The Adirondack Scenic Railroad

All of our efforts to preserve our history and grow our future haven’t been enough to convince the State of New York to complete the restoration of the rails and develop a network of trails that would make this Corridor the envy of the tourism industry. Instead, they are proposing to remove the tracks north of Tupper Lake and replace them with a trail. This not only proposes to eliminate currently operational track, but would only allow us to bring families, senior citizens and people with physical challenges to Tupper Lake and tell them to walk the last 34 miles to visit the Olympic sites in Lake Placid. We need your help to continue the fight to restore the rail service for the entire Corridor. There are many ways to help aide our organization – by volunteering, joining as a member or donating to a specific project. Although the ARPS supports our operation via ticket sales, tax-deductible donations help to further equipment restoration projects, outreach, and now; an inevitable legal challenge to New York State’s ill-conceived proposal to remove active rail line.

More Information:

  • The Adirondack Scenic Railroad has carried over 1.5 million passengers and ridership has been steadily growing, in 2015, the Railroad recorded record-breaking ridership of 75,000 passengers.
  • ASR is operated by a group of about 350 volunteers who give a collective 15,000 hours per year to the
  • Railroad, serving as conductors, engineers, board members and others who maintain the 119 mile corridor. Volunteers not only keep the Railroad running but lower corridor maintenance costs substantially.
  • Already offers “Canoe & Rail” and “Bike & Rail” packages which are successful and could be expanded with a fully operational line. There are already plans in place to offer similar packages between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake – one of the most scenic and diverse areas of the corridor.
  • Brings a significant economic impact to the region, the Railroad is not only a job creator but has an annual operating budget of $2 million and works with local vendors, suppliers and merchants. A tourist attraction with an operating budget generates more economic impact than a passive tourist attraction.
  • Draws tourists to the five counties through which it operates. Most riders originate from outside the county of their departing location. In the year 2014, ASR drew visitors from all 50 states and 12 countries.
  • The corridor is already a multimodal corridor. The Railroad operates seasonally, allowing snowmobiles to have exclusive use of the corridor in the winter months.
  • Will reach its full potential with rail service restored over the entire line, linking the tourist towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Old Forge with Amtrak and national rail service in Utica. Stopping in Tupper Lake stops short of connecting the two largest population centers in the Adirondack Park.
  • A restored rail line and enhanced trail system north of Tupper Lake provides trail ways for both snowmobiles and non-motorized forms of winter recreation which would not be feasible in the trail-only scenario.
  • A rail and trail program provides more comprehensive range of economic and recreational opportunities for people of all ages and capabilities.
  • Can accommodate trails north of Tupper Lake, all of which have already been mapped out by a group of community leaders (Trails and Rails Action Committee). These trails are compatible with the rail corridor in place and provide a scenic route for hikers, bikers and skiers.
  • Maintaining rail infrastructure north of Tupper Lake allows for greater ease of trail construction, rail access will allow for the delivery of materials as well as provide a core group of volunteers and infrastructure to easier maintain remote areas.
  • Restored rail service provides for a small taxpayer investment in the corridor and will reap immediate economic benefits.
  • Service extended north of Tupper Lake enhances marketability (name recognition) and connectivity between New York, Chicago and other metropolitan areas, via Utica, to the heart of the Tri-Lakes area.
  • Will offer a unique tourism opportunity with train service allowing for drop off points for hikers, paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts in the most remote parts of the Adirondack Park.
  • Is listed on the National & State Register Historic Places, is a protected landmark and one of the longest historic districts in the nation. The tracks and ties are included in the listed.
  • Was designated by the Preservation League of New York State as one of “Seven to Save.” The Preservation League draws statewide attention to New York’s most important and at-risk historic places through this program. For more information, visit preservenys.org.
  • Position Statement For Consideration of the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor – December 2014.
  • Adirondack Scenic Railroad Economic Impact Study – March 2012
  • Adirondack Railway Preservation Society – Business Plan
  • Adirondack Scenic Railroad’s original source for this information.

Rally For The Rails! November 7th 2015