The Adirondack Railroad was a successor to the New York Central Adirondack line and a predecessor to the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Passenger service was revived to serve the 1980 Winter Olympics in 1980.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 14, 1978
RR run date to be announced in two weeks
LAKE PLACID — The date of the first run of the Remsen-Lake Placid railroad will be announced at a press conference here within the next two weeks.
Hugh Radbill, manager of the Adirondack Railroad Corp, which is renovating the line, told the Enterprise last night the line is not yet ready for travel and reconstruction is continuing.
He said the press conference will allow the media to be informed of the first run of the line in six years. He said national television network representatives are to be invited to the briefing.
Washout areas at Floodwood are still being repaired, he said. Once that work is done, the embankment near the viaduct over the Saranac River here must be rebuilt, he said,
The run had been anticipated for late last month and Gov. Hugh Carey was to ride the train, but the line was incomplete. — James M. Odato
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 20, 1979
Railroad line to open in May
SARANAC LAKE — The reactivation of the Remsen to Lake Placid railroad line is expected to occur in late May but hinges on the 1980 Winter Olympic ticket policy. The policy is expected tube set on March 1.
A test run of the railroad line was called off several months ago because rail alignments and signal installments are necessary, Hugh Radbill of Adirondack Railway Corp. said.
"We'll know what we are going to do with the line once the ticket policy is made. It's up to the Olympic Committee to tell us how much they want to use it," Radbill said.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 7, 1980
Train makes first scheduled run
SARANAC LAKE - About 30 passengers, arrived in the Adirondacks Friday night on the first regularly scheduled run of the Adirondack Railroad.
Railroad spokesman Hugh Radbill said, "Mechanically, everything went beautifully. We were right on time, in, fact, were a little early!"
The train will leave Utica at 5:30 p.m. every Friday until the Olympics, and will leave Lake Placid on the return trip Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Radbill said Adirondack Railroad Co. is investigating the possibility of scheduling a southbound Saturday train that would leave in the morning and return that evening."
Currently, he said, ticket sales arrangements are being made and a contract for through reservations from New York City is being negotiated with Amtrack. The railroad managers plan to sell tickets from the freight station next to Union Station in Saranac Lake until passenger station restoration is completed. That restoration is. expected to be, done next summer.
Radbill said a railroad information phone number is also planned.
In Lake Placid, tickets will be sold through several local people on a contract basis. Additional construction is planned for the Lake Placid rail yard, including a supervisor's shack, more tracks, and a temporary ticket booth on the platform.
There are now three tracks in Placid, with a run-around track that allows the engine to drive around the train and re-connect for departure. Radbill said Adirondack Railroad Co. has purchased a 100 foot turn-table for Lake Placid that will be installed next summer.
On Saturday, there was an excursion trip from Lake Placid to Beaver River, a distance of 61 miles. Radbill said Beaver River was selected for the tour because it is an island most people never see, as it is only accessible by train or ferry.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 23, 1980
Railroad facing financial difficulties
By E.J. CONZOLA II SARANAC LAKE - The Adirondack Railway, which only recently reported that it was in fine shape financially, is apparently having difficulties.
Railway President Frank Menair has told State Department of Transportation officials that more than $500,000 is needed for track repairs. The railroad is also facing a lawsuit filed by a Saranac Lake business which alleges the company has not paid its bills.
The request for funds to initiate track repairs came following the fourth derailment in seven weeks on the 150-mile line. Monday, Menair had announced the railroad was suspending service indefinitely because of the derailments.
Menair said Tuesday that excursions will resume Friday, but that the train will be forced to travel at reduced speeds to prevent further problems. The train, which normally travels at around 30 miles per hour, will have to reduce its speed to ten miles per hour in six areas Menair described as "trouble spots."
The run from Utica to Lake Placid took eight hours before the speed reduction. The lawsuit, which has been filed by Hans and Vera Eckhardt of Gauthier's Motel, alleges that the railroad ran up a $1,300 bill while housing employees at the motel. Mrs. Eckhardt said that several attempts to collect the money have been unsuccessful.
"They're just not paying us...they're giving us the run-around," she said. Mrs. Eckhardt said that she initially tried to contact Hugh Radbill, the railroad's local representative, but that he no longer lives in the area. She also said that she had spoken with company officials at the headquarters in Thendara, without success.
Lake Placid Attorney Henry Gelles. who is representing the Eckhardts, said that papers had been filed with the Secretary of State's office, informing the state of the impending lawsuit. Gelles said that the railway has hired an attorney but that he did not see any recourse for the company.
"I really don't see where there's any defense at all," Gelles said. He pointed out that the Eckhardts have unpaid motel bills from company employees, incurred when the railroad lodged them at the motel.
Mrs. Eckhardt also said that there is another local businessman who is owed $3,000 by the railway company. She declined to name the individual, stating that she was not sure if he wanted the publicity.
Railroad officials were unavailable for comment Tuesday and Wednesday.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 1, 1985
Wake up and smell the cinders and creosote
Well... yes… maybe! Historically, a stagecoach was a model of efficiency. With just a crack of the whip, the horses would whinny in eager anticipation and away things went, all rattle and dust.
The iron horse was designed to replace the oat-eating stable variety.
But today, even a dying railroad is a many-splendored thing and can elicit long dormant reserves of nostalgia. Enough, in fact, to give it an extra year or two of life.
Saranac Lake people and those scattered up and down the Adirondack Railroad Line may have reasoned with some legitimacy that the scenic division boasting New York Central roots was dead.
