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Adirondack Scenic Railway car. Photo: Matt Johnson, CC some rights reserved
Adirondack Scenic Railway car. Photo: Matt Johnson, CC some rights reserved

Tupper Lake wants state to rethink tourist train

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Another North Country town is urging New York State to reopen the planning process for the rail line that cuts through the heart of the Adirondack Park.

Tupper Lake's town council voted three-two Thursday night to urge a review of the "unit management plan" for the rail corridor that runs from Old Forge to Lake Placid.

Tupper Lake Town Supervisor Roger Amell cast the deciding vote.

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Town Supervisor Roger Amell cast the deciding vote, urging New York state to reopen the rail corridor plan. Photo: Brian Mann

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

To keep the snowmobilers, that's a key thing for Tupper Lake.
Amell said he hopes the state updates the plan, and "finally comes[s] out with a reasonable thing" that communities can use the rail corridor for. "Economic development and tourism is a big think in Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and Lake Placid."

Amell says he hopes the state will maintain the rail corridor as a tourist train from Old Forge to Tupper Lake. But he wants the Tri-Lakes portion of the line to be torn up and remade as a multi-use trail.

"To keep the snowmobilers, that's a key thing for Tupper Lake," he said. "Unless you have plenty of snow, you can't use the tracks. You have to have at least 18 inches of snow for the tracks."

Last night's vote follows a similar resolution passed by the village of Saranac Lake. Local officials in North Elba and Lake Placid have also urged the state to rethink the tourist train.

Supporters of the Adirondack railroad, meanwhile, say the train is already a major tourist draw and will attract even more visitors once the line is refurbished from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake.

Train advocates plan to take local officials on a fall ride on the stretch of tracks from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake later this month, in an effort to boost support for maintaining the line.

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