• Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) 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 RussNelson
 
Mem160 wrote:That's what I thought but I haven't heard anyone bring these up yet. Also if you see the locations of these cars they're all in the Northeast so it's relative location too. I guess they would have to store these in Saratoga. I can't believe there would be room in North Creek for them to store them. I wonder if they are being leased out for now.......

- Mark
There are three mile-long sidings at Tahawus that they could use for car storage if they needed/wanted to. Probably needs some tie replacement, at least to hold the gauge.
  by shadyjay
 
On Sunday September 14, I took my dad for a ride on the S&NC from Saratoga Springs to North Creek. I purchased the tickets the night before and picked them up that morning. It took us about 2 Hr 45 Minutes to get there from Vermont. The consist for the northbound run was BL-2 #52, a baggage car (still labelled for Florida Rail Adventures), the dome car (where we were seated), and a single-level coach.

The ride was great! We were seated on the non-river (left) side as you head north, and had 2 other passengers seated with us (across the table). As we were pulling out, a northbound D&H train (powered by a pair of CSX engines and a solid consist of empty gondola cars) was paralleling our train. We paused for a few minutes before leaving the main and heading up S&NC’s trackage. My phone’s GPS recorded 30 mph as our speed for most of the way, slowing down for scenic highlights such as the high bridge in Luzerne and some points where we were right along the Hudson. I don’t think we picked up any passengers at any of the intermediate stations. What I was amazed at was the smoothness of the ride from the upper level of the dome. It felt like we were on welded rail for the entire trip, as you couldn’t feel any “clickety clack” or swaying. Must be the upper dome level that suppressed all that sound/movement.

Upon arrival at North Creek, a shuttle bus was there to take us wherever we wanted to go in town. We opted for the ride up to Gore Mtn for the gondola ride, which was very nice. The bus met us again and took us back to town. The bus driver was very knowledgeable and friendly. After eating at Izzy’s Deli (which has its sandwiches named with a railroad-theme – my dad had the “Crazy Train Guy”), we set off back to the depot (a 5 minute walk). Exploring the depot area, I saw the two Lackawanna-painted E-8s, a couple of ex-LIRR double-deckers, the ex-D&H RS-11, the Alco #5, another dome, and a couple single-levels parked on the storage track south of the depot. Our BL-2 had also been taken off the train and the big GE was hooked up to our train as our SB power. We departed a few minutes late and headed south back to Saratoga Springs, now seated on the river side of the train.

The train was pretty crowded, especially the Dome, though my dad and I had our booth to ourselves for the return trip. Dome passengers get assigned seating, and on the SB trip, you ride on the other side of the train, so you get the views on both sides over the course of the trip.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Only downside I heard was from those who ordered breakfast on the way up. Your order is taken shortly after leaving Saratoga, and some passengers didn’t get their meals until after the last station stop before North Creek. I didn’t sample the food, only had a Pepsi on the return trip. Fall colors are definitely lacking – I thought there’d be at least some color, but nothing yet. Also the depot museum at North Creek was not open. The station agent said its run by volunteers. A very nice gift shop was open in the station, however and I bought a photo coffee mug.
All in all, a great trip. We were able to get Dome tickets the night before our trip, but there was a limited quantity left. I’m sure once the fall foliage gets underway, it’ll sell out quicker.

I never did see any sign of the North End Local. Maybe it didn’t run this day. Not sure the power or consist that they use for it. I thought it was odd that our power was switched at North Creek. Is this standard practice? DIdn’t get a chance to ask any of the staff about the resumption of freight service, or the status of the other power at North Creek (including the E-8s).

A great trip. My dad and I both had a blast!!! The S&NC is a very nice operation.

Photos from the trip can be seen here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1081181897 ... eekRailway" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Tony Goodwin
 
I checked out the page on the Tappan Zee Bridge rebuild. It's clearly a much-needed project and I congratulate Governor Cuomo for fast-tracking this project that had otherwise been stalled with engineering and public review issues. What caught my eye, however, was the statement at good aggregate was available by barge from quarries on the Hudson just a few miles north of the Tappan Zee on the Hudson River.

So, how can the SNCRR possibly compete with aggregate hauled by rail to Albany and then loaded on barges that much closer to NYC, NY, and Long Island?
  by RussNelson
 
Tony Goodwin wrote:So, how can the SNCRR possibly compete with aggregate hauled by rail to Albany and then loaded on barges that much closer to NYC, NY, and Long Island?
How can you possibly expect to keep ALL Terrain Vehicles off the Great Adirondack Rail Trail?
How many visitors do you really expect to bicycle more than five miles from any village (previous lies not accepted; I want an honest answer)?

