• 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 rhallock
 
Time to comment is running out. The deadline is Dec. 15th. email is to:
[email protected]
My comments to DOT are below.

I urge you to keep the railroad intact and aid in the restoration of passenger service all the way from Utica to Lake Placid. I have myself vacationed in the Adirondacks several times in recent years and the highlight of each trip had been a ride on the existing trains. I also enjoy hiking and biking but there are ample opportunities for both already. To loose the railroad would be a disaster for many people who due to age or physical limitations cannot do strenuous activity. I am 66 years old and have a chronic condition (vasculitis) which causes me to tire fairly quickly. The train is so good for me because it allows me to spend a full day enjoying the wilderness that I simply would be unable to do otherwise.
My experience with trails in my area (Orange County) is that they are well used around populated areas where a variety of activities such as skateboarding, dog walking, short excursions with the kids, etc. takes place. But away from towns there is much less use. Some bicyclists and a few long distance walkers are about it. I stongly suspect that, as some propose, putting a trail through the wilderness would benefit only a handful of real die-hards. It would be expensive to build and maintain. It would end for all time the chance for people like myself to enjoy a relaxing train ride to Lake Placid. And last, but certainly not least, it would end the chance of taking trucks off the roads by putting freight trains back on the line.
In short I think it would be most unwise and short-sighted to tear up any of the existing railroad.
Thank you for your attention.
Russell Hallock
  by umtrr-author
 
A little bit of 'fair use' from the press release:

"[T]he Adirondack Railway Preservation Society (ARPS), the nonprofit operator of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad will receive $791,000 in state funding... Since the Adirondack Scenic Railroad lost its lease agreement at the repair facility in Rome on the Griffiths Business and Development Park, it has been maintaining their fleet of 21 passenger cars and 8 locomotives outside in the rail yard at Utica, as well as in a small one-stall shop in Thendara, just south of Old Forge. The facility will allow the Railroad to better maintain their equipment[.] The repair facility will measure 220 feet long by 75 feet wide, with two tracks in the building, an inspection pit and room to repair a variety of equipment."

Just curious... how much of the total cost of this project will be covered by the $791,000? I was a bit concerned after reading the last sentence of the press release cited above: "The Railroad is currently looking at land to purchase for the project in the vicinity of Union Station, north of the railroad tracks." It seems to me that just acquiring the parcel of land might be a non-trivial percentage of the grant amount.
  by BandA
 
Why did they lose their lease in Rome?

Are they going to get a long-term agreement on the railroad before constructing a repair facility? Is this grant an indication that the state is going to give them a lease on the track?
  by traingeek8223
 
Ok. Let me try to clarify a few things here.
I am not a representative of the railroad but I know enough people there that I have been in the loop on some information:

While NYS has not guaranteed the future of the rail line between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid, they have showed a commitment to rail service from Tupper south. Also, while the State has not changed the railroad's lease arraignment, they have recognized the need to do so. This commitment of money for a shop is a good sign that the Adirondack Scenic will be the operator of the line for years to come (at least from Utica to Tupper Lake).

As for land, I know there are a few options they are looking into in the Utica yard vacinity. I think the front running option is a parcel of property closer to the west end, north of the tracks. I won't go into further detail until it becomes public information. Also note that the money being contributed to the project is not all coming from NYS. The railroad will still need to contribute a significant amount towards construction.

As to the former shop in Rome: The Adirondack Scenic moved into the former engine house at Griffiths Airforce Base shortly after the base was declassified and starting to be dismantled. They moved in with very favorable terms for the railroad because there was no use for the building and very little potential. Fast forward a decade or so and the former air base has been completely transformed into a sprawling industrial park. The railroad was now occupying prime commercial real estate (as viewed by the people that own it). It started out rather civil with the Park simply asking the railroad to clean up the property (passenger cars and locomotives scattered about), which the railroad agreed to and carried out (cars sold, FL9s and other cars moved to Utica). It then became "well, we really want you to leave so we can develop the property", which brings us to current day and repairs being done under a bridge.
  by Donko142
 
All true Matt, more good news should be public shortly..

Be Safe

Happy New Year to all.
  by umtrr-author
 
Meanwhile, the Indiegogo campaign did reach 25% of its goal before closing on 12/29/2014. I don't think this counts a $10,000 check they received in support of the Railcar Restoration Project from the Utica Comets (the local professional hockey team) since the "Name a Railcar" perk was not "claimed" on the Indiegogo page.

It's not what they hoped for, but it's a start. Since the campaign was "flexible funding" they will get the money that was pledged.
  by traingeek8223
 
Meanwhile, the Indiegogo campaign did reach 25% of its goal before closing on 12/29/2014. I don't think this counts a $10,000 check they received in support of the Railcar Restoration Project from the Utica Comets (the local professional hockey team) since the "Name a Railcar" perk was not "claimed" on the Indiegogo page.

It's not what they hoped for, but it's a start. Since the campaign was "flexible funding" they will get the money that was pledged.
I know for a fact that all donations for this project did not go through Indiegogo. Some went direct to the railroad. Not sure what the final tally was but it should at least be a good chunk towards the goal.
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