Slump in oil-by-rail shipments boosts car storage business

New tank car safety standards coupled with a slump in oil-by-rail shipments are causing headaches for many in the railroad business, but for a struggling scenic railroad in the Adirondacks and other short-line operators, they may bring salvation.

Ed Ellis, president of Saratoga and North Creek Railway, said he plans to store up to 500 empty tank cars for a year or more on seldom-used tracks near the High Peaks Wilderness region of the Adirondacks. He estimated storage fees could add up to “seven figures,” ensuring the future of the cash-strapped tourist train.

“Developing the revenue stream from the storage is very helpful for making the railroad viable,” Ellis said of the Saratoga line, which he noted several months ago was operating in the red.

Tracks to Tahawus
Tracks to Tahawus