• New Adirondack Scenic Thread (ADIX)

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

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  by CP4743
 
I see on Facebook today a post regarding "the last" equipment move from Lake Placid today. It was the NYC switcher with what looked like a boxcar or camp car and a caboose. So that means the passenger equipment also deadheaded down south too.

I don't like to complain about train movement info not being posted or the fact that short lines don't "cater" to railfan desires.

But considering that ARPS is...
1) a nonprofit with DONATE NOW buttons plastered on their website
2) "dedicated" to Adirondack Rail preservation
3) and in theory somewhat rail enthusiast orientated (or should be to garner wide support)

I find it annoying that what could be the last 2 trains between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake moved in what would appear to be relative secrecy. It would appear that certain "favored" individuals were made aware. It would have been really nice if they offered some sort of farewell railfan photo special between Lake Placid and Saranac. But I will accept the fact that they decided that such a venture would be a money loser and decided not to even try and do it. But running the last 2 moves, especially over the rare mileage Saranac to Tupper section in secrecy seems a bit odd for such an organization that seeks public support. Compare what went down on the Adirondack Scenic versus how the CMRR handled the theoretical end of service.

What happened to the funding assigned to the railroad for the Utica enginehouse? Why has nothing been built? Perhaps ARPS should give up their fight for what is lost and focus on fixing what is left, quickly rebuilding the line to Tupper. The longer that sits in disrepair the easier pickings it is for the trail people. I saw a posting about helicopter surveys for the new trail already being scheduled. Have the trackwork contracts for Big Moose to Tupper been put out for bid? Any planning been done? Instead of alienating the state with a lawsuit that can not be won, perhaps they should embrace the compromise and get trains running to Tupper.

Personally I think ARPS is getting exactly what they deserve. The current leadership is pathetic compared to how this group was run in the 90's and early 2000's.

It's too bad that the tracks and history have to suffer.

John
  by brockwaythemusician
 
This seems a bit harsh. I am not affiliated with railroad but I do know quite a few people who are involved with it and they have worked very hard to preserve the railroad. I respect that they don't want some information publicized. I talk frequently with one of the key members from the railroad and likewise respect her reasons for not sharing some information. The railroad is full of passionate hard working people. Just because the railroad hasn't shared information about the engine facility doesn't mean they're doing nothing.
  by Noel Weaver
 
CP4743 wrote:I see on Facebook today a post regarding "the last" equipment move from Lake Placid today. It was the NYC switcher with what looked like a boxcar or camp car and a caboose. So that means the passenger equipment also deadheaded down south too.
...
Personally I think ARPS is getting exactly what they deserve. The current leadership is pathetic compared to how this group was run in the 90's and early 2000's.

It's too bad that the tracks and history have to suffer.

John
These remarks are unkind to say the least and smell like sour grapes to me. I hope they can work things out and return to Lake Placid for many years to come. I hope we don't lose this one again because of this stuff.
Noel Weaver
  by CP4743
 
Yah, I knew somebody would say it sounded like sour grapes. But if anyone is really interested in saving the tracks between Big Moose and Tupper Lake, my opinion is something needs to change at ARPS.

I would really like to understand why the Utica engine facility has not even been started or discussed when money was assigned. Was the money taken away? Working on equipment under a highway overpass in Utica is not an ideal situation.

And while I continue to see many articles about the law suit and the plans for the trail moving forward, I have seen no discussion anywhere about the timing and plans for track rehabilitation between Big Moose and Tupper Lake. Is ARPS working on this? I would hope the track work would be started next summer.

The loss of the track from Tupper to Lake Placid is sad, especially the remote Tupper to Saranac section. But Big Moose to Tupper through the remote Adirondacks would be a great piece of track to have in active service. Instead of dwelling on lawsuits I would love to see lots of press about the timing and plans for the rebuild of the track to Tupper and what types of service they might offer. That track has been rotting since 1981 (37 years!) and now there is a great opportunity to get it all rebuilt quickly, something not able to be accomplished in 37 years (well, really since Penn Central abandoned the track). Fighting with your funding source might not be the best approach.

