To the editor,
I would like to use this venue as an opportunity to agree with Dean Lefebvre. As he stated in his letter in your paper on Nov. 8, "People need to work together instead of against one another on the rails-to-trails debate." I wholeheartedly concur! This divisive issue has caused us to lose sight of the ultimate goal - which is the economic advancement and well-being of our beloved Tupper Lake.
Allow me to propose a different solution, one that would allow the railroad to remain a cherished and honored part of our history while moving us forward into the future. This solution would serve to provide a desperately needed emotional and economic boost to Tupper Lake.
Here is how it could be done right now. We create a trail by removing the train tracks. We use the salvage money to develop the trail and, at the same time, create a living railroad memorial.
The train station will become a railroad museum and historical education center. The train whistle will be blown every day at designated times. This sound will serve to evoke emotion and mark the time each day. Rest stops along the trail will contain informational kiosks that serve to educated and commemorate the rich history of the railroad. Rail cars will be "planted" along the trail and used for shelter and refreshment. Railroad enthusiasts and volunteers will serve as trail stewards and educators for the walkers, hikers, bikers and snowmobilers who will frequent the trail. The entire corridor will be open and available to a huge number of people. What better way to honor this historic line than to provide a year-round, healthy, active option for many people of all ages and abilities.
I believe this option meets the vital requirements of any successful venture. It is affordable, feasible, timely and realistic. It also serves to keep an antiquated and obsolete railroad line alive, current and thriving.
Come on, Tupper Lake, let's work together!
Life-long Tupper Lake resident and trail supporter