About Tim Rowland

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

Reader Interactions


  1. Bill Keller says

    Good luck on the train schedule. Under 2.5 hours by car from Utica to Tupper, 5.5 hours by train. I hope they are successful but history says not. The train from Saratoga to North Creek, dismal failure and a waste of millions of tax dollars. Revolution rail gets a great deal for $2.7 million for their rail bike business. Rule of thumb for new track construction is between $1 Million – $2 Million per mile, so that makes 30 miles of track worth at least $30 million, nice return on a $2.7 million investment. I’m all for it as long as tax dollars aren’t keeping them afloat.

    • Big Burly says

      The trip on 10-16 took longer than will be the case in 2023 and beyond. Travel speed was restricted to 20 MPH over an approximately 30 mile segment that has not yet been ultra sound tested following completion of upgrade work in September. When that is completed, track speed will increase significantly. The track work done is to Class 3 standards. Transit time Utica to Tupper Lake will be closer to 3 hours as a consequence — in comfort one does not enjoy by car on NY 28, enjoying somebody else doing the driving while able to enjoy the company of other passengers and the scenery

      • scott thompson says

        How long will all the stops they claim they will be making? Each takes time a lot of fuel to get the train rolling again.

  2. Sally Hoy says

    Three of us were on top of Low’s Ridge/Hitchin’s Overlook when the train came chugging by on the 18th!!
    I was able to get a picture of it as I celebrated my Adirondack Paddle Pursuit finish. How fortunate!

    • Phelps Forrest says

      Having hiked to the Upper Dam and climbed the Overlook, and saw the RR line cut through the Bog we were looking back at the Ridge from our seats on the train. And would love to see that photo.

  3. LeRoy Hogan says

    Does Adirondack RR pay a rail usage fee as does Catskill Mountain RR pays a lease to Ulster County? Plus CMRR pays for its own rail maintenance.

  4. LeRoy Hogan says

    Has the Adirondack Explorer ever seen a financial report from the Adirondack RR? Unlike Fort Ticonderoga sending reports to all supporting members, I’ve seen nothing from the railroad. They are a charity, aren’t they?

  5. Tony Goodwin says

    Great that 250 rode this initial run to Tupper Lake. It did not, however, appear that there was a waiting list for tickets for this run because the report was that there were, “…just a few empty seats.”

    So, once these 250 have enjoyed the scenery and (endured) the nine-hour ride, how many others will pay $150-230 to also ride this train?

    • Boreas says

      I agree. As much as I would like to see the train be successful, I have to wonder about sufficient demand to keep the tracks shiny.

    • Roger Jette says

      Me, I will gladly pay 150 for this senic ride. maybe 230, depending what you get.
      If you get a senic, catered, carefree ride to Tupper and back that’s worth it to me. Have you seen the route? Looked at it on google satellite? It goes through some beautiful places, along rivers and beaver marshes, around mountains and across parts of forests and lakes that I have never seen.
      Wild lands. I might see Eagles, hawks, moose, deer as I snack, enjoy my beverage and look out the window.
      Once in Tupper, stroll along the lake through the park, catch a cab into town or over to the Wild Center.
      The lack of transportation from the train to other destinations or trailheads is an oppertunity that will hopefully be filled soon. I would prefer a private entity but possible a single route bus from the train to the wild center could sufice both for getting people to town and as public transportation. I envision E-bike rentals, Pede-cabs, more festivals in the park, guide services, boat rentals on the lake and the raquette river, conoeing and kayaking, maybe even rafting on the lower raquette. Tupper has the potential to be a great ending point to this railroad and desperatly needs the tourism. I hope it suceeds.
      The stations in Big moose and Norridgenock, Sabbitis, Horseshoe lake can all serve as backpacking trailheads and spur businesses around them.

    • Paul says

      We shall see. Part of the compromise. How is the snowmobile/bike trail doing? Just curious – seems to just be ruffed out so far?

  6. Ginny Brandreth says

    Re: Second to last sentence

    Several of us from Brandreth Park we’re out by the tracks clearing brush from old foundations. We were snapping pictures, waving and cheering – so excited to see a train pull through the Brandreth Station once again! Epic experience!!

    • Scott Thompson says

      Always an attraction, but a couple years ago a dozen young people from Brandreth Hiked down to Norridgewock for lunch and claimed they thought biking down would be a blast and would prefer the trail.

  7. Dave says

    Saratoga to North Creek didn’t survive; this boondoggle cost @$200 per ticket for a 11 hr train ride, that can be driven for a lot less & a person has a vehicle to get around Tupper Lake when they arrive; no tourist attractions within walking distance of the train station & no local transport available. But 250 for the 1st ride – not bad. See if you can keep that up next year, because with the cost of fuel & insurance & maintenance going up, you’ll need full trains to stay on the positive side of money. But we all know YOU WILL FAIL in the end!

