Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion

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SlackControl
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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by SlackControl » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:07 am

lvrr325 wrote:There is a huge, huge amount of difference between a commuter line that runs numerous trains each day for a large metropolitan area, and an excursion train running with old equipment just for pleasure rides. Unlike Amtrak or LIRR, no one is subsidizing their bills.
That makes sense. But, my observations that it's not convenient to connect with Amtrak are accurate, right? Since they don't get subsidies to help, and must earn every penny, wouldn't they benefit from a better flow of Amtrak passengers to their trains? I'm sure there are a few changes that could be made, but it would require either side to budge, and some politics. SNCRR could adjust their schedule to better match Amtrak's current schedule, or any future schedule changes. Or, they could approach Amtrak about adding a train or adjusting their schedule to better connect with the Saratoga departures and arrivals. Either way, SNCRR is the smaller fish here, so they need to make things happen. However they get it done, it has to get done, and would certainly benefit them. I'm sure that there are other people from my area and other areas south of Saratoga that would take the train rather than drive if it was more convenient.

Please don't take my words as anything negative about the SNCRR. I've actually enjoyed seeing their growth, and hope they can continue to prosper and build upon what they've accomplished thus far.

newpylong
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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by newpylong » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:45 pm

charlie6017 wrote:
Tony Goodwin wrote:The "mechanical" problem may have been with their accountant's calculator.
Must you really.......?

Charlie
Clowns go out of business if you ignore them. :)

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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by charlie6017 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:46 pm

newpylong wrote:
charlie6017 wrote:
Tony Goodwin wrote:The "mechanical" problem may have been with their accountant's calculator.
Must you really.......?

Charlie
Clowns go out of business if you ignore them. :)
Isn't that the truth......I should know better by now! :P

Charlie
~Charlie Ricker

Tony Goodwin
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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by Tony Goodwin » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:37 pm

I don't think I am going by rumor or speculation. The 2014 season of snow trains only carried hundreds throughout the entire season. The October 14, 2014 Post-Star carried an article that said SNCRR was negotiating a reduction in the number of snow trains and there was fear they would cancel them altogether. This winter, they only scheduled a few weekends, and then cancelled runs on potentially the best weekend for "mechanical" issues.

2014 also saw a significant reduction in summer service. Otto Vondrak explained it this way:

Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2014‬‬
‪ ‬by ‪Otto Vondrak‬ » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:31 am
ladder2 wrote:
SNC has really cut back on service this year.

They are figuring out what works. Plus, they discovered not many customers were coming from the Amtrak connection, so there was little reason to sync schedules.

I therefore can't see that the SNCRR is a thriving enterprise outside, perhaps, of their summer two hour excursions up to North Creek. I have noted the report saying that IPH has had a great year, but I don't believe that the SNCRR contributed very much to that success. I have also noted that the SNCRR is earning some revenue by moving and storing loaded coal cars, but is this a one-time opportunity or a continuing source of profitable revenue?

So, "traingeek 8223" (note that I don't hide behind a screen name) Yes, I am commenting on the SNCRR to shed doubt on whether the ASR can sustainably offer more that the two hour excursion they currently offer from Utica to Thendara - an operation that ARTA has always said should continue.

The SNCRR runs on Warren County rails, so as a resident of Essex County I have no say in how Warren County spends its tax dollars to support this operation. By contrast, the ASR has benefitted from many millions of state and federal tax (i.e. MY) dollars and I believe I have every legitimate reason to comment on how my tax dollars are spent. In particular, I note that in 2012 there were $1.4 million spent to rehabilitate the track to Big Moose. Last year, 2014, not a single revenue train rolled over these expensively rehabilitated track. Why?

You may also be aware that last summer the Lake Placid to Saranac Lake train derailed near the Lake Placid station. You probably are not aware that the cost to repair the rails so that the trains could continue running was $70,000. Again, these were my taxpayer dollars and not ASR dollars. How can I say that? Just look at the latest filing with the NYS Bureau of Charities where the ASR's accountant notes a second year of declining net worth and issues a warning that the ASR may not be a "going concern".

O>K., enough for now. Unless you arrange to have me kicked off of Railroad.net, we can continue this discussion over on the ASR page.

