Cuomo seeks to derail Ad’k rail car storage plan

Train engines sit on tracks outside of the North Creek station of the Saratoga and North Creek Railway, alongside state Route 28. More rail cars were brought in this summer. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

ALBANY (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking a federal agency to stop a railroad company from mothballing unused rail cars in the Adirondack Park.

The Democrat announced Tuesday that the Department of Environmental Conservation is filing a petition to the Surface Transportation Board seeking to stop Saratoga and North Creek Railway from leasing its tracks for storage of unused rail cars.

Ed Ellis, president of Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings, parent company of the railway, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The railroad purchased the 30-mile line from North Creek to Tahawus in the High Peaks with plans to start freight service five years ago, but that never materialized. Now it’s seeking to make money by leasing the tracks for storing hundreds of rail cars.