The article “A trainload of questions” [November/December 2013] leaves a very negative impression of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, its paid staff, and scores of dedicated volunteers. In order to set the record straight, I would like to point out the following:
Regarding the finances of the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society (ARPS) and the Adirondack Scenic Railroad (ASR), all long-term debt has been paid off as the story acknowledges. Last year ARPS purchased two rebuilt, updated locomotives for cash.
ASR employs a highly qualified, professional, experienced mechanical and operating staff, both paid and volunteer. These staff members are committed to safety and the success of the railroad. Since 1992, the railroad has transported over 1.2 million passengers through the beautiful Adirondack Park.
Most not-for-profit organizations struggle in today’s economy. But as the story notes, Ray Hessinger of the New York State Department of Transportation has said that ASR’s railroad enthusiasts have a long record of overcoming major hurdles. “They’ve been doing it for more than twenty years, so there’s a demonstrated history of being able to run a rail service,” he said.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates and ASR would set aside the constant “one-upmanship” and work together for the benefit of both organizations and the Adirondack community in general?
Garry Savage, Fayetteville
Savage is an Adirondack Scenic Railroad volunteer.