• Adirondack Scenic Railroad (ADIX) Discussion - 2014

  • 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 umtrr-author
 
bmaher wrote:Adirondack Scenic to launch Indiegogo campaign
Here is the indiegogo page
Don't I wish I could contribute the "name one of the cars" amount! I'd have it named for my late father.

Best of luck with the campaign. And agreed, let's focus on keeping the rails from being ripped up.
  by deandremouse
 
traingeek8223 wrote:It would be my opinion that any personal beefs with ARPS not be aired on this forum. This is not the time for it. Remember that ARTA trolls lurk here and being that they are seemingly losing the battle for control of the Remsen-Lake Placid Corridor, they will be looking for things like these to help bolster their cause. If once the fight is over and the rails are staying you want to start a "Down with ARPS" campaign, then it is your right to do so (I won't support it, but who cares what I think anyway). Truth of the matter is they are doing a very good job running the railroad right now. I will also caution to some that are carrying torches for others to know the source of the information and that there are two sides to every story. I know at least one person here that has had many dealings with the railroad, and that person would never want the railroad's version of the facts to come out or they would look quite the fool. We are all on the same page with wanting the tracks to stay so we need to continue to work together toward that goal.
This could not have been said any better.
  by Tony Goodwin
 
For what it's worth, I don't just lurk here, I try to engage in reasonable debate. ARTA has never questioned the dedication of the people of ARPS/ASR to their cause of running a tourist rail line. Anyone who attended our early public presentations should remember that ARTA's presentation started by giving the ASR and "A" for effort. Unfortunately, the financial figures don't indicate an organization that is exactly thriving with the current operations; and the ASR business plan doesn't provide much confidence that operations along the length of the Corridor would be sustainable.

For instance, the ASR business plan makes numerous mentions of "cross-platform transfers", but the proposed operating schedule does not provide for any useful cross-platform transfers. Including the haulage of IPH Pullman trains (because that revenue is in their proposed budget) the train-miles operated triple from those operated in 2012. The 2012 operating expenses are the latest financial figures that are publicly available, but full operation costs in the ASR business plan only increase by 45%. It just doesn't add up.

The ASR appears to have a stable operation out of Utica (some runs utilize the Adirondack Corridor and some don't) as far as Thendara, but current operations beyond that point appear to be "iffy". It appears that no train operated to Big Moose this summer despite all of the track work done the year before. There are snowmobile interests south of Thendara (particularly at Woods Lake) that would like the tracks removed all the way back to Remsen. ARTA has not supported these requests so as to preserve the Utica-Thendara operations. ARTA may not get any credit for offering a compromise, but we believe we are.
  by tree68
 
I was talking with a higher-up in one of the state snowmobile organizations not long ago (I don't recall that he mentioned which one) and he expressed a concern that the "environmental conservationist" organizations hadn't spoken up yet. You know the ones - they successfully got float planes and motorboats banned on some lakes, and have been fighting snowmobile trail improvements as well.

His concern was that once the tracks are lifted (or if it was decided they would be), that these folks would come out of the shadows to ensure that the portions of the current corridor that passed through designated wilderness and forever wild areas would be forever closed to motorized vehicles.

That would, of course, decimate that snowmobile trail. And with no snowmobiles, and very few hikers, the trail would fall into disuse, eventually returning to forest.

There are also those who feel that getting everyone out of the woods is the root purpose of the founders of ARTA.

In fact, I've heard that the founders of ARTA are among those who got float planes and motorboats banned...

Kinda makes you wonder.
  by RussNelson
 
Tony Goodwin wrote:ARTA may not get any credit for offering a compromise, but we believe we are.
No, you're not offering a compromise, you're just losing. You wanted to destroy the railroad between Thendara and Lake Placid, but the state refused. Now you're "compromising" on just destroying it between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. You get no credit for "giving up" something that you never had.
  by Jack Shufelt
 
Tony has directed a strong message to the ASR and that is, that it must develop and present a strong business case, which seems like good advice. When all of the emotion, innuendos, conjectures and fabrications are over with it will boil down to who has presented the best factual business case, resulting in the greatest benefit to New York State and the Adirondacks.
  by alzubal
 
I am all for the railroad but I feel that if the tracks are taken up the row should revert to forever wild. There are all :-kinds of trails for the snowmobiles to use. The hardest part would be keeping them off of the right of way. Also the atvs would have it torn up in a year there would be so many holes filled with water that if a person wanted to walk or ride a bike they would not be able to.
Al
  by Scott K
 
I've always found it interesting that the trail folks, be they for walking or snowmobiling, didn't try to get the UMP changed years ago. Why wait until the railroad was operating again? Didn't it sit unused for, first 8 years, then 12 more? I'll answer my own question. They waited for the Centennial, then the Scenic, Railroads to clear and repair the line for them. I can recall years ago all of the large washouts, and the many trees growing up between the ties. The snow folks like to complain about how the rails stick up through the snow when it's not quite deep enough. What about when whole sections were impassable from the trees and washouts? If the railroad is forced off the contested sections, it's too bad they can't leave the line the way they found it. You can bet the trail folks would never have the means to make repairs on the same scale the railroad has. I predict that it won't be long before many sections return to the way they were in, say, 1986 (the year I saw many pines growing up in the middle of the ROW at the Rte 86 crossing), if any rails are ever lifted.