John
  by oibu
 
NYS is NOT the railroad's funding source. At the moment, the state is seeking to permanently and significantly curtail the railroad's business opportunities. A significant piece of the pie is the Saranac-Placid operation, and ultimately the objective of making this a "national" or "world -class" attraction would hinge on operating through to Lake Placid, with Amtrak connections, etc. Extending to Tupper Lake ... I'm not sure I even see that as something that's capable of "growing the business" enough to overcome the costs of rehab/maintenance/increased operating expenses etc.

The future of this railroad as something substantially bigger than what it is now, or perhaps even continuing as it is now, pretty much relies on getting the whole operation to Placid up and running. Getting to Tupper (only) may sound fantastic from a foamer perspective, but you have to realize that probably at least 95% of the people buying tickets are not foamers. What is the current annual tourist traffic in Tupper vs. Placid- perhaps 10%, in a good year?
  by tree68
 
pretty much relies on getting the whole operation to Placid up and running.
Indeed - the name value of Lake Placid vs Tupper Lake (which is a great community - don't get me wrong) is huge.
  by CP4743
 
Per the UMP Amendment, "The RFP would include a commitment from the State to bring track, structures and grade crossing signal systems up to a
State of Good Repair for operation at not less than FRA Track Class 2 passenger train speeds prior to the start of the lease." So NYS is the funding source for the rehabilitation of Big Moose to Tupper Lake per this statement.

I get the desire to run trains from Utica to Lake Placid and agree that is optimal. But the owner of the tracks has decided otherwise. And owners have a right to do so. ARPS has managed to survive with Utica to Big Moose and I am sure that them or another operator could find a way to make Big Moose to Tupper lake viable. It doesn't have to be about the destination.

I think the idea that people are going to use a 30 mph train from Utica to lake Placid as a means of transportation is a foamers dream. The idea of letting outdoor enthusiasts off at flag stops between Thendara and Tupper Lake is a valid idea. I can't say it will support 45 miles of high maintenance track but the revenue from through Utica to Lake Placid passengers would likely not be enough to support these tracks either.

So lets go back to the status quo and leave everything as is. Where will the money come from to support the rehab of track from Big Moose to Saranac Lake?
  by tree68
 
CP4743 wrote:But the owner of the tracks has decided otherwise.
More like some rich folks with agendas have convinced the state otherwise. There are those at the state who think rail is a good idea - all the way to Lake Placid. But they dare not say so if they want to keep their jobs.

One state tourism official said that there was no way he'd recommend sending people out onto a trail south of Tupper. Remember that the "trail advocates" want the tracks up all the way to Thendara...
I think the idea that people are going to use a 30 mph train from Utica to lake Placid as a means of transportation is a foamers dream.
And you won't get any quibble on that. Except that the idea is not to provide transportation per se, but to provide a scenic ride through the Adirondack Park. And if you are a NY resident - YOUR Adirondack Park.

People don't ride a roller coaster for transportation, either.

