Remove The Rails
SLEDFREAK.COM Other than a seasonal tourist train between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake the former New York Central line from Lake Placid to Old Forge has been unused for passenger service since 1965 and freight since 1972. The seasonal tourist train between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake was provided for in the 1995 Unit Management Plan as an experiment that had to prove itself through market development for the benefit of the local economies. In addition, the operator was committed to upgrading the entire line from Lake Placid to Old Forge to Class III service (60 MPH max) at its expense. This experiment has failed: ridership has never exceeded 14,000 per annum and the New York Department of Transportation continues to expend massive amounts to keep the corridor open and the limited train service running. A current option being pursued by the Town of North Elba is to construct a parallel bike trail from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake at a cost of no less than $4.4 million. While we think it is time to re-examine the entire premise on which the tourist train was permitted, whether or not this path is constructed we want a contiguous recreation trail from Lake Placid to Old Forge. This means that if the tourist train continues to operate it will have to do so from a base in Lake Placid, freeing the remaining 81 miles for recreation use. How we are accomplishing our goal ARTA goal •We are gathering signatures to demonstrate the public interest in a recreation trail. Over 8,000 people have signed so far •We are seeking support from the towns and villages who will most benefit from the trail. The economic benefits have been made clear in multiple studies, and we are conducting additional studies to show the feasibility and benefits of rail conversion. •We will ask NYSDOT and NYSDEC to modify the Unit Management Plan to adopt the 1995 alternative to rail service, i.e., a recreational trail •We will continue to work with the state agencies to create an operating manager for the new recreation trail and to oversee its construction.