SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga & North Creek Railway has closed its ticket office and gift shop in Saratoga Springs, but the company says the closure does not affect its plans for the rail line going forward.
The move will not affect the ability of passengers to board in Saratoga Springs, as they will be able to give the conductor electronic ticketing information instead of physical tickets.
The railroad was selling tickets and had a gift shop at the Station Lane building since 2011, but has found that changes in its business did not warrant keeping the space open.
Station Lane was where the company sold tickets for Polar Express-themed trips, but SNCR did not offer those holiday trips during the Christmas season last year after litigation with the Polar Express license-holder.
An increase in the purchase of online tickets and relocation of some railway staff to Stony Creek Ranch in Stony Creek that began with the recent holiday train trips has led to the railway having less need to use the Capital District Transportation Authority-owned building, SNCR staff said in response to a Post-Star inquiry.
Anna Gomez-Domenech, the company’s marketing manager, said the railroad’s “recent move to Stony Creek for ‘The Train to Christmas Town’ this past season has shown that having a physical space at Saratoga Springs station is not currently cost-effective.”
“SNCRR will continue to have trains that depart from Saratoga Springs, but passengers will now be able to present their confirmation email to the conductor on the platform prior to boarding,” she said.
The company will continue to keep its North Creek station open.
Justin Gonyo, the railroad’s general manager, said the company has not ruled out resuming use of the Saratoga Springs office if the need arises.
“We will maintain a relationship with CDTA should our needs change in the future. CDTA has been an excellent business partner over the last seven years,” he said.
Horicon Supervisor Matt Simpson, chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors Public Works Committee, which oversees SNCR’s use of the county-owned rail line, said the company has not informed county leaders of any changes to its plans for use of the rail line going forward. Since the Saratoga Springs station is not in Warren County, it is not part of the county-owned property.
Recent flooding by the Hudson River has canceled “snow train” trips for this weekend and next, but Simpson said SNCR is working with county staff to clear ice from the line and check for damage to tracks and bridges.