Saratoga County

Scenic railroad startup date delayed to July 23

Radio communication problems and rusty rails have pushed back the inaugural run of the Saratoga & No

Radio communication problems and rusty rails have pushed back the inaugural run of the Saratoga & North Creek Railway from this week to July 23, company officials said Tuesday.

The new railroad, which will have a ticket office and gift shop at the train station off West Avenue in Saratoga Springs, was scheduled to start running scenic trains July 1 but this date was pushed back to July 14 and then postponed again earlier this week.

Ed Ellis, president of Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC, which will operate the excursions between Saratoga Springs and North Creek, said the company has been running test trains for about a week and discovered the problems. He said the trains running through the Adirondacks must be in constant radio communication with the Iowa Pacific dispatch center in Janesville, Wis., and this constant communication isn’t yet happening. Ellis said a radio tower may have to be added somewhere along the line.

Portions of the track near some road crossings need to be cleaned and repaired so that they activate crossing safety gates, he said. “They have to be 100 percent,” Ellis said Tuesday. Repairing the crossing gate mechanisms has started and should be finished by the end of this week. “We are 100 percent on the side of safety,” Ellis said.

Mike McConville, vice president, operations for Iowa Pacific and the Saratoga & North Creek line, said, “Our primary concern right now is that the communications, track and operations meet with the expectations of the people that have been looking forward to this opening for a long time.” said.

Ellis said the railroad will be using two classic dome cars and two coach cars along with several locomotives.

Steve Torrico, the local general manager of the Saratoga & North Creek Railway, said, “We are tremendously grateful for the support and patience of the people in this region that have been following the development of this project for so long.”

“We are asking for just a little more patience so that we can deliver the level of service and safety that we have committed to deliver,” he said in a prepared statement.

The town of Corinth and Warren County signed a contract with Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC earlier this year that allows the railroad to run on the tracks owned by Corinth in Saratoga County and by Warren County in that county. The Saratoga & North Creek Railway replaces the Upper Hudson River Railroad, which operated a more limited scenic train out of North Creek for about a decade.

The Saratoga & North Creek will offer visitors excellent views of the Adirondack region with seven stops between its destinations in North Creek and Saratoga Springs. The railway company is also planning ski trains from Saratoga Springs to North Creek where the Gore Mountain Ski Center is located. For more information visit:

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