Scott K.
  by umtrr-author
 
Jack Shufelt wrote:Tony has directed a strong message to the ASR and that is, that it must develop and present a strong business case, which seems like good advice. When all of the emotion, innuendos, conjectures and fabrications are over with it will boil down to who has presented the best factual business case, resulting in the greatest benefit to New York State and the Adirondacks.
I really wish it were that simple but I don't believe that it is. Certainly the ASR would be better off with a defensible plan than without one.

Yet I've seen plenty of fabricated "business cases" that have won the day though they are basically fact-free... and that's in the private sector. Throw in politics and that's a whole 'nother story.
  by tree68
 
Scott K wrote:I predict that it won't be long before many sections return to the way they were in, say, 1986 (the year I saw many pines growing up in the middle of the ROW at the Rte 86 crossing), if any rails are ever lifted.
It's my opinion that the "trail advocates" hold that as their ultimate goal. Too bad for the sledders, who appear to have been willing pawns in this battle.
  by Jack Shufelt
 
umtrr-author wrote:
Jack Shufelt wrote:Tony has directed a strong message to the ASR and that is, that it must develop and present a strong business case, which seems like good advice. When all of the emotion, innuendos, conjectures and fabrications are over with it will boil down to who has presented the best factual business case, resulting in the greatest benefit to New York State and the Adirondacks.
I really wish it were that simple but I don't believe that it is. Certainly the ASR would be better off with a defensible plan than without one.

Yet I've seen plenty of fabricated "business cases" that have won the day though they are basically fact-free... and that's in the private sector. Throw in politics and that's a whole 'nother story.
Obviously, nothing is ever that simple but without a well thought through and fact based business case one is behind the curve already. A winning attitude and commitment is paramount.

Certainly the what if's need to be recognized and indicated actions taken where possible but if one is going through the process with the idea that it will be decided by 3 people in a smoke filled room, regardless of the facts, then it is likely that the business case will not be all that it should be. Most assuredly there are political realities and no doubt each organization involved has a good sense of what they are and ideas on how they should be addressed.

I would expect that the most formidable political issues and how they should be handled effectively will be baked in to the business plan by each organization as much as possible. Not dealing with the difficult issues up front will force the decision makers to resolve them from their point of view. One needs to assist the decision makers in making the "right" decision.

Clearly there is significant emotion associated with some, if not all, of the issues and not everyone will be happy with the results.
  by CP4743
 
tree68 wrote:An interesting read from Adirondack Outdoors Magazine.

http://epro2.com/publication/?i=226031#" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;{%22issue_id%22:226031,%22page%22:14}

Editorial opinion is on page 15. You'll have to cut and paste - the tags aren't working for me on this one.

Sheds some light on what are probably the true motives of the "trail" backers...

I don't think the argument against ARTA can be articulated any better then this editorial. It really covers the key points on how rail can benefit the region versus a trail. If they have not already done so, somebody from the Adirondack Scenic should be going door to door to every commercial business along the corridor that caters to the outdoor enthusiast crowd. They should be discussing this editorial with the store owner and hopefully getting them to agree to post the editorial in the store and put a stack of these editorials in the store for people to take (with the magazines permission). I really hope somebody is doing this. As great as the internet is, nothing beats a face to face discussion.

John
  by umtrr-author
 
Thanks for sharing the editorial. Very interesting reading...

...which does absolutely need to be circulated.

The fact noted in the editorial that ties cost $7 each to be disposed of, as opposed to being a source of revenue, is enough all by itself to tip over any "business case" to move to trails.
  by umtrr-author
 
ADIX announced on its Facebook page that its Indiegogo campaign for restoring the two passenger cars is at 10% of its goal-- I've checked since then and it's at 11% at this writing. The event ends December 29, 2014.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rail ... -scenic-rr" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by tree68
 
Reminder!

If you haven't already sent in your comments on the Unit Management Plan, you have until December 15 to do so.

As I believe I've mentioned before, it's important to provide a comparison between trail and rail, and obviously why rail (or rail with trail) is the better choice.

I'd opine that "foamer" input (ie, "you can't take away the trains!") might not carry the same weight as reasoned discussion.

Thanks to all for your support. As has been seen recently on the Catskill, railroads really can offer a lot to the communities they touch.
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