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Future of ADK Scenic Raildroad Uncertain

The future of the 119-mile railroad corridor that runs from Remsen to Lake Placid is unclear. More than 100 people showed up at the hearing today, and each got a turn to weigh in on how they want the corridor used.
The future of the 119-mile railroad corridor that runs from Remsen to Lake Placid is unclear. More than 100 people showed up at the hearing today, and each got a turn to weigh in on how they want the corridor used. 

Lois Bormann has been involved with the Adirondack Scenic Railroad since 1992.

"I believe it probably has the potential of being one of the greatest tourism factors we have in New York State," she said.

She's one of many wearing this railroad sticker, hoping to change the minds of those who would rather it be torn up. Gordon Potter is one of them.

"I think overall, make it a recreation trail that the snowmobilers and mountain bikers and hikers would just have a lot more of economic impact to the towns than having a railroad go up through there," he said.

But the executive officer of the railroad says it's making an economic impact already, and more so each year. 

"The railroad had over 77 thousand riders in 2012 and actually ridership's been increasing in 2013 so we'll probably have a round 80 to 85 thousand passengers this year,” said Bethan Maher.

Today both sides are getting their thoughts down on paper for all to see--namely the DOT and DEC who will make the final decision.

"Our purpose here today is to listen to the community and really try to get a good idea and a feel for the sentiment," said Robert Davies of the DEC.

Those who want it to be a multi-use trail say it would cost taxpayers less.

"The rail 17 years is a long time and they keep asking for public money to improve their desires," said David Hartley.

"It would just be a lot nicer if the rails were torn up and it would be a nice smooth trial instead of the rails sticking up," said Potter.

The railroad proponents say it's possible to marry the two options--rail and trail

"We offer a bike and rail program, we offer a canoe and rail program, we're very much not against trails you know we would love to encourage trail development alongside the railroad," said Maher.


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