Gheringhap Sightings w/e 25/7/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 18/7/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 20/6/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 11/7/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 2/5/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 16/5/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 23/6/2012
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 3/1/2015
Gheringhap Sightings w/e 13/6/2015
Victoria, 3-10 to 8-10-2004
As many of you may know, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad has been battling the various parties known as the “Rails to Trails” advocates. The location of conflict? Tupper Lake to Lake Placid, NY, easily the most popular (and populated) stretch on the Adirondack Scenic, formerly the NYC Adirondack Branch. The popular Lake Placid-Saranac Lake trains were supplemented in later years by Saranac Lake-Lake Clear “Rail Explorers”.
While this battle between rails and trails has been going on for several years now, I was prompted to write about it at this time for a couple of reasons. First, the track is beginning to be torn up between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. I’ve seen several photos from the “progress” at Saranac Lake, but recently a friend sent some from Lake Placid; If they’re ripping up the rails from both ends, it can’t be good. Photos by AmtrakFan55.
The second reason is, well, the photos (Thanks AmtrakFan!) and the urgency of the matter. Before long, there won’t be anything left but the roadbed.
The third reason was a great conversation with Josh Wingler and Corey Ward (Congrats on 2000 subscribers, Corey!). Josh is a former volunteer conductor on the Lake Placid-Saranac Lake segment, so the matter is quite personal to him.
A major problem with the current plan is quite obvious- After traveling through the woods for a couple of hours, what is there to do in Tupper Lake? The rails-to-trails advocates state that converting the Tupper Lake-Lake Placid segment will somehow create an “economic boost”? Clearly, the rails-to-trails advocates don’t care about the well-being and cooperation with the railroad. Leaving the (arguably) most useless segment of the line for rail use.
Now I see a couple of possible compromises. The most obvious thing to do would be for the Adirondack Scenic to operate past Tupper Lake into Saranac Lake. This would actually give tourists something to do, and it’s a short 20-minute drive from Lake Placid. The rail trail would be well used between the two towns. I mean, who’s going to walk or bike from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake? I guess, maybe…
The other option, and one that probably no one will agree with, is to shift the idea to “rails-and-trails”. Seriously, just clear out the Right-of-way about 10 feet more, and you can have a trail AND a railroad. Not to mention some seriously good railfanning spots…
What do you think about the rails-to-trails issue in the Adirondacks? Let me know in the comments… -Harrison
This article first appeared on northcountrytrains.wordpress.com
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