Although the operator of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, the Adirondack Rail Preservation Society (ARPS), is still involved in a lawsuit against multiple NY State departments over the construction of a 34-mile rail-trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, that doesn’t mean service is shutting down. The ARPS did not receive a permit to operate trains in the Tri-Lakes area this year from NY State, but they are planning to offer train trips in the Southwestern Adirondacks starting July 1.
Photo provided by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad
Update on the Lawsuit
For over a year, the proposed rail-trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, which would involve removing track from the historic Adirondack Scenic Railroad, has been heavily discussed. In May 2016, the NY State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Transportation (DOT) and Governor Cuomo joined the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) in approving the project.
Since then, the ARPS has issued a lawsuit against the NY State departments because they believe a more comprehensive economic and environmental review is necessary. While that final review was discussed in court, another roadblock over state land ownership along the endangered track was discovered.
In response to this growing number of issues, the judge in charge of the case, State Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Main, delayed his February 2017 ruling until further evidence could be provided by both parties.
A decision was expected on June 6, but there has been no further updates regarding the case as of this time.
Beginning Their Summer Season
While the future of the controversial rail-trail is unknown, in April 2017, NY State decided not to issue a permit to the ARPS to run trains in the Tri-Lakes area this year, including the section between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.
Instead, the ARPS plans to operate trains between their stations in Utica and Thendara. On Saturday, July 1, the summer train season will “officially” begin with a Thendara to Big Moose Scenic Trail Adventure. Following that ride, some of the other regular and special trips will include:
- Utica to Big Moose Adventure
- Utica to Thendara with Layover
- Thendara to Otter Lake
- Loomis Gang Train Robbery
- Clown Train
- And More
In addition, for this season, the stretch between Big Moose and Tupper Lake will not be used because of railroad track repairs.
Have you every taken a ride on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad?
- Syracuse.com – Adirondack Scenic Railroad on ‘pins and needles,’ some rides will begin July 1