Placid mayor is disingenuous about rails

To the editor:

I write to comment regarding the article published Sept. 23 and written by Antonio Olivero regarding the Lake Placid power line.

Mayor Randall’s comments are disingenuous … in a word.

The present line was built to the community to help with power requirements for the 1980 Olympics — and it was insufficient then. Without the railroad right of way, the line would not have been able to be built, given all the land-use rules that prevent to this day the construction of adequate power lines within the Blue Line. Since 2000, the current operator of the historic rail corridor has helped to ensure access to the transmission lines.

This issue has been festering in the background for quite some time. Since the outages earlier this year, National Grid has been looking for solutions to repair and update the line — access is reasonable and cost effective only using hi-rail-equipped vehicles. The state Department of Environmental Conservation decision to “close” the rail trackage north of Tupper Lake as of Nov. 30, 2016, as part of the Alternative 7 unit management plan amendment, leaves access to this section of the pole line up in the air.

Efforts including the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, New York State Department of Transportation and National Grid have been underway for several weeks to facilitate the needed repairs. The wildly misleading commentary from this mayor seems self-serving and maybe a day late in the scheme of things. The issues involved have been known for a long time to anyone truly concerned. The announced rail trail, if built, will not be wide enough or adequate to support highway vehicles; National Grid has the equipment necessary for hi-rail access.

Perhaps this is yet another reason to ensure that full passenger rail access to Lake Placid from the rest of the USA is retained?

Robert G. Hest

Mountain View

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