Mar 19, 2014 — 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
The Adirondack Scenic Railroad train passing through Ray Brook. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Oct 30, 2013 — 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 been in place since the 1990s, the railroad now operates on short sections of track in the Old Forge area and between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.
The excursion train they hope to build would expand to carry tourists 140 miles from Utica to Lake Placid through some of the wildest and most scenic territory in the eastern US.
Rail supporters are hoping that New York state will make a big new investment in that vision.
But a growing number of critics say developing the train corridor has taken too long. And they're questioning whether the Scenic Railroad has the expertise, the staff and the financial strength to run a 140-mile long railroad.
They've called for the state to formally reopen the "unit management plan" to look at other possible uses for the corridor.
Our Adirondack bureau chief Brian Mann has spent the last month investigating these questions, looking at the Scenic Railroad's plan for the future. Here's his special report. Go to full article
Bethan Maher was hired as executive officer of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in 2012. Photo: Brian Mann
Oct 30, 2013 — 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 chief Brian Mann.
They spoke in-depth for half an hour at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake about the financial strengths, accomplishments, and challenges faced by the Scenic Railroad. Also, about the non-profit company's vision for the future if New York officials decide to maintain the Remsen-Lake Placid corridor as a train route. 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)
Lake Placid, NY, Sep 22, 2011 — Opponents of a tourist train in the Tri-Lakes are hoping to derail efforts to construct a side-by-side rail and trail system between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.
Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates formed earlier this summer. They say, instead of a rail, communities should build a multi-use recreational trail using the rail-bed which would stretch from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake.
But with millions of dollars in grants already in hand, supporters of the tourist train say the path and the railroad can co-exist. Chris Morris reports. Go to full article