So what AM I trying to prove by my latest post pointing out the opinion by ARPS's accountant? Mainly, ARPS's "mantra" all through this debate has been that they are profitable and they they are not "state supported". Maybe now even train supporters will realize that this isn't true.
To respond to the comments above, I will point out that neither I personally nor ARTA as an organization have ever questioned the dedication and hard work that ARPS supporters have put into trying to restore and operate the railroad. Several of our public presentations have started by giving ARPS an "A" for effort. Unfortunately, hard work does not always lead to success - just ask some of the athletes at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
In ARTA's opinion, the 13-year-operation between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake has not helped the local economy in any significant way. The presence of the rails north of Thendara, however, has severely hurt the winter economies of Tupper Lake, Lake Clear, Saranac Lake, and to a lesser degree Lake Placid. To date, all of the elected boards of the respective towns and villages have agreed with the above analysis.
ARTA accepts that the railroad has helped the economy of Old Forge and that the two hour excursion from Utica to Thendara is a distance and destination similar to that offered by other profitable tourist railroads.
So maybe I have posted to perhaps encourage a rethinking on the part of the rail supporters that the future of the railroad would be better served by focusing on the rail operations that appear to be sustainable. The additional 90 miles of publicy-owned rail corridor would then be available for uses that genuinely helped the economy.
Giving up on a long-held dream is never easy. Sometimes, however, that is what either one or an organization must do - both to survive for the long term and to make way for an alternate and better use of a valuable public resource.
Honestly, I don't post here for the purpose of just stirring up controversy. As many of you posters know, I was more than willing to engage with you at the hearing in Tupper Lake. I would like to think of my posts as a continuation of that engagement that might, just might, lead to a better understanding of the realities of rail operations versus recreational use of the corridor.