Category Archives: Adirondacks

Great Dome On Amtrak’s Adirondack

Info on the Amtrak Great Dome from the Amtrak web page:

 

AmtrakDomeCarInside

Enjoy the Great Dome car traveling northbound September 25 – November 3 on Thursday, Saturday and Monday (Train 69). Or traveling southbound September 26 – November 4 on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday (Train 68)

AmtrakDomeCarTrain

CNY Railroad Nut: Railroads Around Utica

We ran into a great (new?)  WebSite all about all the Central New York that we cover. Check out the CNYrailroadnut

We only checked out a small portion of the site (old West Shore), but will be covering more in the future.

The first section we looked at was the Water Level Route. Now we covered Utica, but they have 300+ pictures than we do.

UticaUnionStationTerraServer

Then we looked at their section on the Ontario & Western Utica and Rome Branch. We cover the O&W too.

They have lots and lots of Lackawanna material. We only have a little on DL&W

New Hartford Station
New Hartford Station

Ogdensburg, New York: Important in Railroad History

First of all we developed a WebSite about Ogdensburg. In 1857, the Potsdam & Watertown was built to join what later became the Rutland’s line to Ogdensburg. As well as serving as a connector, it served the agricultural towns of Potsdam, Canton and Gouverneur. In 1861, this line merged into the W&R, the name of the new railroad was changed to RW&O and a 19-mile line built from DeKalb Junction to Ogdensburg.

Then we wrote a blog about Railroads In Ogdensburg, New York.

Then another WebSite about Railroads In Ogdensburg and the North Country.

We have blogged a lot on the “Fabled Rutland Milk” which started in Ogdensburg.

Now we have found some great videos that talk about Ogdensburg and railroads.

Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad Revisited

This video also leads to other great videos, for instance, the railroad from Ogdensburg to Rouses Point.

 

Norfolk Southern Corp.’s petition to acquire control of 282.5 miles of Delaware & Hudson Railway (D&H) track

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has adopted a procedural schedule for Norfolk Southern Corp.’s petition to acquire control of 282.5 miles of Delaware & Hudson Railway (D&H) track from Canadian Pacific.DandHCar500

Any person who wants to participate in the proceeding as a party of record must file with the STB no later than Dec. 29. All comments, protests, requests for conditions, and any other evidence and argument in opposition to the primary application and related filings must be filed by Jan. 15, 2015; all responses to comments, protests, requests for conditions, other opposition and rebuttals in support of the primary application or related filings must be submitted by March 31, 2015.

NYS DOT POSTS Conditions to D&H, NS Merger

 NYSDOT has filed their letter of support with STB for NS acquisition of D&H South lines but with 2 conditions imposed on D&H which NYSDOT argues is a de facto applicant in this proposed transaction in addition to NS:

1.) NYSDOT believes that S&NC could be harmed by this transaction because S&NC can only interchange with D&H and D&H may be disinterested given their short haul participation. Proposed remedy is for D&H to grant S&NC direct interchange with NS at Saratoga. (Opinion: Given S&NC is currently trying to ship tailings to a Hudson River port near Albany or to CSX at Selkirk Yd, I’m not sure how direct interchange with NS really helps S&NC except to remove D&H from existing east/west/south routing options with NS that apparently aren’t in use today).

2.) D&H must submit to STB its intent wrt disposition of trackage rights over NS to Allentown, Oak Island, Philadelphia, and DC, which will likely be unused following NS acquisition of D&H South.

DandHTransfer2

The STB expects to render a final decision on the transaction no later than May 15, 2015.

“The board finds that the application is complete and that the control transaction is a minor transaction based upon the preliminary determination that transaction clearly will not have any anti-competitive effects,” STB members said in a decision. “The board makes this preliminary determination based on the evidence presented in the application and the record to date. The board emphasizes that this is not a final determination, and may be rebutted by subsequent filings and evidence submitted into the record for this proceeding.”

NS in November announced plans to acquire the D&H line between Sunbury, Pa., and Schenectady, N.Y., from CP for $217 million. CP would retain ownership of D&H’s line from Montreal to Albany, N.Y.

The southern portion of D&H’s lines connect with NS’ network in Sunbury and Binghamton, N.Y., and would provide the Class I single-line routes from Chicago and the southeastern U.S. to Albany and its recently built intermodal terminal in Mechanicville, N.Y. NS also would gain an enhanced connection to its joint venture subsidiary Pan Am Southern, which serves New England markets, and acquire D&H’s car shop in Binghamton.

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Lake Placid, December 2014: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Yes, it is an empty train station? The village of Lake Placid is a booming tourist town. There are many sporting events here like a World Cup luge race. So where is the train that could connect to Amtrak in Utica, New York and bring visitors and sports participants to Lake Placid? Yes, it exists; it is called the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. But it needs “permission” from the State of New York in order to run between Thendara and Sarnac Lake.

