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Locomotive fixed for Halloween train

October 25, 2013
By SHAUN KITTLE - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

LAKE PLACID - The Adirondack Scenic Railroad's Halloween Train Ride will run again despite damage done to the locomotive earlier this month.

Railroad volunteers at the Lake Placid depot discovered a problem Oct. 9 when they attempted to start the locomotive. Further inspection revealed that wires inside the locomotive's electrical cabinet had been pulled out, cut and placed back into the cabinet. The railroad says it was an act of sabotage.

The train is leased by the railroad company and runs between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake in summer and fall. The Halloween runs will be its last of the year.

Article Photos

John Norton, locomotive technician for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, climbs aboard the damaged engine Oct. 16 at the train station in Lake Placid.
(Photo for the Enterprise — Richard Rosentreter)

On Sunday, a team of train specialists got the locomotive running again.

"It was a very extensive effort by the head of the mechanical department," said Bethan Maher, executive director of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. "We brought one specialist in from Batavia and one from Ohio. The train is now up and running. It's been tested, and it appears to be running fine."

Initial damage assessments estimated the repair bill at $25,000 to $50,000. Maher said the railroad company hasn't yet received bills from the specialists, but she said the repairs will probably end up costing about $20,000, not including her company's mechanical staff labor.

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"I can't get into too many specifics as to what we had to repair because the investigation is ongoing," Maher said.

The railroad is offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of those who damaged the locomotive.

"We're hoping that will help because we would really like to find out who did this," Maher said.

Lake Placid police Sgt. Chuck Dobson said investigators are still following a few leads, He said revealing too many details about a case can hinder an ongoing investigation.

"Generally, intimate details about a case or crime can work to our advantage when we're interviewing potential suspects, and once that information becomes public knowledge we no longer have that advantage," Dobson said.

Dobson said a U.S. attorney announced he won't pursue the case on the federal level, which means the Federal Railway Administration and the National Transportation Board won't investigate the incident.

The Halloween Train Ride will include free rides on the Adirondack Carousel, treats, and a horde of family-friendly zombies who will stalk the forests as the train makes its way from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake.

"The Halloween Train has always been a big hit in the community," Maher said. "It's always been one of our more popular train rides, so it's really good to be up and running."



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