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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by Otto Vondrak » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:38 pm

For my own sanity:
SNC-notrainstillmarch.png
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traingeek8223
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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by traingeek8223 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:33 pm

Tony. The mechanical issues are real. Putting quotation marks around the word does not a conspiracy make.

I hide behind no screen name. My name as well as the organization I am often representing appears at the bottom of every post. You would know that if you retained information that you read that didn't directly correspond to your cause.

That is my extent of engaging you in this debate. I have tried many times and can only accuracy correlate the experience to banging my head against a wall. I for one think you should be banned from this forum as you have proven yourself to only be here to terrorize and confuse people with legitimate questions. But we live in America and free speech is one of our rights, so we are stuck with you. One day you may realize that you are part of the problem and not the solution.

Now back to a discussion on the current operations of the Saratoga North Creek (not the Adirondack Scenic).
Matt Giardino
ALCO Historical & Technical Society



"To journey on the rails once more, really would be fine...
Just one more chance to ride again, on the Grand Adirondack Line."

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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by griffs20soccer » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:53 pm

The reduction in the summer schedule resulted in S&NC carrying more passengers, you can find this in the minutes of the monthly county meeting. The county gets more money from S&NC when they make more money and there is a minimum the county gets even if S&NC makes no money. S&NC pays the taxes on the property and repair costs. Who pays the cost to maintain the trails? Tax dollars, once again check the county meeting notes.

S&NC must solve their reliability issues for the Snow Trains. They don't seem to have been prepared for the very cold and snowy weather we've had the last two winters and they aren't alone ask MBTA and PanAm how the winters have been for them. May be it's time to rethink the viability of the Snow Trains, if they make it more reliable is it something the public wants. If the market isn't there the money spent to make it more reliable would be better spent on something else.

When IPH came on board they had new ideas. Some were successful, Polar Express, the seasonal North Creek trains, the start of freight. Other ideas weren't, Thomas the Tank Engine, the connection with Amtrak. I don't no which way the Snow Train will fall. Let's see how the second season of the North End Local and the Train to the worlds biggest yard sale go. Both have the possibility to be successful. So let's not get all excited about the issues with the Snow Train or the " reduction of the schedule" the business is evolving and is operating in the black and that's what is important. Don't let one man with an agenda rain on everyone's parade.

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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by newpylong » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:38 pm

Tony Goodwin wrote:I don't think I am going by rumor or speculation. The 2014 season of snow trains only carried hundreds throughout the entire season. The October 14, 2014 Post-Star carried an article that said SNCRR was negotiating a reduction in the number of snow trains and there was fear they would cancel them altogether. This winter, they only scheduled a few weekends, and then cancelled runs on potentially the best weekend for "mechanical" issues.

2014 also saw a significant reduction in summer service. Otto Vondrak explained it this way:

Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2014‬‬
‪ ‬by ‪Otto Vondrak‬ » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:31 am
ladder2 wrote:
SNC has really cut back on service this year.

They are figuring out what works. Plus, they discovered not many customers were coming from the Amtrak connection, so there was little reason to sync schedules.

I therefore can't see that the SNCRR is a thriving enterprise outside, perhaps, of their summer two hour excursions up to North Creek. I have noted the report saying that IPH has had a great year, but I don't believe that the SNCRR contributed very much to that success. I have also noted that the SNCRR is earning some revenue by moving and storing loaded coal cars, but is this a one-time opportunity or a continuing source of profitable revenue?

So, "traingeek 8223" (note that I don't hide behind a screen name) Yes, I am commenting on the SNCRR to shed doubt on whether the ASR can sustainably offer more that the two hour excursion they currently offer from Utica to Thendara - an operation that ARTA has always said should continue.

The SNCRR runs on Warren County rails, so as a resident of Essex County I have no say in how Warren County spends its tax dollars to support this operation. By contrast, the ASR has benefitted from many millions of state and federal tax (i.e. MY) dollars and I believe I have every legitimate reason to comment on how my tax dollars are spent. In particular, I note that in 2012 there were $1.4 million spent to rehabilitate the track to Big Moose. Last year, 2014, not a single revenue train rolled over these expensively rehabilitated track. Why?

You may also be aware that last summer the Lake Placid to Saranac Lake train derailed near the Lake Placid station. You probably are not aware that the cost to repair the rails so that the trains could continue running was $70,000. Again, these were my taxpayer dollars and not ASR dollars. How can I say that? Just look at the latest filing with the NYS Bureau of Charities where the ASR's accountant notes a second year of declining net worth and issues a warning that the ASR may not be a "going concern".

