(Editor's note: This letter is reprinted at the author's request, with one sentence edited for timeliness. It was originally published Sept. 9, 2011.)
To the editor:
In the ongoing "rails versus trails" debate, Historic Saranac Lake would like to highlight an important fact: The 118 miles of rail line, from Remsen to Lake Placid is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The New York Central Railroad Adirondack Division Historic District encompasses 23 buildings and 18 structures, including the tracks and ties. As a National Register property, the Adirondack Railroad receives protection from the effects of federal and or state agency sponsored, licensed or assisted projects.
The Registration Form states that the railway was "a significant transportation system that profoundly influenced the growth and development of the Adirondack region from the 1890s to the 1940s. ... Constructed in the short span of 18 months through rugged terrain, the railroad was a significant engineering accomplishment of the late Nineteenth century, reflecting sophisticated design solutions to the problems of building through a wilderness environment. The line was instrumental in opening the Adirondack region to commerce, transporting passengers and supplies into the mountains, hauling industrial products out of the area."
The complete National Register of Historic Places Registration Form can be found on our wiki website at hsl.wikispot.org/Adirondack_Railroad_Historic_District.
Regarding the recreational trail alongside the tracks from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake, we applaud the Adirondack North Country Association's work to secure the funding for a project that will continue to preserve the historic railway as well as provide new recreation space.
Historic Saranac Lake