There are spots where 40 MPH would be just fine, too.
  by CP4743
 
tree68 wrote:More like some rich folks with agendas have convinced the state otherwise. There are those at the state who think rail is a good idea - all the way to Lake Placid. But they dare not say so if they want to keep their jobs.
But that's the way it goes. The bottom line is the state owns the tracks and the state decides the use. And politics will always be involved, even if privately owned. I guess the real fair answer is put out a bond issue vote to the full state asking if the taxpayers of NY want to spend $20 million to rehab the rail line to Lake Placid. I am pretty sure the voters of NY would say no. I vote for rail but really rail versus trail for this line is not cut and dry. Rail adovacates say a small wealthy group is driving an agenda. Trail advocates say a bunch of foamers want to play trains. That is why the compromise is a good solution. Most importantly it rebuilds the line to Tupper. One thing I can say for certain is that we have already lost 34 years of our ability to enjoy the line from Big Moose to Tupper. Personally I prefer to not see the roadbed rot for another 34 years. If it takes the compromise then so be it.
Except that the idea is not to provide transportation per se, but to provide a scenic ride through the Adirondack Park. And if you are a NY resident - YOUR Adirondack Park.
People don't ride a roller coaster for transportation, either.
Yes, that was my point of why the line ending in Tupper is OK. You still get a awesome scenic ride through an otherwise hard to access piece of the Adirondacks. I can check out the corridor from Saranac to lake Placid in my car.

John
  by tree68
 
CP4743 wrote: Yes, that was my point of why the line ending in Tupper is OK. You still get a awesome scenic ride through an otherwise hard to access piece of the Adirondacks. I can check out the corridor from Saranac to Lake Placid in my car.
But - your car is parked in Utica....
  by greenwichlirr
 
tree68 wrote:But - your car is parked in Utica....
Best post of the day...you win! :-D
  by CP4743
 
tree68 wrote:
CP4743 wrote: Yes, that was my point of why the line ending in Tupper is OK. You still get a awesome scenic ride through an otherwise hard to access piece of the Adirondacks. I can check out the corridor from Saranac to Lake Placid in my car.
But - your car is parked in Utica....

More likely my car would be parked in Tupper Lake and after my train ride to Thendara and back I would drive to Lake Placid to stay overnight. Or maybe I would stay in Tupper Lake and visit the Wild Center and go to Lake Placid the next day without being at the mercy of a once a day train as my means of transport.

Yah, I wish the entire line was in service now or the plan was to rebuild the whole thing. But the status quo situation is terrible and needs to change.

Not sure why there is so much negative energy around a plan that gets the line to Tupper rebuilt quickly. But if the idea of the line terminating at Tupper is a bad one I am sure the trail people will be glad to have the extra support for a trail from Big Moose to Lake Placid.
  by tree68
 
CP4743 wrote:Not sure why there is so much negative energy around a plan that gets the line to Tupper rebuilt quickly. But if the idea of the line terminating at Tupper is a bad one I am sure the trail people will be glad to have the extra support for a trail from Big Moose to Lake Placid.
One will be thrilled - he'll finally get his road to Beaver River!

I wouldn't count on a trail between Tupper and Big Moose. If you look up Bob Marshall Wilderness Adirondacks, you'll find that the corridor runs through several portions of it. I would opine that there will be opposition to building the trail in those areas, and you can bet that snowmobiles will be verboten there.

As one of the speakers at the last Tupper Lake hearing noted - there are parties in this discussion who haven't made themselves known just yet. I suspect they are the folks who will fight the trail tooth and nail.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
CP4743 wrote:I find it annoying that what could be the last 2 trains between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake moved in what would appear to be relative secrecy...
Kindly, your understanding of railroad operations is naive, at best.

-otto-
  by CP4743
 
Thanks for starting out with "Kindly". I guess that allows the "at best" ending. Yes, I am naïve on railroad operations. But the Adirondack Scenic is a volunteer tourist railroad. And as I stated in the original post...

But considering that ARPS is...
1) a nonprofit with DONATE NOW buttons plastered on their website
2) "dedicated" to Adirondack Rail preservation
3) and in theory somewhat rail enthusiast orientated (or should be to garner wide support)

So my point was, for those interested in recording history, it would have been a nice gesture if the organization that self proclaims they are "dedicated to Adirondack Rail preservation" would have given a little advance notice on the historic last runs on this piece of railroad. I don't think I need to be a railroad operations expert to state that opinion. It's not like I am complaining that CSX ran their last C40-8 and failed to announce the last run. Was it operationally impractical to know in advance when these trains would run? If so, it did not have to be.
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