AdirondackScenic04MAP

LakePlacid01Webb’s Wilderness Railroad opened up the Adirondack wilderness

 


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Adirondack Scenic Railroad on the Move

Located in the center of New York State, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad begins in Utica and goes north through the Adirondack Mountains to Thendara station (Old Forge) to Big Moose Station. Another section runs between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid stations. The ultimate aim is to connect the two sections and run it like it used to be.

Webb's Wilderness Railroad

Webb’s Wilderness Railroad

The railroad played a key role in both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.

The original railroad slowly went out of business and died under Penn Central Railroad . It came back to life for the 1980 Olympics. Then went out of business until the Adirondack Scenic Railroad began. In this “abandoned” era, “trail people” occupied it for hiking, snow mobiles, etc. This is where the dissention lies. They don’t want to leave.

New York State is trying to decide what to do. They have asked for comments and already have tons.

Amid discussion of the future of the Remsen-Lake Placid rail corridor, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad will publicly launch an online campaign on Indiegogo to restore two vintage passenger cars;

Executive Director Bethan Maher said the cars, which haven’t been used for at least 15 years, could increase seasonal seating capacity by up to 11,000 passengers and generate up to $214,000 more annually. 

Looking to raise about $72,000, the railroad is offering things such as signed art prints and naming rights to one of the restored cars as incentives for donations. 

Here’s the link to INDIGOGO  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/railcar-restoration-project-adirondack-scenic-rr

Over the past five years, the railroad says its annual ridership has increased from 52,000 to 70,000. 

Adirondack Division Map
Adirondack Division Map

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Corporate Bureaucracy Stalling Railroad Freight In Upstate New York

Corporate bureaucracy is now stalling movement of railroad freight between Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties and the Port of Albany

We have been following, writing about and supporting railroads in the Adirondacks for quite a while. Mostly with stories about the “MYSTICAL” place called Tahawus. (Can’t call it the “fabled” because we also push the “FABLED RUTLAND MILK“). The NEWS ENTERPRISE has put together an excellent story on this PROBLEM. I’m going to follow along with the discussion and interject when I feel I can add something, Penney

QUEENSBURY — Corporate bureaucracy now stalling movement of railroad freight between Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties and the Port of Albany has prompted area officials to form a tri-county task force to expedite a solution

.TahawusDH

Warren County leaders said this week they and task force members will likely be asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to influence officials of several railroads that hold right-of-way privileges on various stretches of track between Warren County and the Port of Albany to cooperate and reach agreements so goods and materials produced in the three counties can move freely to national markets.

Penney comment: How about asking Senator Chuck Shumer for support too? He has been supportive in the past.

Warren County Economic Development Corp. President Ed Bartholomew talked of the delays that the Saratoga-North Creek Railway was experiencing in securing access to the port so it can move many thousands of tons of granite gravel from Tahawus downstate to potential customers. The “high friction” aggregate mined in Tahawus has been eyed for use in premium asphalt and concrete products produced in New Jersey and southern New York State.

Penney Comment: Tahawus is almost like a “national treasure”. Used to be owned by the US Government even.

Bartholomew also said that Finch Pruyn and Irving Tissue were interested in delivering shipments of their paper products via rail, but were stymied by the lack of freight agreements.

Penney comment: This is so great that all sorts of customers are returning to the rails. They got turned off by the “giant railroad” approach to business and end up paying more for trucks that cost more to them and to the environment.

He said that moving freight to the Port of Albany required cooperation from Canadian Pacific and CSX — who lease the railroad tracks between the two destinations — as well as from the entity controlling the access spur into the port.

Penney comment: THIS IS SUCH “BS”. What is different than the “Port of New York and New Jersey”? Let’s think “out of the box”. An active, publically funded authority already exists: Capitol District Transportation Authority. Put them over the port and negate the “old boys” agreement that does not seem to work.

Bartholomew said that efficient, inexpensive rail freight service was vital for attracting and retaining industry.

Penney comment: How right you are Mr. Bartholomew. Giving these three counties no access to the rest of the world other than the Northway is like telling them to “die on the vine”.

Solving these rail freight issues will help new and existing businesses,” he told Warren County supervisors attending the county Economic Growth & Development Committee meeting July 3. He noted that two wood-product manufacturers are seeking to locate in northern Warren County, and rail freight availability is critical to the success of their enterprises. Securing cost-efficient rail freight agreements would make local companies’ products more price-competitive in the world markets, Bartholomew added. One rail car can hold a volume of material that would require five tractor-trailer trucks to transport, he said, noting the financial savings and environmental benefits of rail transportation.

Bartholomew said that with an eye on solving obstacles to efficient transportation of materials and products, he was seeking grant funding for a study of rail freight issues and potential solutions.

Penney comment: Again, right on target Mr. Bartholomew. Sounds like Governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer, who else? Where are the Congressmen and Senator Gillibrand? Out to lunch?

