Back in 2012, when Saratoga & North Creek Railway applied for an exemption to operate the rail line, they received an overwhelming voice of support from state lawmakers, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and other local and public officials.
Although I was not directly involved with local government at the time, I have read the concurring and dissenting filings with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and support the exemption decision.
The current controversy over the storage of train cars on the Tahawus line, specifically in the Town of Newcomb, does not in my opinion represent a “depraved indifference” to the life of the Adirondack Park, as a few groups suggested. I do agree, to a certain point, greater consideration should be given to the scenic views when determining the temporary placement of the cars. Unquestionably, there is an environmental impact, and to my knowledge there has been no “environmental impact assessment” filed by the storage company with the Adirondack Park Agency.
While there has been an exaggeration of storing up to three thousand cars on the rail line, any such storage does not fit with the character of the Adirondack Park. People who visit the Adirondacks certainly do not come to Newcomb to hike, canoe, or kayak only to have their experience diminished by the site of rusty, old, outdated train cars.
As for the long-term use of the rail corridor between North Creek and Tahawus, I believe it is too early to tell or even suggest the ultimate fate. This decision should be made through talks with its owners, the State of New York, the state legislature, the Adirondack Park Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the STB, and other area and local government officials. Consideration should also be given to local zoning and approved land-use plans.
Robin DeLoria, Supervisor,
Town of Newcomb