  8. Julie Higgins says

    I am excited for the tourists and for Tupper Lake. Hopefully I will be able to take the train and also try the railbikes. It is great that there are plans that will add jobs for the area.

  9. Len Dano says

    First, let me say that I have been and continue to be a visitor to Tupper Lake annually. At 51 years old I have spent at least a week, sometimes much more, Tupper Lake and the Adirondacks in general. Growing up there was never any question where we were going on vacation. Mybrothers and sister passionately looked forward to going to “camp” each summer. We didn’t know that any other type of vacation existed.

    As I grew older, I was lucky enough to meet my wife at Raquette Lake, and now we continue the tradition of vacationing in Tupper Lake each year. Our son, at the age of 16 when most kids are looking to go to luxury resorts on vacations passionately, looks forward to going to camp every summer.

    As a family, we have watched Tupper Lake decline over the past several decades. And yet we continue to visit there every summer, waiting, hoping that something will happen to breathe life into the town. The last 10 years or so I have watched the town slowly begin to come back to life. New businesses have opened and flourished, food trucks, and a baseball team, bring visitors and money into the area. In this visitors view, Tupper Lake is on the rebound.

    And finally, before I address the return of train service to Tupper Lake, let me be clear that I live, work and pay taxes in New York State.

    As for the return of rail service to Tupper Lake: as a child, I was fortunate enough to ride the train from Tupper Lake all the way to Lake Placid and back. Simply put it was a thrill. Now the thought of being able to ride from Tupper Lake south, is something that I’m looking forward to very much. I for one will gladly pay whatever fee is necessary.

    Over the past several years, there has been great debate over the financial feasibility of the plan to rehab and reopen the rails from Tupper Lake to Old Forge. I for one believe that the compromise that was reached, is workable if it is handled correctly.

    In short, I would rather see my tax dollars going to an enterprise that tries to bring tourists back into a region that so sorely needs them. There is so much other waste, corruption and fraud in the state that does not go toward meaningful progress. By that standard, this project is actually a breath of fresh air. There is a tremendous amount of positive news about Tupper Lake these days, I would implore everyone who has ever visited this area to embrace, nurture and support the changes that are taking place.

    Over the past several weeks, I have read over a dozen articles about the train returning to Tupper Lake. Sadly, many of the comments are cynical at best and completely negative at worst. For the sake of the town that I consider a great part of my childhood, and for the region, where my family and I continue to make memories every summer, I say, let’s give this a chance. Our tax dollars get wasted on far less meaningful boondoggles every single day.

    Without memories and traditions, even the beautiful scenery of the Adirondack mountains, and the charm of the small towns in that region cannot survive. Support the train, and the rail trail for the better of everyone that lives in works in the communities that are serviced by it. We will all be better for it!

  10. upstater says

    Is there c any plan for dropping off canoeists at Lake Lila or the Sabbatis siding crossing the Bog River leading to Lows Lake? I hope not; there is a hard way to get to those places and in the past 3 years it has become difficult to find parking or camping. If half a dozen canoe parties were dropped off at each of these places, competition for suitable camping would become difficult. It might encourage overuse.

    Perhaps this could be a follow-up report.

  11. Scott Thompson says

    I believe Tupper Lake has maybe 4 taxis. The new train schedule is not out yet, but 12-14 weeks a year, maybe 3 days a week may not encourage more taxis or shuttle busses. The Old Forge Shuttle bus has cost the Town a lot!

    • George Boyd says

      Tupper Lake has no taxis at this time and I don’t think any Uber either. Running a taxi is expensive and you need 7 days of business to have a chance of making it.

  12. Anita says

    I just sold my Camp at lake pleasant, had 18 glorious years there….I drove from Ma to NY Over 5hr to reach my little piece of heaven….
    As I passed thru little towns and lakes and rustic stores,and spots to eat…while I made the most of it I was terrorized by rude and threatening trucks and SUVs
    Hell bent on speeding and
    Just generally driving recklessly…my point being that this such train service offers a lovely alternative
    To see the beautiful gift that is the Adirondacks , the mountains ,valleys,waterways
    Wilderness and the beautiful wildlife that abound.all that and not having a maniac bearing down on you to ruin your day or take your life.

  13. Mark DuMoulin Sr. says

    I plan on taking Amtrak to Utica from Penn Station N.Y. then getting on the Adirondack and continuing to Tupper on a semi regular basis. I look forward to the Schedule coming out. I grew up in Tupper and saw the last one leave. Perhaps the Museum of Natural History should promote this activity as they sponsor the Wild Center which many believe is in Saranac Lake, just a short ride from Lake Placid. Tupper Lake needs to be the destination being sought.

  14. Phelps Forrest says

    Having hiked to the Upper Dam and climbed the Overlook, and saw the RR line cut through the Bog we were looking back at the Ridge from our seats on the train. And would love to see that photo.

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