Besides the matter of corporate cooperation, another obstacle was the lack of available rail cars, and the need to upgrade railroad tracks for the considerable weight of freight, Bartholomew continued.

Penney comment: This rail car thing is a NATIONAL problem. Lot of it caused by “fracking oil”. Maybe time for more unique solutions like the State of Washington used for grain cars. North Dakota is going through lots of agony now.

Saratoga-North Creek Railway Operations Manager Justin Gonyo said July 8 that his company was currently negotiating contracts with Canadian Pacific and CSX, and the three firms have experienced good working relations. He added that his company was now involved in a project to upgrade tracks between Tahawus and Corinth.

Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty of Warrensburg said that establishing rail freight access was vital to the region’s economic sustainability and future prosperity. A former plant manager for International Paper in Corinth — with experience in arranging transportation of bulk products, Geraghty was asked to join the task force now in formation.

Geraghty predicted that Bartholomew would be effective in making headway in freight movement. Bartholomew serves on the state’s Capital Region Economic Development Council and has experience as a consultant to the state senate and to various legislators.

If there’s anyone who can get these problems solved it’s Ed,” Geraghty said. “We need to do everything we can to get freight moving by rail to Albany.”

Penney Comment: Mr. Bartholomew, looks like you are the “point man”. Anything we can do for you is “gratis”, we are located in France, but our manager is an American who is on top of this. Currently working on the All Aboard Florida thing.

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World’s Largest Garage Sale!

Mark your calendars to visit the Worlds Largest Garage Sale October 4-5 in Warrensburg.  The Saratoga & North Creek Railway will be selling round trip tickets from Saratoga to Thurman specifically for this event. Ticket sales for this will go on sale later this month for $25. Leave your car behind and ride in comfort.

Garage Sale – Flea Market – Craft Fair –  Food Fest – Bargain Hunter’s Dream

At the Warrensburg Worlds LARGEST Garage Sale, you will find EVERYTHING – from antiques, hard-to-find items, old toys, new toys, hats, hardware, vintage clothing, handmade crafts, dollar items and just about anything you can imagine!
Truly a Garage Sale Lovers Dream.  Don’t be surprised to see that garage sales stretch for miles and miles and miles – starting SOUTH of Lake George and continuing North of Warrensburg into the Adirondacks.
This Lake George garage sale was swarming with  buyers before it even had the boxes unpacked!
This Lake George garage sale was swarming with
buyers before it even had the boxes unpacked!

The main street has the most vendors from all over the country, usually selling antiques and clearing out their inventory of products with very good buys… side streets are individual garage sales, the kind antique dealers love to find as treasures are more likely to be found by a resident than a savvy street vendor.

You will have no problem finding something to eat in Warrensburg, as there are street food vendors EVERYWHERE – selling everything from chicken wings, and BBQ ribs to Gourmet chicken pitas and home baked goods.

Vendors from across the nation and more than 100,000 shoppers descend upon Warrensburg every October for the World’s Largest Garage Sale. Held annually the weekend before Columbus Day, the World’s Largest Garage Sale has something to offer everyone from antiques, memorabilia, clothing, furniture, electronics, children’s items and so much more!

Hey Wait. Don’t Go Away. The Saratoga  & North Creek has lots more for you!!!

Fall Foliage Dinner Trains

While we are all enjoying the dog days of summer, now’s the time to plan your fall foliage trip on the Saratoga & North Creek Railway.  Sit back and enjoy the brilliant colors of the Adirondack Mountains this September and October.  Enjoy a sumptuous and romantic meal on the last dinner trains of the season.  Book a group getaway or corporate retreat and take in the majestic fall foliage that upstate New York is known for.

Groups and charters welcome. Sept 10th, Oct 3rd, and Oct 15th. October 15th departure is from North Creek, southbound to Corinth

BOOK NOW

Saratoga & North Creek Railroad Gets Busy In The Summer

Welcome our newest trip: The North End Local
The railway’s new “North End Local” service runs twice daily on weekends from Thurman Station for passengers with a half-day, full-day or overnight getaway at a low price.

Passengers can enjoy traveling in vintage cars along the historic route to  discover the small town charm of North Creek.

From the depot take a shuttle to main street in North Creek to the many antique shops, country stores, restaurants and Bed & Breakfasts. Or try a shuttle to Gore Mountain for a summer Gondola ride.

Running from July 4th weekend to Labor Day.

 

What to do on a “Dark Tuesday” at the racetrack

Looking for a romantic new dining option in Saratoga Springs this track season? Why not take advantage of “Dark Tuesdays” at the Saratoga Race Track and reserve your seat aboard the elegant Saratoga Dinner Train.
Enjoy three hours of relaxation, a sumptuous, 4-course gourmet meal, full bar service and breathtaking scenery along the upper Hudson River.

Tuesday evenings July 22-Aug 26

 

Check dates, make reservations on the Saratoga & North Creek Railroad WebSite

SCNRR.COM