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Adirondack Rails/Trails Debate

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The last couple of weeks I’ve had a lot of conversations — on the phone, via email, in person, and on social media — with supporters of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad about the fairness of NCPR’s reporting on the rail-trail...
This week, I’ve gone spelunking in the wild, ferocious world of the Adirondack rail-trail debate.  Trust me, it’s a rabbit hole of zeal and rhetoric that Lewis Carroll couldn’t have dreamed up. Because I live in the...
This just in from New York’s Conservation Department: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today announced they will hold four public meetings in...
A couple of years ago the AMC movie channel launched an on-going series called “Hell on Wheels” that dramatizes — in gritty fashion — construction of America’s trans-continental railroad in the 1860s. A similarly gritty...
State officials announced moments ago that they plan to revisit the management plan guiding use of the controversial corridor between Old Forge Inlet and Remsen and the heart of the Adirondacks — Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Lake...

All In Box posts about the Rails/Trails Debate

The Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/39017545@N02/">Matt Johnson</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
The Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Photo: Matt Johnson, CC some rights reserved

Understanding the Adirondack Scenic Railroad controversy

This week, North Country Public Radio has been looking in-depth at the fierce debate over the future of the 90-mile rail corridor that stretches from Old Forge to Lake Placid. Train boosters hope to see the state of New York invest millions of dollars reviving the entire line into a world-class seasonal tourism railroad, likely operated by the Utica-based non-profit Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

But a growing number of critics, including many local government leaders in the Park, want the state to consider reinventing the corridor as a year-round multi-use "rail-to-trail" destination.

Brian Mann and Martha Foley spoke about where all this goes next.  Go to full article
Adirondack Scenic Railroad train in Old Forge. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72644361@N06/8183206757/">Brad O'Brien</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

As rail debate simmers, big questions for Scenic Railroad

For more than twenty years, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad has struggled to create an excursion train from Utica to Lake Placid, an attraction that advocates hope will one day serve as a major draw for tourists, carrying passengers through some of the most rugged and scenic terrain in the East. "We view an asset like that as something you would never want to rip up," Bill Branson, the ASR board president, said in an interview last year.

But a nearly month-long investigation by the North Country Public Radio and the Adirondack Explorer has revealed stark and long-lingering questions about the non-profit railroad's financial stability, its professional staff, and its ability to scale up what remains a largely shoestring operation that still carries passengers over only short stretches of the historic corridor.  Go to full article
A rail-trail bridge on the Katy Trail sy stem in Missouri.  Photo:  <a href-"http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Katy_Trail_bridge_and_bikers.jpg">Kbh3rd</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Adirondack Rail Trail plan leans on state agencies

This is the second part of a two-part series on the Adirondack Rail Trail. Hear the first part here.

State officials say they'll decide soon what to do with the controversial rail corridor that stretches from Old Forge to Lake Placid.

For more than two years, a growing group of activists and local government leaders in the Adirondacks have urged the Cuomo administration to end decades of financial support for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

The group called Adirondack Recreation Trail Advocates, also known as "ARTA," hopes to see the ninety-mile corridor converted into a year-round multi-use trail. They say a Rail Trail would provide a bigger tourism draw and could be built quickly with little additional financial support from taxpayers.

But a detailed review by North Country Public Radio in partnership with Adirondack Explorer magazine found that big questions remain about how the trail would be paid for and who would operate it.  Go to full article
Public hearings on the future of the rail corridor were held last fall.  What comes next and when?  No one's certain. Photo: Brian Mann

Adirondack rails-trails debate still stuck "in limbo"

Eight months have passed since New York state officials announced that they were opening a review of the future use of the historic rail corridor between Old Forge and Lake...  Go to full article
The Adirondack Scenic Railroad train passing through Ray Brook. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Can the Adirondack Scenic Railroad make it happen?

For more than two decades, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad has worked to create a world-class attraction in the North Country.

Under a state management plan that's...  Go to full article
Bethan Maher was hired as executive officer of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in 2012. Photo: Brian Mann

In-depth with the Adirondack Scenic Railroad

Last month, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad executive officer Bethan Maher and Adirondack Rail Preservation Society board member Al Dunham sat down with NCPR Adirondack bureau...  Go to full article
The Adirondack Scenic Railroad train passing through Ray Brook. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Reward offered for info on scenic train vandalism

An investigation is underway by local police in Lake Placid to find out who vandalized internal wiring on a locomotive owned by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad last week....  Go to full article
Adirondack Scenic Railroad train at Union Station in Saranac Lake. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Adirondack Scenic Railroad locomotive vandalized

A locomotive used by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad on runs between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid was heavily damaged by vandals last week, according to a report in the...  Go to full article
DOT railroad expert Raymond Hessinger is public spokesman for the state's review of the Adironadck rail corridor.  (Photo:  Mark Kurtz)

How real is the state's review of the Adirondack rail corridor?

State officials wrapped up a series of listening sessions last night in Tupper Lake, aimed at gathering public opinion about the rail corridor that runs between Old Forge and...  Go to full article
North Elba wants the tracks removed between their station in Lake Placid to this point at Union Station in Saranac Lake.  (File photo/Mark Kurtz)

North Elba wants tracks gone, favors multi-use trail

There's been another development this week in the fierce debate over the historic rail corridor in the Adirondacks.

The town of North Elba, which serves as the...  Go to full article

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