Railway Moves Tanker Cars Into Adirondacks

Tanker cars pass through the North Creek region on Tuesday. Photo by Dylan Smith.

The parent company of Saratoga and North Creek Railway has begun moving tanker cars into the Adirondacks for storage. Dylan Smith, a North River resident, took the video below on Tuesday. He described them as “just old tankers–some rusty, some not, all covered in graffiti.”

Environmental groups and public officials have come out against the railway’s plan to store the cars on tracks between North Creek and Tahawus. Environmentalists are concerned that the cars will leak and pollute the adjacent Forest Preserve. The company has refused to say what had been stored in the cars. Look for a full story in the November/December issue of the Adirondack Explorer.


About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

Reader Interactions


  1. Susan McAuliffe says

    There must be some way to stop this! It should not be allowed. Aren’t there any EPA laws to prevent this? ……such as no dumping of garbage within the Park?

    • David P Lubic says

      It’s the price we pay for the lifestyle we have–unless you can come up with an alternative that doesn’t need substances and materials that move by rail. It would be nice to do just that–but can it be done at an acceptable price, not only to you, but to the community and the nation at large?

      Until then, we need transport, including rail transport–and that includes storage of equipment that is currently “out of work.”

      Consider the transport alternatives. In this case, we might be talking about a lot more trucks on the roads, with their addition to congestion, to fuel consumption, to air pollution, and additional accidents, too, with attendant spills.

      This is far from the best solution, but it’s in use because the track space is available. There are a lot of other places where it isn’t available.

  2. Justa thought says

    Clearly there is no real security around these tracks or tankers.
    what’s to stop local residence from using their own 4×4’s to push the cars tank car OUT of their communities, and then just tear up the tracks.
    A lot can happen in the middle of the night when people are motivated.

    “Be the 1 to take action, or be the 1 to be rolled over!”

  3. Dan BogDan says

    The truth is that the automobiles you all are driving are more harmful to the environment (especially 4×4’s) than these stored tank cars. Before you start pushing tank cars just start pushing your cars out of your community and tear up the roads. You don’t have to do this in the middle of the night but can do this in broad daylight. We’ll all be better off with less autos and less roads.

  4. Valerie Ackroyd says

    The tanker cars have been in Northern New York, Lewis County, for quite sometime now, they go for approximately nine miles. Having them from North Creek to Tahawus is not anything new.

  5. David P Lubic says

    Railroads not only move (and in this case store) cars in scenic and wilderness areas–but through large cities and towns, too.

    This brings up perhaps what should be a more important question.

    Why do we need or want these products in the first place?

    Some, such as the Bakken oil, power our transportation system. Others, such as chlorine, treat our tapwater. We use these products and many others. To use them, they must be transported from where they are to where they are needed.

    For that job, railroads are the most efficient and safest way to do so. Keep in mind that a railroad normally has to pay all its bills, pay a profit, and pay taxes, too, including property taxes on its right of way. The highway, air transport, and trail systems are all given passes on all of those items.

    The alternative would be more expensive truck transport on subsidized roads–more traffic congestion, more road wear, more fuel consumption (and its related pollution), and more accidents and spills than we already have.

    The situation in regard to railroads isn’t new. Check out this movie from the 1950s, starting at around 13:00. The loss of so much of the rail system was not due to natural economic factors.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *