The possible return of railroading in the Adirondacks??

For a short time, I tried capturing the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad’s crossing over the Sacandaga River.  This was my best shot at capturing that iconic image of a train as it chugs over the trestle.

The Saratoga and North Creek Railroad. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

It was a nice picture, and I had hoped to improve on it.

Unfortunately, by the next year, the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad was out of business.  Ugh.

I get it.  It’s hard for a small railroad to operate when you can only run so many Polar Express and Thomas the Tank Engine Christmas runs, and maybe a couple of fall foliage trips.  And it didn’t help that the SNCRR was caught hauling and storing oil tankers on sections of track farther up in the Adirondacks, near the old Tahawus stretch of their line.

So this track has been left bare for the past two years.  Bummer.

But there may be hope.

A company called United Rail is negotiating with the parties who currently own the track lines to resurrect a new train line between North Creek and Saratoga Springs.  United Rail currently offers several train packages in other parts of the country, including a wine-tasting train that travels from Burbank to Santa Barbara, and an excursion train that connects Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

This would be great.  Tourist trains are awesome rides, and they’re great photography subjects.  And having a big steam engine or a sleek diesel locomotive winding through the Adirondacks is an awesome sight.

Now … there’s still several hurdles to overcome.  The railroad section between North Creek and Newcomb, which was originally part of a mining operation, may be declared abandoned, which could decommission its use as a railroad destination.  Granted, that section could be turned into a pedestrian rail trail, so there’s that option.

But right now, the cool option would be to have a train traveling from Saratoga to North Creek and back – a train filled with tourists and travelers who can enjoy the Adirondacks from the comfort of their train cars.

I’d really like to see this.

That, and I’d really like to get another “train crossing the river” photo in 2020.

Trust me, I’m not asking for much …