Bump. Anyone hear anything new about the rail operator for the UHRR? Will Thomas be back in North Creek this year? How about the rail trail discussion. I know winter isn't over yet, but just curious if there is any new news.
The county is in negotiations for a new rail operator. They've narrowed it down to one. Last I read, final decision is being held up by price and the option to haul freight, that being mainly tailings from Barton's. If deal is not done soon, this season " may be " in jeopardy. Thomas is still on the table.
Thanks for the update Snowballs. I think it is so shortsighted if the trail doesn't materialize. I personally think it would bring so much more business to the area. Build it and they (cyclists, walkers, runners, etc.) will come. Build a functioning rail line down to saratoga and they will come? I just don't see it. I wonder if they even did any economic analysis of the ski train that goes up to Killington from the city. That would be the same train people would take to saratoga before embarking on the North Creek Express. I just wonder if there is enough (or any) demand. Friends of ours who live in the city and come up to our place at Gore just rent a car and drive. To them shlupping all their gear down to penn station is more of a pain than getting a car, packing it up with their crap and getting out of the city. Who wants to stuff their skis and boot bag in a cab or worse yet down into the subway. I can't those types of folks taking the bus or the train up to Gore. It just is not worth it economically. Plus when they drive they can take off whenever they want to head back to the city. How many people from Saratoga/Albany area are going to take the train up? Drive an hour with a carfull of people for 5-10 bucks in gas or buy 4 - $40 round trip train tickets and the train takes 3 hours. Hmm. Maybe like the paid parking I am not in tune with what people want, but this idea just seems so half baked in the minds of people who like to play with model trains in their basement. No offense meant by that last comment - I loved playing with trains in my basement when I was a kid.
The barton thing is really puzzling to me as well. What kind of volume are they talking about? 10 train cars a month = 100 bucks to the county per month. Even if it were 100 cars a month it would be 1000 a month according to the article. I have to think that a trail would contribute way more to the county coffers in the way of bed tax and income tax.
" Iowa Pacific guarantees a minimum of 100 tourist train runs a year, at least 30 ski trains, at least 50 dining trains, a Polar Express train and at least one "Thomas the Tank Engine" event. The prior operator had cut trips back by 50 percent last year, and ran fewer than 50. "
Completely agree with Danzilla. IMO The biggest problem with public transportation (outside of the city) is that it is inconvenient for people. I would take the bus or train from Buffalo to home.... if it could leave when I want, arrive when I want, and didn't costs just as much (if not more) than paying for gas in my own car. I can get there a few hours faster and bring whatever I want with me, too.
I think the ski bus trips up North are plenty. I really don't think the train would get as much business as they say, and I would MUCH rather see the land used for rec. paths. If the Warren County bike trail was extended to Saratoga, It would be pretty awesome. I would consider biking up to Rock Sport instead of driving. Well, sometimes.