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News stories tagged with "train"

If the concept unveiled today by state officials is adopted, trains would no longer run to Saranac Lake's station (seen here) or to Lake Placid.  Train service might eventually be offered as far north as Tupper Lake.  Photo:  Susan Waters
If the concept unveiled today by state officials is adopted, trains would no longer run to Saranac Lake's station (seen here) or to Lake Placid. Train service might eventually be offered as far north as Tupper Lake. Photo: Susan Waters

State may convert section of Adirondack train route to rail-trail

State officials say they plan to reopen the planning process for the historic railroad track from Old Forge to Lake Placid.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, state Transportation and Environment commissioners also said they would consider converting a large segment of the historic train route to a "rail-to-trail" system.

If the proposal goes forward, tracks along the stretch from Tupper Lake to Lake Placid, via Saranac Lake, would be removed and replaced with a trail surface.

"In response to public interest, we are reopening the Unit Management Plan, providing new opportunities to engage local communities and support the regional economy as we plan for the corridor's future," said DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald in a statement.  Go to full article
Several CSX trains carrying crude oil derailed and exploded Wednesday in Lynchburg. Photo: Elyssa Ezmirly, used with permission
Several CSX trains carrying crude oil derailed and exploded Wednesday in Lynchburg. Photo: Elyssa Ezmirly, used with permission

Another oil train explosion; NY urges better train safety

Several CSX rail cars carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in Lynchburg, Va., Wednesday afternoon. Authorities evacuated the area as plumes of black smoke filled the sky. There were no immediate reports of injuries, but there were reports of oil spilling into the James River.

The latest railroad accident involving crude oil came just hours after New York released a report saying the federal government is failing to keep rail towns safe and urging President Barack Obama to act.  Go to full article
The Adirondack Express heading towards Penn Station. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/96536917@N00/8542793641/">P. Romaine</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.
The Adirondack Express heading towards Penn Station. Photo: P. Romaine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

Listen: Goodbye, hometown

It's travel time for a lot of people this week. But one family from the north country recently made a bigger journey than most--all the way to sunny California, and they did the whole trip by train. And they had a one way ticket, the family was making a new start on the west coast. Their mother was feeling shy, but the two brothers met reporter Natasha Haverty in the train's dining car. The 8-year-old Adam, and 15-year-old Julian, who was traveling with his guitar around his neck, are today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article
The Adirondack Scenic Railroad train passing through Ray Brook. Photo: Mark Kurtz
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 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
CSX's upgraded and faster rail crossing passes right by dozens of houses in Canton, including the 24 East Main Bed & Breakfast (green house). Photo: David Sommerstein.
CSX's upgraded and faster rail crossing passes right by dozens of houses in Canton, including the 24 East Main Bed & Breakfast (green house). Photo: David Sommerstein.

Canton officials still have doubts over train speed increase

Yesterday, we heard about the efforts to rebuild the Quebec town of Lac Megantic, after a train explosion destroyed much of the village. That horrible accident makes any town with a railroad ask: could it happen here?

Last January, CSX announced it was upgrading a rail crossing in Canton so its trains could go faster through the village - from 25 to up to 40 miles per hour. The company says the change will speed up commerce on the line but will not compromise safety.

Local officials met last week with CSX over safety concerns. As David Sommerstein reports, the meeting opened up dialogue but didn't answer all the questions.  Go to full article
Lac-Megantic burning on the first day after the rail car derailment sent fireballs and streams of burning oil coursing through the Quebec village.  (Photo:  Surete du Quebec)
Lac-Megantic burning on the first day after the rail car derailment sent fireballs and streams of burning oil coursing through the Quebec village. (Photo: Surete du Quebec)

In Lac-Megantic, grief and resilience

Back in July, a massive tanker train filled with petroleum from North Dakota derailed in a tiny town in Quebec.
Explosions and fire ripped through the village, killing 47 people and destroying the downtown of Lac-Megantic.

Brian Mann has been covering the aftermath of that disaster for NPR and North Country Public Radio.

He was in Quebec on assignment again over the weekend. He joined Martha Foley on the line from NCPR's bureau in Saranac Lake.  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)
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 Lake Placid.

Hundreds of people have turned out to offer opinions about the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and about the alternative of a multi-purpose trail.

But a growing number of tourism train critics say they're dissatisfied with the way state officials have conducted this review.  Go to full article
Rosalie Fontana of Bloomingdale voices her thoughts to DEC Forester Sean Reynolds, who was taking notes at the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor meeting at the DEC office in Ray Brook. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Rosalie Fontana of Bloomingdale voices her thoughts to DEC Forester Sean Reynolds, who was taking notes at the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor meeting at the DEC office in Ray Brook. Photo: Mark Kurtz

One fiercely disputed Adirondack rail line, two cool visions

For more than thirty years, most of the historic rail line between Old Forge and Lake Placid has seen little use. A tourism train operates on two different stretches of track, around Old Forge and Saranac Lake.

But despite a state plan that calls for the entire 119-mile route to reopen, much of the line has fallen into disrepair. Now state officials are asking new questions about how the train corridor should be used. They've begun a series of meetings to gather input and to try to channel a public debate that has grown increasingly rancorous.

There are now two starkly different visions for the rail corridor. Train boosters are calling for the state to invest millions of dollars refurbishing the tracks, while supporters of a new mult-iuse trail say the tracks should be torn up.  Go to full article
The Via Rail/Amtrak train "Maple Leaf" (shown here near Niagara Falls) makes the Toronto to New York City run. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/3336/5313641895/">Diego Torres Silvestre</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
The Via Rail/Amtrak train "Maple Leaf" (shown here near Niagara Falls) makes the Toronto to New York City run. Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Canada disrupts Al Qaeda-supported "major terror plot"

Canadian officials say they have disrupted a "major" terror plot involving two men in Montreal and Toronto who were planning to derail a VIA passenger train.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the pair were working with support from Al Qaeda elements based in Iran. Sources in the US say the men were planning to attack a train traveling from Toronto to New York City.

This news comes at a time when concerns are rising about terrorism activity based in Canada.  Go to full article
Adirondack Scenic Railroad train in Old Forge. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72644361@N06/">Bradley O'Brien</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
Adirondack Scenic Railroad train in Old Forge. Photo: Bradley O'Brien, CC some rights reserved

Adirondack train debate continues

Two more local governments have weighed in on the future of the historic rail line that runs through the heart of the Adirondack Park.

At a meeting last week in Tupper Lake, the village board voted four to one, in favor of reopening a management plan that governs use of the rail corridor from Old Forge to Lake Placid.  Go to full article

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