Railroad buys 2 more cars, pledges to grow

UTICA — The Adirondack Scenic Railroad bought two used passenger cars last week, saying the purchase demonstrates “that the rail operation will continue to grow.”

The nonprofit corporation announced Tuesday that it bought the cars from the Norfolk Southern railroad company at an auction Thursday, Aug. 17 in Roanoke, Virginia. ASR said a state grant helped finance the purchase. ASR did not immediately say how much it paid for the cars or how much the grant covered.

“The cars, along with 72 NS locomotives, are being retired by NS in an orderly and anticipated plan to periodically freshen their fleet,” ASR said in a press release. “The five coaches up for bid are in excellent condition and are AMTRAK certified for immediate service.”

“This purchase is the beginning of a long-term plan to upgrade and expand our service capabilities,” ASR board President Bill Branson said in the release.

ASR has run tourist trains from Utica to the Old Forge area for 25 years. From 2000 until last year, it also ran trains on the northern end of that line between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, but the state prohibited that use starting this year as it advances a plan to replace 34 miles of tracks with a trail for biking, snowmobiling, walking and skiing between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. ASR has sued the state over this plan and is awaiting a Franklin County judge’s decision.

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