To the editor:
These last few weeks of watching Mother Nature dole out the snow with precious reserve exemplifies the sad truth that the rail on the Old-Forge-to-Lake-Placid travel corridor excludes any other use. While some of the area enjoys a brisk snowmobile trade, those of us who rely on the "tracks" for our connection to this economy suffer. So sad when you look to see the corridor would be the path to better times, with plenty of cover, if the snow did not have to be above the rail! Why would we want to invest millions to interfere with this very successful venue that has developed and is supported by itself?
To go a step further, without rail, there would be hiking, bicycling, fishing, birding and other outdoor persuits. One local writer points out that the train could deliver firefighters and emergency services, but would it not be more efficient to allow emergency services access to the corridor with whatever vehicle would be most efficient? Especially if the need was not on the immediate corridor but accessable by a 10-plus-foot-wide, packed-stone-dust trail in any of our more remote areas?
Rails poke through the snow, making it harder for snowmobiles to use the corridor between Old Forge and Tupper Lake.
(Photo — Scott Thompson)
The concept of the recreational rail trail would not take away the train, but the train takes away the trail use of the corridor that has been, for 50 years, its best yet impeded use.