O>K., enough for now. Unless you arrange to have me kicked off of Railroad.net, we can continue this discussion over on the ASR page.
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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by Adirondacker » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:25 pm

Tony Goodwin wrote:.....
The SNCRR runs on Warren County rails, so as a resident of Essex County I have no say in how Warren County spends its tax dollars to support this operation....
Warren County leases the line to the SNCRR. The county makes money on it.

As a resident of Essex County it would be best if you never ever never ask how anybody spends tax money. Once you start asking them, the people who subsidize your rural lifestyle get to ask reallly reallly rude questions about how much they subsidize you.

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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by Tony Goodwin » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:21 pm

Matt;
I apologize that I didn't recognize that you do identify yourself on the forum. Many others don't, however. Your response did say that I raised "legitimate" questions, so what is wrong with that.

The next post noted that IPH had tried a number of ideas - some worked, some didn't. He admitted that the snow trains were perhaps not a service worth continuing, so again I wonder why my questioning of this service was so out of line.

griffs20soccer
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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by griffs20soccer » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:44 pm

It's not that you questioned it, but how posed the question. It's perfectly acceptable to question an operation, as I did, but not in the context the business is failing because something new that was tried may be isn't working out. As I stated in my previous posts IPH has tried several new ideas that have worked on their other railroads. The only way to see if something will work here is to try it, evaluate it, and make a decision on the viability of that service in this market. IPH is the only entity that can determine that if the mechanical issues are corrected the Snow Train will succeed. I was just pointing out that IPH has given it a good shot by running trains for 3 years. That may be running their equipment in the last two severe winters with all the mechanical issues the weather brings on may not be a good idea. IPH has had more hits than misses and is operating a profitable business that is helping the communities it serves. Bringing in another point of view is good, being just plan contradictory is not in the least bit constructive.

One more point, you are constantly harping about how your tax dollars are spent. It is getting old and a very slippery slope to be treading on. As a previous poster said if we looked into some of the programs and projects you support we may not want our tax dollars spent on those.

ccutler
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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by ccutler » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:14 pm

Actually, those subsidies for rail lines actually save money, versus' Tony's snowmobiling plans. How could that be the case? Because Tony never factors in the medical costs of his snowmobiling plans. Every time a drunken or reckless snowmobiler crashes with a spinal injury --not uncommon-- that accident causes many milllions of dollars over the victim's lifetime. Tony never articulated any plan to reduce or police snowmobiler reckless driving. Check out the Christopher Reeves Foundation for costs for these injuries.

Net-net: subsidizing Adirondack Scenic and Saratoga & North Creek is cheaper than paying the societal cost of all those reckless snowmobilers crashing out in the wilderness. There is a serious downside to advocating reckless sports at high velocities, far out in the wilderness. I am really surprised that point is not part of the discussion.

lvrr325
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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by lvrr325 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:45 pm

Trollny Goodwin is after this railroad too?

trainman895
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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by trainman895 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:52 pm

Come on, guys. You know what happens when you don't feed trolls? They go away.

griffs20soccer
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Re: Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion - 2015

Post by griffs20soccer » Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:18 pm

Now that our foolishness with our ARTA friend is over I would really like some of the more knowledgeable posters here to comment on the getting S&NC interchange rights with NS in Saratoga, CSX was also mentioned, but I'm not sure how that would work. Do people feel this condition will be insisted upon by the STB for the approval of NS's purchase of the southern D&H lines? I know having more interchange partners should mean getting better rates, but what about the handling of the freight? The one posting from Barton's Mine stated a trial run with CP as the interchange partner, poorly routed and (mis-)handled their freight car. It took 31 days to get to Revere, LA which for Barton's was unacceptable. CP routed the car from Saratoga to Montreal, Toronto, London, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis and finally Revere, LA. Not the most direct route, plus the car was misplaced in yards twice. The volume of freight that the S&NC could potentially transport is pretty impressive, 8,000 car loads per year. Even if they move a faction of that it would be very good news for them. It currently appears to be 5 shippers with real interest working with S&NC and all would like to see interchange with NS become a reality. Right now to move anything other than north means a 3 haul agreement with CP that doesn't work economically or strategically.

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