See? We all have difficult questions to answer. The thing is that I have the information necessary to answer your questions, but you don't have the information necessary to answer the questions you pose to the SNCRR. And my answers are: you can't reasonably expect to, given how many rail-trails I have seen POSTED "NO ATVS" which have ATV tracks, and "about one a week" based on my experience doing that. Not counting myself, of course, because I'm a freak.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
Tony Goodwin wrote:So, how can the SNCRR possibly compete with aggregate hauled by rail to Albany and then loaded on barges that much closer to NYC, NY, and Long Island?
SNCRR could work with CP to haul aggregate to Albany. A shorter haul should make them cost competitive against other carriers. See, it's not really hard to think of a solution that will encourage rail traffic in the Adirondacks. ;)
  by griffs20soccer
 
The good news, except for our anti-rail friends, is the news that SNC will start shipping stone. I just finished watching a video of the Warren County Committee meeting where Justin filled in the committee with the good news. This is a 2nd smaller contract for stone, not the big one which they are still working on. This contract calls for moving 8,000 tons of stone to Tauton, MA, 2,000 tons will go directly by rail. The other 6,000 tons will go from the mine to Corinth where it will be put in trucks to be moved to barges where it will be shipped to Falls River, MA and placed back in railcars to be moved to Tauton. Justin spoke of other rail opportunities for freight, but it was hard to make out what was said on the video. He also updated the passenger services which are doing very well. The North End Local was a success and will be back next year. The trains for the Worlds Largest Garage sale this weekend are completely sold out.

I've included a link to the video, as always I hope it works. The rail discussion is at the very beginning.

http://www.warrencountyny.gov/gov/comm/ ... blic_works" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Sir Ray
 
griffs20soccer wrote:This contract calls for moving 8,000 tons of stone to Tauton, MA, 2,000 tons will go directly by rail. The other 6,000 tons will go from the mine to Corinth where it will be put in trucks to be moved to barges where it will be shipped to Falls River, MA and placed back in railcars to be moved to Tauton.
So, it is possible to transport the stone directly by rail to Tauton, and some portion of it will be done all-rail. But for 75% of the traffic they plan to do a rather convoluted transload (Rail->Truck->Barge->Rail). Doesn't make much sense particularly if we are talking about 80 100t carloads in the first place. (Upon re-reading, perhaps I misunderstood, and stone will leave the mine by truck: Truck->Barge->Rail)
  by johnpbarlow
 
Sir Ray wrote:
griffs20soccer wrote:This contract calls for moving 8,000 tons of stone to Tauton, MA, 2,000 tons will go directly by rail. The other 6,000 tons will go from the mine to Corinth where it will be put in trucks to be moved to barges where it will be shipped to Falls River, MA and placed back in railcars to be moved to Tauton.
So, it is possible to transport the stone directly by rail to Tauton, and some portion of it will be done all-rail. But for 75% of the traffic they plan to do a rather convoluted transload (Rail->Truck->Barge->Rail). Doesn't make much sense particularly if we are talking about 80 100t carloads in the first place. (Upon re-reading, perhaps I misunderstood, and stone will leave the mine by truck: Truck->Barge->Rail)
I'm guessing the tailings are headed for Aggregate Industries, which operates a hellaciously big gravel pit NW of Taunton along the CSX operated line to Attleboro:
https://goo.gl/maps/gG85x

The RR routing will be interesting as somehow these cars need to get to CSX for delivery to Taunton. So...S&NC to CP to Selkirk to CSX to Framingham, MA to Attleboro to Taunton?

The rail distance from AI in Taunton to Fall River is ~20 miles. The Fall River line was purchased by the Commonwealth of MA in 2010 from CSX and is now operated by Mass Coastal RR. However I'm not sure MC can get to the gravel pit without touching a mile or so of CSX operated track.
  by griffs20soccer
 
The route for 75% of the stone is rail-truck-barge-rail. If the rail route from Fall River is operated by Mass Coastal that is a sister company which is also owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings.

There was a lot of good news by Justin at that meeting.
  by ladder2
 
that " You Tube" story was mentioned in this column about 2 years ago. Check the equipment: the E-8 is in Illinois, the ex LIRR cars are in Cape Cod at present.
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