Thanks for all the personal attacks that did nothing to answer the issues I raised. Asking how many times my mother dropped me on my head doesn't exactly raise the level of this debate.
I was never against the Saratoga and North Creek being allowed to take title to the line to Tahawus. In fact, I said on several occasions that I hoped they were successful in reducing or even eliminating the piles of tailings that were a perennial eyesore when viewed from Santanoni and other nearby peaks. However, now it's time for a reality check.
After four years of promised tailings shipments, the only thing that comes down from Tahawus is five cars bound for another IPH owned railroad. Is this is really how the S&NC will become profitable? In the wide-ranging interview with Ed Ellis that was reported in Trains, Ed said that the S&NC passenger operations were only covering the above the rail costs. Freight service is what would make the operation profitable. There was one box car of garnets shipped two years ago. None since. Now we have five cars of tailings bound for another IPH rail line. Negotiations with the mythical Long Island contractor have been in ongoing for at least two years now with no positive report of any progress.
In the early days (1992) of the debate on the best use of the Adirondack Rail Corridor, I suggested that this line to North Creek and beyond could possibly make it as a tourist operation. In addition to what they've done, I suggested partnerships with the rafting companies in the spring. Rafts go down the river from North Creek to the Glen, "non-combatants" can ride the train and watch from numerous vantage points, and then the railroad hauls the rafts and rafters back to North Creek. The rapids on that run aren't quite the equal of the Hudson Gorge, but they are nothing to be sneezed at as I can attest from a less than successful canoe run from Riparius to the Glen.
So I'm not against this rail operation, I just think someone should be questioning whether it really is viable and should therefore be used as a model for other local rail operations.