It would be a disgrace to lose the train

To the editor:

Earlier this autumn I rode the Adirondack Scenic Railroad out of Lake Placid, and I hope to be able to do this again. The volunteers are probably the nicest bunch of people anyone will ever meet, and I enjoyed my afternoon immensely.

It is an absolute disgrace what Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates has proposed, and the plans to fast-track the removal of the tracks is only a sign that trail proponents want the tracks removed no matter how. The thing which bothers me the most about tearing up the tracks is that removing the tracks north of Tupper Lake would be a disgrace to historical preservation. As a student of history (and an alumnus of SUNY Potsdam), the demolition of a landmark, no less a working landmark, is vandalism.

New York state purchased the line from a bankrupt Penn Central in the 1970s to prevent the removal of the tracks in the first place, and today it hosts excursion trains and (until recently) rail bikes. I hope that cooler heads prevail and a way to preserve the tracks and to add a trail can be done. The pace at which the state and ARTA want to do this is disturbing.

Alexander Ivanoff