His long-standing advocacy for rail-infrastructure improvements across the North Country, including the Adirondack Railroad, has been shared and endorsed by the full membership of the Regional Economic Development Council.
In November, as part of the $103.2 million awarded to the North Country, a request for $9.5 million in state funding to revitalize the 44-mile Newton Falls rail line serving Newton Falls in St. Lawrence County was approved. This initiative is critical to the economic future of the Clifton-Fine community and the success of its anchor employer, Newton Falls Fine Papers.
Another success to the south is the Saratoga & North Creek Railway, which continues to expand passenger service to meet increasing demand, now running three trains a day, seven days a week.
As just reported in the Press-Republican, the Saratoga & North Creek Railway has also recently received federal approval to reopen the Tahawus Line between North Creek and Newcomb’s Tahawus hamlet to begin transporting previously mined rare-earth minerals.
In its reporting on this on July 5, the Wall Street Journal said: “A railroad company is renovating rusty, overgrown tracks to get at millions of tons of waste rock at an abandoned iron and titanium mine near the source of New York’s Hudson River and the highest peaks of the Adirondacks, part of a widespread resurgence of short line and regional freight lines. The planned reopening of a 30-mile rail link is being driven by high oil prices that make rail shipping more economical than trucking.”
Garry Douglas is a visionary and relentless supporter of the North Country’s economic vitality. We applaud his efforts and look forward to his continued contributions to an improved North Country economy.
Stephen M. Erman is president of the Adirondack North Country Association, based in Saranac Lake.