Very few trackside skeletons remain to stimulate conjecture. However, the line's vice-president is not operating a medicine show where you pull a crowd of rubes together and sell them a bottle of liver extract or kidney flush at a dollar and a half and then move out of town before the scam hits home.
The vice-president, Hugh Radbill, believes in the Adirondack with an almost religious fervor and intensity. Adjudicatory inertia may have set in, that's true, but only inertia in the sense that no news whatsoever was reaching the Adirondack Enterprise.
Nothing, at least, that anyone could put into a futuristic perspective. The roadbed is still intact and the Union Depot is still standing as a monument to the attention and devotion that local people have endowed it with. No real dollars have been spent on it because of its vague title, but at least people are using it and watching it so fire doesn't claim it.
The cumbersome diehard managerial practices literally strangulated progress in a form of competitive suicide rather than in cooperative creativeness.
The Adirondack Railroad today envisions available and eager bread and butter accounts which, should pump new hope and harmony into, the line.
Gold Mines of the Future
A freight dimension to carry petroleum into the mountains and transportation of wood products out of the area is now considered. It will also seek a mail contract.
The management has its eye on the very crucial refuse and garbage disposal crisis. The huge and expensive concerns in this financial network spell potential big business especially with a city the size of Utica as the southern terminus. Some of the financial intricacies appear staggering, but there are solvable options well on the way to blueprinting.
Radbill says the roadbed could prove quite compatible with those factions championing outdoor recreation including snowmobile trails and nature arteries for all types of sporting vehicles. Minor terrain improvements from Old Forge to Lake Placid give the line an appeal and an advertising quality for those seeking access to areas of play and profits. A few of the key railroad stations might still become operable even though temporarily in the control of wilderness industries or industrial complexes covering the quadrant from Big Moose, Thendara and hamlets further north.
Railroad ski specials can also offer much more than other carriers beating the drums for package weekends. Much groundwork has already been laid to emphasize the sporting uses of the railroad for all seasons. Catering the food and beverage business in dining cars creates a lively interest among schools like Paul Smith's College, which teaches hotel management and the allied restaurant trades.
Because Paul Smith's Hotel once operated its own short line, it has a special interest in North County railroads. Rolling stock is at a buyer's premium at present and some of the luxurious sleepers, dining and parlor cars, and even observation cars, can be acquired reasonably. These units originally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and now attract investors who can't resist the bargain aspects.
The roadbed is in better condition than imagined, though a few bridges need repair or replacement and occasional drainage problems caused by beaver colonies are apparent this far north.
Streamlining the available concepts seems to keynote any move to create an investor's panacea on the Adirondack Line. Other short lines are being revitalized and made to pay handsomely simply as valuable linkage with major rail arteries handling east-west traffic, but missing smaller but productive areas of industrial potential.
The Adirondack's closeness to Canada may be a great hidden asset. Radbill claims that the new concept for the Adirondack will be three-tiered: the railroad itself, a holding company, and a shop and leasing company.
Lake Placid, as the northern terminus, would become increasingly important. Some studies have already been made which might include changing the roadbed, a move that would bring passengers to a point closer to the Olympic Center and the hotels and restaurants that abound in the sports epicenter.
If you are still nostalgic enough to hope for steam locomotive travel, wake up and smell the cinders and creosote. The idea of steam is still extant and the abuses and fouling of the air have been overcome in a manner to allow the return of the old iron horse.
We hope it all works out. We hope Hugh Radbill meant it when he said with emphasis, "The railroad is far from dead!"
July 31, 1989
RR backers plan feasibility study
By BARBARA RICE
LAKE PLACID — People from around the North Country interested in saving the Adirondack Railroad met Saturday at Adirondack North Country Association offices here and asked ANCA to take the lead in studying the economic feasibility of the railroad in the 1990s.
"This is a real opportunity for ANCA to prove it is truly a regional organization," said Bob Hall from Old Forge.
The group agreed that funding, general uses of the rail line and local needs should be major considerations in the study. No decision was made on who would do it, but there was general agreement the study should be conducted by an independent consulting firm with no local ties.
"Now is the time for us to get together and do one thing — the study. Anything else we discuss is premature," declared Jim Ellis of Tupper Lake.
Previous estimates for restoring the 118-mile Remsen-to-Lake Placid rail line have been as high as a million dollars per mile. However, the group that gathered here Saturday was optimistic the tracks could be restored for much less.
"The railroad is a $118 million asset, and six-to-twelve million (dollars) should restore it," Thomas Tobin maintained. He is president of ANCA, which in addition to promoting the area now distributes hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in state-supplied funds for economic development in Northern New York.
Pending legal action between the state and William Kuntz, a Westport entrepreneur who has been talking for years about reviving the railroad, has bought the group the time needed to complete the study.
"We have to make the strongest case possible right away," urged Roger Tubby of Saranac Lake. He and others said quick action is necessary if the state is considering turning the tracks into a long recreational trail, as is widely believed.
Among the many plans discussed for the railroad were its possible use to haul solid waste. The shipping of wood chips and tourist excursions were also mentioned as possibilities.
Although Tobin says he still needs approval from the ANCA board to fund the project, he does not anticipate any problems and is hoping to schedule a meeting some time this week.'"
Most agreed Saturday's gathering was positive and succeeded in accomplishing what it set out to do: make plans for an independent study and unite the many groups from all along the line who are working to revive the railroad.
"It's been very productive," declared Hugh Radbill of Saranac Lake.