Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Apparent sabotage at Adirondack Scenic Railroad

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Apparent sabotage at Adirondack Scenic Railroad David Link

The Adirondack Scenic Railroad last week suffered damage to a locomotive, at rest in Lake Placid, N.Y., that appears to be of malicious intent.

Railroad crews on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 found the locomotive failed a routine safety inspection, but the cause wasn't readily apparent. Subsequent inspection found wires inside the locomotive's electrical box were systematically severed and put back in place, strongly suggesting deliberate motivation, according to David Link, director of volunteers at the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

"This most recent act of sabotage was intended to damage Adirondack Scenic Railroad property and render the company unable to carry passengers and contribute to the economy of the region," Link told Railway Age on Tuesday, Oct. 15. "Not only did these persons jeopardize the safety of our staff and passengers, but the damage is inflicted on the tourism venues we partner with as well. A reward will be posted for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the saboteurs."

The incident is the latest development affecting the railroad, which has included destruction of railroad crossing gates and a fire set on rail right-of-way, mixed with (and possibly linked to) conflict between the railroad and local activists groups opposed to rail operations of any kind along the right-of-way.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad is operated by the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society (ARPS) over portions of 141 miles of ex-New York Central right-of-way owned by the state of New York, most of it located within the Adirondack State Park.

Last year Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings subsidiary Saratoga & North Creek Railway received approval from the Surface Transportation Board to revive 30 miles of the right-of-way between North Creek and Newcomb, N.Y., serving the eastern "High Peaks" within the state park.

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