Saratoga North Creek Railway will begin freight train runs from Tahawus on a formerly closed section of line in the coming weeks, as local logging companies look to capitalize on the company’s freight opportunities.
The railroad company’s freight trains will pick up this summer as logging companies in the Adirondacks look to use the rail line, with a Hadley rail company planning to move to Corinth to be closer to a rail depot there to move its logs, said Justin Gonyo, superintendent for the railway.
Gonyo told Warren County supervisors Tuesday that railway officials met with staff of NL Industries in Tahawus, but said there are no plans to begin shipping by rail any of the tailings or other material that remains at the company’s mines there.
The railway continues to ship materials for Barton International from the company’s garnet mines in North River, with two loads of Barton freight planned next month. Gonyo said the railway is also talking to “a few other” potential freight clients.
He did not identify the Saratoga County logging company, but said it is planning to take advantage of the Palmer Falls rail branch in Corinth that the railway is purchasing.
“We’ve spent months trying to develop this (freight traffic) and it’s really gaining traction,” he said. “At this point I think we’re six months from seeing freight on a regular basis.”
Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty said the railroad’s first freight run earlier this year for Barton seemed to go well.
County officials stand to gain more revenue from the rail line if freight traffic increases, he said.
“I think they’ll be aggressive because freight is going to pay their bills,” Geraghty said.
Johnsburg Supervisor Ron Vanselow said the main concern he's heard about resumed freight traffic on the line is the possible need for changes at a crossing to the town-owned Kellogg property, where events are held.
This spring was the first that the railway has offered spring tourism train runs, and Gonyo said the trains have been averaging 100 passengers per weekend. “We’re pretty pleased with that,” he said.