Saratoga and North Creek Railway: ALL ABOARD !!!

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Snowballs Snowballs
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Saratoga and North Creek Railway: ALL ABOARD !!!

Come on ride the train....In a new article posted just this morning....has the choo choo arrived?

http://www.rr.com/local/topic/article/rr/4473267/44865232/North_Creek_hopes_visitors_take_a_train/1

Some Highlights.

"Two trains a day, Thursday through Monday, will travel between North Creek and Saratoga Springs, offering morning and evening connections. A third train will operate between Hadley/Luzerne and North Creek.The first trains are expected to operate by mid-July, with a tentative start date of July 14, pending regulatory approvals."


"A new operator, Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings, has brought in updated equipment, including two full-length dome cars built in the 1950s that once operated on such storied trains as the Santa Fe Super Chief between Chicago and Los Angeles. Iowa Pacific, under its contract with Warren County, is also committed to running 15 ski trains next winter, the first to North Creek since the late 1930s."

"At the Hudson River Trading Co. downtown,..... owner Laurie Arnheiter's making plans to expand her store, which covers three levels, and she points to other nearby businesses that are holding their own."

"At the Copperfield, across the street from the train station, General Manager Erik Karner says the inn had weddings each weekend during June, and that its restaurants will go to a full seven-day schedule on Friday."

"Goodspeed said the project has faced a series of delays, many of them regulatory, and suggests it wasn't necessarily the regulators' fault. "The developer has got to play by the rules," Goodspeed said. He believes Front Street has started doing that. "Over the past four to six weeks, Front Street has been making tremendous leaps because they've decided" to work with the regulators, he said."

Low lights:

"But several storefronts also are empty and for sale."

"Dick Carlson, a resident of nearby North River who works in the resort village of Lake George, says the train will take two hours to make the trip from Saratoga Springs, because track speeds are limited to 30 mph. He also believes that people will want their cars once they arrive."

"A sore spot with townspeople is Olympic Regional Development Authority's decision not to offer summertime activities at Gore. Lundin, the ORDA spokesman, said it lost money, although Carlson said more marketing would have drawn enough business to make it profitable."

That sounds familiar, oh yea I just said that last night.

While the train's success is still unproven, there's some "guaranteed" money for the County from the new operator with a chance to make more if it's fruitful and a sizable reduction in County expenses for the RR line.

Interesting what a change in operators/key players/attitude can do for an enterprise's future. The county is already bucks ahead versus the previous operator.

I truly don't think people will ride it to ski but the tourist trains "might" work for awhile. More importantly the future possiblity of freight is an option for the new operator for the first time. Hope it works.
Snowballs Snowballs
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Harvey Harvey
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Snowballs wrote
I truly don't think people will ride it to ski but the tourist trains "might" work for awhile. More importantly the future possiblity of freight is an option for the new operator for the first time. Hope it works.
I'm with you on the hope part. The 30mph seems like a tough hurdle to overcome.

Question for those from Saratoga... would you use it to ski, if the train went 60mph and saved you 15 mins of driving/traffic in exchange for the time spent in the terminal and taking the shuttle?

Contrary to what the article says, I think NC is pretty convenient by car. One advantage that Gore has over say Kmart.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Goreskimom Goreskimom
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I know several tri-state Gore families that the train line would really help. Sometimes 1 parent comes up with a car full of kids and the other parent needs to stay home and work.  The working parent wants to get up to Gore for the weekend but hates to bring a second car up.  The train is slow but it is quite convenient to arrive right in North Creek.  Prior to the train running, I used to drive my husband to Albany or Warrensburg to get on the bus.  Last winter Greyhound ran a bus directly to North Creek, but the only way you could ride it was if you purchased a round trip package with lift tickets.  For someone with a season pass who is just trying to meet up with their family and only needs a 1-way ticket, that did not work. I think it would be great if they could remedy the 30 mph limits and get the train to move a bit faster.
Snowballs Snowballs
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Perhaps if they get some freight contracts from Barton's (don't hold your breath) they will repair the tracks and haul buns, aka go fast. For those who don't know, Barton's mine is hinting they may have a market for their tailings from the mining operation. Would be nice if they could clean up those tailing piles and gain some business.

Adk Jeff Adk Jeff
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One thing that is a big plus for the train's success:  tickets are priced realistically at $19 for a round trip adult ticket between Saratoga Springs and NC.  For my family of 4 I think it comes out to $64 for us to ride the train to NC and back.  That really is not bad if you figure 50 cents/mile (that's the IRS mileage rate) to drive, and our round trip mileage from near Exit 16 is approximately 100 miles.    Certainly the train is less convenient and takes longer, but at least the cost factor isn't way out of the realm of reality.  I'm a bit of a train enthusiast anyway, but I will definitely want to try the ski trains this winter.  Could be a lot of fun relaxing on the train and enjoying an adult beverage (me, not the kids) on the way home.  This (train service directly to the ski area) is something really unique that could be a draw for Gore if marketed and packaged properly.  Winter Park is the only other ski area that comes to mind with direct rail access.  I rode that ski train once about 20 years ago and it was absolutely fantastic: spectacular scenery and a ton of fun hanging out  in the coach and dome car drinking coffee on the way up and beer on the way back.  I really hope this works.

Edited, to add the Saratoga and North Creek Railway's website:
http://www.sncrr.com/
Snowballs Snowballs
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The new rail operator is running TV commercials about the new line....." Come ride the scenic train ".  They show a few shots from the Toga-NC section AND alot of shots of a train running alongside Lake Champlain....over looking the big beautiful lake.

Anywho, they do have some VERY nice railcars lined up, cool looking and plenty of runs scheduled. Gotta give them credit for that. Big effort.

They are also actively trying to buy the section of track from NC to Tahawus to haul freight. This would kill the bike trail for the foresee able future.
Snowballs Snowballs
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Goreskimom Goreskimom
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Awesome!!
Adk Jeff Adk Jeff
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Snowballs wrote
They (Iowa Pacific, the new rail operator) are also actively trying to buy the section of track from NC to Tahawus to haul freight. This would kill the bike trail for the foresee able future.
That would be bad, but I suspect the parties involved will be able to work out a deal.  Hard to imagine there being much value to Iowa Pacific in that rail line, other than the salvage value of the steel rails.  The best outcome for North Creek would be having both the rail trail and a successful Saratoga North Creek tourist railway.  There's more information on this topic in this recent update on the Upper Hudson Rail Trail's website.
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