About Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland is a columnist, author and outdoors writer living in Jay.

Reader Interactions


  1. Tom Paine says

    Smoke and mirrors, smoke and mirrors!! Pass the popcorn, please. All of them waiting for NYS taxpayers to be put on the hook.

  2. Boreas says

    Will there be a guarantee that Revolution Rail will restore and keep the line maintained up to necessary freight or passenger standards? Or is this just going to squeeze the last few bucks out of the line before it is condemned?

  3. Chemin de Fer says

    While this is a creative and fun form of exercise, you can see from the rudimentary design of the rail cars that a minimal effort was made at the lowest cost possible, and that the cars have no historic relevance to the Adirondacks. The Swiss would have provided a complete design concept for the public, added a traditional, wooden design to the cars, and offered a blanket with a pic-nick of locally produced cheese, bread, and charcuterie to ensure the permanence of the concept and to demonstrate that the lines would also be maintained.

    The Americans should invite the Swiss, who excel at mountain hospitality and tourism combined with environmental preservation, to design a positive future for the Adirondacks so that a traditional balance between nature and man can be established without over-exploitation of natural resources or total abandonment of villages that are worthy of preservation.

    Americans would benefit from adopting models from other countries.

    • Adkskibum says

      Those phantom Swiss of which you speak had every option to bid during the first and then the second bankruptcy auctions.

      Guess Swiss investors are more savvy than you

      • Savvy says

        Perhaps savvy Swiss investors realise that America is a declining country and that their efforts would go to waste.

    • LeRoy Hogan says

      I prefer made in USA rail bikes. 26May I will try out Rail Explorers in the Catskills to see for myself what it is like.

      I stayed open minded for the original winning bidder but Revolution Rail is hopefully the better choice anyway.

      Not sure where the sense for a rail bike company carrying passengers would need to have the rail at freight standards. Not seeing much freight being carried by rail bikes.

  4. Nathan says

    From northcreek to Tahawus i think its all single line, how would people be able to go both ways until line is clear from one direction? and 30 miles is sure a long way to peddle that contraption. with no restrooms. outhouses, food or water and much without even cell phone service in an emergency. bike trail i can see easily, but there would be a big need for rest rooms and at least water and vending machine at Tahawus area. Maybe a food truck but would it be cost effective or profitable?
    Just seems not very feasable.

    • adk'46r says

      thats the last thing anyone wants to see in the Adirondacks.

      let the woods be woods. I trust that they have it down to a science and that bathrooms and trash wont be an issue.

      thats the big reason i am opposed to the rail trail and it condemns any potential industry outside of tourism in the ADKs

    • Joseph G. Brauner says

      The rail pedal car excursions don’t go the entire length. You are bussed to a starting point, pedal in a group x miles to a point where you take a break and the cars are rotated to face the opposite direction, then pedal back. It’s a lot of fun! I imagine if the brought on a rail freight option, there would just be a schedule to follow…

    • LeRoy Hogan says

      There are already 6 rail bike locations already being feasible in NYS. There is safety accountability with rail bikes simply if a rail bike does not return, people know.

  5. Tony Goodwin says

    I don’t see how the rail bike operation could ever generate enough revenue to pay off the apparent selling price. Revolution Rail also says they will allow ‘occasional freight moves’ but who will pay to renovate the tracks to make that possible.

    If there were some way that all those ugly tailings that one sees from Santanoni could be shipped somewhere, I would be pleased; but somehow the economics just don’t work.

    And FWIW, the Marshalls in their original quest for the 46 peaks also rated the view from each peak. As of the 1920s – pre titanium mine – the view from Santanoni was mostly unspoiled wilderness, and its view was rated #2 after Haystack. Today’s ‘view rating would be lower due to all the tailings.

  6. Dick Carlson says

    Thanks Tim! I don’t understand the allure of RevRail – but it is sure popular and they do a great job of customer service. John and Carol McLean Wright were in the bizzaro world from the get-go. Look up their plans for the Stony Creek Ranch (1000 acres) – out there!

  7. Pop pop shreddy says

    The challenge of a private/public park has always been the balance between economics and ecology. Businesses like RevRail that brought over 50,000 credit card carrying visitors to the Adirondack Park just last summer, leaving nary a trace from their educational and invigorating experience, should be commended and nurtured. You go RevRail, can’t wait for trips down from Tahawus!

    • Dana says

      Are you saying RevRail alone brought those visitors to the Park? I think that is fantasy. Did tourists already here use RR as a day excursion/diversion? Seems much more likely. Would they have used a Rail Trail if it was here? Very likely.

      If one wants to literally bring new visitors to the Park, start putting in casinos! NOW you are talking jobs and growth wherever you put one. Vice is very popular! Take a train from Saratoga to Newcomb, eat, drink, gamble, spend the night, and return south (bypassing the track!) when you are broke!

      • Dana says

        Better yet – put the casino on top of the mine crater! Use the crater itself for infrastructure and perhaps geothermal energy, and the casino on top. Use tailings as back fill. Minimize parking to encourage use of the trains. The “trains” would be a small fleet of battery-powered or hybrid locomotive/tractors with a few cars. Use a percentage of the profits to repair environmental mining damage to the river and surrounding area.

        What would the Swiss think of that!

        • naturschutzgebeit says

          The Swiss would find a CASINO in a wild park to be an extremely offensive abuse of a park and of the ethic of preserving wild spaces for their inherent wilderness value.
          The monetisation of a park would also be offensive. Swiss Nature protection areas charge visitors for parking and food for the purpose of preserving the nature preserve -never for the purpose of introducing a Casino! The Swiss still make money because they are NOT GREEDY- Instead, they are the most ingenious and innovative, designing new, precise, intelligent products of the highest quality that people will buy, knowing that they will last forever – the opposite of American greed mentality.

        • Boreas says

          Most people would find a rail corridor in any wild area offensive. But in a country that was literally built on heavy extraction industries (much of which was shipped to Europe who already denuded their countryside of timber) we still have remnants of that industry. Question is, what makes the most sense if extraction is no longer economically feasible? The Adirondacks are not Switzerland, Germany, England, or Italy, and the needs and cultures differ dramatically. The US still has relatively cheap fuel and a heavy reliance on private automobiles. It has different needs and ideals than Europe. Not always better – just different.

          It is always a good idea to consider other workable options, but just like language, may not translate across the big water.

      • LeRoy Hogan says

        Because of Rail Explorers alone, I am driving into the Catskill Park and will eat at the new Korean deli in Phoenicia. Because of Adirondack RR alone, I drove to Utica.

  8. Dave says

    Whose going to maintain the rails outside of what the rail bikes are going to use? The doubt a business that small can maintain the entire line? Are they going to open it all up to snowmobile use in the winter? Are they going to allow other use of the rails (outside of what they use) in the summer? And who are they going to get to manage any other use they allow on the tracks?

  9. Dave says

    Still haven’t seen this question answered? Are they going to maintain the entire line or just the small chunk they will ride the rail bikes on? Plus they really don’t need to do a lot of maintenance to use the rail bikes? SO who’s going to foot the bill to keep the rest of the line in a usable shape? It’s not the states responsibility anymore, since they don’t own it? IS anyone else going to be permitted to use the unused portion of the line, or did someone just buy the entire line, to just use a portion & let the rest go to hell!

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