondack Scenic RR to a new bright future?

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 Post subject: Re: Adirondack Park Agency oks scrapping RR line to Lake Pla
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:12 am 

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Is there a bright future available, and under what conditions?

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