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.
corridors have been converted with great local benefits, click here
for some samples.
The town boards of Tupper Lake and
Harrietstown both voted unanimously to change their request from
asking the State to review the corridor management plan to asking
the State to go directly and immediately to creating the recreation
trail between Lake Placid and Old Forge.
The town board also shelved plans to spend $2.6 million on a new
trail that would have run parallel to the train tracks.
Full story here.
ARTA releases its detailed proposal
for the Adirondack Rail Trail
On September 6th, 2013 ARTA released a
detailed proposal for the construction
of the Adirondack Rail Trail and an associated
At the same time, ARTA sent printed copies of this proposal to all
of the relevant State agencies, Assemblymen and Senators, Town
Supervisors, and news organizations along with a
In addition to the detailed proposal, ARTA released a large-format
flyer showing the proposed trail and amenities along the way, as
well as a detailed trail map.
ARTA is calling on its members to write to the corridor management
review team (see below) in support of the Rail Trail proposal.
Rail Corridor Review Under Way
After almost two years of prodding, over 12,000
petitions, resolutions by nearly every town and village along the
corridor, articles and editorials in favor of the Adirondack Rail
Trail in all of our local papers, New York has finally agreed to
review its management plan for the rail corridor connecting the
Tri-Lakes Area with Old Forge.
comments also may be submitted by Sept. 25 to
NYSTravelCorridor@dot.ny.gov, faxed to 518-457-3183, or mailed to
Hessinger, Director, Freight & Passenger Rail Bureau, NYS Department
of Transportation, 50 Wolf Road, POD 54, Albany, NY 12232.
Your voice counts: please let the State know that you want a
How we are accomplishing our goal
- We are gathering signatures to demonstrate the public
interest in a recreation trail. Over 11,500 people have signed so
- 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
- We will continue to work with the state agencies to create
an operating manager for the new recreation trail and to oversee
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The trail will initially run from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake via Ray
Brook, Saranac Lake, Lake Clear, and Floodwood. A second stage
will connect Tupper Lake to Old Forge.